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SOLIDWORKS Electrical Component Tree links Symbols & Components

Article by Angus Hudson, CSWP created/updated April 24, 2018

SOLIDWORKS Mechanical 3D is a staple of the CAD industry , garnering 46% of the 3D CAD market share in 2016. This success can be attributed to many factors, but SOLIDWORKS’ associativity is frequently highlighted as one of users’ favorite features. This associativity acts as a digital thread, linking CAD content together and saving users time by propagating any changes to all relevant parts, drawings, and assemblies.

Thanks to the SOLIDWORKS Electrical Component Tree, the advantages of a digital thread are not limited to the mechanical designers on your team. Implementing SOLIDWORKS Electrical allows your electrical designers to also benefit from the reduced burden of design changes, faster creation of documentation, and automated standardization that all SOLIDWORKS users have grown to love.

The heart of SOLIDWORKS Electrical associativity is its component tree; this tree keeps track of every electrical and mechanical component in the project. Every symbol in the design links back to one of these components, providing a single point of reference for every part in the project. Alternatively, components don’t need to be linked to symbols, and can be added exclusively for reporting and bill of materials purposes. This takes the SOLIDWORKS Electrical project from merely being a collection of graphical data, and turns it into a complete digital replica of your complex design.

Symbol Properties contain information imported from the manufacturer's part library. Symbols can easily be associated or re-associated during the design process.

Symbol Properties contain information imported from the manufacturer’s part library. Symbols can easily be associated or re-associated during the design process.

However, the component tree doesn’t merely function as a shopping list for your design; it also dramatically reduces the time required for design changes. By linking symbols directly to our components, SOLIDWORKS Electrical automatically propagates any changes to components, symbols, or their wiring to all other relevant symbols (even if they are on a different drawing sheet). This automates early stage tasks like managing cross references or adding symbol annotations, and can also completely eliminate the need for the user auditing after design changes. The result is standardization within your schematics, and confidence that complex designs will remain error free through all of their revisions.

Expanding a component in the tree shows all symbols linked to it. Simple "go to" commands allow quick navigation between symbols.

Expanding a component in the tree shows all symbols linked to it. Simple “go to” commands allow quick navigation between symbols.

SOLIDWORKS Electrical streamlines the design process so that your designers can work faster. The component tree provides users with a single point of reference for every component in their design, and shaves hours off of design revisions by fully automating the document auditing process.

Contact us today to take advantage of the powerful automation and time savings in SOLIDWORKS Electrical.

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Angus Hudson, CSWP

Angus is a Certified SOLIDWORKS Professional and Applications Expert, based in our Vancouver, British Columbia office.

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