SOLIDWORKS Costing; automating the cost estimation.

 

Costing

Rev: New by Jan Egil Baever 2020-03-19

Rev: Jan Egil Baever 2022-10-21 More detailed instruction added.

 

Table of Contents:

General information’s:

Templates:

Costing Options

Machining template

Sheet Metal template

Multibody template

Costing in part property

Use of Costing

Costing Reports

Remove costing data

Organizing and Saving Costing Data Locally

Show Bounding Box Nesting.

Some actual SR from Knowledge Base:

S-073952 Why does SOLIDWORKS® Costing show an incorrect cost calculation for ‘Assembly Operations’ for patterned components?

S-062843 How accurate is the SOLIDWORKS® Costing?

 

General information’s:

Add-ins: Costing is not using add-ins. You find Costing at the Evaluate tab or at Tools – SOLIDWORKS Applications-Costing

 

-Included with SOLIDWORKS Professional and Premium packages.

 

-Make side-by-side cost comparisons based on materials, features, vendors to control production costs.

 

-Works on part and assembly.

-Works on Sheet Metal, Weldments, and machined parts.

-Customizable cost templates

-For engineers is costing a quick way to calculate the estimated cost in an early stage of the construction. Costing updates when the part is changed. See the different in cost compared to the previous design.

-Manufacturers can automate their quoting process by using costing. The data (Templates) can be sent to the customer so they can see the materials that the manufacturer have in stock. They can also see the approximately price for the different production method. The templates can be stored as Limited Access Copy.

Decide if you wish to save it with: Do you want to display the detailed costing data in CostingManager and Costing Task Pane?

Yes: Customer can see detailed cost.

No: Customer cannot see detailed cost, only total estimated cost.

 

Useful links:

2018 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GjPw7tvYhQ

2018: https://www.javelin-tech.com/3d/solidworks-costing/

Training:

You have 2 lessons in My.solidworks: https://my.solidworks.com/training/catalog?q=costing It is on 10 and 9 minutes, to start with. Access with standard license on my.solidworks.

 

 

No news on SolidWorks Costing in 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 or 2023

 

Templates:

machiningtemplate_default(metric).sldctm

multibodytemplate_default(metric).sldctc

sheetmetaltemplate_default(metric).sldcts

Set path to template: (Tools > Options > System options > File locations > Costing template) and Costing Report Template Folder.

Costing is located here: C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS 2023\SOLIDWORKS\data\resources

Costing Templates Word is default located here: C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS 2023\SOLIDWORKS\lang\english

Costing Templates .sldctm is default located here: C:\ProgramData\SOLIDWORKS\SOLIDWORKS 2023\lang\english\Costing templates

 

 

Costing Options

At Costing Options (left upper corner in picture) change:

-Manufacturing Method

-Default Template 

-Default material

-Stock type of material

-Quantity total and lot size

Here is it also possible to override the template, see picture under:

 

 

At Costing Templates:

-Select Template: English Metric or custom made. (Custom made is not read only.)

-The first time, launch Template Editor and the 3 different templates. Save these as Save As with a new name. Now are these files possible to edit.

-Open Costing Options (left upper corner I Task Pane) and change the templates to the new files (3x).

-Then open Costing Template Editor again and open the Multibody Template and adjust the 2 paths here with the 3 dots … and save.

 

 

Machining template

Costing Template Editor is a stand-alone program. You can launce it through SolidWorks with Costing open, or from programs: SOLIDWORKS Tool folder.

 

You can launch several Template editors at the same time, and by then look at all 3 different templates at the same time.

 

-Open Machining template.

 

-Select General and select Currency etc. Be aware that changing the currency do not recalculate the values. But the prices can be exported to Excel. Here you can make a formula and convert and adjust the prices and import it to the template again. Tips: move the prices to the right (outside) the area for template and make formulas to the left. Then you can also make different currency for later use.

 

-Select Machining tab and add the necessary material class and material you need. Add materials you have in stock. All materials from SolidWorks materials can be added.  The Operations Mill, Drill, Turn etc. select materials from this list. This list can be imported and exported with Excel.

 

-Select Plastic tab and add materials for die casting. All materials from SolidWorks materials can be added. 

 

-Select Casting tab and add materials for casting. All materials from SolidWorks materials can be added.

 

-Select 3D Printing tab and add materials for printing. All materials from SolidWorks materials can be added.

 

-Select Structure Member tab and add materials for Weldments. All materials from SolidWorks materials can be added. Add also the different Structural member you have in stock. Also add the different length you have.

 

-Select Machine tab and add new machines (and adjust the cost if necessary).

