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#30707 - 10/26/03 04:22 AM Panel design software  
The_Original_Modifier  Offline
New Member
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 7
Ontario, Canada
Does anyone know of any panel design software for schematics (line diagrams ladder etc)? I want to try a few before deciding. All the ones that I have found are for electronics, and nothing really for electrical. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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#30708 - 10/26/03 11:34 PM Re: Panel design software  
Jim M  Offline
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 457
Chestertown, MD, USA
I believe I saw a version called Flashworks that did one lines and meter riser diagrams.

[This message has been edited by Jim M (edited 10-26-2003).]

#30709 - 10/27/03 07:43 PM Re: Panel design software  
Scott35  Offline

Broom Pusher and
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,707
Anaheim, CA. USA
A few other Members here at ECN have used applications such as Autosketch, TurboCAD, and even Visio for Electrical Plans, and the results were very nice!
One of those apps would be just fine for 1 Line Schematics and Risers + the text for calcs.

One problem would be if you need to Import the Panel Schedules.
Another problem would be if you need to submit the drawings to an Architect or EE, to be included in the complete Plan Set.

The first problem scenario would arrise if your Schedules are made up in an external application - such as Excel.
OLE techniques would be available with most newer versions of Visio, and possibly with Autosketch, but not sure with the others.
If you create schedules within the same application, then there is no import problem!

The second problem scenario would be file compatability. Autosketch is made by Autodesk - the same company that makes AutoCAD; a very well known and commonly used CAD application in the Design / Engineering realm.
The T.L.E. (Three Letter Extension) for AutoCAD compatable files is ".DWG"
If your application can save files as this type, then "Sharing" is easilly accomplished... "Sort-Of" [Linked Image]
("Sort-Of" is because the AutoCAD version needs to be known, and if the receiver is capable to read .DWG files).

There's also ".DXF", which is AutoCAD's "Native" format, but very seldom are files of this nature bounced back and forth!

I personally use AutoCAD (Full version instead of the "LT" ones, and I use a semi antiquated release 14, because I don't have >$1,000.00 for a new version!...also R14 works great for me!).

You can get the "LT" versions of AutoCAD for around $350.00 - $500.00 depending on the retailer. Full versions are from AutoCAD reps.
I have used AutoCAD 2002 LT, and it works fine for most EE Plan Sets. It does lack many of the frills I am used to having in the full versions, plus doesn't handle OLE stuff as well as full versions do (mostly upon plotting).
Did like the Plot Manager thingee though!

Good luck.


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

#30710 - 10/27/03 07:55 PM Re: Panel design software  
txsparky  Offline
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 552
Magnolia,.Texas U.S.A.
Another to try out is by Amtech


#30711 - 10/28/03 05:54 PM Re: Panel design software  
US Coreman  Offline
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 36
Illinois, USA
Txsparky has provided a good link. What you might like to know is that they offer a "free" limited feature program. Westinghouse/Cutler Hammer had a nice package, first for pay then distributed for free called Pow-R-Designer. This program superceeded it. is the link to the sign-up form.

For ladder diagrams, I use the Constructor by CMH Software. Moving up from there, i use Visio Pro, and AutoCad [full current package]. There are a number of approved 3rd party developers that may have add-ons that could serve your needs. Both Pow-R-Designer and Visio export in .dxf format which is the AutoCad file format so that compatability is reasonably good.

#30712 - 10/28/03 09:42 PM Re: Panel design software  
Pinemarten  Offline
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 123
Edmonton, AB, Canada
To respond to the OP:

I did the internet search about 3y ago, and ran into the same.
I was looking for a ladder logic (Europe and NA) program.
6-7 companies mailed me demo CDs, but none were 'quite right'.
I finally worked out my own system.
I have yet to be able to output 'raster' or 'vector' diagrams, but I intend to take a few months off, and further my work.
Scott was kind enough to post some samples on this board.
Thanx again Scott.

#30713 - 10/30/03 06:05 AM Re: Panel design software  
Scott35  Offline

Broom Pusher and
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,707
Anaheim, CA. USA

Glad to be of help! [Linked Image]


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

#30714 - 10/31/03 09:44 PM Re: Panel design software  
Pinemarten  Offline
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 123
Edmonton, AB, Canada
Your welcome Scott.
I haven't done any searches recently, but I hope someone will write a program for electricians.
If mine is the best out there, then I guess I should start talking to patent people.

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