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Exporting SOLIDWORKS Models to CircuitWorks

You can export SOLIDWORKS models to CircuitWorks to take advantage of specialized printed circuit board functionality. You can export models that originated in CircuitWorks or files that were modeled manually in SOLIDWORKS. Once in CircuitWorks, you can save the model as IDF for use by an ECAD system.

Before exporting from SOLIDWORKS to CircuitWorks, review the export rules.

The names, sizes, shapes, and orientations of the components let CircuitWorks determine the physical size and shape of the assembly. CircuitWorks also uses any reference designators, names, or part numbers embedded in the SOLIDWORKS assembly.

To export a SOLIDWORKS model to CircuitWorks:

  1. From SOLIDWORKS, click Export to CircuitWorks (CircuitWorks toolbar) or CircuitWorks > Export to CircuitWorks .
    You can also export a SOLIDWORKS model by clicking Import Model (Tools toolbar) in CircuitWorks.
  2. If the model was not built by CircuitWorks:
    1. In the graphics area, select the top face of the board component.

      You must select a planar face. Your selection identifies the board component and defines the coordinate system CircuitWorks uses to export the assembly.

      By default, CircuitWorks prompts you only the first time you export each assembly. CircuitWorks uses your selection if you export the assembly again.

      If you export with the wrong face selected, set the Selection of top face of board option to Prompt each time (see CircuitWorks Options - SOLIDWORKS Export), and then export the assembly again and select Don't prompt me for known assemblies.
    2. In the Select Orientation dialog box, click Continue.
  3. If any components lack appropriately named sketches and you have silhouette edge recognition enabled with prompting, click Yes or No at each prompt.

    CircuitWorks can use silhouette edges to determine component shape. For details, see Export Rules. To configure silhouette edge recognition, see CircuitWorks Options - SOLIDWORKS Export.

CircuitWorks scans the assembly for ECAD data. When scanning is complete, CircuitWorks displays the results.

If the assembly does not look as expected in the CircuitWorks preview image and tree, verify that you used the correct CircuitWorks feature naming rules, especially if the assembly was not originally modeled by CircuitWorks. If the geometry is distorted, you probably selected the wrong face; close the CircuitWorks application and export from SOLIDWORKS again.

Once in CircuitWorks, use the filtering and properties tools to make any changes required. You can then save to IDF for use by your ECAD system.

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