Importing Legacy Designs into SOLIDWORKS Electrical

By Cameron Cintula on

With SOLIDWORKS Electrical, design engineers have the ability to import DWG or DXF legacy designs from another electrical CAD tool. The software contains 2D drafting tools that allow for the editing of electrical drawings. With SOLIDWORKS Electrical, engineers can reduce design time. In this article, I show you how to import legacy designs into SOLIDWORKS Electrical.

Using CAD Symbols in SOLIDWORKS Electrical

SOLIDWORKS Electrical comes with a large default 2D symbol library, but if you want to use a symbol you created a long time ago that was made inside a CAD tool other than SOLIDWORKS Electrical; there are a few options you would be faced with in this scenario. The first option would be to pick a new symbol to represent a certain electrical component. This symbol could be picked out from the default library or could be downloaded from the SOLIDWORKS Electrical content portal. The second option would be to re-create the symbol inside SOLIDWORKS Electrical, but this could be tedious and time-consuming. The third option would be to import this symbol into SOLIDWORKS Electrical, but in order to do this you would need to export the symbol as a DWG or DXF file in the other CAD tool that is not SOLIDWORKS Electrical.

Inside SOLIDWORKS Electrical you would click Library > Symbols Manager > Import DWG files.

Import DWG Files in SOLIDWORKS Electrical

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Once the symbol import window opens, click Add files then select the DWG or DXF symbols that you exported from another CAD tool. Click Next four times and then click Finish.

Symbol Import in SOLIDWORKS Electrical

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The 2D symbols are now imported to your SOLIDWORKS Electrical Library.

2D Symbols in SOLIDWORKS Electrical Library

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If you would like to import a whole drawing, this can be done if the legacy design is a DWG or DXF file. You would click the Import/Export tab, then click Import DWG files. An Import files window will open, and this is where you select the folder that holds the legacy design drawings.

Import File Wizard in SOLIDWORKS Electrical

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If you click Next, it gives you the option to decide what type of page it will be in SOLIDWORKS Electrical whether it’s a cover page, scheme, line diagram, etc. Click Next again and you come to a window that is titled Symbol and Title Block Import Mapping. This is where you could remove certain symbols of the schematic. Keep clicking Next and adjust settings as necessary and then click Finish when prompted. The legacy design is now added to your project. Keep in mind that this page, and everything on it, is imported as a static block and not a dynamic symbol. That is one of the fallbacks when importing a whole page of a legacy design. It is better practice to import symbols one by one, so you can assign the symbol a manufacture part.

It is important to customers that they have access to years of their legacy data inside SOLIDWORKS Electrical. SOLIDWORKS Electrical can not only provide new and intelligent tools for improving the process of creating electrical schematics, it also supports maintaining and utilizing your legacy electrical drawings. If a legacy design contains symbols, attributes or even title blocks, the wizard tool allows you to remove them completely or associate them with SOLIDWORKS Electrical title block or symbols.

There are multiple capabilities within SOLIDWORKS Electrical, including modifying reports. Read our related article to access the step by step for modifying them in Electrical.