Electrical Design Solutions from SOLIDWORKS


Why Won't My Wires Route in SOLIDWORKS Electrical?

Categories // Electrical Design

Part 1 of 2

If you have ever tried routing wires in SOLIDWORKS Electrical 3D, you know they look awesome when complete! The challenge is getting there. Here are a few items to keep in mind when routing wires that will make the task easier. Let’s look in SOLIDWORKS Schematic and SOLIDWORKS 3D for these key tips.

For more information on these crucial items and to see the software in action, click here to download our on-demand webinar.

Lots of time can be spent trying to get wires to route. One missed item can cause hours of frustration. Trust me, I know – I have had those times before. If a process is followed, then problems are caught before they can wreak havoc with your design. Even the most experienced designer can sometime miss that one key component that will allow for a completely routed design.

In this discussion, I will uncover some items that are required for you to have a successful 3D assembly of an Electrical wire or harness.


The wire plays a key role in the route for obvious reasons. Wire style properties are required for the SOLIDWORKS software to then be able to establish a corresponding sub-assembly. The “Cabling” section of the properties holds the information required for the 3D modeling aspect of the assembly. The Bend Radius and Diameter are the critical items.  The Color is not so critical but is utilized during the routing process.




The wires of a route must be connected to “something” on BOTH ends for the route to be successful. This “something” is a Component. The Component provides the circuits and the connection points. These circuit and associated connection points are determined by the Manufacturers part that is assigned to the Component. When creating your schematics, you will be utilizing the symbols to represent the Component. The symbols also have circuits and connection points. When trying to route, making sure your Component circuits and connection points are associated to the circuits and connection points of the symbols that are being used. In other words, when examining your Component – are the circuits and terminals (that are used in the schematics) in the bottom of the dialog box GREEN? If you have spare circuits (or BLUE) they will not affect your route and are commonly known as Spare circuits. If you don’t have all GREEN or BLUE circuits, then some corrections may be necessary. If they are all green, then double checking what the numbering of these circuits are, will be carried into the 3D model next.



3D Model:

From the previous screen shot, you can see the circuit terminals called out. This specific Component has 2 circuits numbered “0” and “1”. Each circuit then has 1 connection point named Index. Therefore, this component has 2 connection points known as 0_0 and 1_0.  These connection points need to match the features inside of a 3D model that will be representing the Component. SOLIDWORKS Electrical 3D utilizes a Routing Wizard to help assist with the process of adding these connection points to the 3D model. Once the connection points are added to the model and the model is saved, you can look at the features.


Once you have opened the 3D model, Opening the feature, will allow you to examine the parameters. The Diameter must be able to accept the wire diameter that you are trying to route to it. This parameter is a maximum setting for the acceptance of this connection. Be sure to check that the features have all of the connection points called out correctly – for our example we need to have a 0_0 and 1_0 feature.


There are a few more key points that should be considered. For more information on these crucial items and to see the software in action, click here to download our on-demand webinar.