Chat in Paperless Parts

Paperless Parts make it easy to communicate in the context of the geometry with chat. This means you can communicate on 3D and 2D CAD files, prints, and more with your team members, customers, and other people.

In this article, we'll walk through:

1. When to Use Chat

2. Chat with Your team

3. Collaborating with Customers, Platers, and Other External People. 

When To Use Chat

We have customers using chat for the following scenarios:

  1. Estimators chat with the machinists to get their input on setup and run times.
  2. Instead of sending screenshots back and forth, shops can communicate with their customer better to provide manufacturability issues, get additional requirements, and suggest changes to the part.
  3. Machinists can be tagged in order to get their input on any special tooling requirements that have to be accounted for in the quote.
  4. Estimators tag machinists to get their input on manufacturability issues and to verify that features on a part can be made.
  5. Estimators invite their platers to communicate on the part that needs an outside service quote
  6. People on the shop floor like the machinists use the viewer to review upcoming work. They then initiate chat with the estimators and other people 
  7. When switching shifts, operators from the first shift use the chat to communicate notes for the  next shift.

These are just some of the ways people are using chat today. Let us know if you have other ideas on how you want to use chat at

Chat With Your Team

Chat with your team in the context of the CAD model. Use @mentions, annotate files, and more!

Navigate to a part in the viewer. On the right side of the screen of the viewer is the Chat widget:

Communicate with Annotations

These selections are captured as part of your message so that your team can see exactly what you are talking about.

You can even add highlights to PDFs:

Notify your teammates using @mention

When adding messages, you can use an @mention to add your teammates to message.  Start by typing '@':

Select your teammate from the dropdown to tag them:

This will send them an email notification:

Reply to Messages

You can hover a message and click on the conversation icon to reply to a message. This will also send a notification to the people who wrote responses to the original comment.

View What File the Comment Was Added To

You can navigate to the file that a comment was added to by clicking on the eye icon when you hover over a message.

Collaborating With Customers, Platers, and Other People

With Paperless Parts, you can now create external conversations for people outside your team. We recommend making separate conversations for each party. For example, most shops will make a conversation for their customer and make separate conversations for the finishers they are working with.

Let's walk you through an example:

While viewing a part, start a conversation with people outside your team by clicking on "+":

Name the conversation:

Add the email addresses of your customers, plater or any other external people. You can add as many people as you want. After you hit "SEND", invites are sent to the people you invite. 

Note: Because we value your security, we require all invitees to sign up for a Paperless Parts account to ensure that they are authenticated when accessing data.

When you go to "Manage Settings", you can modify upload permissions and which supporting files your invitee has access to.

You can use all the same chat features like @mentions, annotations, and dimensions with external people. In this case, selections are being added to the chat message for the customer: 

This feature is brand new! We'd love to hear any feedback you have at

Did this answer your question? Thanks for the feedback There was a problem submitting your feedback. Please try again later.