OpenBOM What’s New, May 10th, 2024

Oleg Shilovitsky
Oleg Shilovitsky
14 May, 2024 | 8 min for reading
OpenBOM What’s New, May 10th, 2024

In the modern digital engineering and manufacturing world, files are still a super valuable way to create and manage information. CAD files, simulations, machining, drawings, and many other examples of storing data that is used for design, shared with contractors and suppliers, and on the shop floor. 

The seamless flow of information is pivotal to supporting efficient processes. From conceptualization to prototyping and final design, engineers heavily rely on design files to bring their creations to life.  With the increasing complexity of product design, complex revision cycles, and the need for global collaboration, managing files can become a cumbersome task. 

Continuing to improve the way OpenBOM is capable of managing files for work-in-progress (WIP) design tasks and helping companies to organize the information and process was one of the main topics for OpenBOM’s May 10th, 2024 update. 

Here is the list of important enhancements and improvements we introduced last week. 

  1. OpenBOM Design Projects – File Versions, Project Sharing, Improved Locking
  2. Improved filters with advanced filter criteria 
  3. Multi-column sort 
  4. Autodesk Fusion Integration improvements
  5. Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS integration improvements 

Those are key enhancements. Let’s discuss them and many others later in this article. 

OpenBOM Design Projects  

We continue to develop our vision of the Design Project with seamless synchronization between cloud storage and desktops to support both capabilities to manage files using the cloud and provide a way to use CAD files locally with desktop CAD systems (eg. SOLIDWORKs, etc) 

This release represents a dramatic improvement in the overall product Data Management features of OpenBOM.  Including the Design Dashboard, The Workspace Manager application for managing and synchronizing local files, and the OpenBOM for Solidworks add-in to provide Smart Locking (formerly Check in/out) on Save operations.

For detailed information, please read this article –  OpenBOM Design Projects Improvements.

OpenBOM Workspace Manager and collaborative lock mechanism allow seamless synchronization using Smart Sync and provide an advantage compared to the old check-in/check-out process. 

To start using new capabilities, please note to upgrade both OpenBOM Workspace Manager and OpenBOM SOLIDWORKS Add-in. If you haven’t used them before, just install them from the Design Project user interface and OpenBOM Integrations page. 

After many discussions with our users and customers, we upgraded the Design Project data model to support a granular file versioning mechanism. Now, you can store file revisions for each individual file in a project (a feature that was requested by many and it was a limitation before). 


Together with file version control, additional features and capabilities were added: 

  • Project sharing (capable of sharing a project with a specific set of users) 
  • Automatic version creation when synchronizing files 
  • Collaborative lock and Smart Sync improvements 
  • Workspace Integration with CAD (first supported in SOLIDWORKS)  

Here are a few important images to highlight the improvements in OpenBOM Design Projects. 

Design Project Versions

We introduced granular file version control in the Design Project workspace. It allows you to keep track of each stored file version in the workspace and always get access to all these files later (a small remark – if  you’re familiar with OpenBOM Catalogs and Item Revisions, you will find it very similar. Because OpenBOM both use the same data management architecture with flexible data model) 

A separate display can give you access to all versions of a file:

As you can see in the picture above, you can get a list of all versions of files. Design Project and Workspace Manager have the option to create a file version each time files are synchronized to the cloud, so you have a full history of changes. In the next release, we will also allow manual file version functions to have more dedicated control of change tracking. 

Collaborative Lock and Deep CAD integration 

OpenBOM cloud workspace and flexible data management allow us to organize a unique mechanism to manage and store files as well as to seamlessly synchronize the files between cloud storage and workspactions. This mechanism allows you to lock any file from a Design Project workspace by simply checking on the lock checkbox.

For users who are looking to optimize their work even more, OpenBOM CAD add-ins will allow more advanced mechanisms to manage CAD files and get control over changes. At the moment, the changes are only available for SOLIDWORKS, but they will be coming to other CAD Add-ins as well. Check the OpenBOM Integrations page for more information.

