OpenBOM Implementation Best Practices – Part 2

Oleg Shilovitsky
Oleg Shilovitsky
27 September, 2022 | 4 min for reading
OpenBOM Implementation Best Practices – Part 2

People don’t want something truly new, they want the familiar done differently. Each manufacturing company is different and proud of how they develop the most innovative products in the world and look at how to optimize their processes to fit the development needs. However, when it comes to IT implementation, PDM, and PLM services, each manufacturing company is looking for a starting point where they can start implementing everything without rethinking everything from scratch. 

Last week, I started a series of articles about OpenBOM Implementations Best Practices. Check my first article which provides a general overview of all use cases covered by OpenBOM. In the article today, I will talk about how OpenBOM helps engineers and manufacturing companies to work on their designs. 

OpenBOM Design Data Management and Collaboration 

The design starts at the beginning of every product development process. This is a phase that includes multiple design activities and covers different aspects of the design process – CAD system, design collaboration, and data management for design data. OpenBOM provides you with tools and services that help you to perform the following activities: 

  1. File management and version control 
  2. Engineering collaboration 
  3. 3D Viewing 
  4. Integration with CAD systems 

These functions help to set up centralized storage for all CAD files, CAD Add-ins help you to connect and control CAD functions, and are also integrated with cloud and desktop systems that provide design data management outside of OpenBOM. The outcome of this process is well-organized data set with all design data – CAD files, history of versions, and related meta-data.

Implementation Best Practices 

A high-level process helping OpenBOM customers to manage design information includes four different steps. Let’s talk about these elements and share how companies need to think about their implementations. Keep in mind that all OpenBOM functionality (except enterprise) is available for a free 14-day trial. If you don’t have an OpenBOM subscription, start a free trial at no cost and any credit card. 

Setting Up OpenBOM Account 

The first step to start working with OpenBOM, you need to create a free account. If you already have an account, you can skip this part. However, please be sure that you have (at least) a valid and functional account including a free trial. Alternatively, you can just purchase a subscription – either monthly or annually. 

Navigate to the OpenBOM website, click on Registration and follow the instructions. Once the account is created, start a trial. Be sure that you have at least OpenBOM Professional User and Drive to try everything out. 

Setting Up a Virtual Drive 

To set up OpenBOM Virtual Drive, you need to navigate to OpenBOM Drive Dashboard and (if you already have a trial) enable the Drive from the dashboard. You will get a message that Drive is enabled and then you will get instructions about how to install the Drive application on your computer (keep in mind that Drive App is only available for Windows).  

Organizing Folders and Copy Files 

Once you have a virtual drive setup, you can access it via File Explorer and technically you can start building your folder and structure. When you do so, keep in mind that the way you set up folders will be used by many other people. So, put a little bit of thinking about how to organize folders, and how you will be sharing them and collaborating with them. 

I recommend starting with a test project. As soon as you organize the test process, it is important to test multiple functions for file/folder sharing, locking, and many others. OpenBOM will allow you to organize team access to the Drive. 

Setting Up CAD Add-ins 

As a next step, you can get the scenario of installing CAD add-ins. Some of our CAD add-ins are already supporting your favorite CAD. Please install the CAD add-in from the OpenBOM Installation page, which is pointing out to the installer (keep in mind Windows only). OpenBOM CAD add-in allows you to organize the work with files and also get access to these files directly from the CAD system. 

Basic First Testing Scenario 

It is important to have a testing use case for every company starting to use in small steps and then growing gradually. Here is the outline of the first testing scenario: 

  1. Register free, start a trial and enable Drive (via Dashboard) 
  2. Install Windows integration with File Explorer, copy a test project files 
  3. Step up data sharing option to allow multiple people to access these files 
  4. Install CAD Add-in to get direct access to OpenBOM functionality 
  5. Use Web Dashboard (Drive) to share access to the Drive and Viewer.


In my article today, you learned basic steps and understanding of how OpenBOM can help you organize file management, version control, and data sharing as well as learn how you can control OpenBOM functions directly from a CAD system. Also, you learned how you can share information between different users in your organization and outside. 

You can check it out for yourself – all you need to do is REGISTER FOR FREE and start your 14-day trial today. 

Best, Oleg

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