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SOLIDWORKS PCB - Component Creation

Monday June 10, 2019 at 10:59am
Within SOLIDWORKS PCB, you can access components from online sources and obtained libraries, but you can also create your own components for use within designs. This consists of a number of elements, Schematic Symbol(s), Footprint, 3D Model, Simulation Model and Component definition. In SWPCB, the Schematic is the ‘driver’ of the design and components are defined in the Schematic component, which subsequently defines the footprint etc. for the PCB side. 

Symbol creation:

A symbol for the schematic is created in its own library from Project > Libraries > Add New SCH Library. The symbol is formed using functionality from the Home > Place ribbon. Pre-defined symbol forms can be used from Home > Templates > Symbol and IEEE Symbols from Home > Place IEEE Symbols. The symbol will contain shapes, pins, text and symbol marks. Here is a ‘non-descript’ four pin symbol for example purposes:

Footprint creation:

A footprint for the PCB is created in its own library from Project > Libraries > Add New PCB Library. The footprint is formed using functionality from the Home > Place ribbon. The footprint will contain shapes, pads and text, plus other items. The footprint may also carry a height. Here is a ‘non-descript’ four pin footprint for example purposes:

Component creation:

A component is created around a symbol for the schematic. Using the example above, on opening its Component Properties, we see the properties, parameters and models for the component:

In the example component, the following detail is used for these purposes:

·         Default Designator: Logical (Reference) designator such as R, C, IC etc.

·         Default Comment: Meaningful comment such as ‘0402 Resistor’ or its manufacturers part number

·         Description: Detailed description that appears in reports etc.

·         Type: Standard component or other available types such as ‘mechanical’

·         Library Link: Component name within the library

·         Parameters: List of applied parameters for other data, such as MRP Number

·         Models: Define Footprint, 3D model and Simulation model Through the ‘Edit Pins…’ button, the     symbol pins and footprint pads are mapped together and defined by ‘Type’ etc:

Multi-gate devices:

Using a XC9536-5CS48C from a Xilinx library as an example, this device has seven individual symbols (A to G) representing its schematic representation:

The Properties for Gate A, shows that it is Part 1 of 7:

Here are the mapped Pins, showing pin D6 (I/O) of Gate A above (the rows with white backgrounds show the current selected gate pins) and their display states:

Footprint pad numbering can be letter/number form for PLCC type devices.

Pin/Differential Pair/Part Swapping:

Swapping can occur between pins, pairs and parts when in the PCB, if defined within a component:

3D Models:

3D SOLIDWORKS Models are attached and physically positioned on to the footprint using available functions. Attached models can appear both in the 3D view in SWPCB and in the corresponding assembly of the board in SW.

Within a design project, libraries are referenced so that the components can be added. New symbol libraries can be added through the Libraries Panel, Libraries… button:

The libraries can be added directly to the current project, where their order dictates their influence. Installed libraries list those that are available to the workspace i.e. available to the project from the system level, thus available to all projects. Added Part (Component) in the schematic.

Integrated Libraries:

The independent symbol and footprint libraries may be combined into an Integrated Library (.intlib), which ensures ALL the relevant data moves together, including 3D models etc. This process is achieved by creating a Library Package project from File > New Integrated Library. Once created, save the project and add the schematic and footprint libraries to it. The integrated library is then created by compiling from right-mouse-button on the project in the Projects Panel and Compile Integrated Library **.LibPkg, which provides different views onto the Libraries panel.

Ensure multiple libraries, which includes the same devices, are not available to the project. Or ensure their order of influence is correct.

Component Supplier Links:

Supplier Links can be added to components, which provides access to ‘live’ manufacturer’s component data, including price, availability etc. Supplier links can be added to Parts (components) in a design or in a library.


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