SOLIDWORKS, Tech Tips, PDM

Using Branch and Merge in SOLIDWORKS PDM

By Tim Paris on May 14, 2020

The Branch and Merge feature in SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional helps to separate and combine data while avoiding duplication, but there are alternative uses for the tool as well. The Branch feature lets you create copies of a source file and later modify them to test new concepts; the Merge feature lets you merge the branched file with the source file through different options. In this week's Video Tech Tip, we go over how to use these features in PDM Professional.

What is Branch and Merge?

Branch and Merge is a newer feature available only in PDM Professional. With the branching functionality, you can place complete or partial copies of a file structure with different names in one or more folders. By doing this, you’ll be able to edit the branched files, retaining the source files in their original state and permission status. Once the edits are approved, you can create new versions of the source files or delete the branched files.

SOLIDWORKS PDM recognizes the source file and merges it with the source as a new version, even if the source file was renamed or moved. When the assembly is opened, you’ll be able to see that the new design is in place. You can now reduce errors and you no longer need to override or change file copies.

Ways to Use the Branch and Merge Features

One usage of this feature would be to make alternate design options while keeping history or for submitting proposed changes.

Branching_in_SOLIDWORKS_PDM

With Branch and Merge you could create a branch, make the changes and merge accepted results back in. You can even make several proposed changes and the winner of them would be merged back in. The possibilities are endless!

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