In compliance with the UK Governments statements regarding working from home, many companies have, or are in the process of, enabling their Engineers to work remotely using CATIA V5. 

However, the bandwidth of the connection used to allow access remotely to data may be restricted as it was not envisioned to have to cope with the current eventuality. Therefore, our technical teams have identified some CATIA V5 tips for working remotely. These tips are intended to make the most efficient use of available bandwidth by minimising the amount of data transferred during remote access working.

Tips for working remotely 1. Enable the ‘Work with the Cache System’ option.

This is enabled via:  Tools -> Options -> Infrastructure -> Product Structure -> Cache Management -> Cache Activation

Enabling this option requires CATIA to be restarted after selection in an existing session. Alternatively, CATIA Administrators can mandate its selection via the RefCATSettings.

When an assembly is subsequently opened from a remote location, CATIA V5 initially generates ‘lightweight’ files – CATIA Graphical Representations (CGRs), locally on the CATIA users PC before loading them into the CATIA session.  This is a one-time overhead. The user can then selectively load only the data they need to edit by right-clicking on either a Product node, a Component Node, or Part Instance node and selecting Representations -> Design mode in the contextual menu.  This will then only transfer the selected CATIA data via the remote connection to the user’s session for editing.

When the modification is completed and the data is saved, CATIA will automatically create a new CGR file for the modified data, whereby the user can revert back to viewing the CGR data in their session by selecting Representations -> Visualisation mode if need be.

To provide an indication of the potential time efficiency gained using this tip, a V5 CATProduct, including all content, totalling 114Mb in all was opened remotely via VPN through a Wi-Fi connection (30MB\s download).  The time taken to load the data into CATIA V5 is detailed below:

  1. Open CATProduct (Cache Management not enabled)
    = 86 seconds
  2. Open CATProduct (Cache Management enabled)
    = 37 seconds (including local CGR generation – no CATIA models downloaded)

Open CATProduct (Cache Management enabled) in new CATIA session (local CGRs loaded) = 10 seconds


Tips for working remotely 2. Enable the ‘Do not activate default shapes on open’ option

This is enabled via: Tools -> Options -> Infrastructure -> Product Structure -> Product Visualization -> Representation

This option can be enabled and disabled in a CATIA V5 session as required.  It does not require restarting CATIA to take effect.

In the case of initially opening very large assemblies remotely using the Cache Management option, the generation of CGRs may take some time due to the quantity of data in the assembly before the data is displayed on screen. In which case the delay can be minimised by enabling this option.

When opening e.g. an assembly, only the Product Structure tree is loaded in the session – no model data. The user can then navigate the Product Structure to the Product or Part Instance node, and load the content by right-clicking on it and selecting either Representations -> Activate Terminal Node or Activate Node, to load the selected Product or Part Instance data into the session.   If the Cache Management option is enabled, then CGR data is loaded initially.  If not, only the required CATIA data is loaded from the remote location into the CATIA session – not the entire assembly content.


Both of the above tips for working remotely are also featured in our CATIA V5: LITTLE KNOWN TOOLS webinar available via this link:

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