New to RS Components’ DesignSpark ‘design ecosystem’ is DesignSpark Electrical. Providing an online community for engineers, the DesignSpark website features free to use tools, technical data and development resources. Here, users can read and review new products, share knowledge and download free software design tools.
Following on from DesignSpark Mechanical 3D design software and the PCB electronics design software, DesignSpark Electrical is an intuitive CAD package which is free to download. Click here to see a video on the top 5 reasons to use DesignSpark Electrical.
Bringing the benefits of design software to those not already using electrical CAD tools, this is said to deliver time savings and error avoidance for control panel, machinery and electrical system design. DesignSpark Electrical optimises the methods of electrical and automation system design while enhancing the design capabilities of RS customers, the company explains.
Features include a library of more than 250,000 components and parts, including 80,000 from Schneider Electric and 10,000 from RS, which can easily be added to designs. Also featured are intelligent and specialist electrical design tools, real-time referencing and validity checking to allow the creation of accurate 2D panel layouts. The software also has a Bill of Materials (BoM) quote functionality, enabling customers to quickly order parts via RS for their designs.
The software project manager allows the user to open existing projects or to create a new project for predefined templates which come with defaults such as units, desired symbol library, graphical options, etc. For more advanced users, empty projects can be created.
A document book at the outset contains a cover page, drawing list, wiring line diagram and electrical scheme. Projects are assigned to a specific place such as motor room, control panel or junction box, and each chosen electrical component belongs to this location. This means it is possible to group electrical components to create lists based on the specific location; and each drawing is associated with a location. The software also provides a library that allows users to store elements of schemes called macros, which are grouped together in the macro manager.
Additional features include an easy-to-use interface that can be customised to suit user needs; and its structure allows users to operate at the level of complexity required. When opening the program, there are five menus including the familiar Windows file, View, Tools and Help functions, along with the Library menu, although this extends to 13 menus when editing an electrical scheme. A customisable quick access toolbar can display regularly used actions. Furthermore, revision management keeps track of when documents are created or revised and by which user; and sharing work is said to be easy. In a multi-user environment it is possible to archive projects in a central server so that different members of the design team can access projects at different times.
View the Quick start tutorial video here: https://youtu.be/NL2goOGLndY
The software can be downloaded via this link.