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#132544 - 01/24/07 08:00 AM Drawing software  
Kenbo  Offline
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 233

My boss bought me a laptop for the workshop [Linked Image]

Chancing my arm I asked if I could purchase software that would allow me to make wiring diagrams etc
You know the type that are used in training where you have electron flow indicated then pushing a button changes the wires and direction of flow. He said yes [Linked Image]

But which programs are out there that will allow me to create such things. Auto CAD?

All advice and opinions greatfully recived

der Großvater

Tools for Electricians:

#132545 - 01/24/07 11:28 AM Re: Drawing software  
Scott35  Offline

Broom Pusher and
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,708
Anaheim, CA. USA

AutoCAD can be used to generate Schematics, but there are other applications more "User Friendly".

MS Visio may be used for this task - and is much more cost friendly than a CAD Package.

For really trick Schematic work, a Circuit Simulation (PSPICE) Application is the hot setup!

I used an Application called "Circuit Maker (versions 3, 4 and 5)", which is a Windows-Based PSPICE Analog + Digital Simulation Application.
Full version (version 5, back in 1998) was $300.00 USD.
Very useful App'!

Visio is another useful + cost friendly Application, for compiling Schematics.
Although it does not offer the PSPICE Simulation (unless there is a version of Visio for Electrical Schematics which has some tweeks), it does allow for nice quality Schematic work.

There are many Electronic / Electrical Schematic Applications available - some as CAD Packages (Autodesk has a few), others in "Non-CAD Flavors" (like breadboarding app's, etc.).

Try a Google search for "Electrical Schematics Applications" or "Electronic Schematics Applications" (or whatever relavent terms would work best).
You are likely to find 1,000's of leads!


Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!

#132546 - 01/24/07 09:33 PM Re: Drawing software  
gfretwell  Offline

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,142
I have a poor mans charting program program that was freeware. It runs on anything W3.1 and above and you can draw schematics, along with flow charts and other things. Nothing fancy but you can get symbols on a page.
Email me It's tiny so it is dial up friendly. I figured it out with the help file.

Greg Fretwell

#132547 - 01/25/07 10:28 AM Re: Drawing software  
Gloria  Offline
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 364
Budapest, Hungary
A more simple drawing sw: gimp. Very good.

Otherwise while planning my flat I was also looking for a sw which helps me plan the furniture, so later I can do it myself.
I mean free sw. :~)

The world is full of beauty if the heart is full of love

#132548 - 01/25/07 11:24 AM Re: Drawing software  
ITO  Offline
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 348
AutoCAD-7 Light its less than $1,000.

1) Its the industry standard for CAD, most architects and engineers you may deal with on a professional level are using it, or something that will work with a .dwf and .dwf file.
2) There are vast amounts of resources, add-ons, and one of the best knowledge bases I have ever seen for any program. The AutoDesk website really does get you answers. There are also MANY books on how to run it.
3) AutoCAD skillsets look good on a resume, and they are mandatory if you do design builds.
4) Once the learning curve is over, it is much faster than anything else on the market.
5) The results, are second to none, it makes pretty drawings.
6) DWG files are quite small, I have very complex drawings that are less than a meg.

1) Cost. Light is $900, and the full version is $5,000, with a yearly subscription fees of $350, if you want to keep up to date.
2) The learning curve. AutoCAD is the easiest program I have ever used, but I can only say that after 9 years of experience with it, the first three months were a bitch, and I am still learning cool things it can do. I started with R14, now I run 2007.

If you are just wanting to do some small shop drawing and circuit layouts then AutoCAD may be overkill, but if you want to be taken seriously in this business then AutoCAD is the industry standard.

[This message has been edited by ITO (edited 01-25-2007).]

101° Rx = + /_\

#132549 - 01/25/07 02:38 PM Re: Drawing software  
Paulusgnome  Offline
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 56
Christchurch, New Zealand
I use Autocad daily in my work.
My opinion is that it is grossly overpriced bloatware. Not only is the price of even the LT version eye-watering, but they have the cheek to force updates on us at yearly intervals so that it could be said that you never actually own the software, just rent it until the next update comes along! The features offered even in the 2000 edition of Autocad LT exceed what we need to turn out good drawings, and as far as I can see few of the 'enhancements' added since have any real value at all.
If you want a good, cheap CAD program that will do 99% of what Autocad can, two that are worth a look are Turbocad (~ 1/10th the price of Autocad) and ZWCad (Cheap chinese Autocad clone).

Mark M

Mark aka Paulus

#132550 - 01/25/07 03:40 PM Re: Drawing software  
Kenbo  Offline
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 233
Thanks for the replys

Have a friend at Stirling university who is going to look at some of the programs you mention to see if they are suitable for what I intend (before I splash the cash 'typical scotsman')hate to buy something then find out it is not what I thought.

gfretwell - you have mail


der Großvater

#132551 - 01/25/07 03:57 PM Re: Drawing software  
JoeTestingEngr  Offline
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 791
Chicago, Il.
I started using Generic Software's "Generic CADD Level 3" in the mid '80s. AutoDesk gobbled them up and Genneric CADD 5.0 and 6.0 came out before they made Generic CADD go away. It only cost around $300 at its peak, with no license to keep up. You could spend alot of $$$ on component libraries if you wanted to but I just created the components that I needed. I bought 5 legal packages of the 6.0 from a surplus supplier for $65 each once AutoDesk orphaned them. I still run it from the W98 machine here and my 2000 machine at work. I also have run it from XP. So as many times as I've been told that it won't in Windows machines, I've let my drawings speak for themselves. As Scott was surprised to learn, the DXF output from my Generic 6.0, inported nicely into his AutoCADD. I also just recently noticed that I can save to several image formats. It had never come up before.

I take alot of heat for not bumping up to the AutoCAD. They get what they need from me though in the DXF format. AutoCAD doesn't like Generic CADD's fill command but very fine hatches can be used. I haven't followed the other packages such as TurboCad that were popular when Generic was around. I bet you can find alot of bargains if you don't require the industry standard.

#132552 - 01/25/07 04:49 PM Re: Drawing software  
ITO  Offline
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 348

Cool never heard of it, but dl-ed a copy to my laptop for testing. If it supports dwg, works and is free then you just cant beat it.

101° Rx = + /_\

#132553 - 01/25/07 06:02 PM Re: Drawing software  
JoeTestingEngr  Offline
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 791
Chicago, Il.
I just bumped up a ladder drawing in the theory section. I have a few more in the Tech. Ref. area. They are all Generic GCDs originally. I think that all of Scott's are from AutoCad. I'm not sure of drawings from PaulUK and John and Greg. Maybe a quick browse through those two forum sections will reveal features you might desire in your application.

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