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Electrical Design (13)

My Favorite 2017 Electrical Enhancements

Last year, I wrote about all the new enhancements that came with SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2016, and with the recent release of SW2017, SOLIDWORKS delivered for Electrical again. I wanted to use this blog to bring attention to my favorite updates to Electrical for 2017, but to also note that a majority of the key enhancements and fixes that went into this new release came from CADimensions customer’s requests.  In 2017, the Electrical Ecosystem saw an addition of a new product in SW PCB, as well as a focus in improving the functionality, interface, and reporting.


One customer request that made it into Electrical 2017 is the ability to propagate data to objects.  Typically, wire styles have formulas to generate their marks, so this gives us the ability to keep generic marks, while propagating complex marks that don’t fit the formula.  This function can be found in the Process tab, and gives the user the ability copy values from Wire, Equipotential, Terminal and PLC data and paste them into object data fields. In the example below, I’m able to convert my PLC terminal names to my wire equipotential marks.


5 Benefits for Standardizing Electrical Symbols

Picture this: It’s 3:57 PM on a Wednesday afternoon and you have just placed your final symbol on your schematic drawing, which is due today. You submit it to your project lead and pack up to leave so you can get your daughter to dance class by 5 PM. Just as you reach the exit, you are stopped by your projector leader who informs you that your drawing cannot be approved and sent to configuration management without the updated corporate title block and new component labels. Sound familiar?

Scenarios like this are perfect examples of why more companies should seriously consider standardizing their electrical libraries. While there are many sound arguments that can be made for the practicality of standardized electrical symbols and specifications, below is a list of the top five derived from the experts here at CADimensions, Inc.


SOLIDWORKS PCB Live Supplier Links, It’s the BOM

Whether you’re looking to prototype a PCB or finalizing the BOM on a production board, the finalization process of verifying that the components used in your design are both available and affordable from your suppliers can be a tedious and potentially error-prone task. You stare at the stack of catalogs from your suppliers in order to research the correct specifications, availability, and pricing, just in order to complete your Bill of Materials. One last call to your trusted component supplier and you find out they do not have enough to support your build, and you head back to your catalog pile. When project deadlines cannot wait, you frantically find an alternate component from an alternate supplier.

SOLIDWORKS PCB Live Supplier Links will allow you to concurrently design and spec out component pricing and availability, giving you a complete BOM with components that are priced correctly and available to purchase.

So let’s take a look!  While in a project, place a symbol, then right click and select Supplier Links…



When I first started talking to customers about SOLIDWORKS Electrical, I was often met with the question of “does this package help us with Printed Circuit Boards?” While I could offer options, like CircuitWorks, I never had a full solution to provide customers that could do board design. However, as of July 1st, that is no longer the case. SOLIDWORKS has announced the release of SOLIDWORKS PCB, design software, powered by Altium, to quickly document your boards and have them work seamlessly with SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Design.

Kevin and I recently did a webinar on this product, but I wanted to write up a quick blog to share the features and functions of the software that excited me as I was learning the tool. 

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