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Topic Title: Electrical CAD
Topic Summary: Looking for a cheap and simple solution
Created On: 01 October 2011 08:24 AM
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 01 October 2011 08:24 AM
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Avatar for dougflorence                                      .
dougflorence

Posts: 74
Joined: 25 July 2008

I need to draw up some 3 phase and control + PLC machine circuit diagrams and the 2D cad system with some home drawn symbols I have been using for years looks rather amateurish. I really only need drafting, I don't need to create parts lists, layouts or other database type functions. I also want something that is easy to pick up quickly and is not too expensive.
Any suggestions?
 01 October 2011 06:38 PM
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gkenyon

Posts: 4480
Joined: 06 May 2002

What do you mean by "not too expensive"?

Visio Standard isn't bad for circuit diagrams etc. these days and I believe Visio 2010 is around £200 (not "very cheap" but certainly not AutoCAD price).

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Eur Ing Graham Kenyon CEng MIET TechIOSH
 01 October 2011 08:57 PM
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Avatar for dougflorence                                      .
dougflorence

Posts: 74
Joined: 25 July 2008

£200 does not sound too bad. I can probably justify up to about £600 on the volume of work.
 01 October 2011 09:12 PM
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rogerg

Posts: 28
Joined: 21 October 2008

Hi Doug, We use Bricscad (www.bricsys.com) for 2D cad. £270 or Euro315 or $395 (V11 classic). Similar to Autocad LT, uses DWG file format. Proper drafting without the 3D frills. Try it free for 30 days - let us know what you think. Also cross-platform windows/Linux and they don't force you to upgrade just because the old version gets "retired".
 03 October 2011 03:53 AM
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deleted_1_Nimer

Posts: 223
Joined: 22 April 2006

Well, having been through an electronics engineering program, I've still kept my textbooks that included sample CDs for Windows XP. Seeing that they all come with an educational version of MultiSIM, I'd have no problem using it (that is, if I didn't already buy my fully-licensed version).

This said, there are a plethora of free/open-source CAD programs out there that do exactly what anyone could ever need, without any price. But in times where you already have software that's not exactly a CAD program, there's always Visio & even MS-Paint if you're brave enough to do everything from scratch (& believe me; I've had to do that a few times when I didn't have access to my computer with MultiSIM).

Bricscad does seem like a good choice, though.

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Technology: something that's hated & cursed at by all engineers, technologists & technicians!

( Lousy modern technology! )
 03 October 2011 09:13 AM
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dougflorence

Posts: 74
Joined: 25 July 2008

I was really after something with a bit of electrical specialisation e.g. an IEC symbol library and smart enough to automatically put in 3 phase lines and snap join components rather than just blank sheet 2D CAD. I have also found that adding wire numbering in blank sheet 2D CAD is a pain.

There seem to be some extension packages based on Brics which do that.

Maybe I am asking too much for a low cost solution.
 03 October 2011 05:08 PM
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deleted_1_Nimer

Posts: 223
Joined: 22 April 2006

KiCAD is an open-source program (gratis & libre) that's dedicated to electrical schematics. I've just tested it out & must say that it delivers.

http://kicad.sourceforge.net/wiki/Main_Page

It has versions for Linux, Windows & Mac OS X. I'd say it's a fair equivalent to MultiSIM (& all I've done was a Google search for open-source CAD software).

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Technology: something that's hated & cursed at by all engineers, technologists & technicians!

( Lousy modern technology! )
 09 October 2011 10:26 PM
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SMLaurenson

Posts: 44
Joined: 17 March 2009

See Electrical LT is excellent value for money. You can download a trial version.
 05 December 2011 08:03 PM
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mike.mcclory

Posts: 30
Joined: 26 April 2006

Don't forget to check licensing for some of these software packages. they may prevent commercial use.
 19 January 2012 03:00 PM
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giason

Posts: 25
Joined: 19 March 2004

I know this is a thread is a little old now but a very good free cad system is Draftsight by Dassault Software (makers of Solidworks) the whole CAD package is Autocad compatible and completely free. In operation it works the same as Autocad and looks very similar to Autocad 2006. Search draft sight on your favourite search engine and it's sure to be there. Not electrically oriented but if your happy to do your own symbols it probably can't be beaten for free.
 10 April 2012 06:44 PM
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pollekeshooter

Posts: 1
Joined: 10 April 2012

I am using and developing ELWIN from sweden, it is simple and costs 29 euro so the price is no issue.
one drawback are the not IEC connections, but we are working on that one.
 27 April 2012 09:16 AM
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fredman

Posts: 221
Joined: 26 July 2007

http://www.3ds.com/

Look at this one, if you are an ACAD drawer then this will be easy, it is free and only requires a validation email so they can update you.
 24 May 2012 05:07 PM
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PUWillettsG

Posts: 1
Joined: 24 May 2012

I've recently joined the forum because of the frustration at seeing this post !!
There is far too much emphasis on AutoCAD Electrical - it is NOT a dedicated electrical schematics CAD package, it's AutoCAD with a bolt on to trying to facilitate itself as one. (The algorithyms of proper VNS coding and the like which it can't). Sure for every day use many use VISIO as it has 'symbols' for basic layout. However if you want a proper solution, I use ELCAD from AUCOTEC. This is an Electrical Schematic design package. It uses IEC symbols. Electrical connections are made between symbols they are not simply graphical 'lines' You can request the software from their website but for large schematics (over 100 devices) you need a USB DONGLE
 11 June 2012 10:28 PM
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gordon.s1

Posts: 105
Joined: 20 September 2001

You could also try "Design Spark PCB" from RS, it's free and you can do Electrical Circuits as well.

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Helping others today enables
others to help you tomorrow.
 14 September 2012 05:49 AM
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margaritelsoto

Posts: 12
Joined: 13 September 2012

Autodesk software for 2D drafting and 2D drawing helps you create technical drawings, edit, and annotate designs. 2D drafting tools are frequently used for the development of floorplans, building permit drawings, building inspection plans, and hard landscaping layouts.
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