Welcome to Bild! The "Getting Started" guide is intended to navigate users through the Bild platform and provide a brief overview on performing the actions for the feature set.
For detailed notes and workflows, see Tutorials.
In this article:
- Creating Your Account
- Dashboard Overview
- Global Settings
- Inviting Users
- Roles & Permissions
- Creating Projects
- Adding Files
- Data Card / Info Drawer
- Bild Viewer
- Feedback Items
- Desktop App Setup
- Status Tags & Filtering
- Search for Files & Attributes
- Check Out & Check In
- Version Control
- Solidworks Setup
- ECOs & Releasing Files
Creating Your Account
Creating your account is simple. Follow the steps below:
- You'll receive an email invite
- Click Accept Invite
- Input the necessary details:
- Full Name
- Re-Enter Password
- Persona Type
- Click Continue
- You'll receive a second email with a 6 digit passcode
- Navigate back to Bild and paste in the passcode
- Click Submit
Key takeaway: you know how to create your account and have favorited the Bild dashboard in your browser to get back to later.
The Bild Dashboard is split up into three major sections.
- Projects: a list of all projects that have been created so far
- Files Checked Out: a list of all files you currently have checked out
- Feedback Items/Approvals: a list of all feedback items or Approvals that have been assigned to you
Key Takeaway: you're able to use the dashboard to close out tasks/items - like checking files back in or addressing feedback items.
This is where you can find settings for your account. Depending on if you are an Admin, Member, or Viewer - you will have access to different settings.
- Click on your Profile Icon on the top right hand corner
- If you are a Member - you will have access to your account settings
- You can download the Desktop App from the Plugins tab
- You can also adjust your Notification settings. These settings would apply to all Projects you're a part of
- If you are an Admin, you'll have access to the above account settings as well as overall Company Settings that will apply to all users
- Custom Metadata: where you can add or remove metadata fields to map what you have in CAD
- Users & Roles: Where you can add users
- Table Columns: Adjust columns in your Projects to display different information
- BOM Table Columns: Adjust columns in BOMs to display different information
💡 Common changes to Company Settings:
-Setting the revision/version number metadata settings to auto-increment. This enables files that are checked out/checked in to be automatically up-versioned, and upon release: up-revisioned
-Dragging the "File Type" column to the visible section in Table Columns to more quickly navigate to files based on whether they are parts, assemblies, or other document types
Key takeaway: you've adjusted the settings you have access to, such as Notifications settings, which applies to all projects.
- Go to Company Settings in your Global Settings on the top right hand corner
- Click on the Users & Roles tab
- Click Add Users
- Type out the email address(es) of anyone you'd like to invite
- Press Enter after every email address so a bubble forms around their email address
- Specify that new user's role - Admin, Member, or Viewer
- Click Add
Key takeaway: you're able to add users after pressing the "Enter" key after typing out invitee's email addresses.
Roles & Permissions
A high level description of the three roles within Bild:
- Admin: Responsible for managing the overall account and settings of Bild
- Admins are automatic Editors on all projects, and can cancel check-out for any other users
- Member: day-to-day user of Bild
- Need to be invited to any projects they did not create themselves
- Can be either an Editor or a Viewer within a project (see below)
- Viewer: company level viewer
- Have Viewer only privileges for all projects they are a part of
Within a Project:
- Viewer: View Files, create feedback items, write notes, create BOMs & Packages, view version history, download files, share links, update metadata properties
- Editor: In addition to Viewer capabilities, Editors can add/remove files, change project names, delete projects, check out/check in files, recover previous versions, and add users to projects
Key takeaway: you have an understanding of which of the 3 roles users should be assigned to, and whether you need Editor or Viewer access on a project level.
See this Tutorial for User Management for more information.
Projects are self-contained and do not reference each other than the Design Library. So parts from Project 1 cannot be referenced by assemblies in Project 2. See the Tutorial on Projects for how to structure your data.
