Unveiling OpenBOM Design Projects (FREE), Custom Objects and Design Cloud Integrations

Oleg Shilovitsky
Oleg Shilovitsky
2 September, 2023 | 5 min for reading
Unveiling OpenBOM Design Projects (FREE), Custom Objects and Design Cloud Integrations

Summer is over and I’m super excited to share some of the work we’ve been doing at OpenBOM for the last few months. When we started OpenBOM, we realized that a flexible and configurable data management platform is key to providing manufacturing companies with robust solutions that can be tailored and adapted to different customer requirements and business processes. In fact, the combination of both – (1) out-of-the-box behaviors and (2) flexibility is a path to success. 

Next Chapter of Flexible Data Management – OpenBOM Custom Objects 

If you’re using OpenBOM, you are probably familiar with OpenBOM data management, allowing you to define any property based on your needs and add it to Items, BOMs, Orders, and other predefined OpenBOM objects. While it is great, we always wanted to get to the next level and to offer a fully flexible data model for customers allowing them to define custom objects to manage any type of data – e.g… Requirements, Specifications, Products, Quality Documents, etc. 

So, new OpenBOM Custom Objects is the way to do so. The coming release of OpenBOM will allow Custom Objects, so the user will be able to define any type of information. The mechanism will be seamless and will remind you of a familiar user-friendly interface with “spreadsheet-like” capabilities. In the screenshot below, here are two examples of custom objects created by me during the testing – Requirements and Projects: 

Example- Requirement Custom object: 

Example- Projects Custom object: 

Coming together with Custom Objects is a new Property Type called “Object Reference”. I’m sure you already can guess what it is. Object Reference is a type of property that allows you to point from a property to another object. Such a generic data management mechanism will allow you to build flexible “links” between different OpenBOM objects. So, you can flexibly create a link from File to Item, from Item to Project, and from Project to Requirements. 

The Object References first will become “linkable” and later will become part of OpenBOM Graph Navigator with the ability to “browser” between different objects via links (relationships) flexibly defined by users (stay tuned for more information later). 

File Management Using Design Projects (FREE subscription)

Files are still the most popular type of information that is used in product design, engineering, and manufacturing. Companies are using many files for different purposes – design (CAD), requirements, specs, etc. Files are created during design and must be managed. Each organization has many files. 

For the last year, we’ve been talking about file management with many companies organizations, and individuals. Earlier in 2022, we brought Drive features to OpenBOM, which became a robust mechanism for companies looking at how to manage files and collaborate for engineering projects. 

With the disappearance of GrabCAD Workbench from the market, we found that a simple system with the ability to vault, check in/out files and manage revisions is clearly missed. Therefore, we decided to bring a simple Design Projects file management capability to OpenBOM, which will become part of OpenBOM’s FREE subscription.

OpenBOM New Design Dashboard will provide the capability to create Projects and use them to manage files (CAD, Office, etc.). It will include check-in/check-out and release capabilities and will allow to management of files with attached metadata. The system will be available also online and offline and will allow you keep files in sync on demand. 

OpenBOM Workspace Management (evolution of Monitor you know) will allow you to keep files in sync between Cloud Projects storage and local Workspace Folders. 

We know how important it is for many companies and engineers to be able to secure their file storage and manage revisions. Therefore, we decided to make entry-level OpenBOM Design Projects FREE for all users registered with OpenBOM (Note: details about availability and storage capacity will become available soon, but they will be sufficient to manage real production projects for SMB/SME companies. Hint: A storage reference program will be coming too, so stay tuned). 

For all customers, using Drive, don’t worry. Drive doesn’t go away and continues to be available to all OpenBOM subscribers. 

Design Cloud Integrations

We can see a growing number of CAD (and other design systems) adopting the cloud and available from the browser. There are many examples (Autodesk Fusion360, PTC Onshape, and others). For all customers who would like to consume data directly from the cloud, we introduce integrations with cloud design storages and systems. 

Our first support will be for Autodesk Platform Services (APS), which is also formerly known as Autodesk Forge. In the preview pictures below, you will be able to see how seamless integration with Autodesk Fusion360 and Autodesk Construction Cloud (ACC) is available. 

These two integrations will support a seamless data connection between Autodesk Platform Servies and OpenBOM. 

Autodesk Fusion 360

Autodesk Construction Cloud 

Conclusion: 

I hope you’re not overwhelmed. But the changes we are going to make in OpenBOM are huge and will become a big value for all engineers, industrial companies, robotics teams, colleges, and university hardware groups. 

Stay tuned – the functions I described above are coming in the next release. Please note that we will be enabling customers to register and use new functions and, especially Design Projects file management gradually since these are new features. 

To ensure you can start using it sooner rather than later, I recommend you create an OpenBOM account now by REGISTERING TO OPENBOM

We will be making announcements and providing additional information once these features start becoming available to OpenBOM users and customers. 

Best, Oleg

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