By Rhyc Sandberg
One of the key concepts to understanding how to use SolidWorks Electrical 2D is the concept of the electrical ‘component’ and its relationship to line diagram symbols, schematic symbols, and manufacturer information.
A SolidWorks assembly component is not the same thing as a SolidWorks Electrical component. In this document, we are discussing Electrical components unless specifically referencing an assembly component.
For electrical projects , you often need multiple symbols in various sheets and locations of your schematics and line diagrams that represent the same item or piece of equipment in your design. If you are using Electrical 3D, you also need to relate a SolidWorks 3D model to this piece of equipment. Because of this fact, SolidWorks Electrical has developed the concept of a ‘component’ to tie together all of these related symbols used in your schematics and line diagrams.
Components in SolidWorks Electrical 2D can be a bit confusing at first because they can get created automatically as we drop symbols into our schematics and line diagrams. You need to be aware that once you create a symbol, it either creates a new component or you can relate the symbol to an existing component.
Note the top part of the property dialog box for a symbol:
This is where you associate this symbol to a component. You can either pick an existing component from the pane on the right, or let it create a new one with the root and number.
Once you create this symbol, the component shows up in the ‘Components’ tab of the side panel (on the left) with the symbol icon indented underneath. Green is for schematic symbols and orange for line diagram symbols.
Also note that the right click menu for a symbol has commands for both the symbol properties and the component properties associated with that symbol.
The Component properties dialog box is just like the symbol properties dialog box above, except that the symbol dialog box has the section to assign the component, this one doesn't.
Alternatively, a component can be created before a symbol is dropped into a drawing.
Select the Components tab in the side panel on the left. Right click on a Location (or Function, if you are displaying Functions instead of Locations) and select New\ Component. In the dialog box that is displayed, you can select a class for the component, which will then select a ‘Root’ and number for the mark to identify the component. For instance, selecting a contactor relay class will change the root to be ‘K’. You can also assign the manufacturer’s part to the component.
When you associate a symbol to an existing component in the symbol property manager, it is called ‘cross referencing’.
You can also assign a specific manufacturer’s part to the symbol/component in these property dialog boxes by selecting the ‘Manufacturer part and circuits’ tab. Although this shows up in the dialog box for both the symbol and component properties, it’s really setting it for the component.
And finally, we associate a SolidWorks 3D assembly component to our Electrical 2D component in SolidWorks using Electrical 3D. We’ll leave that topic to another blog article.
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 our Webinar Wednesday eLearning and eDemo schedule, and keep an eye on this page for new articles on our ever expanding capabilities for SolidWorks, SolidWorks Electrical, Enterprise PDM, SolidWorks Composer, SolidWorks Plastics, SolidWorks Simulation, and CAMWorks.