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Creating Symbols with SOLIDWORKS Electrical

On a typical demo for SOLIDWORKS Electrical, I’m often asked if the standard package has “x” manufacturer’s part or “x” specific symbol. While there are over a half million parts that can be downloaded for the software, there is still a likelihood that a specific symbol or part desired is not there. Therefore, I have created a quick post to show the simple steps required to make a new manufacturer’s part which can be linked to a custom created symbol using SOLIDWORKS Electrical.


Step 1

Add a part to the Manufacturer parts manager. Make sure to fill out as many part properties as you can so it is easy to search for your new manufacturer part in the future. For this example, I filled out the Part Name, Manufacturer Name, Class, Root Mark, Description, and added the appropriate circuit information to the part.


Step 2

Add a symbol to the Symbols manager and associate it to the Manufacturer part that we just created. This is done by filtering on the Manufacturer that you created in Step 1 and selecting the part that was created in Step 1. Make sure to give your symbol a descriptive name and classification so we can easily search for it in the future.


Step 3

Open up the blank symbol that you associated to your manufacturer part in Steps 1 and 2. Now we will draw our symbol using lines and shapes, add connection points for wires, and attributes that tie our manufacturer information to the symbol. Make sure to select a workable snap and grid spacing when creating this symbol, which can be done by right clicking the status bar in the lower right. I typically use a distance of 0.1 to keep my symbols concise, but usable in my schemes.


Step 4

The final step is to now insert our symbol into the schematic. This can be done by using the description in the Find bar of the symbols palette on the side panel, or by adding a symbol from the command manager schematic tab and filtering for our created manufacturer and part. Once the symbol is added to the scheme, you will notice that I did not have to add any manufacturer part information because it is already built into this symbol.

This approach to creating symbols can be a huge time saver if you are consistently using the same manufacturer parts. It gives you the ability to search for symbols with specific qualities that are needed for your designs, while giving you the peace of mind that all the data inside the manufacturer part is accurate.

This example showed how we can tie a manufacturer’s part to a specific symbol. We could have also taken the approach of tying a symbol to a manufacturer’s part, which allows the user to create a scheme based on a predefined Bill of Materials. Also, we could have created a macro to store the schematic data for the symbol and part, which could be reused at any point across projects. The software allows for end user flexibility in order to fit into your companies workflow.

If any readers have further questions on how to use SOLIDWORKS Electrical, please do not hesitate to contact us!

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