SOLIDWORKS Electrical Solutions: Licensing and Features

By Sawyer Gara on

The SOLIDWORKS Ecosystem has a ton of great tools for defining and designing electrical systems. Depending on the origin of the electrical definition, how detailed of reports needed, or even what platform you are currently working on, SOLIDWORKS Electrical solutions might feature a tool that can streamline your process and increase the efficiency of electrical designs.

SOLIDWORKS Electrical Routing

Electrical Routing can be seen as our “entry point” into the collaboration between our mechanical and electrical designs. The Electrical Routing add-in is included with seats of SOLIDWORKS Premium and allows a mechanical designer to not only incorporate physical components such as connectors, rails, and clips but also easily show the wires and cables connected to those components into their 3D Models. This tool is fully integrated into your normal SOLIDWORKS Assembly environment and can help to streamline the process of laying out your electrical components and routes. The electrical routes using the Routing add-in are created using library of our common electrical components and then user defined electrical properties for things like the gauge of wires and color. These user defined electrical properties are typically specified by the mechanical designer as they are placing the connectors but can be imported from a To/From List. SOLIDWORKS Electrical Routing is great for a lower volume environment or for cables/harness where we don’t need a schematic backing us up.

SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematic

SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematic is our 2D Schematic tool in the SOLIDWORKS Ecosystem. Electrical Schematic is a great tool to help streamline the construction of simple or complex schematic drawings, Bills of Materials, and Wire Run Lists. This is our fully featured 2D Schematic Creation tool that increases our 2D creation process by leveraging a centralized library of parts and symbols. Unlike a lot of the other SOLIDWORKS products, Electrical Schematic is an entirely separate program. It comes in two different packages: Electrical Schematic Standard and Electrical Schematic Professional.

Electrical Schematic Standard allows for the creation of single and multi-line schematics while utilizing the shared parts and symbol library to make it easy to go from initial concept to fully detailed schematic. To make maintaining the library easier, Schematic Standard includes access to the Electrical Content Portal to download manufacturer created and SOLIDWORKS curated 2D Symbols, manufacturer components, and connected 3D parts/assemblies to use down the line. There are also customizable report generation and design checking tool to automatically generate reports like Bills of Materials and Wire Run lists as well as checking to make sure you stick to any company or electrical standards.

Taking a step up to SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematic Professional adds some additional functionality on top of everything in Schematic Standard. To start, Schematic Professional allows for network license support meaning that the licenses can be shared between users unlike in Electrical Schematic Standard which requires standalone licensing. It also improves the reporting capabilities by allowing for more advanced customization as well as supporting a shared symbols library between users. Additionally, Schematic Professional users get access to dynamic symbols for connectors and PLCs. In short, dynamic symbols will automatically resize depending on the number of pins/connections you want to show for that specific symbol without having to maintain every possible sized symbol in the electrical library. One of the biggest reasons to jump to SOLDIWORKS Electrical Schematic Professional is that it allows for you to bolt Electrical 3D onto your existing SOLIDWORKS installation and leverage all the work put in to defining the Electrical Schematic.

SOLIDWORKS Electrical 3D

SOLIDWORKS Electrical 3D

SOLIDWORKS Electrical 3D is similar to SOLIDWORKS Electrical Routing mentioned above. This tool is fully integrated into your SOLIDWORKS Assemblies and is much more streamlined than using sweeps to try to achieve the same end result. SOLIDWORKS Electrical 3D can also be put on a network to be shared. However, there are some key differences between Electrical Routing and Electrical 3D. SOLIDWORKS Electrical 3D utilizes the electrical definition that was created using SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematic. As a result, the mechanical designer using Electrical 3D is given a list of electrical components that need to be placed in the assembly. When placing these components, the relevant 3D Part or Assembly is automatically pulled from the Electrical Schematic shared parts and symbol library to ensure that the correct model is used for a given component. This means that the mechanical designer does not need to know which wires are connected to which connectors since this is maintained in the schematic and can be routed automatically in Electrical 3D. Using SOLIDWORKS Electrical 3D is a great tool to expand upon the work put into our electrical schematics and makes it extremely easy to represent electrical components, wires, and cables while still being controlled by the schematic.

Electrical Schematic Designer

Electrical Schematic Designer is an electrical schematic creation tool licensed through the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform. Electrical Schematic Designer behaves in many ways similar to SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematic. Users are still able to leverage the centralized parts and symbols library to create their single and multi-line schematic drawings as well as install content from the Electrical Content Portal. The biggest difference between this and SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematic is licensing and storage. Being on the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform means that it utilizes named-user licensing and each license is assigned to a single user. Additionally, Electrical Schematic Designers can utilize the same collaborative spaces that any other 3DEXPERIENCE user would to safely and securely store their electrical schematics directly on the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform.

electrical schematic design

The SOLIDWORKS Ecosystem has a ton of great tools for defining and designing electrical systems. For some users who are typically only defining a couple of cables every once in a while, and are doing all of that electrical definition on the fly in SOLIDWORKS, something like the Electrical Routing tools in SOLIDWORKS Premium might suffice. Going a step further and creating the larger overarching electrical projects with a multitude of wires, symbols, and circuits might require the inclusion of SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematic. This will make it easier to define electrical systems in 2D and is a big step up from a non-electrical 2D CAD tool. To really bring designs to life and allow for true collaboration between electrical and mechanical, SOLIDWORKS Electrical 3D can leverage the powerful routing capabilities in SOLIDWORKS and the detailed electrical schematics created in Electrical Schematic to create one cohesive design. Lastly, Electrical Schematic Designer might be a great fit for someone already leveraging the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform and is interested into diving into a truly collaborative electrical schematic tool.

Regardless of your needs, if you have any questions in how any of the tools discussed above might benefit your current workflow and want to be connected to your regional TriMech Expert please reach out to us!