As designs get more complex they often also involve more mechanical/electrical and electronic dependencies. This typically requires packaging all of the systems and controls more tightly together, while still maintaining enough space for installation and future servicing. In the past, many companies would focus on the mechanical design and leave the electrical design to others, even waiting until the point of production to plan out various interconnections. SOLIDWORKS 2016 now provides new functionality to help with all these tasks.
Auto-routing of Ducting Sections
SOLIDWORKS 2016 provides users with a new capability to auto-route rectangular sections for various purposes. This can be used to create rectangular (or square) ducting sections to support the needs of various industries and tasks;for example, the ability to section for HVAC sections in facilities, machinery, vehicles, etc. Other examples include the ability to create electrical ducting for running and protecting wiring in a machine, manufacturing cell, or other application.
The user can also create ducting runs from pre-existing duct segments, including elbows, transitions, tees, etc. A small initial library is provided. The user can now use the new auto-route functionality to create an initial, shortest path run in a design, and then adjust the initial path as needed. The auto-route UI will be familiar to users of SOLIDWORKS Routing who have been able to auto-route round sections for a long time. SOLIDWORKS Routing is included in SOLIDWORKS Premium.
Include Electrical Information in Electrical Ducting
Designers involved with electrical ducting design can now include both the geometry of the duct route (rectangular or circular) along with electrical connection information through the sections. Wires can be connected to the electrical duct sections, and then electrical connection information can be assigned to the duct segments, without burdening the geometry with sweeping the wires through the duct sections. This electrical connection assignment behavior is now the same as with electrical conduit in SOLIDWORKS Routing.
Flex Cables: Adding More Interconnection Options
Flex cables and flex circuits are becoming more important in modern product and control designs due to their versatility in connecting PCBs and items where movement is required between electrical devices. Common examples include connecting stacked PCBs, connecting PCBs to sensors, or using flex circuits in the general design of inkjet and 3D printers, where motion is involved between the print head and the fixed controls. To help support these technology trends, SOLIDWORKS 2016 enables the creation of point-to-point flex cables in the Routing product. Designers can use orthogonal or flexible routing methods to create either folded or twisted flex cable segments. Twist is very easy to control using the SOLIDWORKS triad manipulator. A basic library of flex cable connectors is provided to help the user get started with this new technology.
CircuitWorks®: Making it real…Add Traces to Your PCB
New enhancements to CircuitWorks help users add realism to their designs after importing them to SOLIDWORKS. Users can create decals in SOLIDWORKS to represent PCB tracks and other details to make the PCBs look realistic without overloading the model with additional model details. Imported PADS or ProStep EDMD data can be stored for later use, streamlining collaboration between mechanical and electronic design functions. CircuitWorks is also included in SOLIDWORKS Premium.
Originally posted in the SOLIDWORKS Blog by Eric Leafquist.