SOLIDWORKS Electrical – What are Permanent Components?

Setting project locations is optional, but can be useful when organizing components and defining a project structure that makes finding things easier and declutters the component tree. The process is simple yet powerful. Defining locations at the beginning of a project requires foreknowledge of all the locations that will be used, but don’t worry, it is possible to add and remove locations throughout the project as it is worked on. It is good to have locations defined at the beginning because this allows components to be assigned as they are created and placed within location outlines on drawings, saving the task of having to run back over drawing content and assigning locations later. To set locations go to the:

Project tab > Locations

Fig A.1

When in the locations menu it is possible to add a single new location or even create several locations at once. If an existing location is preselected, followed by the new location or create several locations buttons, then they will be added as sub locations to the location that was preselected.

Each location has properties that can be edited by right clicking the location and selecting properties or by simply double clicking the location. For this project, several sub locations have been added to the default location that is visible when opening the location manager. Each location has had its root mark removed, a number assigned and a description added, see the results of this in Fig A.1

Locations help tidy the component tree and make it easier to find content based on its real-world location. We can also define locations on the drawing by adding location outlines, these are helpful for the project engineer as well as anyone using the schematic to complete installations or repairs of components. Location outlines can be added by selecting the command and dragging a box or polyline around content on the scheme. Once a location outline is drawn, you will be prompted to choose a location from the select location dialogue, followed by an option to change the location of the component(s) enclosed within the outline. These options appear once the outline has been drawn Fig B.1. The end results are clearly shown in Fig B.2, access the location outline tool by going to:

Schematic tab > Location outline


I’ve repeated this process for all the areas on my schematic in Fig B.3. Content is now divided from the master location 1- Vehicle Frame to all the sub-locations that were selected. Furthermore, if each connector component is expanded all the associated schematic pins can be seen within the new locations Fig B.5.

Permanent Components

While we are here it might be worthwhile explaining that some components can be seen with an infinity loop symbol displayed next to them. This symbol represents the fact that a component is considered “permanent”, all this means is that even if there is no schematic / symbolic representation of the component on a drawing, it will remain in the component tree and in the BOM. This extends to the situation where all symbolic representations of the permanent component are deleted from the project. Right click components in the tree to toggle them between a permanent and non-permanent state.

Hopefully you will be inspired now to re-structure your existing and future SOLIDWORKS Electrical projects by using locations and location outlines! Permanent components are also handy, now you know what that weird figure of 8 loop symbol means!

Lewis Harvey is a Certified SOLIDWORKS Expert  and Applications Engineer at TMS CADCentre, a SOLIDWORKS Value Added Reseller in Scotland.  You can read more from Lewis on the TMS CADCentre blog

TMS CADCentre is a SOLIDWORKS Reseller based in Scotland providing CAD Design Software, analysis software & product data management software. Founded in 1981, TMS CADCentre is the only UK SOLIDWORKS Reseller based and funded within Scotland and have been providing SOLIDWORKS software, training and support since 1996 when the product was first launched in the UK.