Multi User File Management

I searched the forums and did not find any good answers. The problem is not uncommon so I hope we can discuss various approaches to best practices for file version management and control. This all happens globally with different languages and time zones. Those who can (and should) access the Rhino files have various skill levels and understanding of the issues. Due to enterprise security issues file sharing can be very complicated.
The case… an initial design model is created for a product that then goes out to manufacturing. They have Rhino and review the model for any challenges to their process. Their CAD person may create a new layer or two using the local language and fonts. The work on those layers may supercede previous work or add to it. It is unclear what they have changed on existing layers.
They then export STP or IGES (maybe even share the Rhino file) to their subcontractors for review. Dialog generates more needed changes that could be as subtle as changing the depth of an engraving from .5mm to .4mm. That change may be implemented by the subcontractor into their version of the model or it generates additional changes to the Rhino model by manufacturing.
There is back and forth across the enterprise with Powerpoint and Word documents that attempt to capture the changes and present the impact for marketing & design review. This (of course) generates more revisions.
At the end of the road is what actually makes it into the manufactured product. Somehow this is the data that needs to be captured into the master model for that item.
I’m certain this is an issue that others have faced and am very interested in ideas on how to handle it.
Man thanks for all input,

Hi Rob

A method to discover changes, which may help in your case, is to get hold of the revised model and worksession it into your master. If you ‘Select SubLayer Objects’ from the layer table with a right click on the worksession header then you can visually inspect the 2 models for differences, the worksession being selected and the master unselected.

This works really well for 2D linework, as the differences jump out, but with a complex model it could be a bit more tricky to spot the changes, may have to work the layers a bit or select the master and de-select the worksession… Etc.

Another check is to cut temp sections through the suspect worksession and the master. Place the sections on different layers with different colours for close inspection, or ‘CrvDeviation’ if tiny.


Many of these issues are addressed through a secure collaboration system with full automatic auditing and versioning capabilities. I implement these sort of solutions for a variety of entities both small and large. Design, engineering and manufacturing markets eat this sort of thing up since everything stays in sync and everyone stays on the same page.

Many thanks for this idea Brian.

I have not used worksession in the past. This could be the perfect tool. I will explore this concept.

The parent company has Enovia set up for enterprise use. there is no established protocol for handling Rhino. We are exploring scenarios and workflow to see how we might leverage that existing infrastructure.

I am impressed by the differences between operating as a one man or small studio and the requirements of a large multi-national operation. Who has acccess to what data - who can change data - how one versions those updates & changes. The questions are the same but the answers can be very different.

Thanks again for your input.