This page is devoted to all things related to Parametric Technology Corporation's (PTC) Product Lifecycle Management tool, Windchill.

PTC is a sponsor of the team, and has been helpful in every way to ensure the team's success. Therefore, this coming season will launch the use of Windchill as the data manager for the team. The tool offered has extensive project management capabilities which would be beneficial to the team and potentially increase its chances of success (measured by the robot capability, as well as other facets of the FIRST program).

Traditionally, the team has used Dropbox effectively to store and share information; however, there exists a potential for data to be deleted, or overwritten when two or more individuals attempt to access the same piece of data.

Windchill offers protection against such calamities by ensuring that one and only one version of a document can be operated upon by an individual; it is similar in nature to the code management system that the software team utilizes to great advantage. Besides protecting the current set of documents from accidental deletion or overwrites, there is an ability to reach back in time to retrieve a previous version of any document. This is especially useful for the design team when building virtual models of the robot.

Windchill, although crafted to support PTC's flagship modelling tool, Creo, it has the capability of understanding the formats of other modelling tools. Recently, the move away from Creo/ProE to Solidworks should present no problems. Drawings and/or models can be created and manupulated with the same flexibility afforded by the PTC native tools.

Like Dropbox, each user (team member, mentors included) must have an account from which to access the tool. This account is based on your e-mail address; it is your login name and it is the means by which Windchill manages your access to the team's data. For example, say a student team member is interested in the team's finances. That student would then be registered with Windchill and be granted read/write privileges to the financial data, but be granted read-only privileges to everything else. Similarly, a student on the Mechanical/Electrical subteam would have full privileges to the design documents, but read-only to finances, etc. These privileges are extensible, so that as roles change, so can the access rights as needed.

Here are some links to get you started...

As mentioned above, Windchill understands other vendors' CAD/CAM/Modelling programs. Solidworks is what the school uses, among others, and has been used rather successfully last season. The incoming new mentors have had experience with Solidworks while in school, and so it seems natural to exploit those skills. This link gets you to the Solidworks download page. Anyone who is interested in participating on the Mechanical/Electrical team is urged to download a copy and take the time to learn how to use the tool.

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Page last modified on July 18, 2013, at 11:58 AM