By Rhyc Sandberg
The Electrical module from SolidWorks is designed to handle large scale projects with multiple users working simultaneously on various parts of the project. For projects like this, having good organizational tools is key to using it effectively.
Large electrical projects will typically have a lot of documents and a very large number of electrical components, but the organization tools in SolidWorks Electrical discussed in this article will help us keep organized and efficient.
COMPONENT ORGANIZATION Whether it’s a motor, sensor, light, button, relay, circuit breaker or any other type of electrical component, it will be part of some functional subassembly of the overall project such as a conveyor system, a ‘sorting’ system, etc. It will also have a physical location in the project.
SolidWorks Electrical gives us properties for both Location and Functionality to assign to each component in our project. Locations and Functions are created and edited using the Location and Function managers accessed from the Project tab.
Clicking on the Locations icon launches the Locations Manager.
As you can see from the left hand side, Locations can be indented to other locations, creating ‘sub’ locations.
They use a ‘Mark’ system similar to that used for identifying the components, in this case ‘L1’ or ‘F1’.
When you click to display the ‘Components’ tab on the left pane, it will display the components organized by either Location or by Function. To change how it is viewed, right-click on the project name at the top of the list and select the view desired, either ‘Locations view’ or ‘Functions view’ – located about half way down the list of commands.
Documents also need an organizational tool since there can be many documents of various different types.
The tool provided for organizing documents should feel familiar to everyone since it is analogous to folders in the Windows operating system. To access it, you click on the Documents tab in the left pane. At the top level, documents are organized in ‘Books’. You can create a new Book by right-clicking on the project name at the top of the Documents tab and selecting ‘New Book…’ to invoke the ‘Book editor’ dialog box.
Books will have both a Location and a Function assigned to them, set in the Book Editor dialog box. Other than that, a Description is all that is necessary, which will be used in the tree list in the left pane.
Once a book is created, documents can be created in the book with the ‘New…’ command from a right-click. You can also create folders inside the book this way for more organization.
Those are the basic tools for organizing your projects in SolidWorks Electrical.
There are a myriad of other new features and enhancements not covered in this article which we will detail in later posts. Be sure to check out Webinar Wednesdays™, and keep an eye on this page for new articles on our ever expanding capabilities: SolidWorks, SolidWorks Electrical, Enterprise PDM, SolidWorks Composer, SolidWorks Plastics, SolidWorks Simulation, CAMWorks, and 3D Printing Solutions.