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Improve Communication Between Mechanical and Electrical Designers with SOLIDWORKS Electrical

One of the largest and most costly issues in the realm of electrical manufacturing is the lack of communication between the product design and the production phases.

According to The National Academic Press, “Design engineers concentrate on developing product functions and features with little or no consideration for how the product is to be made.”

Adam Simons, Solutions Specialist at CADimensions, draws from an automotive industry example to further illustrate this problem.

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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.

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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…

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SOLIDWORKS PCB

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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SOLIDWORKS Electrical Project Settings

SOLIDWORKS Electrical allows for extensive customization of project settings to accommodate a variety of customer needs and standards. Once the desired options have been set, projects can then be saved as templates so that future projects maintain these settings.

This blog will be referencing settings based off of the ANSI template that is provided with the software. Once a project is opened, you can access the Project Configuration Settings by going to the PROJECT tab and then selecting CONFIGURATIONS. If you select the drop down, you will choose “Project” for the configuration options.

Configurations

Once selected, a dialog box will appear that allows you to edit a variety of settings. The first tab lets you edit the GENERAL settings such as the language, unit and cable standards, date display as well as revision numbering format. 

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Preparing for SOLIDWORKS Electrical Installation

So you, or your company, have decided to use SOLIDWORKS Electrical for your electrical design needs, but now that you have the software, you’re not sure what you will need to install it.

First things first – in order to install the software, you will need the installation media. Conveniently, everything you need to install SOLIDWORKS Electrical is packaged in the same installation media that you used to install SOLIDWORKS. You can easily download the install media by visiting the Customer Portal.

SolidWorks Customer Portal

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