It wasn’t too long ago that Flatter Files was putting SolidWorks and AutoCAD files in your pocket. Ouch! Pardon your reach! Now they’ve churned out an update aimed at access to a wider array of content and have pushed their platform to the far reaches of the Android universe with a new app available for free on Google Play. There are a variety of different viewing apps out there, but this one is both complementing those and will be a must have app for the engineer in the shop or on the go.

Ditch the Binders

To access prints, redlines, legacy documents and other archived parchment you’ve likely been use to searching through flat files, binders and file cabinets in the past. PDM/PLM integration helps bring it to our desktop, but we still lack access to a lot of documents on the floor, in the shop or out and about. In the previous version of Flatter Files, you were limited to uploading your 2d drawing files for viewing, “When the Uploader Application performs an upload it creates a PDF representing your drawing or document and uploads it. It also uploads the actual drawing or document file as well as the PDF. The actual file is archived such that each revision that you create will include the actual file at that point in time.” Now, you can include your 3D files with that and, in conjunction with eDrawings for iOS or Android, open and view the 3D SolidWorks files.

Here’s how it happens on an Android device…

Open Flatter Files…
Access your model…
Open in eDrawings…

And on an iPad…

Open Flatter Files…
Access your model…
Open in eDrawings…

For all intents and purposes, this app is a paper viewer, but even more it’s becoming an access point for all your data. This is compounded by the new SolidWorks EPDM integration to the level of managing access to your content. From Chris Vaught, founder of CMV Technologies, makers of Flatter Files…

Flatter Files simply accesses all of your content that is stored on your EPDM server and uploads the content to Flatter Files. Once uploaded, the content is synced between the EPDM server and Flatter Files. So when a drawing is checked out on EPDM, it is also checked out on Flatter Files. Flatter Files then ignores the drawing until you check it in and release it. Once released, the new version is uploaded to Flatter Files so that everyone can access it. By using Flatter Files to serve as the viewer component of EPDM, a significant amount of money can be saved. In addition to saving money, a company can also utilize the other great features of Flatter Files, such as external link based sharing and assembly views, both of which are huge time savers.

The uploader application is a Windows-only program that uses the CAD or document programs installed on the same computer to automatically upload documents and associated properties, creating the appropriate PDF that will be uploaded to Flatter Files. Currently, programs and formats supported include .pdf, Autocad, Inventor, SolidWorks, Viso, Word and Powerpoint. You can read up on the complete features and the uploader application here. New features include with the launch of the new Android app include:

  • Flatter Files Android App is now in the Google Play Store.
  • Custom libraries have been added along with the ability to hide the custom libraries from specific users.  This allows you to organize your drawings by department or product and then limit who within your company has access to those libraries.
  • You can now share multiple items within a single link.  Thus, all of the drawings for a specific vendor or customer can be shared with a single secure link.  Drawings can then be added and removed as necessary from the secure link.
  • Automatic creation and uploading of dxf files for sheet metal parts has been added.
  • EPDM integration.  You can use EPDM to manage the CAD creation and still use Flatter Files for managing access to your content for everyone else in your organization.
  • Many specific user configuration controls have been added.  For example, viewers can be configured to not have the ability to share drawings externally.
  • Massive improvement to the search capabilities and speed.  This makes finding your drawings easier and quicker than ever.
  • Open your native SolidWorks files directly from Flatter Files with eDrawings on both Android and iOS (Native access can be limited to specific users).

The platform is free to try with demos and more info is available at The app is available for free via iTunes and Google Play.


Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.