3D CAD Model Organization

I’ve been trying to come up with a way to handle storing and version controlling my 3D models (both from thingiverse, and models I create myself), however i ran into quite a few deadends when looking for software built for this purpose (PLM/PDM), so I’ve figured it would easiest to build a folder structure with some metadata alongside it to go on top of GIT, and allow GIT to deal with version control. While STL files are text, a majority of my models are in proprietary binary formats, but GIT can still at least store the files and provide a history. I figure the repository would have 3 primary folders, parts, products, 3rd party (more or less unstructured). Each part/product would also have an export folder which will store a copy of STLs, and metadata to go with for a specific published version of a model (might be duplicate data, maybe use some type of tag in GIT to represent each officially published version).

  • Parts: not very useful as a single component, but used to create products, or as spare components to some item
  • Products: a grouping of parts to encompass a single object, or a single piece that makes up the object (think one piece phone stand, vs a multi-piece assembly). While these may seem separate in their usage, they will be the final product of whatever is created.
  • 3rd party: these may or may not follow the data policies, things like the ultimaker 2 models/plans and the backblaze storage pod models which are neat to have, but we won’t be applying our policies to those large assemblies. These can also include the innumerable thingiverse models we all acquire, eventually the goal will be to incorporate all thingiverse metadata into the dataset as well to provide details locally for all models herin.
  • Exports: Each part or product can have versioned exports as well, these will be one specific version of the STL, assembly, and tags, allowing a product to reference the version of the export until both are updated to support newer versions or varients.
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