SOLIDWORKS, Electrical Design

When Do I Need SOLIDWORKS Design Rule Check?

By Gene Han on November 21, 2020

When it comes to electrical design, one could assume that there are going to be inconsistencies and design errors, especially when it comes to larger projects with multiple designers involved. Fixing these mistakes before your project reaches the production stage will help reduce design time and cost, and luckily there is a tool to help locate these issues!

What is Design Rule Check? 

SOLIDWORKS Electrical has a feature called Design Rule Check (DRC) that will scan your project for flaws and mistakes. Utilizing the DRC gives you the ability to check your electrical projects for a myriad of inaccuracies and incomplete design errors, alerting you to both what the problem is and where it is in the project. 

How to use Design Rule Check? 

To get access to the DRC, go under the Project tab and click on the icon that says Design Rule Check. The Design rules manager window will open.

Design Rules Manager Window

To add DRCs to your project, click the Add icon. The Design rule configuration selector window will open and gives you access to enable DRC’s that are applicable to your design. To add DRCs to the project, check the necessary boxes next to the associated DRC and click OK when finished.

Design Rule Configuration Selector

You should see the active DRCs appear in a list off to the left of the Design rules manager window. By selecting one of the DRC’s in the list, you can see if there are any errors occurring in the project for the specified design rule check.

If there are any errors, the DRC will let you know where in the project the errors are happening. In the picture below, we can see that components RT1 and RT2 have terminals with more wires connected to them than the maximum allowed. Take note that the component mark is blue and looks like a hyperlink. If you were to click on one of these, it would open the necessary schematic and zoom in on the component where the issue is happening.

Design Rule Check Project Errors List

Click to enlarge

To set up the configuration of the DRC, go under the Projects tab in the ribbon menu and click the drop-down arrow on the Configurations icon. Next, you will select the option that says Design rule.

Design Rule Check Configuration SetupClick to enlarge

The Design rule configuration window will open, and you will see the Application configurations and Project configurations fields. The application configurations will be your default configurations that can be used in other projects. By adding a configuration to the project side, you can make edits to a default configuration at the project level while retaining the default configuration. Configurations at a project level will only be used in the current project. If you edit a configuration at the project level but see the need for it in other projects, you can add it back to the project configurations under a new name. This will make a new configuration that can be accessed in other projects and, by giving it a new name, it will not overwrite the default configuration. To make edits to a DRC configuration, select the specific DRC then click the Properties icon and make the changes needed to meet the design standards.

The DRC is a very helpful feature of SOLIDWORKS Electrical as it can catch design errors early, saving you time and money. With the ability to search the whole project for errors, the DRCs can be enabled at any point during the project and will continue to look for errors as more design is added.

Interested in learning more about this topic? Watch our on-demand webinar, Design Rule Check for SOLIDWORKS Electrical.

Stream the Webinar