How to Integrate Wire Harness Design in Your SOLIDWORKS Assemblies

Wire Harness Design in Your SOLIDWORKS Assemblies

How often do you wait until you have a physical prototype in hand to start your wire harness design? Do you see revisions to your mechanical assemblies that force changes to your wire harnesses? Have you seen delays to product launches due to waiting for your wire harnesses to be designed and built? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you might want to start integrating your wire harness design into your SOLIDWORKS assemblies. This can be done in several ways.

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SOLIDWORKS Premium Electrical Routing

The routing tools that are part of SOLIDWORKS Premium are a great starting point if you only need to integrate a few wire harnessing elements into your SOLIDWORKS assemblies. It gives you the ability to design the harness on the fly by dragging and dropping the connectors from your design library, then define the routes with 3D sketches. The size of the harness adjusts as you add or remove wires from the harness. Then, utilizing SOLIDWORKS Drawings, you can detail out the flattened state of the harness. The big drawback with SOLIDWORKS Routing is the need to build your library up with all the connectors, wires and cables.

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SOLIDWORKS Premium Electrical Routing

SOLIDWORKS Electrical

Another option for integrating your wire harnesses into your SOLIDWORKS assemblies is to utilize the SOLIDWORKS Electrical suite, consisting of SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematic Professional and SOLIDWORKS Electrical 3D. The advantage of SOLIDWORKS Electrical is that it will automate 80 percent of the work you will do using SOLIDWORKS Routing. This is done by taking the design requirements from the Schematic. Then, Electrical 3D will import the information needed directly from the Schematic, eliminating the need to build up a cable and wire library for routing. The connectors that are used are listed on the Electrical Manager next to the design tree, eliminating the need to search the Design Library for parts. The one drawback with this solution is the limit to the size and shape of the harness, as you increase the number of wires and cables in the harness and the number of branches, the flattening of the harness can become unpredictable.

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SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematic

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SOLIDWORKS Electrical 3D

Enterprise Harness

Even with the strengths of both SOLIDWORKS Routing and SOLIDWORKS Electrical, they both have shortcomings. This is why we added our last harness design offering, Enterprise Harness. Enterprise Harness from Landmark Technologies is a SOLIDWORKS partner product that works with your SOLIDWORKS assemblies. Enterprise Harness allows you to design your harness in a lightweight environment that is not restricted by the strict rules of SOLIDWORKS Routing.

You can utilize a from-to list generated from a variety of tools, though we recommend SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematic Professional because of its powerful backend database. Enterprise Harness is a much more robust tool for larger harnesses, with the ability to handle a larger number of wires and branches with ease. Enterprise Layout is the drawing and detailing tool with robust Flattening ability helping eliminate excess work. Your completed 3D harness shape can be exported back to your SOLIDWORKS assembly with a single push of a button.

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Enterprise Harness

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Enterprise Layout

No matter your design requirements we have a solution to help speed up your wire harness design integration into your mechanical assemblies. Visit our website to explore SOLIDWORKS Electrical features, as well as other ECAD options we have offer. If you have any questions, contact us at Hawk Ridge Systems. Thanks for reading!

February 26, 2021
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