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Thread: One line software

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strathead View Post
    I am sure i would prefer AUTOCAD, but not for the price. Even the $249 for the full version
    AutoCAD by subscription is not that expensive, but at any rate my employer pays for it.

  2. #12
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    I use Visio Standard, $249. Fairly quick to learn. You make shapes, IE a disconnect switch, and drag into the drawing. Connect with lines. Maybe I can post a riser dwg tommorrow
    Moderator-Washington State
    Ancora Imparo

  3. #13
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    The problem with CAD programs is that AutoCAD pretty much has it locked up if you have the exchange files. If you are just making drawings for yourself and to get permits you can use anything, you can even hand draft. But if you have to exchange electronic CAD files with others then 99.999% of the time it's going to be an AutoCAD file. And don't believe these other CAD programs that say they can read and write AutoCAD files, I have yet to find one that is 100% compatible. I use AutoCAD LT. Not too expensive and does everything I need.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tom baker View Post
    I use Visio Standard, $249. Fairly quick to learn. You make shapes, IE a disconnect switch, and drag into the drawing. Connect with lines. Maybe I can post a riser dwg tommorrow
    I used Visio for quite a while for producing electrical drawings and I hated it (YMMV). Its lack of precision made me crazy.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by pv_n00b View Post
    But if you have to exchange electronic CAD files with others then 99.999% of the time it's going to be an AutoCAD file. And don't believe these other CAD programs that say they can read and write AutoCAD files, I have yet to find one that is 100% compatible.
    I've been using DraftSight for 5-6 years, the only compatibility problems have been lack of support for acad 2018 format; it's been fine with 2013 format.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by pv_n00b View Post
    The problem with CAD programs is that AutoCAD pretty much has it locked up if you have the exchange files. If you are just making drawings for yourself and to get permits you can use anything, you can even hand draft. But if you have to exchange electronic CAD files with others then 99.999% of the time it's going to be an AutoCAD file. And don't believe these other CAD programs that say they can read and write AutoCAD files, I have yet to find one that is 100% compatible. I use AutoCAD LT. Not too expensive and does everything I need.
    Draftsight works with DWG's 2013 version. It also saves files in that format. I trade CAD all the time with Engineer's with no problem. It is free. Try it if you have a half hour to spare. Zero problems.


    I know what I don't know, and I know where to go to find it!

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strathead View Post
    Draftsight works with DWG's 2013 version. It also saves files in that format. I trade CAD all the time with Engineer's with no problem. It is free. Try it if you have a half hour to spare. Zero problems.
    The problem is twofold. First, Autodesk likes to tweak their DWG files every few versions of AutoCAD and since AutoCAD is by far the favored program the 3rd parties have to decompile the new format and update their software to be compatible with the latest version of DWG. The result is that if someone gives you a 2018 DWG you have to go back to them and ask for them to save the file in an older version format. Maybe the person rocking the latest version of AutoCAD doesn't like the idea of having the exchange files in the 2013 format and lose information that is saved in the later formats.

    Second, AutoCAD embeds codes in the DWG files so it can tell if a file was saved from one of the 3rd party programs even if nothing was changed. When someone opens the file in AutoCAD a warning pops up saying that the file is suspect because it's been saved by a program other than AutoCAD. This can be an issue because some 3rd party programs are not all that compatible and now the person with AutoCAD has to find out if the file was mangled by a 3rd party program.

    When I work with subs I have to exchange CAD files with they have to use AutoCAD or they don't get the work. It just reduces problems. I have worked with people who have older versions of AutoCAD and that's fine but not with other CAD apps.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by pv_n00b View Post
    When I work with subs I have to exchange CAD files with they have to use AutoCAD or they don't get the work. It just reduces problems. I have worked with people who have older versions of AutoCAD and that's fine but not with other CAD apps.
    If you want me to use actual autodesk autocad, I'll add the cost to your bill.

    As to the other parts, they've never been a problem for me or the people I work with. Maybe that's because DraftSight* is better than many other CAD programs at reading/writing "compatible" files or maybe because my clients don't think this is a problem. The only CAD system I've ever had problems with is VectorWorks, which does not interchange with any autocad format nicely and it's a well-known issue; OTOH it's the software of choice for theatrical lighting and a few other trades.

    *from the same people that make SolidWorks, the CAD/CAE of choice for solids modeling

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by pv_n00b View Post
    The problem is twofold. First, Autodesk likes to tweak their DWG files every few versions of AutoCAD and since AutoCAD is by far the favored program the 3rd parties have to decompile the new format and update their software to be compatible with the latest version of DWG. The result is that if someone gives you a 2018 DWG you have to go back to them and ask for them to save the file in an older version format. Maybe the person rocking the latest version of AutoCAD doesn't like the idea of having the exchange files in the 2013 format and lose information that is saved in the later formats.

    Second, AutoCAD embeds codes in the DWG files so it can tell if a file was saved from one of the 3rd party programs even if nothing was changed. When someone opens the file in AutoCAD a warning pops up saying that the file is suspect because it's been saved by a program other than AutoCAD. This can be an issue because some 3rd party programs are not all that compatible and now the person with AutoCAD has to find out if the file was mangled by a 3rd party program.

    When I work with subs I have to exchange CAD files with they have to use AutoCAD or they don't get the work. It just reduces problems. I have worked with people who have older versions of AutoCAD and that's fine but not with other CAD apps.
    I am generally not "exchanging" files, I am producing shop drawings for various systems. Or I am acting as the designer and working with the Architect not the engineer. I just haven't run in to the problems you describe with Draftsight. I am with zbang. I will gladly explain to the customer that the Electrical Engineer that they hired refuses to export his CAD in 2013 format so that I can do my joab and it will cost xxx dollars to fix it. Frankly the way you wrote that was very aggressive and reminds me of the days when the design team would charge $50 for a CD of the plans.


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  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strathead View Post
    I am generally not "exchanging" files, I am producing shop drawings for various systems. Or I am acting as the designer and working with the Architect not the engineer. I just haven't run in to the problems you describe with Draftsight. I am with zbang. I will gladly explain to the customer that the Electrical Engineer that they hired refuses to export his CAD in 2013 format so that I can do my joab and it will cost xxx dollars to fix it. Frankly the way you wrote that was very aggressive and reminds me of the days when the design team would charge $50 for a CD of the plans.

    And I'll tell the customer that I'll charge a fee to take into account all the problems of exporting in old formats and exchanging drawings with non-standard CAD software that their designer chooses to use. It goes both ways Strathead.

    I've just found it solves a lot of problems if everyone uses the same software to exchange files and I'm sorry if you think it is aggressive to ask for that. With the kinds of PV systems I deal with it has not been a problem so far. When a company is doing 100s of MW a year they do not mind a $200/yr/seat AutoCAD software fee. It's noise in the overhead cost on a project.

    Be glad we are not using BIM in PV design, yet.

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