AutoCAD

Hi I am about to get my bachelor's in EE. I've been told by a few people to learn AutoCAD. Since my universtity does not offer any classes for
CAD, can anyone suggest a good book that I can use? Also, what is the difference between AutoCAD and AutoCAD Electrical?
Thanks JP
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Hi I am about to get my bachelor's in EE. I've been told by a few people to learn AutoCAD. Since my universtity does not offer any classes for CAD, can anyone suggest a good book that I can use? Also, what is the difference between AutoCAD and AutoCAD Electrical?
Thanks JP
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Why would an EE need AutoCad?, that is a mechanical drafting package. You can buy a student version cheap and just use it.
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At my company the EE's know and use AutoCAD. With all the automation and pre drawn symbols, it just as easy for them to draw it up than to scratch it down on paper and give it to a draftsman. John
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pre
Our EEs use other programs to draw electronic circuits. Autocad is considered a too for MEs
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few people

classes for

what is the

package.
He needs it because the firm he will be working for is using it and he will be drawing his electrical systems in on the same backgrounds and layers that the architect and mechanical uses (so they dont get interferences)... if the OP is going into building and industrial engineering that is...for circuit design etc of course there are other packages more specific to those needs.
a cheap student version is a good idea also... when he gets a job his employer will have purchased the commercial license.
Phil Scott

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Buy the student version. Its cheap and you can learn on your own.
When I started out, where I worked we had almost as many drafters (with old time drafting boards) as engineers.
Now we have a PT drafter (because the boss never learned AutoCAD) and 8 engineers and we do most of the drafting ourselves. With the right set of symbols and starter sheets available, you can just about draw up a sheet as fast as you could sketch it up and then proof the drawing you got back.
I was always afraid to learn AutoCAD on the theory I'd end up being a drafter. The fact is that we can hire all the contract AutoCAD people we want for $15/hour if we needed them. Its a lot like learning MS Excel and Word. Knowing and using them does not make you a clerical employee.

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Even if you know auto cad don't let anyone know. Don't take a job that requires you do autocad. If you know it you will become a drafter. If you want a job as an engineer get one, if you want to draft you just wasted hour years and many$$$.
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Maybe that works where you are...but it doesn't for the area I am in. EE's are required to draw up thier own hardwire prints for the projects they work on. CAD knowledge is a definate plus.
--
Anthony

You can't 'idiot proof' anything....every time you try, they just make
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If they insist on AutoCad, then you have to use it. But there is a good little clone called DesignCAD, which I've used for the past 10 years plus, which does a decent job for sketches and small drawings. A lot less expensive, and decent support.
Give it a shot. Maybe 10% the price of AutoCad, and you can save drawings in .dxf format, which means you can open them with AutoCad.
H.

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good

(reply was top posted)

projects

I didn't specify which CAD system....in our facility, it happens to be AutoCAD for EE and Inventor for ME. Any decent CAD system should work fine for hardwire prints.
--
Anthony

You can't 'idiot proof' anything....every time you try, they just make
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wrote:

^^^^^^^ How about spell checking ? :) ?????
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JP wrote:

Autocad is a mechanical drafting package, which for EE, you would probably not use as much. AutoCad electrical is an electrical package but it is easier and faster to work with the newer electrical cad package out there that does not require you to read a book or go to classes, like Electra 2005 (www.radicasoftware.com).
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You also can use the drawing part of MSWord and do about anything you can do with a lot more expensive drawing programs. I have made a full set of Hydraulic and Pneumatic symbols and make schematics all the time for customers. This works well since most people have MSWord and can easily read and print the schematics.
Check out my web site and look at the Brain teasers that were drawn with MSWord and the Accumulator presentation in Power Point that uses drawings from MSWord.
The Hydraulic and Pneumatic symbols are public domain and can be downloaded in Zip format at www.ifps.org on the Links page under "For Profit Companies" HYDRA-PNEU CONSULTING, INC.
After opening the book you can copy and paste them into drawings up to "E" size. There is an "A" and "B" page in the book with Title Block.
Bud Trinkel HYDRA-PNEU CONSULTING, INC.
snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com http://www.fluidpower1.us

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Bud, yes it can be done, but a specific package that let you create symbols, generate reports and synchronize panel layout and schematics is far more productive. In this day and time productivity means a lot. Electra is Visio based, and you will be very familiar, as it is also part of Microsoft Office. For pneumatics and hydraulics, my opinion is that Visio does a much better job.
Regards, VKY
Bud Trinkel wrote:

