Written by: Marty Adams, Technical Support Engineer
Everyone wants to be more productive. If you already have an effective proven design, why not reuse it? In SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematic, macros make that easier. Of course, there are a few things you may want to adjust during the pasting process. With a little influence on the insertion options, you can reduce any time required re-assigning components.
As a simplified example; let’s say you have a project level macro, incorporating several parts and associated references, which you created from a previous solution, and that you would like to use on a regular basis. Perhaps a motor, circuit breaker, contacts, and terminals. The macro carries all of the object types, marks, etc… from the source project. However, our target project is using slightly different mapping for the terminals and terminal strips.
Let’s start with a new project into which we inserted four wires and four terminals. A terminal strip is automatically created with a default mark of TB1.
Next, we would like to add our motor circuit macro.
When we insert the macro into the project, the “Paste Special” dialog is opened. In the Paste Special dialog, you can customize the way in which SOLIDWORKS Electrical creates the new parts. Of note are the action options.
There are two action options for the terminal strip and terminals. “Keep existing mark” and Create new mark”.
- If you simply click through the Paste Special dialog with the “Keep existing mark” option, you will have the macro’s terminals and strip as separate, on MTB5, from the existing terminal strip, TB1.
- If you change it to the “Create new mark” option, the terminal strip will be marked as MTB1 since it had a root mark of MTB. We can change this after the macro is inserted, but it is easier to do this from the Paste Special dialog.
We may also want to alter some of the other options in the Paste Special dialog, but here we will focus on the terminal strip.
When the macro is inserted and the Paste Special dialog appears, select the “Create new mark” option as the action for the terminal strip and terminals. Proceed with the next button or jump to the terminal strip selection.
We will select the incoming terminal strip, MTB5, and then click the associate button. Now let’s select the existing terminal strip TB1.
Our result now has the incoming terminal strip merged with the existing terminal strip and the additional terminals added to it.
In our project, we can see the terminal strip and the additional terminals.
Of course, this is a very simplified example. Performing the association after inserting would not be too big of a task. A few extra steps. But in cases of increased complexity and the need to change other things such as location, function, or other objects, it is much easier to get this done in one location.
By taking a few moments while inserting the macro, and setting the correct options, using macros can be even bigger time saver.