Changing Wire and Line Thickness in SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematic

Sam Frew

This article describes the SOLIDWORKS Electrical settings that can be used to change the displayed and printed size of the wires and lines in a schematic.

A new feature in SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematic 2015 allows the user to change the thickness of wires and lines. The thickness of wires in schematics and lines in line diagrams can be altered by editing the wire or line style, which will apply a project-wide change for all wires or lines defined in that style. Also, the thickness of drawing elements (lines, arcs, etc.) can be changed individually or for all elements on a particular layer.


Editing Wire Thickness

To change the wire size for all wires of a particular style, right click one of the wires of that style on a sheet, then select Wire Style > Properties. In the Properties dialogue, change the value for Line Width then click OK. Note that a little does a lot here. For example, the screenshots below show the effect on the earth wire in the schematic of increasing its line width to 0.05.


To edit several wire styles in the project, bring up the Wire Style Manager, found on the ribbon toolbar under Project > Configurations > Wire Styles. This gives quick access to the properties of all wire styles. Navigate to the wire style to be changed, select it, then click Properties to bring up the same dialogue as above. The properties for multiple-wire styles can also be edited here. Any changes in wire style will be applied immediately to all wires of that style in the project. The set thicknesses will remain scaled properly when zooming in and out and when printing sheets. For example, the screenshots below show the size of all the wires in the N L1 L2 L3 multi-wire being changed to 0.05.


Editing Line Thickness

The above information pertains to wires in schematic drawings. There is an equivalent tool for managing the style of lines in line diagrams. This can be found on the ribbon toolbar under Project > Configurations > Line Diagram Line Styles. Open this dialogue then change the value for Line Width to apply the new value to all lines of that style. The example below shows the line style after changing the Line Width to 0.05. 


Editing Drawing Elements

The properties of an individual drawing element can be edited by double clicking on that element, or using the Modify > Properties button in the ribbon toolbar. Here, the value for Line Thickness can be changed from the drop down list. Note that to see this change on screen, the Line Weight Active option under Drawing Parameters must be enabled (press F10 to toggle this setting). In the example below, the thickness of the top arc (which is a drawing element, not a wire or a line) is changed to 1.00 mm.


To change the thickness for all drawing elements on a layer, go to Modify > Layers, then edit the Line Thickness for that layer. Note that this would only apply to drawing elements on that layer with a value for Line Thickness of “By Layer”, so that the element will inherit the properties of the layer.

This method can also be applied to individual segments of wires or lines, although it is not recommended, as the Line Thickness value in Properties will only show if the Line Width value for the corresponding style is set to zero.

Note that this method gives unpredictable results when zooming in and out and when printing sheets, as the elements will always tend to appear at the millimetre thickness specified. It is recommended only as an on screen display option.

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