In part 1 of this series, we discussed the Wire, Component, and 3D model. Now, let’s discuss the Route itself and all the parameters and parts required for it’s successful functionality. These areas are just as important as the Wire, Component, and 3D model. Microsoft SQL uses all these areas to then collaborate between the environments to make the route.
For more information on these crucial items and to see the software in action, click here to download the on-demand webinar.
One thing that SOLIDWORKS Electrical 3D does differently than SOLIDWORKS Routing is a 3D sketch on the assembly. This sketch is utilized as a pathway for the routes to follow. One of the keys to this path is that it must be made of LINES. There can be no splines at this time. This sketch can be made using the 3D sketch tool of SOLIDWORKS or it can be made using the Create Sketch tool through the SOLIDWORKS Electrical 3D tab.
If you are not well practiced in sketching on a 3D model, this can become a bit tricky. I do have a suggestion! Any 3D modeled part that you will be using in your assembly can have a 3D sketch path created so that you will be able to easily start or connect your models quickly! Just follow these few steps to achieve adding a route path to your model:
- Open your part
- Create a 3D sketch on your part (it should match the direction that you would like the wire/cable to follow)
- Make sure to convert the sketch to an EWPATH using the Convert Sketch option under the SOLIDWORKS Electrical 3D tab.
- Save and Close your part.
Here is what the part should look like once it is completed.
Once the models are placed into your assembly, using the 3D Sketch tool on your assembly, you can then easily pick the end points of your model path sketches to connect them.
Keep in mind that too sharp of an angle on your sketch will possibly cause an error due to the bend radius of the cable or wire that you will be having follow this route. Consider making a set of segments to add a slight curve rather than using 90-degree angles to connect your lines.
Make sure that after you have created the 3D sketch on your assembly that you convert it with the SOLIDWORKS Electrical 3D tool. This will then change the naming convention of the sketch into EW_Path. When using the SOLIDWORKS Electrical 3D software to route, the assembly needs to have this named sketch to route the wires, harnesses and cables along a specific profile.
The schematics are drawn. The components are placed. The path is set.
It is now time to route. For our discussion, we will Route Wires. By selecting the icon in the SOLIDWORKS Electrical 3D tab, the dialog window for the route parameters will be appear.
When creating routing paths – you do not need to have all the segments connected, they can be segments that are on the assembly. The first routing parameters is the setting for a route to be able to jump from one segment to another. You may need to measure the distance between segments to find out what this parameter should be. Selecting the SOLIDWORKS Route will give you a real view, while the 3D Sketch will take a shorter amount of time but will only provide a sketch of your route and not a more realistic view. Also, the 3DSketch will not be able to be used for any further documentation.
The second parameter is for the connection points. This setting is the distance from the connection point to a routing path. Only if the distance is equal to or smaller than this setting, will the component be allowed to route. You may again need to measure the distance from the connection point to the nearest route to make sure that you will be able to have the route complete. This is one of the main reasons that I like to add a route to the actual component 3D model. This ensures that the distance is less critical.
There is one last thing to keep in mind – this is the bend radius of the wire. If a bend radius is too tight, you may only see a sketch for this area of the route. If you edit the route, you might then be able to adjust the route position, or you might try editing the EW_Path to accommodate for the bend radius.
At this point, you should be able to route your wires successfully. If you have issues, you may want to contact the DASI Customer Help Desk for further assistance.
I hope this information was informative for you. If you have any specific items that you would like to see in a webinar or blog – Please send your suggestion to Cheri@Dasi-Solutions.com.