The Design Library is used for commercial off-the-shelf components (COTS) or common hardware components like your screws, bolts, inserts, nuts. Files stored in the Design Library can be referenced by files from your other Projects
- To create a project click the Create button on the browser dashboard under the Projects section
- Enter the project name and select Create
- Add any desired members to the project and assign with either Editor of Viewer permissions
- Once all users are added click Done and the project will be created
Key takeaway: you understanding the difference between the Design Library and all other projects you create. You are able to decide on if you want a single project or multiple projects.
See this Tutorial on Projects for more information.
- To add files to a project, first navigate to the project you'd like to add files into
- There are two ways to add files to your project:
- Drag and drop files from your local computer into the web app within your project files table
- Click on +New or +New Folder to select a new file or folder from your local directory
- Select Import once you've selected the files
- Once these files have been uploaded select Done
- You will then see these files start processing in the background, once they've finished processing you'll be able to double-click on the file to view it in the web viewer
Key takeaway: you're able to migrate files based on your existing folder structure.
See this Tutorial on Files for for more information.
Data Card / Info Drawer
Bild's Data Card (Info Drawer) lets users view key information about every file. Within a data card, you will find a file's metadata, parent/child relationships, STEP/Native file download, and all the file's history.
Bild is currently able to read & write back metadata to SolidWorks files. Whether these are custom file properties or any configurations, you will be able to view and edit these from the Info Drawer and have the updated metadata written back to CAD.
To update any metadata:
- Single-click on the file that you want to edit the metadata for, this will open the file information drawer
- Scroll down to the "Metadata" section, here you will see all the metadata associated with the file
- Click on the "Edit" button located in the top-right corner of the metadata section
- Edit the metadata fields as needed, you can add, edit or remove the values of the metadata fields
- Once you have made the changes, select the "Update" button to save all changes
Key takeaway: The Info Drawer contains additional information regarding the file. If the file is a Solidworks file, this metadata can be written to the file.
See this Tutorial on the Info Drawer / Data Cards for more information.
Bild's Viewer can be accessed by either internal Bild users at your company, or those who have received shared links from you.
Internal Bild users can navigate to their desired project, and from the parts/assembly table - simply double click on the file to open the viewer. Bild's viewer supports a variety of CAD formats, and other document types like PPT, Excel, Word, PDF, etc. Feedback & Annotations can be placed on top of these document types as well.
Anyone who has access to a shared link you generated from Bild will not be able to Add Feedback. Common capabilities for both internal and external Bild users include zoom/pan/rotate, as well as a point to point measurement tool, cross-sectioning, and explode view for assemblies.
Key takeaway: you're able to access and utilize the 3D viewer for collaboration.
See this Tutorial on the Viewer for more information.
- Navigate to the file you'd like to add feedback on, double click on it to render it in the 3D viewer
- Once in the 3D viewer, select the Add Feedback button
- This will create a feedback pop up, fill out the feedback pop-up with a title, description, and/or drawing
- When completed, select Post
- Once you've selected the post, you will be able to view the feedback item on the Kanban board page
💡 If you add a drawing or annotation by clicking on the pencil icon to draw an arrow or circle pointing to the feature in question - the 3D viewer snaps to the same frame of reference for other users as used to create the feedback item.
Key takeaway: you're able to create a feedback item with an annotation for a feature in question.
See this Tutorial on Issue Tracking for more information.
- To open the Kanban board, select the Board icon on the left menu dock within a project
- Here you can view all the existing feedback comments, the member who created it, and a timestamp
- To open a feedback item you can click on it and you will be redirected to the file it pertains to
💡 You can add columns, rename them, and move them around to better fit your processes. Connecting a Project to Jira also enables tickets to be created in Jira based on these feedback items.
Key Takeaway: you're able to structure your project Kanban view to existing processes.
See this Tutorial on Issue Tracking for more information.
