What’s New in SolidWorks 2015 – Chapter 6: CircuitWorks
CircuitWorks is the messenger between the warring armies of mechanical and electrical engineers. It allows 3D SolidWorks files of PCB assemblies to become 2D board layouts and wiring diagrams, readable by a wide variety of electrical software. CircuitWorks itself is not a tool for creating much of anything, but it is a simple translator and previewer of PCB designs.
Selecting Entities in the CircuitWorks Preview
Now, when you select an entry in the CircuitWorks preview window, the software highlights the item in the CircuitWorks tree, and displays the object’s Component Instance Properties (if the property window is shown). You can also select multiple components by holding Ctrl, or box-selecting. To auto-scroll to the selected object in the CircuitWorks tree, right-click in the graphics area and click Zoom to Selection.
Update of Existing CircuitWorks Boards
CircuitWorks now evaluates changes you make to boards and determines whether to create a new Printed Circuit Board, or update the existing PCB. CircuitWorks will update the existing board if you change the only following features:
- Board Outlines: If you change the shape of the board outline or the number of cut-outs, CircuitWorks replaces the sketch elements within the board_outline sketch. Any mates that reference the top or bottom board faces remain unaffected.
- Plated and Non-Plated Holes: If you change the number of holes in your board model (by changing a “PTH” or “NPTH” sketch), CircuitWorks updates the feature accordingly. If all plated or non-plated holes are eliminated, CircuitWorks removes the feature from the model, and if you add holes to a model which had none, CircuitWorks creates a new hole feature.
- Keep-in, Keep-out, and Outlines: Modified keep-in/keep-out areas are updated when exporting through CircuitWorks.
Additionally, when you change traces, vias, or other copper features, a message lets you choose to have CircuitWorks rebuild the SolidWorks part representing the board by creating a new part file with a new part name, or overwrite the existing model instead.