AutoCAD Electrical General Discussion

AutoCAD Electrical General Discussion

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Member
b.elec
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎01-15-2004
Message 1 of 8 (141 Views)

newbe needs help

141 Views, 7 Replies
01-15-2004 12:11 PM
OK, I made a post on another board and it was suggested I try here with my question so here go's. I am a sole proprietor electrical contractor and am faced with the ever increasing requirement to provide as built drawings at projects end in autocad format. My understanding is that the electrical engineer emails the drawings to me and I make changes and email them back and/or burn them onto a CD to have em printed by the local contractor printing company.
I have a good idea what i need for computer equipment but I need direction on the software.I have never used autocad or anything like it. Im green at this stuff. I typically just work with the 2D E sheets which are a birds eye view of the building showing receptacles, swithces, lights, panels, circuit numbers and such in addition to one line diagrams for service gear and the usual panel schedules and such. If you've looked at typical plans for say a small medical clinic or service garage then you know what I mean. My questions then are as follows-
What software should I start with, autocad, autocad LT, or something in addition to these or something all together different?
Is there a book or manual you would suggest for my purposes? (ie autocad for dummies)
Is there a way to try it before I make the plunge into the software abyss? I am committed to getting a new machine already for other reasons so the question is regarding the software.
Thanking you in advance bman.
Contributor
rjtcm1
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎01-13-2004
Message 2 of 8 (141 Views)

Re: newbe needs help

01-15-2004 02:21 PM in reply to: b.elec
You have to answer some more questions for yourself in order to determine what and how much you need. I would first ask you if YOU intend to work within AutoCAD or if you just want to mark up drawings for someone else to do the work. ACAD E 2004 (formerly Via WD) is a very powerful and flexible tool, but in order for you to use it, and at what level you would use it, is some of the other questions. If you are a competent electrical engineer, and will be doing design work, then take the plunge into ACAD E. You'll save a bundle of money. Particularly in change management. Or hire a power user. My experience is the AutoCAD users generally do not want to make the " Necessary Shift " in thinking in order to get into the OOP environment the ACAD E provides. It appears that Autodesk has an opportunity to revolutionize the manufacturing and engineering processes with their new product offerings. If only they would do a better job in the sales department. Talk to as many people as you can and do your home work. There are many ways to skin a cat, you just have to decide how many and how cleanly you want to do it. N8 had got the right idea, and now it's taking off. IF the Autodesk people are smart and aggressive, then no one will be able to touch them in the near future!
Member
b.elec
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎01-15-2004
Message 3 of 8 (141 Views)

Re: newbe needs help

01-15-2004 07:54 PM in reply to: b.elec
Thanks RJTCM1 for your reply. If I may indulge you to extrapolate further I would be grateful. To answer your questions I offer these remarks. I would be the person working with the drawings. Some of the work is making changes to the "bid set" of drawings as the changes occur in the field installation. These drawings are what I get from the architects electrical engineer. I do the bidding, sign contracts and do all the field installation. The other likely scenario is on bid jobs that require a "bidders design" as part of the contract. Typically this means I get a drawing from a architect showing the empty floor plan and then I do a complete electrical design, including device and fixture placement, load calcs and service design. You probably already know all this stuff, I am just trying to be as clear and concise as possible.
If you could clarify a few items in your reply. What is a "power user"?
What is a OOP environment?
What is N8?
Thanks in advance. bman
*Chris Breidenbaugh
Message 4 of 8 (141 Views)

Re: newbe needs help

01-16-2004 01:12 PM in reply to: b.elec
bman, reading the drawings and making the drawings are two entirely different things. I can make the drawings, but don't even think of asking me to do the install. If you've never made an Autocad drawing before, you have (without taking specific training in ACAD) at least a couple months of on-the-job training ahead. Making a few changes might sound like a minor thing to accomplish, but ACAD and ACAD E are both complex programs. By hiring a "power user" you would contract your work to an outside vendor who could make the changes, then return a completed set of files to you. N8 is the original developer of ACAD E (actually is first name is Nate-get it?) For hardware, get your hardware to run ACAD. A system that can run ACAD will run anything else. I guess the question is how proficient do you feel you are with Cad software? If you have some experience with CAD than ACAD E is the way to go. You won't be disappointed. b.elec wrote: > Thanks RJTCM1 for your reply. If I may indulge you to extrapolate > further I would be grateful. To answer your questions I offer these > remarks. I would be the person working with the drawings. Some of the > work is making changes to the "bid set" of drawings as the changes > occur in the field installation. These drawings are what I get from > the architects electrical engineer. I do the bidding, sign contracts > and do all the field installation. The other likely scenario is on > bid jobs that require a "bidders design" as part of the contract. > Typically this means I get a drawing from a architect showing the > empty floor plan and then I do a complete electrical design, > including device and fixture placement, load calcs and service > design. You probably already know all this stuff, I am just trying to > be as clear and concise as possible. If you could clarify a few items > in your reply. What is a "power user"? What is a OOP environment? > What is N8? Thanks in advance. bman
*Scott Reese \(Autodesk\)
Message 5 of 8 (141 Views)

