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  1. #1
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    Default Best Tool to Draw Interconnect Diagrams

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    Fellow Forum Members,
    I need to draw some interconnect diagrams that shows how to wire up an ethernet network. Is AutoCad or AutoCad Electrical a better tool for this task? I need a tool that has the ability to automatically draw an upside down "U" where ever wires intersect. I also need a tool that automatically evenly spaces out all of the wires. Which AutoDesk app or AutoCad Feature is best designed to meet these needs? Any info will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member bbankston's Avatar
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    Do you have a sketch or anything so's I can better understand what you want?
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  3. #3
    Quantum Mechanic ReMark's Avatar
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    Why do you think AutoCAD Electrical would be a good program to use?

    A wire spacing tool is no more than a multiline lisp routine isn't it?

    If the wires intersect then why do you need the "U"? Wouldn't this symbol be more apt to be used where the wires do NOT actually intersect to show the user there is no physical connection between the two wires?
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Cat's Avatar
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    Binar,
    I've drawn every type of electrical drawing imaginable and most of it was done with regular Autocad, but if you're looking for some automation specifically for electrical work, then I would recommend Autocad Electrical. The difference in the price isn't that much in the scheme of things and Autocad Electrical can generate a multitude of different reports automatically if you learn to use it.

    Remark,
    I think Binar just meant where two wires or cables cross, but don't connect.
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  5. #5
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    If you don't have to do these diagrams on a daily basis, and you don't have to draw other electrical diagrams, I wouldn't waste the money or training time on Electrical. I've done wiring diagrams for PLCs, and you should have no trouble using vanilla AutoCAD. Once you get the first diagram done, you can often cut and paste into others. You can define the crossing wires as a block or just draw a semicircle; I draw a circle centered on the intersection, trim it with the line it belongs to, then use it to trim that same line. Of course, once you have the semicircle, you can copy it ad infinitum.
    breaking AutoCAD on a regular basis since 1991

  6. #6
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    Default Followup

    Quote Originally Posted by CyberAngel View Post
    If you don't have to do these diagrams on a daily basis, and you don't have to draw other electrical diagrams, I wouldn't waste the money or training time on Electrical. I've done wiring diagrams for PLCs, and you should have no trouble using vanilla AutoCAD. Once you get the first diagram done, you can often cut and paste into others. You can define the crossing wires as a block or just draw a semicircle; I draw a circle centered on the intersection, trim it with the line it belongs to, then use it to trim that same line. Of course, once you have the semicircle, you can copy it ad infinitum.

    Thanks to all for the postings. ReMARK, what I was referring to is the location where the wires cross on the drawing. These locations require one insert a semicircle or what I described as an upside down "U".

    CyberAngel, explains the process as one that requires where ever the wires cross you draw a circle centered on the intersection, trim it with the line it belongs to, then use it to trim that same line.

    My purpose for this post was to figure out if this process CyberAngel describes for inserting semicircles is automated in anyway using AutoCad Electrical or even in plain old AutoCad (using a special tool setting). My hand sketch shows that I have close to 50 of these semicircles to insert, and doing it manually is something I am seeking to avoid.

    CAT gives me the impression that AutoCad Electrical takes care of this process automatically for you. Therefore, I'm going to look more into this app and see if it's a better app to use for the task of drawing an interconnect diagram from scratch. If this app also has a way of automatically evenly spacing out the wires (without using a LISP routine), I think it would make it the right app to use.

    Thanks to all again.

  7. #7
    Senior Member bbankston's Avatar
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    binar

    "automatically evenly spacing out the wires" Wouldn't divide work for you if you know the width/height of the first line to the last line?

    See below:
    _____
    _____
    _____
    _____

    If you know the height between those four lines (let's say it's 27 lines total). You could draw a vertical line that exact height, type divide, select the vertical line, type 26 and you'll get evenly spaced points on that vertical line.
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  8. #8
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    binar...automating the drawing process would require the software being able to tell where one wire crosses the other, and that you did not intend for them to actually intersect. You could probably write or get someone else to write an autolisp routine where you could simply pick the two intersecting lines and have it draw the "upside down u" for you, but that would be a lot of effort to go to when simply drawing a circle and trimming would do it. There is an autolisp routine out there somewhere called "break at" (i think) which breaks a line across another for a predetermined distance. You could use that, then copy the semicircle to the right spot. You could I suppose create a block of the semicircle as others have called it and insert it at the appropriate location too. As for evenly spacing the lines, that's as simple as using the offset command if you know how far apart you want them, or if that varies, use the divide command as bbankston suggested. It will give you nodes along a line that are evenly spaced regardless of how long the line is. Draw your "wires" starting at these nodes, then erase the nodes and the line they were on.
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  9. #9
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    AutoCAD Electrical does have the feature you describe for jumping over wires. It will also do a multiple wire bus.
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