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ENGINEERING CHALLENGES TACKLED WITH SOLIDWORKS ELECTRICAL SOLUTIONS

SOLIDWORKS electrical outlook

There are different electrical 2D and 3D CAD platforms that one can use, but the most popular name that is used extensively is SOLIDWORKS electrical.

  • The SOLIDWORKS Electrical database is loaded with nearly 500,000 standard-specific schematic symbols and manufacturer-specific parts.
  • Each part can be directly linked to an accurate 2D “footprint” for 2D panel layout, an icon view for high-level diagrams, and 3D SOLIDWORKS parts and assemblies.
  • Customers using MRP/ERP systems can easily link these parts, along with dozens of user-defined fields, to their existing systems. These libraries can be organized into company “favorites,” ensuring that all designers are working from a company’s preferred catalog of components.
  • SOLIDWORKS Electrical is built on a live SQL database. This means that your users are working off real-time data. By contrast, relying on XML data exchange may only take place periodically and could be outdated.
  • XML transfer from/to electrical schematic data and 3D models open up the possibility of multiple instances of identical components, which could make it difficult to correctly match the schematic parts back with the mechanical components.
  • There are many more exciting features inside SolidWorks electrical

In 2016 release, we have reviewed many of the new enhancements and improved SolidWorks electrical capabilities.

  • Formula Manager Enhancements
  • Limiting User Rights on Project Data
  • Paste Special Wizard Improvements
  • Properties Side Panels
  • New dialog to Manage Attributes in the scheme
  • Assign Component Feature
  • Project Snapshot
  • Defining Wire Order
  • Title Block Attribute Management
  • PDM Link Enhancements

SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2016 Formula Manager Enhancements

A number of improvements have been made to the SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2016 Formula Manager. This includes full attribute variable names within the interface (“COMPONENT_MARK_ROOT” vs. “COM_ROOT”) for easier use. A list of all available SQL functions, and a very handy Test Formula Tool.

Functions Tab

The latest Formula Manager user interface is very similar; however, a few noticeable enhancements have been added. A new “Functions” tab has been added, see below, this provides a list of all available SQL functions along with a description and example result of the function. This is very useful as there are numerous SQL commands available that many

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New Formula Manager Functions List

New Test Formula Tool

In addition to this, we can see in the bottom right corner the new “Test Formula” tool shown as a button with a calculator icon. This tool is extremely handy, as now we can easily test our SQL formulas within the manager, without having to finalize and run our formula through the entire project.

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New Formula Test Tool

SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2016 Limiting User Rights on Project Data

With SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2016 we can now limit the access to project documents by using specific project books! We can group users based on specific profiles, and associate each profile to apply rights for each user group.

First, we must define the different working groups and users within the interface configuration. Once this has been defined we can now manage the access rights of each book of the project. This is very useful as we may want to separate various groups to be able to work on specific aspects of a project.

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Configure Book Access Rights

For example, if we have an Electrical team and a Mechanical team we can now separate and control access to an Electrical book and Mechanical book as shown above. Each book access can be directly controlled by a project admin to allow specific book permissions.

If the user is from a group not allowed to access a book, he/she Can:

  • Print or export files from the book.
  • Import data in the book.
  • Generate new files in the book (cabinet layout, PLC drawing, report).
  • Have a preview of files from a book.
  • Edit wire cabling order from any file.
  • Manage origin-destination arrow from any files.
  • Modify component even if they are used in the scheme for a locked book.
  • Open SOLIDWORKS assembly using SOLIDWORKS file open but electrical command is not available.

Cannot:

  • Edit properties of the book.
  • Edit properties of folders or files from this book.
  • Open files from the book.
  • Cut/copy-paste files from the book.

If the user tries to edit a book that he/she does not have full permissions, an error message is shown.

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Access Rights Denied

This is very useful as generally, we would want each group member to have some access to the files (i.e. viewing previews if needed to gain some insight into the project) however we would not want our mechanical team to be able to edit our electrical designs.

SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2016 Improved Paste Special Wizard

New steps have been added to the paste special wizard in SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2016. This is very useful in helping the user to manage individual elements to paste.

When using the paste special command (Right-click > Paste Special or Ctrl + Shift + V) a dialog box opens which allows you to manipulate various options of the block you are pasting. This includes creating new marks or keeping the existing marks that were copied.

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SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2016 Improved Paste Special Wizard

New to 2016, we have even more options to manage the individual elements within the block we are pasting. For example, if we are pasting a circuit that contains various components and wires which have a variety of functions and locations assigned to them, we can now look explicitly into each individual component, wire, function, location, and so on to fine tune and rename or remark our circuit as we see fit. This helps us keep organized and sort out all necessary changes in one step, rather than having to rename and remark each component individually after a regular copy & paste.
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Paste Special Options

This new paste special interface also contains various searching and sorting options which is very handy when dealing with very large circuits that have a large number of components etc.

SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2016 New Properties Side Panel

One of the greatest enhancements in SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2016 is the addition of a new side panel display on the right side of the user interface to help users find information faster and more efficiently. This will also improve ease of use and productivity by reducing the number of clicks required to perform typical actions.

The Side Panel shows the properties of any object within your electrical project and allows you to edit properties directly from the side panel. Note that you click the pencil icon in the top right to enable full property editing. The screenshot below shows the new properties side panel when a connector object has been selected.

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New Property Side Panel

Additionally, the property tabs are context-sensitive, depending on the type of object selected the property tabs will change to offer access to each of the available object properties. The screenshot below shows when a wire object is selected we are presented with property tabs for wire style, cabling, equipotential, and graphical properties. This helps improve productivity and usability as prior to SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2016 we would need to right-click on the wire and select each of these individual properties separately, we now have all object properties accessible to us with a single click.

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Properties of a Wire

The properties side panel is on the right side of your screen by default, but the panel can be repositioned to best suit your needs as with any panels. As always, remember that these side panels can be accessed from “Dockable Panels” from within the “View” tab.

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