Home » How to do Electrical Routing in SolidWorks?

How to do Electrical Routing in SolidWorks?

Routing is an in-process application that assists in automating several sorts of routes, including electrical. It is an extensive collection of intelligent components you can drag and drop into your path. The Design Library is the default library. You can expand the library of innovative custom components using SolidWorks electrical routing. You can also construct custom components with routing information that automatically starts a path, similar to those already supplied in the Design Library. Electrical routing is a SolidWorks add-in exclusively available to SolidWorks premium users.

Suppose you learn how to do SolidWorks Electrical Routing. In that case, you can develop, change, and manage electrical routes and cables, from the critical routing components and their design requirements to the sub-assemblies that include the routes. The Routing Component Wizard, part of the Routing Library Manager, may be used to add intelligence to components and walks you through the process of adding mandatory and optional routing capabilities. You can create wire, harness, cable, and conduit designs and drawings to use as cut lists and complete bills of materials (BOMs) to accelerate the production process.

How To Do Electrical Routing In SolidWorks

Learning how to do electrical routing simplifies the creation of specific subassemblies that construct a trail of pipes, tubes, electrical wires, or ducts connecting components. When you enter particular features into an assembly, an automatic route subassembly is formed. 

A route subassembly is composed of three kinds of entities:

  1. Fittings and connectors, such as flanges, tees, electrical connectors, and clips, are components.
  2. Route components comprise ducts, pipes, tubes, wires, and cables.
  3. The Route feature contains a 3D drawing of the route path’s centerline.

There are various prerequisites you must know before learning about electrical routing. Some of these prerequisites are explained below.

  1. The parts papers are required for the cable assembly.

You can save these part designs in the Routing Library. It includes electrical parts, for example, connectors, terminal blocks, and ring terminals—routing equipment (such as clips, cable clamps, and brackets).

  1. Cable and wire library
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This file contains information about the cables and wires, such as the specification number, size, color, and description. A cable/wire library is required if you want to give the route electrical properties. It is an optional feature as well.

  1. The Component Library

This file refers to the SOLIDWORKS part documentation for the components listed in the from-to list. You’ll need a component library if you want to use component data using a from-to list. It is also an option.

  1. The From-To List

This file contains route components and connection data. You can manually build a From-To List or utilize a third-party schematic application to generate the electrical connection data. It is an optional feature as well.

  1. The main assembly contains the components that will be attached (such as instruments, motors, and power supplies). Include any extra features required to indicate the cable’s course, such as obstructions that you can avoid. Save the assembly after positioning the fixed components using mates, dimensions, or relations to a layout drawing. You can also establish a cable route subassembly in an empty main assembly.

You must choose one of the route options listed below:

  1. Routes automatically when flanges or connectors are dropped. When you place a routing component (such as a flange or tube fitting) into an assembly, it creates a new route subassembly and begins a new route. The flange or fitting is incorporated into the new route subassembly. It includes the flange or fitting as a component of the main assembly is permissible. When this option is enabled, you can disable the automatic production of stubs when you Alt + drag connections or fittings into the graphics area.
  2. Automatically route clips when they are dropped. A drag-and-drop clip is inserted into a route and generates a spline from the current route end. It’s OK to use clips as key assembly components.

Electrical routing gives you out-of-the-box functionality and a more in-depth workflow. Follow along to learn some basics on how to do electrical routing in SolidWorks using a simplified PCB assembly in an enclosure as an example.

Step 1: You need to turn on the Routing add-in in order to use Routing. Click Tools > Add-Ins from the SolidWorks menu bar

Step 2: To use the out-of-the-box connectors and cables, you can go to the electrical tab and select “Start by dragging and dropping.” That opens up the design library in the task pane and navigates to the electrical subfolder. If you prefer, you can also browse directly to this folder in the design library and drag the connector into the assembly without using that command.

Step 3: You can see the three-pin female connector and drop it on the fan to see how it snaps to the connector on the fan. A mate reference in both of these parts causes that behaviour. The route properties open up, and you can change the route type and OD or leave it as default. 

Step 4: The auto-route dialogue opens up. This tool is beneficial in electrical routing. You can drag a second connector and drop it onto the PCB. Stubs on the connector’s ends will serve as places to start and the routes. You click on the endpoint of the fan connector.

There’s a clip in the assembly with an axis that you can route through, and then you finish by selecting the stub on the PCB connector.

Step 5: There are no electrical data in here until you edit the wires, so you can do that and select a blue wire. You can choose multiple wires, assign the data to the spline, and exit out of the route.

Step 6: You can see all the route components that are saved in the subassembly. You can access it in its window to create a drawing of it. You need to flatten the route, and once you do, you can make a drawing of it by clicking on these various options. This drawing is an excellent 2D representation of the harness.

Conclusion 

I hope you were able to learn the fundamentals of how to do electrical routing in SolidWorks and get started with it because it helps save time and rework costs while also assuring efficient product assembly and serviceability.