One of the first things I often talk about at the beginning of training classes is increasing the speed of your design while maintaining a level of consistency. In SOLIDWORKS Schematic there are several ways to accomplish that. Many have found more ways, but I am going to hit my favorite three, project templates, project macros, and macros.
As we create content and build up projects in our day to day work, we have been creating a “design library” of content that we are able to reuse. The work done in these projects can be turned into building blocks for later projects and pages. This is where we can gain that speed but hold a level of accuracy and consistency that we might not have had before. You might have your company standard power distribution or reversing motor circuits designed in past projects that are used over and over. That content is ideally a macro, whether it is a page or circuit macro depends on how much or little is carried over from past design.
We start projects with a template. Having a template carry the setup for the project is half the battle if not more. Wire styles, page numbering, component numbering, unit system and title blocks used are just a small part of that initial project launch. Not only does the template set up the “style” of the project, but it could also carry reports and organization of the project. A couple of BOM pages, wire lists, or folders that are always needed can be sitting there waiting for your design to populate its pages.
Now that we have project templates to choose from, we can add to those projects with page macros and circuit macros. If there is content to your project that is large and takes up most of a design page, that content should be in a page macro. It does not have to be a completed page.
The data reuse and speed that I am suggesting is all controlled by your own design content. If you could take a project, start it with 30-40% of the pages started or completed. Then add in several page macros that round out the design and set the stage for circuit macros to be added in to fill the gaps. That type of workflow might encompass the great majority of a project that has given the user a huge time boost to finish off the final details. What might have been weeks or days, could steamroll into days or hours!
CATI Electrical Product Manager
Computer Aided Technology, LLC