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a few people

classes for

what is the

you would

electrical package

electrical cad

or go to

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few people

classes for

what is the

AutoCAD'S Electrical would be with an electrical symbols library... I preffer to make my own though.. a person generally doesnt use but a tiny fraction of whats in a symbols library... my versions are more elaborate also.
If you dont need 3-D functions, and you may not as an electrical engineer. autocad lite is a lot cheaper and will do all you need to say the least. These come with a tutorial program...that works real well... doing it by reading a book is the hard way... you use the book for reference...and the tutorial on the CD rom that the program comes on for learning.
Its about 12 lessons... 3 times through and you will be at least functional...give it 6 hard days or two soft weeks. It helps a lot to have a tutor you can call on the phone... email me if you want a reference to one..he is 40 dollars an hour... and can save you a lot of frustration. You will only have to spend a few hours with him if you do the tutorials first then practice for a week or so.... or better call him first to help you get started and over the rough spots...then do the tutorials...then call him for help when you need it.
Regular autocad does ultra sophiscticated 3d modeling that can be linked to manufacturing programs etc... 99.99% of which most people never use...and learning to use it takes years... and you will forget it anyway if thats not what you are doing with it.
An EE will typically be just using vary basic diagram functions... and some materials lists functions. all of that is in autocad lite. (900 dollars or so)... you can come up to speed to basic functional levels as an EE in two weeks, be handy as hell in a few months... then over the next few years add net working skills etc.
If you are an EE into motor design you could use 3D... for that you need the full package 4k or so. 3D to modest levels is not terrifically hard to learn.. its on the tutorials also. Then some coaching with a cad guru on the phone when you get stuck will do the trick... they can do 'screen sharing' so the guy sees your screen and can instruct you live what to do.
Lacking that the frustration kills off a lot of talent..these end up using just the basic diagram skills etc.
Dont figure you are going to go high end and become an autocad genius just on general principles... the manuals cover 3' on a book shelf... learning all that is vastly beyond the phd level...then if you dont use what you learned...you loose it anyway...
...so just learn the skills you need and use... that works. you can add more skills as you need them. Learn something about art... few cad guys do...so they produce these very unarful, non dramatic...plain jane layouts.. You can do better in the business if you understand the artful use of white space, proportion... composition etc..so your stuff has drama. Learn how to import photo's and scans from the internet and your scanner to your drawings also.
Then you have something a 7 dollar an hour guy with a GED can't clone... your work will stand out that way. then you naturally demand top dollar.
The graphic skills are worth more in the end imho than the engineering drawing almost. You can also build libraries into each of your detail 'blocks' so that when you cut paste a block into your drawing it comes attached on various layers with a complete NEC reference .. you can print then any or all layers of the drawing depending on how much documention the client wants.
Thats a two hour walk though with a cad consultant... not too many are that good these days...if you are, you will stand out.
I use color also..at the very least some of the notes are color coded so they stand out from the broader drawing.
Learn how to use "polylines"... you dont see that much..polyline allows you to do great and wonderful things with line thicknesses... lots of drama is possible that way. the usual chicken scratch...all skinny lines...no drama. its confusing too.
I also do a lot of stuff in isometric. at least an insert iso of the project to give an over view key on each of the major drawings.. you dont see iso's much either...why? most guys stop learning at the very basic levels because thier nervous system gave out early... thats why you need the cad guru. You can learn to do Iso's to the basic diagram levels (no dimensions) in half an hour with some coaching.
Trying to dig this stuff out of a book with the glitches and nuances and tricky little screw ups hidden from you can take weeks.. a good guru will walk you though it in minutes.
Phil Scott

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Search for a trial version of autocad on the internet (google returned http://www.cadtool.net/trial.htm ). You can learn all you need to know in about an hour. Any company who want autocad skill just need you to know how to draw a line, and copy symbols (drawing schematics), anything else you'll pick up on the job.
Dwayne
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Depending on what kind of job you get, how big a company, etc., you may find that AutoCAD is a big part of the job. If you wind up doing any work with Architects, you will need some form of CAD, and it better be 100% compatible with AutoCAD. Whatever you do, DON'T buy the educational version unless you're taking a course in school. You aren't allowed to use it for commercial work, it puts an "Educational Version" stamp on every drawing you print, and it permanently infects every drawing you save with the plotstamp. Better to get AutoCAD LT - does about everything the full version does except 3D and customization. Before you think about the extra cost of AutoCAD Electrical, you would do well to wait until you see what kind of work you'll be doing. If you need it, the company will probably buy it. As far as a book is concerned, look for "Inside AutoCAD." I think it's a New Rider publication.
Al
JP wrote:

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Thanks for your response guys. I've decided to try out the student version and learn basic stuff about AutoCAD. If the job demands it then ofcourse I can spend more time getting into details.
JP
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