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Importing a From-To List to Create an Electrical Route Assembly

With a from-to list, you can import both the connection data and the component data into a new or existing route sub-assembly. Alternatively, you can import only the connection data (no component data) or only component data (no connection data). See From-To list for details on how to create a from-to list.

Alternatively, you can import net lists from several 3rd-party electrical schematic packages to drive the creation of an electrical route in SolidWorks. You can import the data by clicking Start By From/To (Electrical toolbar) or by dragging the net list into an assembly. Supported packages include AUCOTEC, AutoCAD Electrical, E3, IGE+XAO, Mentor (VeSys), and QC Pro.

See General Procedure for Electrical Cables for preparations needed before importing the data and starting the route.

To import from-to data:

  1. Click Start by From/To (Electrical toolbar) or Routing, Electrical, Start by From/To.

  1. Set options in the Import Electrical Data PropertyManager.

  1. Click .

A route sub-assembly is created. A dialog box appears and asks if you want to place components into the assembly now or later.

  1. Do one of the following:

    • To place components now, click Yes.

    • To place components later, click No. Then later, when you want to insert the components, click Insert Components (Assembly toolbar) or Insert, Component, Existing Part/Assembly.

The Insert Component PropertyManager appears. The components defined in the from-to list appear under Insert route connectors, with the first component selected and ready to be placed.

If you already placed connectors in the top-level assembly, the software detects them and does not insert duplicate connectors into the route sub-assembly. See Placement of Electrical Connectors.

  1. Click in the graphics area to place the first component.

    The next component is automatically selected, and so on until all the components have been placed. After the last component is placed, the Route Properties PropertyManager appears.

  1. Set options in the Route Properties PropertyManager.

  2. Click .

The following happens:

    • A 3D sketch opens in a new route sub-assembly.

    • The new route subassembly is created, and appears in the FeatureManager design tree as [Harness<n>-<assembly_name>] .

    • For each connector, a short line is added to the sketch (from the connector's connection point (CPoint) outward) and a length of cable is generated along the line.

    • The Auto Route PropertyManager appears.

If you clear Save route assembly externally in Routing Options, the new route subassembly is created as a virtual component.

To create the route:

  1. Sketch the path between components using any combination of the following methods:

    • Use Auto Route to:

      • Display guidelines that show the connections that need to be bundled together, manipulate those guidelines, and convert them into routes.

      • Generate splines.

    • Sketch lines, splines, and fillets using 3D sketch tools.

    • Use cable clips or other routing hardware to generate splines.

  1. To assign electrical attributes to the route segments, click Edit Wires (Electrical toolbar) or Routing, Electrical, Edit Wires.

    The Edit Wires PropertyManager appears, and displays the cable/wire data and connection data from the from-to list. You do not need to edit the data; however, you must perform the Edit Wires command for the data to become associated with the route.

  2. Click .

  3. Close the 3D sketch.

The following appear in the FeatureManager design tree of the route sub-assembly:

  • Components folder containing the connector and clip parts you placed in the route.

  • Route Parts folder containing the cable that was created as a virtual component when you exited the sketch.

  • Route feature containing the 3D sketch that defines the path of the cable. The 3D sketch is related parametrically to the components in the route sub-assembly. If you move a component, the cable updates automatically.

Click Edit Route (Electrical toolbar) to edit an existing electrical route.

If you make changes to the from-to list after you exit the route, a warning appears the next time you edit the route. Click Re-Import From/To (Electrical toolbar) to update the route with the new from-to data.

 



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