I've done drawings by hand, AutoCAD (without Electrical features), and EPLAN. I like Solidworks Electrical the best.
The best way to learn how to use is, well, by using it and trying out things. Having said that, there are many paths you can take to achieve something and for the most part they will work. However, the best thing to do is to understand how all the parts work together to make a great package. One resource I've found helpful to get a glimpse at what the software can do is JP Emanuele's Brewing with Electricity series: John Emanuele
A couple of tips:
- One component has multiple symbols that are for multiple representations across multiple domains [electrical symbol (contacts, coil), MCAD model, pneumatic symbol (electrical solenoid and pneumatic valve), etc]
- I've created my own library of symbols with the correct pitch (grid size of 5mm)
- I've created my own title block
- I've created my own PLC configuration and modified the symbols to match our PLC manufacturer
- Make the manufacturer part data and then the symbol. You can transfer circuits from mfg to symbol but no the other way around
- Make manufacturer parts for accessories and add multiple manufacturer parts to a single component
- The time spent making things right from the beginning will vastly pay off in the end.
Thanks Alejandro! I totally agree. You can't learn it unless you use it.
I will definitely be checking out JP Emanuele's series. That in-depth knowledge of how everything works together to make a great package is my goal. It's great to know what icons to click and when, but I want to get a deeper understanding than that. I'm going through the SWE Schematic course manual and it doesn't always give you that deeper understanding that I need so that I know how it all works together.
It took time to get to that level with Creo. It will take time to do the same thing with Solidworks and SWE. I really believe, thought, that it will be a much easier hill to climb based on the increased usability of Solidworks/SWE. I'm looking forward to the challenge!
1) Agreed with the "just start using it" angle, engineers don't like risks so it feels risky, but be willing to try things out and see how it turns out, I see a lot of users who get paralysis analysis, this is a case where you need to just start doing.
2) As you figure things out, take the time to build up as much as you can up front, it will save you time in the end. Get your symbols created, your parts created, sorted into libraries or properly classes, set up your "favorite" symbol tabs on the right, Macros in place, configurations, project settings, and have all of that as a template. Everything you can have laid out makes your drawings go so much faster.
3) When in doubt, right click.
4) Understand COMPONENTS, they are really the key to how the software is constructed.