 

-Select Cut (Plate Stock) and filter Class for the new classes you have added materials on. Add the material and the machine that can do the job. Filter for new materials also and add machines.

 

-Select Mill. Here you can only select materials that have already been entered under tab Machining and that also have Stock as Block. Select machine and type of cutting tool and how much material this cutting tool can remove per minute. TER= Tool engagement ratio in (%).

 

-Select Drill. Here you can only select materials that have already been entered under tab Machining and that also have Stock as Block. Select machine and type of cutting tool and how much material this cutting tool can remove per minute.

 

-Select Turn. Here you can only select materials that have already been entered under tab Machining and that also have Stock as Cylinder. Select machine and type of cutting tool and how much material this cutting tool can remove per minute. Cutting tools are:

  1. OD Turning
  2. ID Turning
  3. Facing
  4. OD Grooving
  5. ID Grooving
  6. Face Grooving
  7. Chamfer/Fillet

 

-Select End Cut. Here you select Machine to use to cut in different materials.

Select machine from the tab Machine, and sector End Cutting.

Select material from tab Structure Member (Weldment profiles).

 

-Select Library Features. Here you define the cost of Library Feature in the part.

At the top, put in the feature you will use. This must match the name in the Feature Library.

At the lower table, select the material, Library Feature, and cost.

The material came from the tab Machining.

 

-Select Custom. Here you set up cost for different operations as painting, inspection etc. These is normally added under the Costing calculations manually. You can select this cost to be added automatically.

 

-Select Rules. Here you can specific how Costing shall handle specific problems:

 

 

 

  1. Under Name, type a Rule name and under Categoryselect IF/THEN.
  2. Under Structure, select IF a material is chosen, THEN add a custom operation.
  3. Under Definition, click <Select a material>.
  4. In the Rule Input dialog box, under Select a Material, set options for Select Classand Select Material.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Under Definition, click <Select a custom operation>.
  7. In the Rule Input dialog box, set an option for Select a custom operation.

 

You need a predefined text as the rule. Click on the question mark in the template editor to get help about this. Scroll down to the “Rules-based Costing, see picture under:

The rules for 2022 is like this:

 

Common Rules for Sheet Metal and Machining Parts

The list of Rules visible under the Rules tab common to sheet metal templates and machining templates is:

Option

Description

IF a material is chosen, THEN add a cost

Sets a predefined cost for the chosen material.

IF a material is chosen, THEN add a cost as % of calculated cost

Sets a cost as a percentage of the total, material, or manufacturing cost for the selected material.

IF a material is chosen, THEN add a markup/discount to the total/material cost

Sets a markup/discount as a percentage of the total or material cost for the selected material.

IF a material is chosen, THEN add a custom operation

Sets a custom operation for the selected material.

IF model weight is a certain size, THEN add a cost

Sets a cost if the model weight is between two predefined weight values.

IF model weight is a certain size, THEN add a cost as % of calculated cost

Sets a cost as a percentage of the total, material, or manufacturing cost, if the model weight is between two predefined weight values.

IF model weight is a certain size, THEN add a markup/discount to the total/material/manufacturing cost

Sets a markup/discount as a percentage of the total or material cost, if the model weight is between two predefined weight values.

IF the longest edge of the stock bounding box is a certain size, THEN add a custom operation

Sets a custom operation if the longest edge of the stock machining bounding box (X, Y, or Z axis) is between two predefined length values.

IF the longest edge of the stock bounding box is a certain size, THEN add a cost

Sets a cost if the longest edge of the stock bounding box (X, Y, or Z axis) is between two predefined length values.

IF the longest edge of the stock bounding box is a certain size, THEN add a cost as % of calculated cost

Sets a cost as a percentage of the total, material, or manufacturing cost, if the longest edge of the stock bounding box (X, Y, or Z axis) is between two predefined length values.

IF the longest edge of the stock bounding box is a certain size, THEN add a markup/discount to the total/material cost

Sets a markup/discount as a percentage of the selected total or material cost, if the longest edge of the stock bounding box (X, Y, or Z axis) is between two predefined length values.

IF a part weight is between X and Y Weight, THEN add a custom operation

Sets a custom operation if a part weight is between two predefined values.

 

 

Unique Rules for Machining Templates

The list of Rules unique to machining templates are:

Option

Description

IF milling operation is selected THEN multiply Step Over Percentage of feedrate (f)

Multiplies the step-over percentage of feedrate by a predefined value, if you select a milling operation.

If DimXpert Hole tolerance is in certain range then add additional operation

Performs an additional operation if a DimXpert Hole tolerance is between two predefined tolerance values.

