Updating this post for clarity, I already tried posting this question to the Windchill solutions forum, but have not had any responses sorry to anyone who has read this twice.
We have successfully configured our Pro E CAD Worker to generate PDF representations of DRW files in our development environment. In our experience this configuration is not well documented and our setup was achieved mostly by trial and error and communication with Tech Support. Somewhere during our re-configuration we “lost” the Thumbail image that shows up on the DRW properties page. Although it is not essential we would like to keep it if we can. In the future we are hoping to add similarly configured CAD Workers for AutoCAD, Inventor and NX. Any lessons we can learn here will be very useful for us long term.
So I have a couple of questions:
Is there any good documentation available on configuring a custom CAD worker to Produce PDF representations?
Has anyone else successfully done what we are trying to achieve who would be willing to give us some advice?
Thanks to some email feedback I thought I should clarify a few things. Out of the box the Pro E CAD Worker is configured to produce HPGL output, when that configuration is used the resulting representation of a Pro E “Number.drw” EPM Document includes the following files:
Number_drw.jpg (shown in the thumbnail on the epm doc properties page)
Number_drw_small.jpg (shown when browsing folders)
The CAD Worker configuration can be modified by editing the Pro E CAD Worker “Proe2pv.rcp” file, setting it to produce pdf. If this configuration is used the resulting representation of a Pro E “Number.drw” EPM Document only includes the following files:
Clearly without the JPG files nothing shows up in the thumbnail or when browsing folders, and that is what we are trying to fix.
Has anyone successfully done this?
Can anyone point me at the actual Pro E file/action/script/whatever that uses the recipe file?
We made the same jump to publishing PDFs when we updated to M050. Though we use SolidWorks as our primary CAD app, we ran in to the same problem. Working with our reseller, we arrived at the conclusion of "you can't (easily) get there from here".
We really liked having the thumbnails images of drawings show up in search results and on the info page...but the desire to have a PDF auto-published for downstream use won out over having that thumbnail image as a quick reference.
Of course, on this point, we be very happy if there was an easy way to configure the system to do both and let them do their respective jobs.
Tech support has pretty much told us that “it is working as designed”.
What is frustrating is that to produce the pdf files, the drw file is being loaded into session (command line at least) in Pro E and then exported/printed to pdf. I have to assume that getting Pro E to export/print the JPG files at the same time should not be too difficult.
Does anyone know the actual sequence of events the CAD Worker uses?
I received a couple of informative emails explaining that the thumbnail production in Windchill is handled by a Thumbnail service that runs as part of the install. This service uses the Productview file provided by the CAD Worker as input. That is why configuring the Worker to only output PDF files loses the thumbnails.
So it seems our only options might be to;
1) Create two representations, one PDF and one PLT and let the out of the box process work as intended. Then customize the EPMDocument page to provide a link to the PDF representation from there.
2) Modify the thumbnail service and add functionality so that PDF files of drawings are somehow used to produce JPG files.