Desktop App Setup
The Bild Desktop Application is a tool that allows you to access your files and manage them directly from your desktop. The Desktop Application is synced both to the cloud and your local Windows file folder. Any changes to files downloaded to your local folder will be detected by the desktop application, with prompts for what to do next.
Here are the steps to install the Bild Desktop Application:
- Navigate to your account settings located in the upper right corner of the Bild Web App
- Click on Plug-Ins under account settings
- Click on the Windows button, which will automatically begin downloading the Desktop App
- Once the download is complete, click on it to open and begin the installation process
- Navigate back to the Bild Web App and select Generate in the Plug-Ins section. This will generate a unique code to sync your Bild account to your Desktop App
- Copy this code into your Bild Desktop App
- If you are a Gov Cloud customer, click on the PDM dropdown and select Gov
- Once you’ve entered your unique code, press Continue
- Once logged in, you will be prompted to select a local folder for Bild to use as your local directory
- Create a net new folder in your local directory
It is important to create a folder that is not connected to another virtual drive. Recommendations include a folder in your C: drive or Desktop in your Windows file explorer.
Key Takeaway: you're able to download the desktop application and know where to go to re-download if needed.
See this Tutorial on the Desktop Application for more information.
Status Tags & Filtering
The Bild Desktop Application has several tags and filters that help you keep track of the status of your files. Here's a breakdown of the different file statuses:
- Project Files: These are all the files within a project, regardless of status or tag. You can view all project files by selecting the Project Files option in the drop-down menu
- My Files: This is a list of all the files you currently have checked out and edit access to. You can view all your files by selecting the My Files option in the drop-down menu
- Local Files: Files will be tagged locally if a copy of this file exists on your local drive. You can view all your local files by selecting the Local Files option in the drop-down menu
- New Files: Files will be tagged as new if they have been added to your local drive but are not yet on the cloud. You can view all new files by selecting the New Files option in the drop-down menu
- Modified Files: Files will be tagged as modified if they have been edited or changed. You can view all modified files by selecting the Modified Files option in the drop-down menu
- Outdated Files: Files will be tagged as outdated if your local copy is not the latest version of the file. You can view all outdated files by selecting the Outdated Files option in the drop-down menu
To access files based on their tag or status, simply select the appropriate option from the drop-down menu within your project. This makes it easy to find and manage your files based on their current status.
Key Takeaway: you're able to use the filter effectively to isolate the files you are looking to navigate to.
Search for Files & Attribute
In the top right hand corner, start typing out at least the first three characters of the file name or attribute/property/metadata you are searching for.
Check Out & Check In
Check out/Check in workflows are a core functionality of PDM systems, preventing engineers from overriding each others' designs. While a file is checked out, only the user who checked out the file has edit capabilities for that file in CAD. An Admin can cancel the check-out of that user though.
As users check out and check in files - they will be up-versioned to keep track of version history. You'll be able to revert to previous versions or view all previous versions. There are many benefits of following this workflow in the desktop application in particular - due to the Bild desktop application detecting changes to files and prompting you with next steps.
Checking Out Files via Desktop App
- Navigate to the project where you'd like to check out files from
- Select the checkboxes of the file(s) you'd like to check out
- Click on the More Actions drop-down button in the upper right corner
- Select the Check-Out button
- This will check out and download the files you selected
💡 You can find all the files you have checked out in your My Files tab in the Desktop App
💡 Checking out an assembly will prompt an optional check out of underlying children files.
Check In Files via Desktop App
- Navigate to the project you'd like to check in files to
- Click the Project Files drop-down menu
- Select My Files to view all your currently checked-out files
- Click on the checkboxes of the files you would like to check-in
- Click on the More Actions drop-down button in the upper right corner
- Select the Check-In button
- You will be prompted to enter a new revision (unless you have auto-increment on) and an optional commit message.