USE the plate stock body type IF the bounding box is a certain size

Uses the plate stock body type if the smallest dimension of a part bounding box is less than a predefined weight value.

 

 

Unique Rules for Sheet Metal Templates

The Rule unique to sheet metal template is:

Option

Description

IF model weight is a certain size, THEN use this bend operation

Sets a bend setup operation from the available bend setup operations for the part, if its weight is between two predefined values.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sheet Metal template

 

-Select General and select Currency etc.

 

-Select Material tab and add the necessary material class and material you need. Add materials you have in stock.

 

-Select Thickness tab. Select the different thickness and dimension for each material above. This can be exported to Excel.

 

-Select Cut tab. Add cutting method and the price for different cutting method for each material from the thickness tab. Under unit can you select 3 types of units:

  • USD/mm
  • USD/cm
  • USD/m

 

-Select Bend tab. Add bend method and the price for different materials.

 

-Select Library Features. Here you define the cost of Library Feature in the part.

At the top, put in the feature you will use. This must match the name in the Feature Library.

At the lower table, select the material, Library Feature, and cost.

The material came from the tab Material.

 

-Select Custom tab and do as in the Machining template.

 

-Select Rules tab and do as in the Machining template.

 

Multibody template

-Select General tab and select Currency and which templates that shall be used for Sheet Metal and Machining.

 

-Select Custom tab and add cost for operations as Painting etc.

 

-Select Weld Bead tab and add cost for welding operations. Weld Bead is a graphic illustration of a weld. The type of weld from the Weld Symbol and material and weld size and weld method decides the cost. It can be exported to Excel.

 

-Select Fillet Bead tab and add cost for welding operations. Fillet Bead make a solid type of welding on the part. Fillet Bead is normally not used in SolidWorks because it causes more heavy parts. Fillet Bead do not have any weld symbol. So here is the cost calculated based on material and volume of the weld only.

 

-Select Purchased Components.

On the top, add a name for the property for cost. Add for example “Purchased”.

Then in the parts, add the property “Purchased” and the price for that part.

 

-In the next block, add part name for example “Top” and a price for that.

Then parts with the name “Top” will get the price in the Cost Template. By putting in here, you can manage all the prices in one place. Can be exported to Excel.

 

 

-If it is a purchased part, must you then tell that it is a purchased part:

 

Or put it in here:

 

Costing in part property

The costing results can be put into the part property also:

 

Use of Costing

You can use the costing as it is and override the cost when you use a method or material that is not in the stock by using Apply cost override (right click on a cost). A more accurate method is to adjust the templates every time you come over a part that have warnings or operations in the folder: No Cost Assigned. Several Costing Template Editors can be open at the same time. Costing update as soon as a template has been saved.

On the Task Pane (right side) will you see the Costing menu.

Her can the different values and methods be adjusted. This is for costing of the part, see picture below:

 

This is the costing menu for costing of the assembly:

Costing Reports

You have these Costing Report Templates:

costingreport_assembly               (word and Excel)

CostingReport_Machining          (word and Excel)

costingreport_multibody            (word and Excel)

costingreport_sheetmetal          (word and Excel)

costingreport_simple_estimate (word)

 

The Word template Costingreport_xx.dot can be edited by this method:

-The files in C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS 2023\SOLIDWORKS\lang\english are normally read only. If you wish to save here, you need to change the Attributes to not read-only, or store the templates another place.

-Go to System Options – File locations and Costing Report Template Folder if you change the placement for Report templates. The path to Costing Templates can also be changed

 

To load an existing template so you can edit it, do the following:

  1. Choose Open from the File menu or click on the Open tool on the toolbar. You will see the Open dialog box.
  2. In the Files of Type pull-down list, select Document Template (*.dot). The filename display will be changed to show only template files.
  3. Select the template file you want to edit.
  4. Click on OK.

 

 

This can be changed in the template:

https://help.solidworks.com/2023/english/SolidWorks/sldworks/t_creating_reports_costing.htm

  1. At the bottom of the Costing Task Pane, click Generate Report  .
  2. In the Report Options dialog box, do the following: expand Company information.

Option

Description

Company

Specifies your company name.

Address

Specifies your company address.

URL

Specifies your company website.

Logo

Uploads a file of type .jpg, .gif, .png, or .tif to the report header.

You can upload images of sizes up to 300 x 150 px.

