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Ever since ancient Egyptians started building pyramids, building any structure required some planning. Later, this became more and more evident, and with the invention of the AC current by Nikola Tesla, electrical plans are required for any efficient and standardized electrical distribution.
SEE Electrical is a tool for drawing and designing plans for electrical wirings, either for your own home or for any other building. It can be applied to any situation in which diagramming is needed. The style is similar to that in other tools, such as "PSpice", "Multisim", etc. For every project, first you need to create a workplace, and then as many pages as you wish, and for each page, you can configure size, scale colors, printing area, and more. Once finished, instead of sending it to the printer, you can also save it as a "Crystal Reports" file, or create an image.
Components can be accessed by clicking on the Symbols tab. Here you will find them grouped in cabinets called “symbol databases”, each one of them with folders full of symbols representing parts. I did not like finding repeated symbols of the same thing, which are just rotated and flipped versions of the original – thus, you have different components for up, down, left, and right, while it would much better to have only one symbol that you can rotate and flip, leaving a clearer interface where finding parts becomes easier.
It is possible to organize the parts database as you wish - you can create custom folders where you can copy and paste you favorite parts - but one important and missing feature is the capability to draw a new part. For example, if you want one of the existing ones with and extra line or text, it is necessary for you to manually modify all parts that require this new feature, which is not good for productivity.
Having all parts set on the page, you can connect them with wires. It is important to know the difference between wires and lines – the latter are just drawing lines, while the former are physical connections. A nice feature is the "automated wiring" feature, which consists of connecting vertical or horizontal parts when they are in the same line or column - with a bit of practice, this one can make you very productive.
I did not find the program that intuitive, or maybe it was just my first impression, since I got lost at first. So I read the help file to know which the first steps were, just the contrary of what I used to do in my old days as a college student, when learning PSpice was not that difficult, because you only had to take a look at the buttons to immediately find out their purpose and parameters.
SEE Electrical is a good program for drawing electrical plans for almost any structure you wish, as long as you do not need to perform simulations.
- it has almost everything you may need for drawing electrical plans
- Automated wiring
- Custom shortcuts
- You cannot create your own parts
- It is only for drawing, not building
- It requires training or use specific documentation
- Not very intuitive