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7 ways to supercharge your CAD software with Teamcenter Share

By Amanda Russell

Engineers use Solid Edge CAD software to design everything from camper vans to espresso machines, and work on products that involve global manufacturing processes as well as smaller independent builds and custom jobs. In short, Solid Edge users are designing the future and making the world a better place.

By way of introduction, Solid Edge is a portfolio of affordable, easy-to-use software tools that address all aspects of the product development process. It’s offered at an accessible price point for businesses of all sizes. And with its built-in cloud collaboration solution, Teamcenter Share, Solid Edge enables businesses to harness the full potential of their design engineering process. Teamcenter Share provides Solid Edge 3D CAD users a secure way to store, share, and collaborate on design files from anywhere, on any device.

Overcoming traditional CAD challenges

Most CAD users face a wide range of challenges and technology limitations that reduce productivity and slow down product development. Some of the most common challenges include accidental file overwriting, overly complicated processes for sharing and inspecting design files, difficulties with the review and mark-up process, and decentralized task management.

Solid Edge and Teamcenter Share are helping today’s designers and engineers overcome these challenges. Each solution is purpose-built to handle large, complex files, especially files that need to be shared and used across teams or with external partners and suppliers. Teamcenter Share removes these obstacles and allows Solid Edge users to focus on designing high-quality products.

For example, one Siemens customer experienced “100% faster design and customization” and “saved up to 75% manufacturing time” by using Solid Edge and Teamcenter Share.

Graphic with a photo of a car being assembled with a statistic that says "One customer experienced 100% faster design and customization and saved up to 75% manufacturing time when they used Solid Edge and Teamcenter Share."

Teamcenter Share is the cloud storage and sharing system of choice for our customers. Our base plan includes 500GB of storage, and with each additional user added to your subscription you’re automatically provided an additional 5GB of storage. Teams can save their projects and files in the cloud, all in a secure and user-friendly way, and directly from within the Solid Edge interface.

Benefits of using Solid Edge with Teamcenter Share

Teamcenter Share was introduced to the Siemens Xcelerator portfolio to address the specific challenges customers faced when using and sharing CAD files. In the case of Solid Edge users, Teamcenter Share reduces and eliminates hiccups in quality control caused by disjointed collaboration and review processes.

Screenshot showing Teamcenter Share open within the Solid Edge interface
Users can access Teamcenter Share from directly within the Solid Edge interface.

The benefits of Teamcenter Share are vast but most of our customers report that using Solid Edge and Teamcenter Share together helps them to achieve the following benefits:

  • Simplify the process of collaborating on designs and communicating design changes
  • Keep CAD files secure
  • Inspect and review/markup design files in detail
  • Reduce overwriting and version control issues
  • Reduce the need for emails and meetings
  • Improve overall task and project management

In the following sections, we’ll explore how Teamcenter Share and Solid Edge helps businesses address each of these critical challenges in product development.

Simplifying collaboration in design engineering

Without Teamcenter Share as a collaboration tool, CAD users describe sharing files over email, through OneDrive and other cloud storage solutions, or by taking multiple screenshots and sharing them over email. These methods don’t work well for most designers or companies…

  • Files are often large and may not be accepted by the recipient’s email provider.
  • When the files are small enough to email, these methods aren’t secure unless both parties employ advanced email encryption and security measures.
  • Version control creates lags and communication difficulties. Any updates have to be shared with all relevant parties, who may have already spent time on previous iterations.
  • Collaborators who use different CAD solutions can’t view files from different programs without installing additional software.
  • Office-based sharing solutions do not support viewing CAD files, nor do they have the capability to inspect them.

When Solid Edge users store their files in Teamcenter Share, they can add other parties to the file and assign the level of access for each user. These parties can be outside vendors, engineers, or anyone who needs access to the file. Then, the file owner can share the file.

A screenshot showing a Teamcenter Share window within Solid Edge that allows users to add and view users on a project
Adding and viewing users on a project in Solid Edge through the Teamcenter Share window

Uploading files is fast and easy: A 1 GB file takes around 41 seconds to upload. Users who have large files — up to 500 GB — can upload their CAD files to Teamcenter Share in under nine hours. For projects that require additional storage, Teamcenter Share offers up to 100 TB.

Secure CAD file sharing and storage

Much of the world is hyperconnected, which makes security paramount. Currently, Teamcenter Share is compliant with NIST Cloud and Commercial Cloud Global and is SOC2 compliant.

Siemens also supports the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), which is recognized as the leading global organization dedicated to best practices for secure cloud computing. The CSA Trustmark affirms Siemens’ alignment with CSA best practices.

Siemens products are trusted by governments, militaries, Fortune 50 companies, and a host of small companies and large enterprises spanning geographies and industry sectors. As we continue to expand the Siemens Xcelerator portfolio of software and services, security remains our top priority.

Ensuring quality in product designs with detailed view and markup

In Teamcenter Share, anyone who’s been given access to a design file can explore the rendering in a 3D view. They can use the explode view to see individual parts and how they fit together, zoom in, zoom out, rotate, measure, and view cross-sections.