Re: newbe needs help

01-19-2004 06:33 AM in reply to: b.elec
Hi bman, If you would like to see more specifics on AutoCAD Electrical, we conduct a weekly webcast that includes a product demonstration and the opportunity to ask one of our application engineers specific questions. There is no cost to attend. If you would like to register, please visit: www.autodesk.com/acade-webcast. You can also call 1-888-225-5842 to talk with the AutoCAD Electrical sales team directly. Regards, Scott "b.elec" wrote in message news:19729834.1074197660076.JavaMail.jive@jiveforum2.autodesk.com... > OK, I made a post on another board and it was suggested I try here with my question so here go's. I am a sole proprietor electrical contractor and am faced with the ever increasing requirement to provide as built drawings at projects end in autocad format. My understanding is that the electrical engineer emails the drawings to me and I make changes and email them back and/or burn them onto a CD to have em printed by the local contractor printing company. > I have a good idea what i need for computer equipment but I need direction on the software.I have never used autocad or anything like it. Im green at this stuff. I typically just work with the 2D E sheets which are a birds eye view of the building showing receptacles, swithces, lights, panels, circuit numbers and such in addition to one line diagrams for service gear and the usual panel schedules and such. If you've looked at typical plans for say a small medical clinic or service garage then you know what I mean. My questions then are as follows- > What software should I start with, autocad, autocad LT, or something in addition to these or something all together different? > Is there a book or manual you would suggest for my purposes? (ie autocad for dummies) > Is there a way to try it before I make the plunge into the software abyss? I am committed to getting a new machine already for other reasons so the question is regarding the software. > Thanking you in advance bman.
Active Contributor
ddemerath
Posts: 34
Registered: ‎11-12-2003
Message 6 of 8 (141 Views)

Re: newbe needs help

01-19-2004 06:58 AM in reply to: b.elec
b.elec,
I have been doing all of the CAD work for our company that you describe. As far as what software to purchase, ACAD should be all you need as it is the industry standard. ACAD E, while a great product, is geared more toward electrical control panels and there installation. As a user of both (we have a controls division as well as the electrical contracting division), basic ACAD will work just fine. If you plan on adding controls, then ACAD E is the way to go. As others have stated, if you are new to ACAD there will be a learning curve. And learning ACAD E without prior ACAD experience could be quite intimidating. Basic ACAD will also cost less than the electrical package.

Dick D.
Contributor
rjtcm1
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎01-13-2004
Message 7 of 8 (141 Views)

Re: newbe needs help

01-20-2004 06:57 AM in reply to: b.elec
Sorry it took so long to reply. Glad others are listening.
1-Power User = someone who is above average in the use of a tool. You can have a normal user or a power user. It's like a guy who can drive a car, and a guy who can drive a NASCAR. Now whether you win the race or not, is dependent upon allot of other factors also. Like how well your Engineer Departments Standards and Procedures are set up. And the quality of the people who set it up.
2-OOP=Object Oriented Programming environment. Instead of working within the normal 2D or 3D AutoCAD environment of lines, circles, squares, or blocks w/attributes but no functionality behind them, etc... In ACAD E you create blocks with attributes, but you have the added features of a Electrical Engineering workspace (functionality) in which everything (should be) is as if it is a real object. When you place a block down e.g. a module or switch, then you wire up that module or switch, it is as if you are doing it in the real world; "real object". Hence, OOP environment. And the look ahead as well as the error checks save enormously IF set up correctly. And I said IF. You have to have someone(s) who is truly interested in " Productivity Gains ". Note: the jobless recovery and why. If you have 5 AutoCAD operators, and they see ACAD E as eliminating 3 of the 5 jobs, well then, you won't get much help from them ;-( implementing things. I know because I'm experiencing that now. Know your business Model and who will gain by the productivity increases.
3- N8 as described is from my point of view a.k.a. " The Creator " Nate is the one who took the initiative and created a better product than " old way of doing things ". I said better, not perfect ! Hopefully things will keep going in the right direction. Autodesk is a good company from what I can tell. Sometimes I get my expectation too high. But as long as the ACAD E development team is working towards matching the features of the other big E Cad tools, then I'm sure in time it'll get done.
Lastly...ask yourself if you are one of those guys who easily gets " Poweruseritis " ?
That's the disease / obsession / compulsion to push a tool or a subject to it limits, and to make new ones ;-)
True Engineers, Programmers and Developers always have this disease ;-)
Active Contributor
krollenhagen
Posts: 44
Registered: ‎11-20-2003
Message 8 of 8 (141 Views)

Re: newbe needs help

01-24-2004 08:16 AM in reply to: b.elec
ddemerath has a very good point. ACAD E is not for doing construction electrical prints. It would do the job, but is overkill. ACAD E is for doing control schematics.

You could probably get away with ACAD LT because all the construction drawings I have seen, are not 3D and if you are just making the as build changes, you will not be having to run Lisp routines.

ACAD LT is significantly less expensive than full blown ACAD.

Keith
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