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What’s New in SolidWorks 2016: Chapter 6 – CircuitWorks

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CircuitWorks: For when your circuits have to work.


Honorable Mentions

Locating CircuitWorks Components

It’s now easier to locate specific CircuitWorks components, both in the CircuitWorks feature tree and in the CircuitWorks Component Library. There are two ways to search for CircuitWorks components.

Type into the Search field, located at the top of the feature tree in CircuitWorks (similar to the search filter in SolidWorks), or above the Preview image in the Component Library. The feature tree or component library are filtered to only display parts that match your search terms.

Activate the Find dialog by pressing Ctrl+F. CircuitWorks will display a list of components that match your search terms as you type.

Building SolidWorks Models from ECAD Files in Task Scheduler

CircuitWorks is now integrated into the SolidWorks Task scheduler. You can schedule a task to build multiple ECAD files as SolidWorks solid models while the system is idle. You can choose when the task is run, and where the completed SolidWorks files are saved.

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Winner

Creating Copper Traces as Decals

Creating copper surface traces as sketches, split lines, or other physical geometry can take up a lot of computing power. Now, in SolidWorks 2016, you can choose to represent copper traces as a bitmap decal when importing PCB models into SolidWorks. You can save the images as bitmap files in the CircuitWorks Trace Decals folder or internally to the board file. You can also choose whether to generate trace images for all layer of a PCB, or just the exposed (top and bottom) layers.

To use trace decals, first choose whether you want to see traces from all layers, or just exterior layers when the model is built in SolidWorks. You can find this setting under the SolidWorks Import tab of CircuitWorks Options.


Then, when you’re ready to import the board file into SolidWorks, check the “Use trace decals instead of geometry” box in the window that appears after clicking Build Model. Here, you can also choose whether to save the bitmaps as part of the new SolidWorks board part file.


Because the traces are represented as bitmaps, they are not as accurate as a geometry representation, but this option is still very useful for getting the point across while saving computing power and file size.


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