  1. You can also enter your name and contact information on the report form.
    1. Select one of the following:
  • Simple Quote Report
  • Detailed Report
  • Under File Type, select one of the following:
  • Generate costing report as Word Document (*.docx)
  • Generate costing report as Excel Spreadsheet(*.xlsx)
  • Under Document name, enter a name.
  • Under Save to, enter a location.
  • Under Report Template, select a template.
  • Set other options:

Option

Description

Company information

Includes optional information about your company in the report heading. You can include your company logo, address, website, and other information.

Estimate information

Includes optional information about your customer quote in the report heading.

Alternate quantities

Includes optional information about five alternate quantities of cost values.

  1. Expand Estimate information, select the options, and type the data.
  2. To view the published report, select Show report on publish.
  3. Click Publish.

The report appears.

 

Remove costing data

Parts can be saved without Costing Data. Works only if Costing is active. Use save as, and “Save without Costing data. The new par will get the suffix _nocost:

Organizing and Saving Costing Data Locally

You can save Costing data. Such data includes CAD files, Costing templates, and Costing

reports locally as a package, with the Costing Pack and Go tool.

 

To organize and save Costing data locally:

  1. Open an assembly.
  2. Click Costing (Evaluate tab on the CommandManager) or Tools > SOLIDWORKS

Applications > Costing.

  1. Click Begin Cost Estimation.
  2. In the Costing Task Pane, click Generate Report.
  3. In the Report Options dialog box, choose the report options and click Publish.
  4. In the Costing Task Pane, located at the bottom, click Costing Pack and Go.
  5. In the Costing Pack and Go dialog box:
  6. a) The default file name is the same as the CAD file name. You can rename the

file name.

For File name, type a name.

  1. b) For Save to, click … and browse to the location where you want to save the

report.

  1. c) Select Include Costing report and click … to browse to the location of the

report to include.

  1. d) Click Save.

 

Show Bounding Box Nesting.

The Bounding Box Nest Preview is displayed as a drawing of the nested elements.

The red dotted line is the sheet metal offset, and the black dotted line is the bounding

box offset.

 

Some actual SR from Knowledge Base:

 

S-073952 Why does SOLIDWORKS® Costing show an incorrect cost calculation for ‘Assembly Operations’ for patterned components?

This behavior typically occurs when you select the ‘Each selected component’ option for a specific assembly operation, and then you specify a pattern feature.

 

At the time of cost calculation in ‘Assembly Operations’, SOLIDWORKS® Costing calculates the cost for a single item selected in the ‘Assembly Operations’ PropertyManager’. In other words, when you select the ‘Each selected component’ option in the PropertyManager of an assembly operation, the cost calculation is based on the number of selections done for this operation.

 

If you select a pattern feature in an assembly operation, SOLIDWORKS Costing considers it as a single selection and patterned components are considered as part of the pattern itself. To add those components for an ‘Assembly Operation’ costing, you must expand the pattern feature in the FeatureManager® Design Tree and select an individual part or assembly (or select them in the graphics area).

 

 

S-062843 How accurate is the SOLIDWORKS® Costing?

The SOLIDWORKS® Costing tool is mainly designed to estimate the cost for manufacturing a particular product. The costing tool is not designed to determine the exact manufacturing strategy, but SOLIDWORKS has tried to include the biggest contributors to the cost that are derived from the manufacturing process.

 

There are a lot of variables that could be included in our estimates, but we are aiming to give users the most accurate estimate possible without overwhelming them with data input (as the costing templates already have quite a large amount of input required to create one for yourself). Material removal rate is the main approach SOLIDWORKS takes in estimating the cost of manufacturing a part. One main depth of cut is used for the roughing operations, but also remember that the ability to add finishing and semi-finishing is also available and these also have different depths of cut associated to them. If the user has additional costs to consider, many can be compensated for using custom operations. SOLIDWORKS overall aim is to one day be able to compensate for all manufacturing processes and to consider every variable that could be included in the cost estimate, but we also want to maintain a relative level of “SOLIDWORKS ease-of-use” so combining these two is the real challenge.

 

A costing estimate is an accurate way of determining basic costs for machining, and these costs have a variety of ways they can be refined on a feature-by-feature basis if the customer finds it necessary. The costing tool is also only as accurate as the information the user inputs into the costing template, so if they are trying to mimic their own manufacturing processes, it is important to create these costing templates accordingly.  Of course, it is obvious that it is difficult to include every manufacturing variable at the moment, so usage of this tool should be done with the knowledge that its primary intent is to give designers a better understanding the approximate cost of the part and how changes to the part can affect its cost.

 

In case the customer would like to provide some enhancements to current functionalities or would like to add more functionality to future versions of SOLIDWORKS then please suggest submitting an enhancement request to SOLIDWORKS.

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Author

Jan Egil Bæver

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