Shop drawing and Point list Software
Looking for software to create ddc shop drawing and points lists.
"Open is as open does."
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“What’s that? Aaa… open protocols? Don’t talk about…. open protocols? Are you kidding me? Open protocols? I just hope we can hardwire an interface!”
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If you are good with Windows Office Software... you can't go wrong with Visio. No need for the expense and the extensive capabilities of AutoCAD if you just need single layer 2D schematic-type drawings.
We use MS Office and Visio to complete just about everything... and we used it with 3 people to complete a $13M project for the government and The Army Corps of Engineers.
Yes that is $13 Million in just Building Automation Controls... the project itself was about $1.5 Billion.
Visio is ok to use.
Originally Posted by WHO_IS_I_AM
Originally Posted by Qui-Gon Jinn (Star Wars Episode 1)
Visio for drawings and excel for a generic keep track of points list
We have Visio and AutoCad LT and I haven't figured out how to use either.
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We use Visio and MS Office. Works well.
You can certainly use whatever suits you, depending on your wants and needs and pocket book.
Originally Posted by mmcmbm
Where I work, within the department I work in (Temperature Controls/BAS), we use Visio and Excel. Our counterparts over in Industrial Automation, favor AutoCad and Excel. Both sides of the house know how to use either AutoCad or Visio.
In my department, Visio is just easier, faster, and does all we need it to do. Back when, about 10 years ago, we had a debate about it, half favoring AutoCad, half Visio ... when we finally got the AutoCad supporters to try Visio seriously ... they became converts. (NOT that Visio is a replacement for a true CAD program if that's what you need.)
Among our competitors and peers (other companies) that I'm familiar with, all also use either AutoCad or Visio, plus Excel.
That's not to say everyone does.
Visio is so commonplace and used in the BAS field, most manufacturers and suppliers will provide free Visio stencils/drawings of their stuff, and often an AutoCad version as well.
Now, one can do things otherwise. It's been a while since I used it but one could probably do a nice points list sort of form with Open Office Calc.
To illustrate a couple of the ways we use Excel, which could probably be done as readily in OO Calc ...
Check out the attachments ... if I did them correctly
Now, for drawing schematics, wiring details, or whatever, one could possibly use Open Office Draw.
Last I used it, it was a bit quirky, useable but quirky. But doing drawings of wiring and such, one probably is better off using a Vector graphics application rather than a Raster/Bitmap based graphics program. While Draw is a Vector graphics program, as I said ... it has its aggravations and lacks.
For a free app, I'd tend to prefer Inkscape.
Some might suggest Dia, which is an attempt to duplicate the functionality of Visio ... but last time I tried Dia (a few years back) it really needed some serious improvement.
Inkscape, newest version, works reasonably well. I kinda like it and use it for various purposes. It works with SVG graphics as it's native format (a standard vector graphics format), but also can import and work with other formats. Not a wide list of formats, but the most important ones a person might be interested in.
It can not read or use native Visio graphics (which have a proprietary format), but can read and use SVG, AutoCad, PDF, various rastor/bitmap formats including PNG, and some others.
If you're pasting a bitmap type graphic into your drawing, you can not only move it around and resize it, you can edit it from with Inkscape, with your favorite rastor/bitmap drawing program. Just set it up in the "Preferences" section of Inkscape. Inkscape also has a built in facility to do tracing of bitmaps as a method of converting them to vector format.
One of the things Inkscape lacks, is all the free and freely available shapes and objects that one has access to with Visio. Visio comes with quite the library of pre-made shapes and objects, including stuff related to our work. Plus you can find more on the Internet. And if you ask around here you can find even more others on this forum would be willing to share.
It's sure nice not to have to do everything from scratch. Especially for someone like me who has the artistic talent of a rock.
However, a trick. If you know someone who does have Visio, and who's willing to help you out, from within Visio you can save all those nice pre-made shapes, and even whole drawings in SVG format. Which ... Inkscape can use.
Myself, I've had both Inkscape and Visio running and simply selected something on a Visio drawing I wanted over in an Inkscape drawing and did a simple Copy-Paste from one to the other. Works.
Also, if while using Visio someone prints a drawing to PDF, you can import that PDF into Inkscape and not only see it, you can select individual elements of it, move em around, resize, rotate, etc.
So it is possible in this indirect way to be able to use Visio stencils/drawings. Yah just need to get someone with Visio to help you out.
Attached is a simple sample of a wiring drawing ... just a VAV.
If you look at it, while simple enough, and a breeze to do with Visio, can be a trifle daunting with an ordinary drawing program.
We swapped from Auto-Cad to Visio many years ago. Visio is a fraction of the cost of Auto-Cad and does everything we need. Now for points lists we use Excel. We tried to use open office but we could not get an open office file to work when we pasted it into visio. It would only paste as a text format and not a spreadsheet format.
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That, my friend, was a SWEET Job. I have heard alot about it.
Originally Posted by TheControlsFreak
Any links or other info? Curious to hear more about the job...*oh and for the OP, so I can decipher just how well Visio worked!
Last edited by crab master; 01-31-2012 at 09:26 PM.