Archive for November, 2011

Your Choice of Service Description for Named Devices on Panel Schedules

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

We are pleased to announce that we have put you, our user, in the driver’s seat for what shows up in the panel schedule’s service description column.

This is yet another way that we leave the control of what happens in DraftLogic Electrical up to you! Due to so many questions about user control from prospective buyers after they see our eye-popping electrical design automation, we’ll soon be posting a web page to let everyone know that the user remains in full control of the results & specifically how we enable that.

Back to the new feature announcement…after we thank Daniel L for bringing this feature request to our attention. Thanks, Daniel!

When you generate panel schedules, you can now have the ‘service description’ column filled in three different ways for single-device circuits where the device has a unique name, equipment tag, or description assigned:

1. Report the equipment tag (aka description) only, falling back to the unique name if there is no equipment tag on the device.

2. Report the device location only

3. Report a combination of 1&2.

This is all in effect as of build, which can be updated with a single file overwrite from build If you have not yet updated to V3, we will be replacing the installers with ones this weekend.

In the past, panels and motors were reporting their unique name and all other circuits were reporting their location. With this change, all single-device circuits where the device has a unique name, equipment tag, or description assigned will act in accordance with your choice of one of the three above options at a new project parameter created for this purpose. Note that all circuits still get a single letter prefix to let you know if the circuit is for a child panel, child transformer, receptacles, motors, lights, or mixed.

See more information about this new feature in the DraftLogic Electrical forums.

Let me know if you have any questions or desire to get this free upgrade for all users,
Dean Whitford
DraftLogic Inc.

Click here to return to the Draftlogic website.

PS: Daniel, we are now working on your request to be able to separate visible attributes onto separate layers with the ability to differ in color from their parent block. ETA for release of the new function is a couple weeks.

Productivity Shoot-Out: DraftLogic Electrical vs. AutoCAD vs. Revit MEP

Monday, November 14th, 2011

In speaking with electrical engineering companies and design build companies about DraftLogic Electrical, we are asked time and time again about whether there is a version of DraftLogic Electrical that runs within Revit.


Just Like Your Dentist: You Have to Go There From Time to Time but it Always Hurts

The vast majority of those who are asking are not doing so because they like designing in Revit, they are asking because they are forced to work in Revit on certain projects. Without fail, those same folks tell us that working in Revit is costing them design productivity…and not just a little bit! Their estimate of the electrical design productivity drop is 30-40%, no small thing in a world where we need to become more productive rather than less.

All of the electrical design firms we have spoken with about Revit have experienced the same thing. The industry is forcing us all in that direction and we are developing strategies to help us still be productive, profitable and at the same time give the clients the deliverables they are requesting.


Productivity Shoot-Out to See What the Affect Is

Since we were curious about exactly how much productivity was being lost, we decided to run a productivity shoot-out. The same project would be designed in AutoCAD with the typical ‘corporate tools’ to help out, Revit MEP, and DraftLogic Electrical (which runs on top of AutoCAD).

We had some interesting results.

Here is the summary of the “production hours for the design and drawings” on this example of a multi-use 26,000 sq. ft. two story building. Production times were from experienced software users in all three production time records. The results will vary from project to project depending on size and complexity, this is just one typical example, but reflects what we are hearing from clients across North America on productivity. Producing design and drawings in 3D takes longer, always.


Design Time Required to Complete the Project

Standard ACAD = 130 hours

Revit MEP= 177 hours (a 36% increase in production cost!)

DraftLogic Electrical = 21 hours ( an 84% increase in productivity over ACAD and 88% increase over Revit)

DraftLogic Electrical with Revit output of devices only (estimated) = 37hours (net 79% increase in productivity for 2D, 3D combined output over full 3D)

This clearly outlines the potential gains by keeping the 2D elements in the 2D environment from a production standpoint. Even when doing the design in DraftLogic Electrical and then going into Revit to place the devices therein to meet the project’s Revit deliverable requirement, DraftLogic Electrical is still almost five times faster than doing everything just in Revit!


Is your goal to slavishly work in a single platform that you would not work in if you had the choice?  We don’t think so!

As designers, the goal is to get the job done with the utmost of professionalism and in reasonable time–you want a good design on a timely basis, the software you use is just a tool to get you to a completed design.

As electrical engineering firm & design build firm executives & owners, you want the work done accurately, error free, to meet client requirements, and at lowest reasonable cost to your company.  If this means that there is some deliverable in some format (a Revit model, for example), well that is just part of the job and doesn’t necessarily mean that you want or need to do the job completely in that format.

This productivity shoot-out has clearly demonstrated, as have all our benchmark tests, that DraftLogic Electrical drastically increases design productivity.  In this case, DraftLogic Electrical still vastly accelerates productivity even when one of the project deliverables involves looking at the completed DraftLogic Electrical design in order to place required devices into a Revit building model as one of the electrical design deliverables.

Prudent and intelligent use of tools available can make a huge difference to your bottom line, call or email us to discuss your situation and we’ll discuss how DraftLogic Electrical can benefit you.

Gerry Stebnicki & Dean Whitford
DraftLogic Inc. /