Creating Custom Rails and Ducts in SOLIDWORKS Electrical

Creating Custom Rails and Ducts in SOLIDWORKS Electrical

We do not have only one size of rail or duct, so when we use the default rail/duct in SOLIDWORKS Electrical, it doesn’t always match what we’re looking for. However Change Length of “Rail” or “Duct” is a very useful tool, that doesn’t seem to exactly cooperate with any rail/duct shaped part file. Additionally Insert as horizontal/vertical rail/duct is a useful feature in SOLIDWORKS Electrical that saves us an extra mate to be added in.

We’d like to have different rail/duct files that properly represent the size and appearance of what we’re actually going to be using. We’d also like to be able to use Change Length… to be able to easily change the length without messing up other areas where this rail/duct is used. Sadly the Insert as horizontal/vertical... feature is presently not able to be used on any other files besides the default rail/duct. This blog will cover creating such a rail/duct.

If you, like me, would like for the Insert as horizontal/vertical… features to work with our custom rails/ducts, here is how to enter Enhancement Requests:

Proper Names

  • For our custom rail/duct(s) to work, we must make sure that the proper names are applied in their proper locations. The picture below shows the name of all but the dimension that is needed.
  • Extrude must be named: EW_EXTRUDE (required for Change Length… to work)
  • Configuration must be named: EW_CONFIG (required for Change Length… to work)
  • MateReferences must be named: trewback and trewrail35 (required for Mate References to work in conjunction with Electrical Parts)

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  • Dimension of the Extrude Distance must be named: EW_DEPTH (required for Change Length… to work)

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Mate References

To make it easy for Electrical Parts to be assembled, we’d likely wish to add the Mate References that match up with those parts. These Mate References are set up as shown below.

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3D Model                     

Assigning a 3D part to your Manufacturer Part is always a good idea, it will save you a lot of browsing down the line. It works just as well for rails and ducts.

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However, the Insert as… feature doesn’t work for these custom rails and ducts, so you’ll have to add that extra mate into your assembly to get your rail/duct in the correct orientation. This, in my opinion, is a small sacrifice to make for the ability to use Change Length… and have the proper size and appearance of our model.

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After getting all of the naming correct and bringing in the model, we can use the Change Length of “Rail” or “Duct just like with the default ones. Click the feature > Click the part > type in the number > OK!

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*Quack*

August 18, 2015
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