Just looking for opinions; We have 3 users of about 30 that do electrical prints & our Acad Salesman is trying to get my company to purchase Autocad Electrical. Does the time saved with this program really offset the money involved. We already bought the Inventor Series subscription, which contains crap we'll never use. Not being an electrical drafter myself, can you customize plain old acad to do lots of the things that electrical cad can do? and do you need these things or are they just trying to sell another product?
For my $0.02, it's worth the money; however, plan on sending the users to a
class as part of the purchase. Our vendor offered to set up web based,
instructor led training also.
"SARCZAR" wrote in message
> Just looking for opinions; We have 3 users of about 30 that do electrical
prints & our Acad Salesman is trying to get my company to purchase Autocad
Electrical. Does the time saved with this program really offset the money
involved. We already bought the Inventor Series subscription, which contains
crap we'll never use. Not being an electrical drafter myself, can you
customize plain old acad to do lots of the things that electrical cad can
do? and do you need these things or are they just trying to sell another
If you don't send them to training.......plan on at least a 2-4 month learning curve to begin to harness the capabilities that AutoCAD Electrical has to offer.........because the only help anyone can get on learning this software package is by pressing the almighty F1 KEY and going through the Help files ...........This Discussion Group has been a Godsend and I would of been screwed without it.......as far as I know there is no manuals available to purchase anywhere...................GOOD LUCK
At least in 2004 the Help system was basically the same exact text and layout of the previous version's printed manual and tutorial, so they could claim that it had a 'manual' in a sense.
In 2005, they can't even claim that. With all due respect to those that worked on it, the current 2005 help system is NOT effective. Since there is literally no printed manual, the help system is critical: it is the only way to learn the application. But the 2005 help system is basically a pure reference manual that does not even offer a way to page through it topic by topic. It has no table of contents. The only way to go through it 'front to back' would be to use the index to go through each item and hope that they actually linked all of the content to at least one item in the index. It is HTML-based, so it has all the associated problems of printing HTML pages. Anything longer than a standard page may cut off a line in the middle, making it unreadable. It can't be printed as a whole. You have to print each topic one at a time, which is problematical given the fact that you can't step through the topics in sequential order. On top of this, it uses some truly ill-conceived layouts and HTML features that make printing a topic even more infuriating. There are subtopic headings that when clicked, display the text and/or graphics of the subtopic. Clicking each of these subtopic headings opens the new subtopic and closes any other subtopic that might have been open. If you want to print all of the text in a topic, you would have to click a subtopic, print, and repeat for each subtopic heading! Which of course means that any topic-level text is going to be printed out each time you print. The new help system is so convoluted in terms of topics with multiple tabs and expanding subtopics and secret sub-menus that you actually might not be able to find something that you had already found in the past. It's truly demented!
A tutorial is now included as a printed booklet in 2005, but I believe it is still a step backwards! The 2004 tutorial was essentially the same as the previous version's tutorial, which was over 178 pages compared to the new tutorial of only 82 pages and more simplified text. I was hoping they would expand the tutorial to cover topics the old one didn't go into. Instead, it has been reduced and dumbed-down. Between having a small printed tutorial or a comprehensive online tutorial, I'll take the online tutorial any day.
If I were you, I'd ask your salesman to include the 2004 help file if you buy ACADE 2005.
It all comes down to time and money. You need to do a return-on-investment study to see how long it will take you to pay for the upgrade with any increased productivity you might gain. (I say 'might' because it is very much possible that you won't gain any productivity! Given the complexity of the application and the lack of a good manual, your users might simply ignore many of the features in ACADE and revert to producing drawings the same way they did in plain AutoCAD.) When you do an ROI study, as noted in a post above, calculate the lost time and costs of training in addition to the cost of the upgrade itself. Also be aware that many of the 'selling points' or features in an application won't help you get the work done any faster. They may allow you to generate more information in the same amount of time, or provide some other added value. But you can't count on them to actually increase productivity. A good example of this is the ACADE BOM system. If your company produces unified electrical and mechanical BOMs in some other application, then you probably wouldn't receive any benefit whatsoever from the BOM features in ACADE.
If your salesman is worth his salt, he is probably claiming that ACADE will reduce errors and inconsistencies in electrical drawings, which should give you some kind of productivity gain. The key word is 'reduce'. Just be aware that ACADE won't totally eliminate errors and inconsistencies between drawings. It's still quite probable that you will have some errors on a large or complex project. The productivity gain from reduced errors could be significant or not depending on how error-prone your designers are.