Sparky’s rejoice! Autodesk has finally released information on the upcoming release of AutoCAD Electrical 2012 with new features and functionality designed to make you more productive while allowing you to maintain existing workflows. With new tutorial material and an intuitive user interface, the software makes it even easier to save time, reduce errors, and create innovative electrical control designs.
I’ll break the new features down into three basic categories for you and provide a general overview as the scope for this article but will most certainly get down to the “nitty gritty” in future posts.
First let’s cover a few things we’ll call “Productivity Enhancements”:
- Library Standards – AutoCAD 2012 make it easier than ever to create standards-based designs that comply with industry requirements. Compete globally with support for international standards and comprehensive libraries of manufacturer content and symbols. AutoCAD Electrical 2012 now includes an enhanced library of standards and two new sets of library symbols to comply with both IEEE 315/315A and IEC-60617 standards.
- Streamlined Schematic Component Updating - The specialized drafting features in AutoCAD Electrical software can save hours of design time. Users of AutoCAD Electrical 2012 can now copy information from a one-line component to a schematic component, rather than being forced to build the schematic independantly, which helps streamline the process of editing component information. The user will be promted to update descriptions, catalog values, location/installation codes, and ratings individually or all at once.
- Intelligent Component Updating - AutoCAD Electrical 2012 makes it easier to assign a catalog value to a component. The component updates with related values from the catalog database. If these related values change later in the database, you can update the components with the new values. This capability updates many values such as Schematic parent pin list, Weblink, Textvalue, and Terminal properties, helping you save time and increase the accuracy of your designs.
- Duplicate Tag Check for Panels – Now with 2012 inserting a panel footprint from the Component Insert/Edit dialog box and enter a tag value the program checks for duplication helping to prevent errors.
Our next category falls nicely into the description of “Smarter Drawings”- New features and functionality designed to make it even easier to save time, reduce errors, and create innovative electrical control designs:
- Multiple Balloon Placement – When a component has multiple catalog values, you can now select the direction for placement of multiple balloons. Options include up, down, left, right, and angle of last segment.
- Export and Import Drawing Settings – Drawing setting properties are now exportable giving you the ability to import the values into other drawings and project files. Export Drawing Settings properties modify the values in the output file and import the values back to the drawings and project file. These properties are exported:
- Sheet (%S)
- Drawing (%D)
- IEC Project (%P)
- IEC Installation (%I)
- IEC Location (%L)
- Drawing Descriptions 1-3
- AutoCAD WS – The AutoCAD WS plug-in for AutoCAD Electrical software allows you to access AutoCAD WS directly inside your AutoCAD software. AutoCAD WS is a new web and mobile application that can enable you to stay connected to your DWG™ files on any platform—from your desktop, from the web, or from your iPhone and iPad mobile devices.
The AutoCAD WS plug-in allows you to upload and work with online DWG files directly from AutoCAD 2012 software to view, edit, and share your DWG files seamlessly on web browsers or mobile devices.
For more information about AutoCAD WS, visit www.autodesk.com/autocadws
And finally let’s visit the new enhancements we’ll call “Streamlined Tools”- Additions to the specialized tools to make you even more productive:
Terminal Strip Editor
Create a terminal strip with the Terminal Strip Editor even if there are no terminals present in the active project.When creating a Terminal Strip table the table styles from the active drawing are available for selection.
Copy Circuit enhancements
In the "Copy Circuit Options" dialog box there are now options for updating terminal numbers. Choose from the following options for terminals within the copied circuit:
- Keep terminal numbers
- Blank terminal numbers
- Increment terminal numbers
- User-Defined Attributes support xdata in AutoCAD Electrical 2012.
- Only xdata names with the VIA_WD_ prefix are included.
- Bill of Material reports include sheet and reference fields.
Electrical Audit Enhancements
Components and wires highlight when you select the “Go To” function from Electrical Audit making it easier to identify the object with the exception.
Footprint Update Enhancements
When you modify a catalog assignment on a schematic component a panel symbol can update on the related footprint. If the footprint for the new catalog does not exist, choose from the options:
- Leave the footprint symbol unchanged while updating the catalog values.
- Cancel the catalog change.
That's all for now folks, check back soon for new information on the Autodesk 2012 product line and more information on your favorite applications!
In the meantime check out the ACADE 2012 FAQ on our product page at:
And be sure to watch Rob Cohee talk about AutoCAD Electrical 2012 here: