If your company uses standard PCB sizes and configurations repeatedly for their designs and projects, it may be very beneficial to create templates for those projects to eliminate unnecessary repetitive work, save time, and maintain consistency in the structure of all projects. To create a new SOLIDWORKS PCB template:
- Create a new SOLIDWORKS PCB project — choose the default “Blank PCB Project” template, or if desired, one can modify any of the default existing templates.
- Add any documents that are desired to be a part of the SOLIDWORKS PCB template, this can include PCB, schematic, text, database link, etc.
- Make any required modifications and changes to the added documents (i.e. board outlines, layers, schematics, polygons, design rules, output files and configurations, etc.). Any changes made will be saved as part of the template and available for later use.
- Save and close the project along with all other documents. Use a common name for all files that is consistent with the name of the project chosen from step 1.
- Create an image with Microsoft Paint (or any other application) and save it as an .emf file with the same name as the project. This will serve as the template preview.
- Cut and paste all the files created for this project (including the project, schematic, pcb, .emf, etc.) into the default template folder. This should be located at: C:\Users\Public\Public Documents\SOLIDWORKS\SOLIDWORKS PCB [version]\Templates\PCB Projects
- Open the “PCB Project Templates.ini” file in a text editor and add a new entry for the newly created template. Change only the COMMONFILENAME and FOLDERNAME fields. Use the format below:
[COMMONFILENAME] Category=CATEGORYNAME Title= Description=
- Save and close the .ini file
NOTE: The new SOLIDWORKS PCB template should now be available for use when creating a new project. One key thing is to ensure all files used in the new template have a common name, and are placed into the template folder.