My take on the bill of materials, which uses a 3D model as input (not technical drawings)
See this video on Product Breakdown Structure (PBS):
How to Organize Your Project with a PBS System - Marble Machine X #57
(sample PBS document and analytics document below video)
I have extended their work, to automate the creation of the document using a STEP imported to FreeCAD. I was not so interested in the analytics in the video, but the creation of a Bill of Materials (BOM) from the CAD model. Finds all instances of parts in model hierarchy and shows total quantity, among other teamwork features.
(exported to STEP, imported to FreeCAD).
Example PBS/BOM document.
- 1. FreeCAD Macro
2. Google Sheet (concurrent edit possible with team, document history, unlike Excel)
- INPUTS: CAD model
- OUTPUT: CSV Export
- 1. Merge CSV Tab into PBS tab by hand, not automatic yet (copy CAD ID, name, quantity columns)
- INPUTS: PBS/BOM document (headers), CSV Import into new tab
- OUTPUT: PBS tab
3. populate_tabs macro - Tools->Macros->populate_tabs
- INPUTS: PBS tab
- OUTPUTS: PBS tab with PBS #s, and part categorization (assembly,part)
- INPUTS: PBS tab
- OUTPUTS: BOM tabs (overwrites existing BOM data)
. End users include people interested in building the open-source project themselves, they can easily see: how much of each part to 3D print, how much hardware to order, and where the hardware goes in the hierarchy. Team working on the project can use the other columns in the PBS document to collaborate as shown in the video, and is freed of some bookkeeping duties thanks to the automation.
PBS hierarchy can be edited to include parts not within the CAD model (e.g. wires/nails). I hope to classify the part type (e.g. 3D print/hardware/lasercut/machined) by CAD color and separate into the appropriate BOM tab, so that it doesn't have to be classified by hand. Maybe made into a visual BOM via macro exporting images for each part/assembly.