CAD Add-in allows users to alert users when they are attempting to change the file that is locked by someone else. 

OpenBOM Design Subscriptions 

OpenBOM Design Projects is available for free. However not all features are included in the free layer. So, what is available for free and what is not? 

Some of the Design Project functionalities are available for free. You can see it in the OpenBOM pricing page online. In a nutshell, here is what you can do for free after yesterday release using Design (free) subscription: 

  • Create an unlimited number of Design Projects
  • Unlimited storage for CAD files in the cloud 
  • Lock and Workspace Manager to sync files 
  • Shared with everyone in your team (automatically)  

Additional Design Project features are available in the Team subscription: 

  • Version control [keep versions of files stored in the cloud] 
  • Design Projects dedicated sharing capabilities

For detailed information about OpenBOM Design Projects improvements, please read the following article: OpenBOM Design Projects: How Collaborative Workspace, Versions, Lock, and Smart Sync Replaces Old Fashion Check-in/Check-out Files

Filter: Advanced Filtering Capabilities

You asked…. We listened.  One of the most requested features is advanced filtering.   Have you ever wanted to find all items that cost more than a dollar AND are plastic? Well, it’s here and it’s a dramatic improvement.

You may now employ a variety of filter options such as empty fields, greater than, less than, contains, does not contain, and many others. This level of granularity provides users with greater control over refining their data views, ensuring that they can focus on the information that matters most to them.

The Filter control also moved from the toolbar to the Property Menu (as shown below) as you can now apply filters across multiple properties.

Sort: Introducing Multiple Column Sort

One of the great new features of the upcoming update is the introduction of multiple-column sorting. With this enhancement, users now have the ability to sort data based on multiple column values simultaneously. This empowers users to arrange data in a manner that aligns precisely with their specific requirements, enhancing overall usability and efficiency.

A quick video of Sort and Filtering: 

CAD Integrations:

Autodesk Fusion

We made several very important and highly demanded features in Autodesk Fusion (known before as Autodesk Fusion 360). 

Support for Autodesk Manage properties

Another frequently requested feature is support for Autodesk Manage properties; specifically Item Number and State.  Well, this release supports ALL Manage properties and can be configured using the Template manager in the OpenOBM for Fusion Settings dialog.

Sheet Metal Flat Pattern Sizes

For your Autodesk Fusion designs that contain a “sheet metal” part type, OpenBOM will automatically calculate the minimum flat pattern sizes so you know exactly what size of sheet metal blank to cut.  Units will be in the Fusion design units.

Short video:

Dassault Systemes Solidworks 

Solidworks gets a new Settings dialog that is easier to read.

…  and a new option to bring the Weldment Total Length property to OpenBOM.  If your design has a Weldment feature, Solidworks will create a Total Length property and (when selected) you can bring that value to OpenBOM.  See below.

Other Improvements and Fixes

As always in every release we’ve been providing many small feature improvements and fixes. 

  • Altium Designer – fixed an annoying bug with images and part numbers & extra items in the Catalog.
  • PTC Onshape – greatly improved the reliability of Derivative files, including drawing PDFs and “On Release” updating of the BOM.
  • Fixed a case when Add Property might show an infinite spinner.  Sorry about that.
  • Also fixed a case when it was possible to have duplicate properties in a View
  • Fixed Where Used in Part Search.
  • Deleting a Change management template now behaves better.
  • Changed the default Approval Behavior for the Admin to Approve All.
  • Fixed a rare case when a user could not create a new account.
  • Improved Export with ZIP file(s) processing.
  • Improved messaging overall.
  • Improved cookie management for all browsers.
  • Improved documentation for Public API.

Conclusion: 

I’m super excited about the last OpenBOM release. It brings feature richness and power to Design Projects, which is becoming an entry-free tool for everyone to manage CAD files and integrate with all cloud design tools. Additionally features such as filter and sorting are awesome. Check them out. 

REGISTER FOR FREE and start a 14-day trial to explore how OpenBOM can help you. 

Best, Oleg

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