SOLIDWORKS Electrical Professional vs SOLIDWORKS Routing

So, you’ve heard about SOLIDWORKS Electrical; maybe you’ve viewed a few posts online, watched a youtube video or two, and maybe even attended a TPM event on Electrical….. Yet, here you sit, still beating your head on your desk trying to get a cable to route through a tie wrap!

You’re not alone; many companies are utilizing the routing functionality to achieve very complex paths in their assembly. It is a good tool to represent this information, but still, creating 3D splines in space has its challenges.

In this epic battle, we compare routing functionality in both arena. Hopefully this will help you decide what “path” to take!

SOLIDWORKS Routing

  • In SOLIDWORKS Routing, the fundamental information required to run wires and cables is built into the 3D model of the connector, or mechanism that will receive power. CP’s (Control Points), are generated by the user to identify the pins and the associated callouts.
  • We then place these components in our assembly using traditional mates.
  • SOLIDWORKS Routing then provides us the tools to route the cables and wires between the components in a manor advantageous to our design.
  • With SOLIDWORKS Routing, we are in control of the route itself. You specify the distance from a face your wires should be, you identify the tie wraps locations and ensure the route passes through correctly. YOU generate the route.

SOLIDWORKS Electrical Professional

First and foremost, let’s make sure you understand what Electrical Professional refers to.

SOLIDWORKS Electrical Professional has two components:

  • Electrical 2D Schematic
    • Handles 2D schematics and point to point documentation

 

  • Electrical 3D
    • Routes harnesses, wires, and cables in 3D space from component to component.
    • Utilizes a seat of SOLIDWORKS.
    • Requires SQL express or better. (SQL Express is included with the software)

Understand that with SOLIDWORKS Electrical, our 3D routes are looking at the schematic for its information. So inherently, what is documented on the schematic…becomes a route. A change to the schematic updates the route in 3D.

Also, when we route with Electrical, we have the capability to add rules and segregate routes based on their function, gauge, or intention in the design. The route is truly rules based. Wires will automatically find the nearest conduit, or desired path and the internal algorithm then looks at the segregation information to further refine the routed path.

Having made learning Electrical a priority, I can now say that personally, I would use SOLDIWORKS Electrical to perform any required routing in SOLDIWORKS. Whether it be electrical, pneumatic, or hydraulic…this software gets the job done without the typical headaches associated with traditional routing. For more information, visit our website.


By: Rob Stoklosa • SOLIDWORKS Application Engineer • TPM

TPM
TPM, Inc. is the Carolina’s largest 3D CAD provider and a leading technology company proud of its reputation of providing cutting-edge solutions to the engineering and design community for the past 40 years. Founded in 1973, TPM Inc. serves more than 3,000 customers across the Southeast each year. Inspired by our founder, Jerry Cooper, we are committed to offering our clients the best: 3D Design Software, 3D Printing and Scanning Options, Data and Document Management Solutions, Large-Format Graphics, Wide-Format Plotters and Office Equipment, and Reprographics.
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  • Ryan

    I’m curious as to why a you need to have SQL Express as requirement for a wire routing program. What is the purpose of SQL Express and how would you version control your harness if it is in SQL Express?

    • Paul Adams

      hi ryan, all the components, connections, wires, etc are logically stored in database tables, and through SQL, they are able to cross reference each other. Every pin knows its associated pin, for example. So if you change the schematic, the tables update and vice versa, so changes flow through the entire design eliminating a whole lot of manual updating.