CAD you find something else?


Thread Starter

John Williams

We are currently using ACAD 2k2 to put together our schematics. I am looking to be a little more automated. What are my options? Using CAD is fine but labourious. Each title block needs to be changed separately, XRef is not automatic. Unless you want to spend time writin scripts. There must be something else out there that can pull on a dwg archive? I have heard of Via Development but as yet do not know enough about it. Anybody else using anything that may be of help to me?
Big thanks
I have been using RSWire from Rockwell Software for over a year now and I am very happy with it. If I remember correctly, it is an RS licensed version of PromiseE just like RSLoop Optimizer is actually ExperTune. It can run either stand-alone using a licensed ACad engine, or it can be run as an AutoCad add-on. I am using the add-on and ACad 2k2. I have been very pleased with cross-referencing and automatic updates of cross-referencing and I love the reports and graphical plans that pop out with just a few clicks.

As with ACad, RSWire has a learning curve and unless you use 100% Allen-Bradley parts, you will put some sweat equity into your parts database and symbols libraries before you are fully up to speed. Having climbed the curve and put in some sweat, I am now MUCH more productive with schematics and layout drawings than when I used ACad alone. Furthermore, my control team has networked RSWire. Everyone has their own copy of AutoCad and loads the RSWire add-on locally, then the paths to all project files, symbol libraries, and the parts database are pointed to the server. The end result is that no one needs to reinvent the wheel. Every layout or schematic symbol that I create is available to everyone else. Also, several people can work together on one project.

Good Luck,

Chip Hinde
I have used VIA WD, and love it! I have written a few scripts to run with it, and the latest version (16.01a......I think) makes it very easy by using wizards, etc. We run it inside of ACAD 2000, and it cut down my schematic design by at least 50%. (this was not a huge project tho. Only about 10 pages of schematics).

I would recommend it to anyone. The distributor in Wisconsin (Synergy Solutions) will be providing our second training session in a couple
weeks. They get $5500 for a 3 day class, up to 8 people.

Contact them for a trial. You can sue it fully functional for 30 days to see what you think.

--Joe Jansen
AutoCad is a general purpose software. And is unfit for production work.If your company already has AutoCad and if you are for US type ciruit diagrams then you have the options recommended by the others in the list.
If you are going for IEC style then Eplan by Rittal or Caddy ++ electrical is the right way to go. I think caddy++ is the most low priced and fast to learn software.
Both of these import and export to AutoCad DWG or DXF formats if you intend to submit soft copies to customer.
Ask for a demo.

Bob Peterson

Unfit for production work? I think thats a bit harsh, as the vast majority of people creating control schematics are doing it with AutoCAD. With appropriate symbols and starter sheets, you can easily turn out 5 or more pages a day with just standrad AutoCAD.

Bob Peterson
> Unfit for production work?

Dear Bob,
We do more than 20 pages of detailed electrical schematics with Caddy OR Eplan in a day which is not possible with Just AutoCad. This does not include other automatically generated documents like parts list, cable list, wire and contact info and terminal matrix. The modifications can be updated in no time

Steve Myres, PE

> Unfit for production work? I think thats a bit harsh, as the vast majority of people creating control schematics are doing it with AutoCAD. <

I agree. The best feature of AutoCAD is its open extensible architecture. I don't know about the automation or customization capabilities of the other packages which have been mentioned, so don't interpret this as mud slinging about them. It's not. But I do know that AutoCAD can be customized to work the way I want it to work, and the capability goes far beyond what I would consider "scripting" or macros. Each to his own.