Manufacturers parts in SOLIDWORKS Electrical capture a bunch of metadata about parts that can be purchased including their Part Number, Description, Circuits, Terminals, Class (Category), Root mark, Size, Series and any other User Data that you want to include (for example, Voltage, Frequency, Internal Part Number, etc). This metadata is extremely useful because it can be linked to symbols, allowing you to quickly create a detailed and accurate schematic. It is also used to automatically create detailed and accurate reports such as a Bill of Materials.’
Re-using already completed designs allows us to save time, giving us the freedom to innovate in a fast-paced market. ‘If you’re a SOLIDWORKS user, chances are you’ve probably downloaded parts or assemblies from 3D Content Central or one of the many ‘Free 3D CAD Models’ sites out there. Why remodel something that has already been modeled, right?
One of the neat things about SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematics is that it comes with a large library of manufacturers parts (500,000+) ready for you to use out-of-the box. Even so, there will always be other parts out there that we want to use. Luckily, just like SOLIDWORKS 3D Content Central provides pre-made 3D models for mechanical designers, the SOLIDWORKS Electrical Online Content Portal provides many additional manufacturer parts for Electrical Designers on subscription.
To access these libraries, the first step is to create a user account (if you haven’t already).
Accessing the online content portal is easy. All you have to do is open up your Manufacturer Parts Manager from the Library tab and click on Online Content.
This brings us to a webpage with a link to the SOLIDWORKS Electrical Portal, 3D Content Central, and My.SolidWorks.com. To get more manufacturer part data, click on SOLIDWORKS Electrical Portal.
From here, we can either login or click on Register to create a new account.
Once we’ve registered and logged in, we can see a break-down of the part categories available by clicking on the Catalog tab.
This takes us to a long list of libraries, sorted mostly by manufacturer. There’s even a symbols library, and we can use the boxes at the top to sort by content, or to look for the latest material only.
As an example, let’s look for cabinets made by ABB.’
Typing cabinet’ in the By content: and clicking Apply to filter results in a list containing only manufacturers with parts listed of this type. Clicking on ABB expands the category so that we can see we have both ArTu cabinets and general Boxes, cabinets available for download.
To download one of these categories, all we have to do is click on the green chevrons next to the description.
This will automatically start a download for us.
Now that the parts are downloaded, all we have to do is unarchive them in SOLIDWORKS Electrical!
To do this, all we have to do is click on Local Content from the Manufacturer parts manager and navigate to the file we just downloaded. Then click Open to start the unarchive process.
That’s all there is to it! Now all of the parts are accessible through our libraries for use in our SOLIDWORKS Electrical project.
One of the other great things about this online content portal is that it is updated with more parts periodically and we can even use it to request that more parts be added to the catalog. Comment below if you want to know more about how this is done!