New user? Here’s how you get started

So you’re a newly registered user to OpenBOM. Thank you!!  You log in and this is the what you see:

You may ask yourself, “How do I get started?”  A good way to do so is to dive right in and start working on a Bill of Materials.  There are two basic ways you can start doing so:

(1) Import a BOM from your favorite CAD system or Excel; and

(2) Manually create a BOM.

Before we get started, let’s first set the stage.  OpenBOM first and foremost is a data management system for engineering, manufacturing, and supply chain. At the heart of all manufacturing processes, there is a Bill of Materials. If the BOM is the heart, then data is the blood pumping throughout the manufacturing process. For example, in many manufacturing shops, data flow looks like this:

At a high-level, manufacturing data follows this generic path:

1- Part Catalogs are created for engineering and standard components;

2- Engineering BOMs are generated from CAD systems;

3- The BOMs are used for manufacturing planning, cost estimation, catalog visibility; and finally

4- An Order BOM is generated and used for production release.

OpenBOM can be used for all the aforementioned items. Getting started with OpenBOM, however, involves just item (1) and (2), above. Because OpenBOM is flexible and adapts to how you work, the actual order isn’t important, i.e., you can either first create a Part Catalog or a BOM.

As a new user getting started with OpenBOM for the first time, what is important is creating your first BOM (or Part Catalog) using your preferred data source, .e.g, from a spreadsheet, from a CAD system, or in some cased, created from scratch.  With this in mind, let’s get started.

Here’s a video that gives you a newbie’s perspective on how to get started working on your first BOM:

As mentioned in the video, one way to create a BOM is to export it from your favorite CAD system. Here’s how you install and use a CAD plugin, via a SOLIDWORKS example:

And here’s a video showing you how to import a BOM spreadsheet:

If you want to create a Bill of Materials from scratch in OpenBOM, here’s how it’s done:

Want to work with a Part Catalog or item master? Watch this video to see how to do so:

Want to learn more about creating BOM properties? Read this article: Creating Properties.

If you want to see the four steps, mentioned above, in action, watch this video. It will give you a taste of what’s possible with OpenBOM as you learn more:


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