SolidWorks: Custom BOM & REV Table
Custom Bill of Materials (BOM) And Revision Tables (REV)
Using custom settings for a bill of materials or a revision table can make things move much faster during the design process. With the wide array of different manufacturing types, such as special techniques, processes, and materials, there need to be multiple different ways to convey all the information, not just through one standard. This is where a custom bill of materials or revision table comes into play. These custom settings allow both manufacturers and customers to communicate faster and more easily through the drawings involved in the design process. And having a personal or company customized bill of materials or revision table is very easy to create.
BOM/REV Table Creation
The simplest way to create a custom BOM or REV table is to use one that is already created and edit it. SolidWorks offers standard tables that come with the software. To begin creating a custom table, a drawing must first be started. This drawing can be started on any drawing template. Once a template has been chosen, an assembly file must be placed on the drawing to open a pre-made bill of materials. Click on the annotation tab on the toolbar located near the top of the screen. Once on that tab, select the drop-down menu for the table’s command and there will be a Bill of Materials option. The Revision table command is also located here. The location of these commands is shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1: BOM & REV table command location
After selecting the BOM command, the property manager will prompt for a drawing view to be selected. Select the view that has all components that are desired in the BOM. Often the view selected is the Isometric view of the entire assembly. If no Custom BOM file location is selected it will prompt you to use the BOM standard created by SolidWorks, use this standard BOM table. Click the green check mark and the Bill of Materials will appear on the drawing. If no file location is previously selected or if it is the wrong one, simply hit the button next to the table template input box and search for the correct file location. These same steps are followed when using the Revision table command however you do not need to select a drawing view. Figure 2 below shows the BOM property manager.
Figure 2: BOM property manager
After a table has been placed onto the drawing it does not take much to edit it. To change the table's properties simply hover the mouse over the top left corner of the table and click once on the four directional arrows icon, this will pull up the tables property manager. Inside the property manager, you will find things such as what is seen in the BOM, how large the cells are, border thickness, assembly configurations, and much more. After clicking on the directional arrows to bring up the property manager, a thin box will appear above the table. This box controls the text inside the table. To add rows and columns to the table just right click inside any cell and hover over the insert option. Double clicking on the letters that appear on top of the table when hovering over it will allow each column’s linked properties to the drawing to be changed or added to new columns. An example of editing the linked properties is shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3: Editing the BOM’s linked custom properties
The exact same steps are used in editing a revision table except when adding custom properties, this will be discussed later in the blog. Creating both a custom BOM and REV table are very similar to one another. The only difference is what value is desired inside the cells of each table and how many cells there are. After all, changes have been made to the tables to make them custom, all there is left to do is save them to the correct file type and file location.
Saving the New Custom Tables
After the new table has been fully customized, it must be saved. To save the table, scroll over the top left corner of the table above the four directional arrows icon and right click. On the pop-up menu select save as. When saving the custom BOM make sure to save the file as a Template(*.sldbomtbt) file and select the correct location for the file to be saved. Saving the REV table is done the same way however the file is saved as a Template(*.sldrevtbt) file. Now when inputting either a BOM or a REV table the custom created ones can be found and used. If it is not already pulled up in the selection box when adding in a table, simply browse for the file in the location it was saved and select it. An example of browsing for a custom file is shown below in Figure 4.
Figure 4: Browsing for a custom table
REV Table Custom Properties
When adding in the custom properties to be linked to a revision table the process is a little different. If the Column Property button is not available or grayed out, the properties must be linked in manually by typing them in. In each cell that needs a property type $PRPSHEET:”---” and fill the space(---) with what property you want to give that box. For example, if the cell was to be linked to the assembly’s revision, the blank(---) in that equation would be filled in with “Revision”. This would link that cell to the Revision property in the assembly’s custom properties. This must be done individually to each cell, however, most of the formula can be copied and pasted.
Creating a set of custom BOM’s and REV tables can take some time and could be quite tricky to figure out at first. However, in the long run, these custom tables will save time and large amounts of effort. Custom tables such as the BOM and REV table are extremely helpfully in almost any design process, therefore it is a helpful tip to know how to create and customize them.