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Get Started with PCB Design

How can I learn SOLIDWORKS PCB?
Training, Tutorials and Practice
SOLIDWORKS PCB has a user friendly interface and a straight forward design process, but to make the most out of it it's important to really understand the different elements of the software. The fastest way to get up to speed is to attend one of our instructor led training courses. These are available virtually and in person, follow the link to view the upcoming schedule and find more about what's covered in our SOLIDWORKS PCB Training Course.

The videos on this page have been created to provide a quick introduction/refresher to different topics of SOLIDWORKS PCB and are well suited for those who already have some experience with the software.
What is SOLIDWORKS PCB Services?

SOLIDWORKS PCB Services is a database that has two roles in life 1. To provide the ability to commit snapshots of the design to the database allowing snapshot compare and even rollback and 2. To provide the conduit for data to travel back and forwards between ECAD and SOLIDWORKS MCAD. In this presentation we see the structure and setup of PCB Services.

How can I start a new SOLIDWORKS PCB project?

In this presentation we see how to create a new PCB project within PCB Services. Adding new documents to the project and defining templates for those documents. We are introduced to the meaning of the status columns in the Projects panel, saving the design data and are introduced to document setup. Committing design data to the database repository is introduced as well as creating the board profile.

How do I manage SOLIDWORKS PCB Libraries?

This presentation introduces the three main types of libraries and their purpose within SOLIDWORKS PCB. We see how they can be managed and manipulated for the design. Integrated libraries are discussed along with how their contents can be used, altered and new integrated libraries created. This also introduces what is a symbol to what is a component, including component properties.

How can I search for and add schematic components?

In this presentation we start a schematic design by sourcing libraries and adding components to the schematic pages. We see how we can find the components we require using a variety of approaches using assistance from filters and search functionality. The selected components can then be added into the sheets using various methods and their properties can be accessed during this action.

Customer Only Content
The following videos are only available for Solid Solutions customers, you will be asked to register for or log into MySolidSolutions when selecting these videos.
What are hierarchical schematics?

Hierarchical schematics allow the schematic design to be dissected down, with common circuitry being used multiple times within the design. We see the method of unique naming of the repeated circuitry and the types of symbols used to achieve the interconnection across the design sheets. We are shown the general process of hierarchy and compilation of the design.

How can I add connections to a PCB schematic?

In this presentation we will be looking at connecting up the components using wires and be introduced to facilities to optimise the layout of the schematic design. These include net labels, power ports and directives. We are shown how to access their properties before applying them into the design. Finally, it discusses the importance of Electrical Rules Checking.

How can check for errors in my designs?

An important part of design completion is rules checking. This presentation looks closely at ERC (Electrical Rules Checking) for the schematic. We see a number of errors found by ERC and step through them to clear them down to improve the design, using cross-probe functionality. We review the definition of the ERC rules and the effect of re-running compile.

How do you define the profile of a PCB?

We add a PCB into our project to start this presentation. We are then introduced to a number of approaches to allow the manipulation of the board profile shape within SOLIDWORKS PCB. The profile is then altered, and a cut-out added using collaboration with SOLIDWORKS MCAD, via PCB Services. Finally, the design intent from the schematic is added by ECO (Engineering Change Order) action.

How can I place PCB components?

This presentation looks at placement of components onto the PCB canvas and shows error display for collisions. We find that certain footprints are missing so are shown how to make further libraries available and resultant ECO actions. We are introduced to placement functionality, layer display data and the 2D and 3D view modes. Cross-probe is also used to help position components.

How can I create routes in SOLIDWORKS PCB?

In the routing presentation we are introduced to methods of working to assist when routing the design. The various routing functions are used to route different areas of the layout. We see the routing conflict resolution strategy and methods of swapping layers for route manipulation. We also see cornering options and the function of auto-complete, as well as an introduction to the auto-router.

How can I create outputs from my PCB Design?

This presentation covers the main outputs from the PCB design. These include placing hole and layer stack tables, dimensions and free text. Silkscreen manipulation is shown along with auto-rename. There is a brief review of the main outputs such as Gerber, NC drill and ODB++ along with Bill of Materials and other useful outputs. Checking the design is also discussed including Design Rule Checking.

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