Automatic Wire Routing Using SolidWorks Electrical 3D

Last Updated on by DesignPoint Team

In 2013, SolidWorks first released a new product called SolidWorks Electrical. If you haven’t heard of it, it flawlessly connects electrical and mechanical design, and providing enhanced collaboration and planning, and allowing these processes to truly be parallel. If you’re like me, a mechanical guy, you probably also don’t get along so well with the electrical guys. Believe it or not, the tools introduced in SolidWorks electrical can actually make those electrical engineers bearable to work with.

Now in the second release, SolidWorks Electrical 2014, users are already starting to see the power of these tools. Today we’ll take a look how it can help us run our electrical wiring in our SolidWorks 3D model.

There are two parts to SolidWorks Electrical. The first is a 2D schematic tool for creating wiring diagrams. We’ll leave this one for the electrical engineers; it’s where they pick which components will be used, insert the symbols, and show in a flat display how it needs to be wired to work.

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The second piece is the SolidWorks Electrical 3D add in, which is really where the magic happens. It is directly connected to the 2D schematics, and allows you to insert into your 3D model the exact components the electrical engineer has picked. It’s as easy as a right click->insert!

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However, the most incredible part of Electrical 3D is when it comes to routing the wires. I need to wire up all of the connections that the electrical engineer has drawn up in his schematic. With Electrical 3D, this is as easy as hitting my “Route Wires” command.

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Go grab a cup of coffee as Electrical 3D plugs away. Depending on the size of your assembly and number of wires though, it may only take a few seconds.

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And just like that, SolidWorks Electrical 3D wires up all my components! Amazing! How did it know to do that?

Remember what I said earlier; Electrical 3D and the 2D schematic that your electrical engineer created are fully interconnected. Electrical 3D knew which components needed to be wired to each other because it read all that information from the schematic! You no longer have to decipher them for yourself, or read your electrical engineers notes to get everything hooked up in your 3D model.

The best part is, the connection goes both ways! Now that you have your wires modeled in SolidWorks 3D CAD, these wire lengths actually write back to the schematic tool, and can easily be output as a report.

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So go ahead, invite that electrical engineer out for a drink. Thanks to SolidWorks Electrical, you two will finally find some common ground. Not only that, you’ll produce faster, more accurate designs the first time; something truly worth celebrating.

For more information about SolidWorks Electrical, contact your account manager about attending our Hands-On Test Drive!

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