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CoLab's SolidWorks Add In: Share Your Files in One Click


As a regular SolidWorks user, you know firsthand that sharing CAD files for review and feedback is often a difficult and frustrating process.

We’ve made it simple.

The typical collaboration process involves using Pack and Go to consolidate and share your files, or exporting them to a standard format like STEP, STL or IGES. However, these formats lead to loss of important design data and display issues, and both methods require the other party to a) have a CAD license or viewing software themselves, and b) provide feedback through separate tools like emails or spreadsheets. With Gradient, you can share design files in one click- and receive feedback within the same platform.

Here’s how it works.

CoLab’s (formerly Gradient) SolidWorks add in has an easy setup process that takes under a minute: download the add in, run the installer and the Gradient add in Setup Wizard will guide you through the rest. After the installation is complete, you’ll see a Gradient icon in the side pane on the right side of the SolidWorks screen.

The Gradient icon in SolidWorks that allows users to share CAD files directly from the SolidWorks app

Once logged in, a list of your projects will appear.

To upload the file that you currently have open to the root folder of the project, click the blue ‘Upload Current File’ button at the bottom of your file list. Because Gradient is integrated with SolidWorks, you can share your designs with others with the click of a button.

You can also upload files directly to the folder by clicking the folder options menu (three dots to the right of a folder tab) or upload a new revision of an existing file by clicking the file options menu (three dots to the right of a file tab) and selecting the desired option.

Steps taken to share a file directly from SolidWorks into the Gradient app

This allows you to share your files safely and easily to a common platform, without requiring the other party to download and install a desktop viewer. From there, your team members and stakeholders can create issues and action items, and markup model shots from within their web browser.

Soon, CoLab will also integrate with Solidworks PDM to reference the PDM revision/version numbering, owner information and more - ensuring that you’re always sharing the right version of your file with others.

To use this SolidWorks Add In, you'll need a CoLab account. Sign up here.

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