• James Ray

Introducing Bommer tables for Fusion 360 drawings: your parts lists, your way

🎶


You have...a drawing

And it...still...needs something

A list of parts would really make your day

But you want it...your way



You want..a table

With all..your data

Believe me when I say

Bommer now builds tables, your way


Tell me why...


🎶


*ahem*


Please forgive me, I'm just so excited to announce that after months of development, testing, feedback, improvement, and a smidge of that magic you've come to expect from us, Bommer can deliver real, native tables on your Fusion 360 drawings with any of your Bommer properties, with any of your parts or components, with enough power to work well out of the box and enough customizability to let you build the exact table you want. Oh, and we also automatically update your tables when your Fusion 360 data changes. BOOM.


Boom.

You certainly sound excited, but doesn't Bommer for Fusion 360 already build drawing tables?


Well....kinda.


First, a little history.


Back in 2018, we broke ground by being the first Fusion 360 add-in to automate building and inserting tables onto your drawing sheets, but they were static images. Fusion 360 drawings did not have a way to for add-ins to interact with the drawing sheets, and this was the technology available to us; while it had its limitations, it solved very real problems for our users who needed to include custom metadata on their assembly drawings and shop prints.


We were proud of what we built but always knew we could make a much better solution if only we had a way to build and update Fusion drawing tables.


Fast forward to last year, and our wish was granted. We finally had the access we needed, so we rolled up our sleeves and got to work...delivering all of the other great functionality we launched last year (seriously, it was a busy year). But, we knew we had a way forward here, and that got us very excited, indeed.


Fantastic. So, no more images?


No more images. No exporting and re-importing. You already populate your BOM in Fusion, and now you can build your drawing tables in Fusion, simple as that.


Can you tell me how this works?


With pleasure!


With this release, you'll see a new commands in the Bommer toolbar tab when you open a drawing. You can use "New bill of materials table" to place a new table on your drawing sheet. As many as you want, across as many sheets as you want. Go nuts.


You can use the second command, "Edit bill of materials table", to select which rows and columns are included in a table, rename the columns, sort the rows, change column widths, and several other cool features. In most cases, you can also just double click on the table to open the editor, saving a bit of time in the process. All changes made in the editor are shown real time on your drawing sheet, so you can see exactly what you will get when you save your changes. And since these are real tables, they will adjust to your preferred document font and text height.


That sounds really great. What can I use it for?


We're going to prepare another blog post with examples from our testers and power users, but suffice to say, any place you need a table with part data and metadata. Assembly drawings, part drawings, tables of top level components, subassembly detail; the sky's the limit. We even put in a special property to let you capture notes, custom item #s, or really any text for each row in each of your tables.


Wow! And you mentioned something about automatic updates?


Uh huh. One of the worst parts about rendering images is that it's static; there's no way of updating them when the underlying data is updated (say, by changing your BOM in Bommer's Edit bill of materials command, and then updating your drawing to the latest version). This is also the case when you build custom Fusion 360 tables; whether manually, from Excel or CSV files, or from other external data sources, you still need to remember to update them when your data changes. Accidentally relying on out of date data is one of our users' greatest concerns, and in some cases prohibited use of our previous feature in otherwise relevant workflows.


With Bommer's new tables, this problem no longer exists; as long as Bommer is running, we will notice when you update your drawing to the latest design data, and we will reload and update your tables for you. They will always be in sync.


That whooshing sound you hear? Thats the sound of a whole class of documentation errors disappearing from your workflow.


...how do I get my hands on this?


That is the easy part! Bommer is available on Autodesk app store, and we offer a 14-day free, no obligation trial for you to try it out for yourself. And if you're a subscriber, an update should be waiting for you the next time you launch Bommer.

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