What’s New in SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2018

Learn five new features in SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2018 in five minutes.

Save yourself time and avoid the frustration of manually updating design changes throughout your entire schematic with these savvy tips!

Happy New Year! If you know me, you know I love SOLIDWORKS Electrical, and it seems like every year it gets better and better. In my position, I get the opportunity to hear a lot of feedback from engineers using the program, and I’m always amazed at how many enhancements to the software come directly from your minds. Several of the ones listed below came from you, so thank you!

Check out my top 5 enhancements for SOLIDWORKS 2018 electrical 3D design software below.

1. Project-level control of attribute appearance

In SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2017 and earlier, the font style, layer, and color of attributes needed to be changed on a symbol-by-symbol basis, making project-wide changes extremely tedious. New in SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2018, we can now control this on a project level. Simply go to Project > Configurations > Attribute, add the attribute you would like to modify the appearance of, modify the appearance and click OK to see the change take effect.

Below we can see how changing the color of the Component Mark to red quickly changes this for the entire project.

project-level-control-of-attribute-appearance
project-level-control-of-attribute-appearance-schematic

This enhancement saves us a ton of time, gives us a more uniform look to our drawings, and can help maintain company standards.

2. Ability to show attribute description when editing symbols

Before SOLIDWORKS 2018, when editing a symbol, we would see something like this:

attributes-in-solidworks-3d-design-software

The “#TEXT” fields are actually attributes that pull information from our component or manufacturer part, but, to a new user, these can be very difficult to understand or learn — especially at first.

The good news is that, new in SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2018, we now have the ability to Show Attribute Description instead of attributes themselves.

show-attribute-description

Selecting this option gives us a much clearer idea of what is going on when editing the symbol, allowing us to make modifications more quickly, even as a new user!

attribute-descriptions-example

3. Custom classifications and manufacturer part data

If you’re like me, this one is HUGE! I’ve seen this enhancement request all over forums, and I bet I’ve heard each one of you ask for this at least once. As engineers, we like to have control over the way things are organized. New in 2018, we can do just this with the added ability to create custom classifications for parts.

From Library > Classifications Manager, we can simply click on New Class, or we can select an existing classification in the tree and then click New Class to create a new class inside of the class selected.

classification-manager-in-solidworks-2018-electrical-3d-design-software-feature

From here, we also have the added ability to customize Manufacturer data on a class-by-class basis.

customize-manufacturer-data-feature

4. Ability to specify custom Location and Function Outline labels

One of the things I have always loved about SOLIDWORKS Electrical is that it lets us customize EVERYTHING! It really is one of the most customizable schematic programs that exists. That being said, we always want more, right? Well, this year we asked for the ability to customize Location and Function Outline labels, and the SOLIDWORKS Electrical development team delivered!

To give these labels your own pizzazz, navigate over to Project > Configurations > Font and click on the “…” next to the label you want to customize.

project-configuration-pizzazz

From here we can modify the formula so that we have exactly the label we want. In this case, I removed “LOCATION ROOT” altogether so that we’re just showing the location description.

Here’s how it looks on the page:

customized-label-schematic

5. Global project drawing styles and wire mark display

This one, similar to #1 in the list, is a game changer when it comes to giving us more control on a project level. First of all, Layers, Linetypes, and Text style can be setup as a Drawing Style in the new Drawing Styles Manager. To access this, we can go to Project > Configurations (drop-down menu) > Drawing Styles. This allows us to add an existing drawing style to our project modify to our heart’s desire, and add it back to the application so it is available to use in other projects.

drawing-styles-manager

Secondly, we can now choose a Display Style for our wires/equipotentials on a project level as well! Simply go to Project > Configurations (drop-down menu) > Wire Styles … and select the Display Style from the drop-down menu before hitting Apply to change this for the entire project.

wire-style-manager

Here’s an example of what it might look like if we choose to use Equipotential label rather than marks in our project:

Equipotential-label

The great thing about this is that it took me 2 seconds to complete. Previously this would have been a tedious task because each wire would have to be toggled to use this option. Thanks for following along! I hope you enjoy these new features as much as I do in the new year to come.

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