- Once done click Check-In and you're files will be checked in for other users to access
💡 You can also select the Check In All Changes button to automatically check in all files that have been modified.
Key Takeaway: you're able to check out/check in files via the desktop application.
See this Tutorial on Check Out/Check In for more information.
As files get checked out and checked back in, the default setting is for the version count to incrementally increase. All files are Version 0 or V0 when first uploaded to Bild, and auto-incremented to V1 at first check-in (and so on). This enables you to track the micro-changes in designs or files, and makes it easier to view previous versions or revert to previous versions.
If you revert to a previous version (e.g. revert from Version 1 to Version 0), Bild will create a new version block for the reversion (e.g. display the progression from Version 0 to Version 1 to Version 0).
Key takeaway: you're able to view previous versions and see the changes to designs over time.
Set up references to ensure Solidworks is referencing the same files from your file directory and for parent-child relationships. Also, link your Toolbox to Bild's Design Library.
Setting Up References
- Navigate to System Options in SolidWorks
- Then go to External References in left panel
- Make sure the Include Sub-Folders checkbox is selected in addition to the top level Reference Documents Specified in File Location checkbox
- Specify the Reference Documents folder by clicking on Go To Reference Documents
- Click Add, and select the same top level folder you created for the Bild Desktop App
- Click OK
Linking Your Solidworks Toolbox and Bild's Design Library
- Select your Settings icon within SolidWorks
- Under System Options, scroll and select the File Locations
- In the Show Folders For drop-down, find Design Library
- Here you will see any folders currently used as your design library, click on the Add button on the right side of your screen
- Locate your design library folder within your Bild repository and add it
- Click Ok
💡 You can delete your SolidWorks library by selecting the SolidWorks design library and clicking on the delete button. This will ensure you only have one Design Library folder.
Key takeaway: if you're a Solidworks user, you are able to take advantage of syncing between CAD and PDM.
BOMs (Bill of Materials)
Part of the Bild PLM product, BOMs are a table-driven way for engineering or manufacturing teams to track what it takes to make, manufacture, and ship products. BOMs can be created in three formats (Indented - for top level assemblies, direct - for sub-assemblies, and parts only). An Excel export or a Zip export including the files that make up that BOM are available.
Click on the BOMs icon when you are in a given project
- Click "+New" in the BOMs overlay pane
- Title your BOM
- Select from one of the options: Indented, Direct, or Parts Only
- Select/multi-select the components you want included
- Click Create BOM
Key takeaway: you're able to create a BOM and start performing line item edits.
See this Tutorial on BOMs for more information.
Approvals can be initiated on any file, and available for users to document decisions before releasing files. Approvers will be able to provide comments, and decisions such as Approve or Reject prior to you closing the approval as approved or rejected.
- Navigate to the file info drawer for a given part/assembly/file, and go to Activity
- Click Start Approval
- Specify due date (optional), and add reviewers to then Request Approval
- Reviewers will receive notifications to provide input, Approve, or Reject
- Once everyone has provided their decision, click on Close & Approve or Close & Reject
- If further work is required for the next revision, you can also Cancel Approval and recreate the approval later
Key Takeaway: You're able to initiate approvals and close them out once you get feedback from stakeholders.
ECOs & Releasing Files
In Bild, ECOs are automatically created when files are uploaded to Bild for the first time, or after they have been released. This enables a seamless way to track all relevant information towards a release as opposed to having to hunt down the information for ECO documentation.
While checking files out/checking files in will track the incremental changes between major releases, releasing files will enable to you perform major releases and up-revision them (nomenclature/naming can be customized). This can be done by Closing & Releasing the ECO. Once done, a new ECO will automatically be created to capture the next set of changes prior to releasing again.
- Go to the ECO tab on the left hand side
- Select/multi-select the files you wish to release
- Click Close & Release
- Input the Revision/Release version for each file you're releasing
- Click Close & Release
Key Takeaway: you're able to release a file and up-revision it.