Top 10 SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2021 Enhancements

Dassault Systèmes has launched SOLIDWORKS® 2021, the latest release of its portfolio of 3D design and manufacturing applications.

The SOLIDWORKS Design portfolio contains both mechanical and electrical products.  SOLIDWORKS Electrical products include Schematic and Electrical 3D products, which together enable an integrated electrical and mechanical design environment within SOLIDWORKS.

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SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematic products help electrical engineers and designers with the logical design of electrical and control systems for equipment in almost all industries. Electrical 3D is typically used by mechanical engineers when designing electrical and electronics packaging, running cables, wires and harnessing, and developing documentation for manufacturing.

Uniting the two disciplines on the same database enables real-time coordination between electrical and mechanical engineers.

A multitude of improvements to SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2021 products will benefit all users of Electrical Schematic and Electrical 3D products. The enhancements target specific areas in addition to the entire Schematic-to-3D electrical design workflows.

Schematic and 2D Improvements

Greater control of wire cable libraries improves the setup and preparation for work on new designs. Information included here is available throughout the entire electrical development process from design to manufacturing.

The new Electrical Terminal-type Manager now enables designers to determine which electrical terminals to use in a particular design. Designers can assign a particular terminal type for each terminal strip to ensure that each wire is properly connected. Wires that do not require end terminals (i.e., pigtails) can now be handled and fully documented in a project.

Electrical designers have long used Microsoft Excel® in conjunction with SOLIDWORKS Electrical as a general planning tool to facilitate the early design process, before creating electrical schematics in SOLIDWORKS Electrical. SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2021 can now deliver an Excel add-in with templates for streamlined organization of data ready to import into SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematic.

Electrical design projects now benefit from a new capability to archive electrical projects design data. This new archiver enables manual backup as needed, or the process can be scheduled in advance using Windows Task Scheduler.

Enhancements for Electrical 3D Design
3D electrical route modeling options are expanded in SOLIDWORKS Electrical 3D with the addition of splines to create guide paths for auto routing wires in 3D. Users can now employ splines, lines, arcs, or converted curves to create route path sketches for electrical route paths in their products and equipment. Route path sketches provide greater flexibility in completing an overall 3D model of a product or equipment.

Most electrical wire, cable, and harness routes require mounting at regular intervals inside a product. With SOLIDWORKS Electrical 3D, now clips, mounts and other hardware used to secure these routes can contain multiple segments arranged inside the mounting hardware. Multiple segments enable arrangement of wires, cables, and harness segments in various configurations inside a clip without the need of multiple guide axis. This enhancement improves productivity where greater positional control of wires is required.

SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2021 improves the overall workflow from schematic to 3D to manufacturing documentation. Greater control over creating libraries for coverings, terminals, interconnections, and accessories enables access to metadata from the schematic all the way to connector tables in cable/harness drawings.

Changes to engineering units in the Routing Library Manager (RLM) speed updates and design changes during the development process. Overall, these improvements help speed documentation control and design changes, and they improve productivity.

Enhancement to Electrical Manufacturing Documentation

Several enhancements further support the creation of electrical manufacturing documentation.
Harness designers who create form-board (harness-board) drawings will benefit from enhancements in SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2021, including greater control of the harness flattening process, which now enables a combination of flattened portions along with 3D-representations.

Users who generate PDFs of their electrical projects in SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematic will benefit from improvements to the PDF creation process. Changes in Electrical Schematic 2021 enable users to create PDFs up to nine times faster than earlier versions, depending on project size.

Are you interested in helping shape future versions of the SOLIDWORKS Electrical product? If so, please provide your feedback as part of our electric design survey. If you have additional questions or would like to receive a quote, please contact your local reseller.


Eric Leafquist

Eric Leafquist

Eric Leafquist is a Senior Product Manager at SOLIDWORKS involved with electrical and routed systems, along with other areas of the product. Prior to joining SOLIDWORKS, he held various positions in electro-mechanical product design and engineering in the chemical process industry. In his free time, he enjoys cycling on his Trek road bike (designed with SOLIDWORKS) for cancer research fundraising events.