Creating Locations in SOLIDWORKS Electrical
SolidProfessor - Sam Sanchez | August 15, 2016 | Comment
Anytime you begin a new project in SOLIDWORKS Electrical, regardless of what template you use, it will have at least one location, which you can see by switching over to the “Components” tab in the side panel.
In the tutorial video above, we’ll learn how to create new locations and sub-locations within those.
In case you would like to modify an existing location, such as changing its name, just as with most other items in SOLIDWORKS Electrical like symbols, components or wires, you can bring up its properties card by right clicking on it and selecting properties.
We’ll change the description to “Cabinet 1” and click OK to update the name.
Let’s start by adding a couple of other cabinet locations. To do this, we will go to the “Project” tab on the ribbon to find the “Locations” button, which if we click it, will bring up the locations manager. This is where you can add new locations and adjust their properties.
I mentioned that I wanted to start by creating a couple of other cabinet locations, and will come back and add a couple of sub-locations later. The reason I point this out, is that you have to be a bit careful with what you have highlighted in the tree before selecting either of the buttons to add new locations.
If I have the cabinet 1 location highlighted when I press the button, it will add sub-locations which are a child of that location. TO add another independent location at the same level as cabinet 1, we want to make sure we have the top level of the project highlighted before we click on anything.
We’ll click the “New Location” button and here we can enter the properties for the new location. In the description field, we’ll type in “cabinet 2”.
Each location that you have in the project will have a unique mark, which by default has a root of “L”. You can of course change this, but we’ll leave it at its default for now.
We’ll repeat the process and go ahead and create a new location at the top level for cabinet 3.
At this point, we’ll go ahead and create a couple of sub-locations that will go inside the cabinet 1 location. We’ll switch back to the Project Tab and click Locations. This time, we’ll highlight cabinet 1, and click “New Location.” For the description, let’s enter “Back Panel.”
One thing I would like to point out here is the mark. Since this is a new sub-location below another location, notice the software defaults to use L1 as the mark for this.
This can sometimes be a point of confusion and can sometimes make this specific sub-location difficult to identify since it carries the same naming scheme as the parent location. So, if you are planning to use sub-locations, this can be another good reason to change the naming scheme for your location marks.
We’ll change the root of this mark to “BP” for back panel and create one more sub-location under cabinet 1 and for the description I’ll type in “Door” and change the mark root to “DR” and click OK.
Here we can see this is starting to create a bit of structure to organize things later. If we click on the cabinet 1 location, we can see it listed along with the children locations on the right. If we click the top level project, we can see all of the locations in the project listed, along with any master locations to which they belong.
At this point, let’s take a look at the other option here which allows you to create several new locations at once.
This time we’ll create a couple of sub-locations for Cabinet 2 and create them in a single step. I’ll highlight it and click the “Create Several Locations” button.
Here I can type in the number of locations I would like to add – two in this case.
When I click OK, the locations are added. But, it didn’t give me an opportunity to rename the marks, or add a description.
This is easy enough to update though, by highlighting one of them, and clicking properties.
I’ll call one “Back Panel 2” and for the mark I’ll use BP as the root and change the number to 2, to make it unique from the name in the other location. We can update the properties of the other location, call it “Door 2,” with a mark root of DR and number of 2.
So, we updated some of the mark names and numbers, which in my opinion makes various locations easier to decipher later.
If we click on cabinet 3 and create several locations, 3 in this case, we can see that for each sub-location the software starts the default naming scheme of L1, L2, and L3, which actually match the same names as the top level locations we started with.
If you have projects that will utilize sub-locations like we have here, my recommendation is to at least change the mark prefix for the top level locations, and from there you can leave the L1, L2 and L3 naming scheme for sub-locations or you can rename them as you go as well if you find that to be more clear.
In case you make any mistakes, or later realize that something should move to a different location, you can make adjustments by clicking and dragging sub-locations right from within the Locations manager.
Or, you can get rid of locations by selecting them and clicking Delete.
I would like to quickly point out that you can create new locations directly from the components tab in the side panel by right clicking, and selecting New location.
You can also delete locations by highlighting them, and pressing delete on the keyboard, but it’s worth mentioned that you cannot move locations, or create multiple locations from here like you can do in the locations manager.
You can learn more about SOLIDWORKS Electrical and the new capabilities in SOLIDWORKS 2016 by signing up for a free membership.
About the Author
Sam Sanchez is an Applications Engineer with SolidProfessor and a CSWP. Sanchez is an alumni of UC San Diego, and in her free time enjoys 3D printing and hanging out with her dog Ruby. You can see more training videos on a wide range of CAD, CAM & BIM topics at www.solidprofessor.com.
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