Why you should switch from AutoCAD Electrical to SOLIDWORKS Electrical

Article by Delvin Masilamani updated May 18, 2014


Electrical Diagram

Electrical Diagram

I truly believe the developers at Autodesk meant well when they created AutoCAD® Electrical – but apart from good intentions there isn’t much else to write home about. The question I hear all the time from customers is “Can we replace AutoCAD Electrical?”. Yes, you can replace AutoCAD Electrical with SOLIDWORKS Electrical if you want to create your Schematics, Wires, Panel/Enclosure layouts, and General Arrangements quicker and easier.

Why should I switch to SOLIDWORKS Electrical?

The next question I usually receive is “Why should I switch to SOLIDWORKS Electrical?”. To better answer that question I asked one of our customers what it was like working with AutoCAD Electrical software to create their designs, here is the answer I received:

When working with AutoCAD Electrical we experienced consistent errors and major discrepancies in various parts of our projects, which meant our BOM, Wire List, and the numbering of wires/devices could not be trusted. As a result we had to manually check the design to ensure no mistakes were released. Which also forced us to manually create Bill of Materials and Wire Lists, defeating the purpose of using a dedicated electrical design tool!

Let me expand on this customer comment to provide some more details with the following comparison between the two electrical applications:

 AutoCAD Electrical and SOLIDWORKS Electrical Comparison

 AUTOCAD Electrical  SOLIDWORKS Electrical
Blocks just don’t update consistently requiring manual checks to make sure everything is working.Blocks and SOLIDWORKS Electrical symbols are up to date between different drawings and the consistency is unparalleled.
Wire Numbers are automatic until you need to change anything in the drawings. They go out of sync so frequently it reverts to being a manual process.Wire Numbers stay in sync, you click the button and the wire numbers are done automatically.
References will link up as long as you don’t have to move or change them.References stay up to date automatically throughout the life of the project.
Copy/Paste won’t work If you don’t use specific commands and when you use specific commands you need to keep your fingers crossed and say a prayer.Copy/Paste the ‘Ctrl C’ and ‘Ctrl V’ techniques work correctly and as expected in SOLIDWORKS Electrical.
Application AutoCAD Electrical is AutoCAD with programming to make it work like an electrical tool.Application SolidWorks Electrical is a dedicated tool for electrical design, built with design in mind.

In future blog posts we will review how the two electrical applications compare for library of parts and symbols, Bill of Materials and reports, and working with DWGs; plus 3D mechanical integration.

Experience SOLIDWORKS Electrical for yourself

Why not attend a SOLIDWORKS Electrical Hands-on Test Drive in a city near you this month to experience the difference. During the event you will receive instruction from an expert and be able to try panel design, the parts database, and real-time integration of 2D schematics and 3D models.Register for a Test Drive

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Delvin Masilamani

Delvin is ‎Senior Solutions Expert at Javelin and is based in our Oakville, Ontario office.