CAD data is one of the main sources of engineering information used to create the Bill of Materials and extract additional data to organize OpenBOM Catalogs. OpenBOM provides a wide range of CAD integrations. You can get list of available OpenBOM integrations on our website here. If you have questions about specific integrations, please reach out to our support or talk to our chatbot.
There are several CAD integrations available as part of OpenBOM user subscription, so once you subscribed you can download them. Among them – Solidworks add-in, Solidworks plug-in for File Explorer, Autodesk Fusion 360, Autodesk Inventor, Solid Edge, Altium, Onshape and others.
Most of the integrations are available to download from OpenBOM Integrations panel.
Some of the integrations are available via CAD App Stores such as:
If you want to use OpenBOM plug-in, you need to reach out to OpenBOM support email and provide your Altium account email.
To start using CAD add-ins, you need to first to install it. Each add-in is a bit specific in the way it integrates with OpenBOM. In this article, first I will talk about the general and common principles of OpenBOM -CAD integrations.
If you want to read more about or vision of future CAD-BOM integrations using cloud web-services, please check this article – Future CAD-BOM relationships in service-oriented world.
OpenBOM extracts data from a CAD system and transfers it to OpenBOM cloud databases. Think about this data as a combination of 1/ metadata about parts, assemblies, relationships, quantities, etc. 2/ Preview image of the part or assembly and 3/ CAD file and, 4/ Neutral file such as PDF, 3D PDF, STEP, etc. The first two are mandatory and the extraction of files is an optional feature.
The most often asked question is how OpenBOM CAD integrations are extracting and mapping data between OpenBOM and CAD systems.
OpenBOM unique flexible data management platform is allowing OpenBOM integrations to extract any data and create OpenBOM data schemas on the fly. However, the question of “what data” to extract from CAD is important, because sometimes it can be an overwhelmed amount of data.
At OpenBOM, we always trying to make an entire user experience simple. Therefore, we’re always trying to apply some automatical rules to simplify the process.
Each add-in has its own “Setting”. Some of these settings are the same (eg. email and password). But others are different. The following are rules applied for the most popular OpenBOM CAD plug-ins:
OpenBOM automatically extracts ALL data from the Solidworks file. To limit amount of data OpenBOM add-in has Template mechanism. I highly recommend creating a template in the first place.
OpenBOM automatically recognize Solidworks Part Number and also check flags such as “don’t extract to BOM”, Envelop and some others
OpenBOM automatically extracts all data based on Inventor’s own BOM definitions from BOM structure view in Autodesk Inventor. So, if you want OpenBOM to extract some data, you need to add it to the Autodesk Inventor structure report.
OpenBOM also captures data based on some fundamental definitions in Inventor such as type of assembly (Purchased, Phantom, etc.).
OpenBOM extracts all data from Fusion 360 Components. If you want to eliminate data from Fusion 360 and not to extract it, turn your components into bodies. Also, OpenBOM just released Autodesk Fusion 360 template to control what properties are extracted.
OpenBOM Solid Edge plug-in is extracting data based on settings of BOM report template in Solid Edge. By adding new columns there, you can control what properties OpenBOM will extract.
OpenBOM Onshape integration is allowing to user to “Select properties” when extracting BOM. later on, you can change this template, which defines how data is extracted and arranged (order).
The question is what happens when you create a BOM for the first time? And what happens when you create/update BOM one more time? Will OpenBOM check all BOM parts and create a difference? How comparison of the data is done? What is the procedure?
This is a great question. At OpenBOM we call it “Merging”. That’s the act of updating an existing BOM (or catalog) from CAD. In a nutshell, here is what happens:
When you click Create/Update BOM from the CAD system, we look to see if a BOM already exists in OpenBOM. If not we create one. Done.
If a BOM does exist:
Here is a typical scenario of working with CAD plug-in and OpenBOM:
To finish this article, here are a few videos with OpenBOM CAD interfaces:
Autodesk Fusion 360
Check other videos on our website and Youtube Channel.
OpenBOM is continuously evolving and therefore actual integrations can be different from the videos here. OpenBOM is releasing updates every 4 weeks and we support main versions of CAD systems. If something doesn’t work reach out to our support.
Sharing is caring!