By Elliot Weber
The tools inside SolidWorks Electrical used to create 3D layouts are incredibly powerful, since they use the physical model dimensions and locate them in 3D space. However, if you need to quickly organize your electrical enclosure you may use the 2D cabinet layout tools in the SolidWorks Electrical 2D Application. In our project, we assign physical locations to our components.
In the properties of these locations we define specific manufacturer components from our database of enclosures, din rails, ducts, etc… The electrical components will also have manufacturer parts associated. These parts not only contain a reference to a 3D model, but also to a 2D footprint. Here is the workflow on how to create a 2D cabinet layout:
- We access the the layout command through the Process tab.
- Then, we select the locations where we wish to create a 2D layout. This creates a new drawing for each location selected in our project.
3. We now have a cabinet layout tab that appears and allows us to add parts if we haven’t already defined them for that location. Also, any parts associated with that location will be shown as components that can be inserted into the layout drawing. One thing to note is that when inserting the enclosure, the size of the enclosure is typically larger than the title block and will need to be scaled down.
4. The electrical components and their associated manufacturer parts may be inserted into the 2D layout drawing. It uses the 2D footprint from the manufacturer part database. As each of these 2D footprints are placed, they are associated with the electrical component as a symbol. It is possible to have a electrical component that is associated with a line diagram symbol, schematic symbol, control symbol, manufacturer parts, 3D SolidWorks part, and 2D footprint.
6. We finish our 2D layout by adding ducts contactors, PLCs, breakers, transformer and terminals. When adding ducts and din rails, we may specify the exact length. We may even choose to add dimensions to call out exact locations. Individual components may be placed with a right-click>Insert.
This 2D layout tool is managed entirely in the 2D application and makes a great compliment to the 3D layout capability we have with the SolidWorks Electrical 3D add-in. It’s quick, easy to use, and uses your existing manufacturer part database.