Windchill 10.0 is definitely easier to use than the previous version. The system gives teams professional tools that help them to better manage the design and build process throughout the season. Instead of directly building something to test an idea, Windchill can help to plan and generate ideas. Our team originally started with trial and error. Everyone was involved with building and thinking of creative ideas, but no one really copied down the ideas. In this way, good ideas could not be looked back on and repeated ideas would be created. Windchill keeps copies of previous uploaded documents and saves them on the PTC server. A log of previous events and information will not only be available to all team memebers, but members can look back on previous information and learn from previous mistakes. Also, having a schedule on Windchill will keep the team focused and on track when building and reviewing the robot.
The best way for a team to really understand Windchill may be to attend a PTC workshop. Some of our members attended one and learned the basics. Instead of feeling like learning a whole new system from scratch, memebers will already have a base knowledge of how things work. Also, if everyone on the team comes together and attempts to go over Windchill, people will be more willing to learn and understand Windchill.
We are looking to go full speed with Windchill next year after a pretty successful experience with Creo this year. One problem we have, though, is that the internet access at our build facility is marginal and sometimes non-existent. I'll be working that separately since that would solve the problems with us fully implementing Windchill. I'm going to work with the students to do more from home and keep updating the model in our Windchill project, but is there any way to do modifications on a computer that is totally offline and check them in or out on another computer? I can upload and download on a jump drive from the computers at our build facility and bring them home, but based on my experience with Windchill trying to replace checked out models with files from other folders with that's not going to really help.