Is it possible to convert AutoCAD drawing files to PDF in Windchill without manual intervention?
The article https://www.ptc.com/appserver/cs/view/solution.jsp?n=CS32402 says that a 3rd party application has to be used for this.
Does anyone know anything on how the automatic conversion of AutoCAD drawing to PDF can be done?
As decribed in the PTC article, you need to deploy a CAD Worker.
Basically, it is dedicated conversion machine, that will convert automatically in PDF all the AutoCAD document that you will check in Windchill ...
You will probably need an Autocad licence. + the PTC worker component.
Then some light configuration on your Windchill Server to enable the communication between Windchill and the worker
The problem is there is no OOTB worker available for the conversion and requires some custom code to be deployed. Once the custom code is ready setting up the worker is not difficult.
I dont know how to write this custom code or where to find it.
I have done it years ago on 9.1. Here is how
1. Create custom AutoCAD worker
2. Install "Acroplot" (licensed software) on CAD worker machine. Modify settings for PDFs. It creates PDFs via command line on AutoCAD.
3. Deploy custom VB code for AutoCAD on CAD Worker machine. When AutoCAD file opens for creating thumbnail, this code executes and creates PDF using Acroplot commands.
4. An IE task gets called by custom VB code to upload PDF to Windchill as WTDocument (not visualization file for business needs)
Apparently, I cannot provide more details (worker settings, code) at the moment.
Thanks Yogesh for the help. I think this would shed some light on how the conversion can be done.
Wish I could get the custom VB code that you mentioned since I am not good at VB.
I wonder any other way to convert PDF files? Any suggetsion will be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
We dropped this project midway. But what we are planning to do is to use a 3rd party application that converts AUTO CAD files to PDF and integrate it with Windchill via customization. The name of the 3rd party application is veryPDF and you can use it on trial version and buy the full version if it satisfies your need.
Were you able to setup the AutoCAD Custom Worker?
No. Not yet. We kept it on hold since we are moving to Windchill 11 soon.
Are you planning to use Windchill WVS generic framework or have you developed any Customization to integrate with Windchill?
If you have any idea on how to deploy the WVS generic framework, if possible please let me know the procedure.
The plan was 2 fold. One to find the correct application that would handle the conversion of AutoCAD files to pdf and secondly to configure a worker as per the article CS32402.
We started investigating on the correct application to be used and came across veryPDF as a probable candidate. But it had a disadvantage of not being able to convert drawings with multiple sheets and drawings that had only text information in it.
So we decided on using "Any DWG to PDF Converter Pro" for this.
We never moved to the second step of setting up a worker as per the article as we left the project midway due to difference constrains. So I am afraid I wont be able to answer your question.
Not sure why you have found so much difficulties or decided not to go for a Workers. Have you looked at PSW from Etrage ?
I have selected this solution back in 2009 for the company I worked with at the time and they are still using it (I left there in 2014)
It converted not only autocad files into PDF but also Creo, Solidworks, MS Office etc... and you can configure it to work as a fully automated Worker running in the background.
For us, everytime the life cycle changed to certain statuses, PSW created or even deleted the pdf which were stored outside of PDMLink (with possibility to attached to the PDM Object the pdf created).
When used as I did, you only need a licence and cost is very effective (of course if it is to create 10 pdf a month, that would be expensive )
Thanks for the information. Never thought of this software. I think when we are ready to start the project this is good candidate to look at.
When we presented the AUTOCAD publishing to our business, they were not so keen in getting it implemented at that time and asked us to push this project for a later time.
So probably when we move to Windchill 11 we will have this implemented.
the solution I adopted in my previous company was to implement PSW from Etrage. We had live dwg files stored in WTdocument which were converted into PDF outside of PDMLink or remove automatically depending of the life cycle state. We could also load PSW with a list of WTdocument number to mass create pdf. we once had a list of over 20 000 drawings )
You can see from all the responses that you need a third party application or create a custom code and that it is possible
We did a customization of CAD publisher to publish the AutoCAD PDF using the AnyDWG's DWG to PDF converter. I am able create AutoCAD to PDF this way, but it is hard to put the PDF into the Thumbnail.