By Elliot Weber
Sketching wires may sound mundane, but it is something done continually in SolidWorks Electrical. The tools available to us for sketching and editing these wires are simple and powerful. What follows is an introduction to sketching in SolidWorks Electrical 2D.
Let’s start by creating a schematic sheet in our project and access the wire commands. To do this, right-click in the ‘Document Book’ to create a new scheme. The schematic tab contains the wire commands. We will use the “Draw multiple wires” command since we want to draw more than one style at once. The “Draw single wire type” command allows us to draw one or more wires in the same wire style.
After clicking the command, we can use the current wire style or choose a wire style by clicking the button. If we need to create more wire styles, we can click the “Manager” button. The wire styles have single or multiple wires. Each of the wires is assigned a color. Note that when a wire is assigned the color white, it is displayed as black on the screen.
Now it is time to begin sketching wires. Start the wire by left-clicking in the schematic page. Move the cursor and left-click again to complete the segment. To invert the phase, hit the” spacebar” before placing the wire. To add a bend, hit the “C” key before placing the wire. Use the “spacebar” with the “C” key to invert while adding the bend. Another way to add bends is to place the first segment, move to the side and left-click again to add another segment. For a non-orthographic orientation, left-click to start the wire then hit the” F8” key. Move in the direction you want space the wires then left-click again. This will create the start points of the wire segments. Then, move in the direction you want your wire to end and left-click. Then move in the direction you want to space the endpoints and left-click.
Now we need to connect to other wires and symbols. With the multiple wires selected we can start sketching on the appropriate segment. The correct connections are made to existing wires without needing to trim. The wires are then sketched to the symbol connection points. If the wires were sketched beyond the symbol, the connection would still occur and the excess wires would be trimmed automatically. Any symbols added on top would connect and trim the wires into separate segments.
Lastly, if we drag the endpoint to connect with another segment it will split that segment into two. We can just select the unneeded piece and delete it. If the connected endpoint is dragged away, it merges the two co-linear segments back into one. We also never have to worry about overlapping lines; they would merge together.
There are many other tools to move, stretch, copy, and reuse wires. Keep an eye on the blog for more on these tools - coming soon!