There’s no need for annotated screenshots. Using Teamcenter Share, in the full-screen view of a Solid Edge file, the user can review the 3D model in detail. All users can make notes, measure, and share insights with the other users on the project.

A screenshot showing markup on a project within Solid Edge
Marking up a project using Teamcenter Share and Solid Edge

For example, as shown in the example above, if one engineer finds an issue with a specific part of the product, they can add a markup note tied to a specific area and view of the product. All notes for a file are stored on the right side of the screen, where the next user can find the markup, click on it, and go directly to the correct view and note. This is especially useful on a large or complex assembly.

Some customers use these notes as a running dialogue. With optional date and time stamps, users can respond to notes and ask additional questions in one place.

Viewing and manipulating designs and prototypes in the cloud

In Solid Edge, users can open Teamcenter Share, scan through files, and see a preview of the design, as shown in the screenshot below. In this preview, the 3D model can be rotated. However, if a more thorough view is needed, users can click the Markup 3D icon to open the file in a full-screen view.

A screenshot showing a Teamcenter Share window within Solid Edge that displays a Prototype Review
Users can complete a full prototype review in Teamcenter Share, directly within Solid Edge.

Within Teamcenter Share, users can append a note to a Solid Edge file in a project. In the project view, a user can select a file, create a new note using the menu options, and save it to that file.

Reducing overwriting with versioning and access controls

To reduce the chances of overwriting the file, owners can give Review access to their files or use the check-in and check-out feature that comes with using Teamcenter Share’s integration with Solid Edge. Users can leave markups and view files at the same time. Anyone who has Full Access can download the file, make changes, then upload the new version for review.

Reducing the need for emails and meetings with access controls

Solid Edge customers have explained that using Teamcenter Share has led to fewer emails and meetings. There’s no need to email new screenshots or the latest version of the file. Through Teamcenter Share, Solid Edge users can send emails to alert other users to notes that need their attention, tasks, or to a change in their access level to a file. This can help reduce meetings, too, as comments, task assignments, and more all take place within Teamcenter Share.

Improving efficiency with centralized project and task management

Screenshot 6 shows how tasks can be assigned to any user with access to a file in Teamcenter Share. Tasks are viewable in a Kanban or chart view, where users can change a task’s status and assign tasks to others. When a task is assigned, the platform automatically emails the user to alert them.

A screenshot showing the Teamcenter Share window within Solid Edge, with Tasks assignment and details
Assigning tasks to specific owners or groups is made easy with Teamcenter Share.

Supfina: A global success story

Supfina uses Solid Edge, Teamcenter Share, and Tecnomatix to lead globally in surface finishing systems, with a focus on the automotive and bearings industries. Their latest innovation, the Supfina Planet BD, reduces fine dust emissions in vehicle braking systems. Learn more about Supfina’s work and how they use Solid Edge and Teamcenter Share in the video below.

An example of Solid Edge and Teamcenter Share in action

Let’s examine a typical use case at a small manufacturing customer.

Cristofer created a complex design file in Solid Edge for a new product. He needs to verify the measurement of an internal part before he sends it to manufacturing, so he uploads the file to Teamcenter Share.

In Teamcenter Share, he views the file in 3D, uses the Explode button to separate the parts, rotates the view to find a specific part, and zooms in. He uses the built-in measurement tool to note the part’s length, then creates a note for his collaborator to check that 3mm is correct. 

His note triggers an email from Teamcenter Share, which is sent directly to his collaborator in Tel Aviv, Davina, who has full access to Cristofer’s file in Teamcenter Share.  

Davina doesn’t have Solid Edge or Teamcenter Share on her computer, but she clicks the link in the email and is taken to the browser version of Teamcenter Share. There, she can access the file, see Cristofer’s comment, and check the measurement. She realizes that the part should be 2.5mm, so she responds to the comment to let him know. 

Once Cristofer receives the email alerting him to Davina’s comment, he adjusts the part in Solid Edge and finalizes the design. The file automatically syncs to Teamcenter Share, and he adds his manufacturing contact in China to the file in Teamcenter Share. 

Screenshot of a CAD project in Solid Edge
A view of a project in Solid Edge.

Learn more about Teamcenter Share

Teamcenter Share helps Solid Edge users extend the power of their digital twin far beyond their 3D CAD software environment to tackle the challenges of modern product development. After creating a design file, users can share and mark-up designs without resorting to screenshots or manual revisioning. Teamcenter Share enables proper file management by eliminating the need for third-party file-sharing platforms that lack the storage and functionality needed for large CAD files.

Part of a broader suite of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) products designed to work together to modernize product development, Teamcenter Share and Solid Edge allow teams to overcome technology gaps and focus their time 100% on bringing high-quality products to market.

Learn more about Teamcenter Share

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at https://blogs.sw.siemens.com/solidedge/7-ways-to-supercharge-your-cad-software-with-teamcenter-share/