Why do Designers use AutoCAD Electrical?

Autocad Electrical

AutoCAD Electrical is an Autodesk software specially made for Electrical, Instrumentation and Control System Designers helping designers to:

  • create and modify electrical control systems
  • pre-programme tasks and comprehensive symbol libraries
  • promote design automation
  • derive better productivity
  • reduce errors
  • create accurate information for your project designs.

Better Productivity

 Specifically designed with built-in features and benefits which enable users to increase efficiency during the project’s design phase while ensuring smooth integration with one AutoCAD.

Productivity gains over 80% can be made by shifting from AutoCAD to AutoCAD Electrical.

Reduction of Errors


Errors and design discrepancies can be commonplace but AutoCAD Electrical includes automatic electrical-auditing capabilities that help designers to perform real-time analytics to identify problems before the project’s construction phase.

Compliance with Industry Standards

Aside from the strategic error-checking capability, it can also help businesses to compete globally, offering support both for regional and international standards.

There are around 350,000 components from the industry’s leading vendors and more than 3,000 intelligent PLC I/O modules. A comprehensive library containing popular manufacturer components is available, enabling users to produce consistent designs.

In addition, it is firmly integrated with Autodesk Data Management applications, which enables the efficient secure exchange of design data and promotes earlier collaboration between design and manufacturing workgroups.


AutoCAD Electrical allows both Mechanical and Electrical teams to work together as a team, sharing electrical design information with Inventor. This adds valuable electrical controls design information to the digital model.

Users can also publish DWF files directly from AutoCAD Electrical. As a result, different workgroups can manage and track all components using Autodesk free review software. Designers can review, measure, mark up and track changes to designs enabling better reuse of critical design data, management of BOMs, and collaboration with other teams and partners.


Click for more information about training courses for AutoCAD Electrical Training Courses

What’s New – AutoCAD Electrical 2021

In AutoCAD Electrical 2021 there is a range of enhancements. The drawing format for this release continues to be AutoCAD 2018. For developers, this is an API-breaking release.

The features listed below are specific to AutoCAD electrical only.

AutoCAD Electrical 2021 – Global Search Within The Catalogue Browser –  Cadline Community

Global Search in the Catalogue

The first innovation is one that has been requested by many AutoCAD electrical users. Within the Global Search functionality, the Catalogue Browser is now able to search for catalogue data across the tables.

Click Global Search to search data in all the available tables.

The Catalogue Global Search dialog box displays the results of the global search.


Additional Manufacturer Catalogue Content

Manufacturer Catalogue content that were previously released as updates are now included in AutoCAD Electrical 2021 as standard. The content updates include the catalogue data from Eaton and Siemens.

What's New in AutoCAD Electrical 2021 Toolset | AutoCAD Electrical 2021 |  Autodesk Knowledge Network

Icon Optimization

AutoCAD Electrical 2021 has optimised the background colours with the icon colours to provide the optimum contrast without distraction from the drawing area.

AutoCAD Electrical - Unable to communicate with the Project Database Service  – Cadline Community

Other Enhancements

  • Project Database Services

    – Improved stability when working with the project database services.

  • Reports

    – Component reports now follow the Sort options in the report format (SET) file.
    – Improved stability when generating reports.

  • Project Setup

    – When opening the project, the directory now follows the path specified by the WD_PICKPRJDLG variable in WD.ENV environment file.

  • Insert Component and Wires

    – The pin assignment of the circuit breaker parent now respects the correct number of child contacts in the drawing.

  • Improved stability of the fan-out workflow.

    – Wire import now brings the size and colour properties of the wire.

  • Panel Components

    – Wire numbers that are inserted using Insert Terminal (Schematic List) are now displayed in the panel terminals.
    – More stability when inserting panel components.

  • PDF Publishing

    – In the published PDFs, the hyperlinks with hexagonal arrow style now point to the correct references.

For more information about AutoCAD Electrical 2021 and training contact us.

eCADSTAR Bytesize Tutorial – Advanced Variance


If you’ve used CADSTAR’s variance before, it’s a very powerful tool. eCADSTAR is capable of variance as well, more advanced variants.

But at the very basic level, you can define a device as not being fitted, so if I click on this resistors for example and I change the properties, here you can see I’ve got fitted and I can say NO. And you can see it has changed the colour of the trace because it superfluous now, there’s no connection there.

Obviously, it will still exist on the PCB it’s just highlighting it for us. You don’t have to have it dashed and coloured, this is entirely up to you. Completely Configurable


More information about the latest release of eCADSTAR is below


eCADSTAR brings together the latest advances in collaboration and connected engineering in a borderless electronic design environment, connecting the engineering desktop with comprehensive design and manufacturing services.

In the 2020 Release |   Read More

SIGNAL INTEGRITY   |    Add sophisticated Signal Integrity Analysis capabilities to eCADSTAR. Simulation in the Schematic (pre-layout SI) as well as in the PCB Layout (post-layout SI).

POWER INTEGRITY AND EMI   |    Embedded into eCADSTAR, these functions share the same design data and simulation library used for Signal Integrity.

IBIS-AMI   |    Analyse SERDES channels (e.g. PCI-Express Gen3+, HDMI, SATA, USB, etc.) based on IBIS-AMI models, S-Parameter characterisation of the channel, Eye diagram results, BER estimation and bath-tub curves and import IBIS-AMI devices into the simulation library.

5 Useful Things Design Engineers are doing whilst Working from Home

As Boris announces phase whatever number we are on now, many of us will be returning or continuing to work from home. And we. at Quadra started to wonder, if a full lockdown occurs, what useful things Design Engineers could and have been doing whilst at home. So we have created a list of our favourite ones.

1. Library Management and Streamlining existing processes


Library maintenance and organisation is essential for anyone who manages their data through Vault and let’s be honest organising your files and getting rid of redundant data is never a pleasant job. But we found a great article from 2010 which gives you some great ideas for cleaning up your Vault Workspace. Check it out here


Upgrade your standard AutoCAD blocks to dynamic blocks to aid functionality.

Add attributes for data extraction or add standardise attributes within block for clean data extraction. Invest time in creating tool palettes to ease the distribution and standardisation of block insertion.

Understand and implement data fields, to reduce user input requirements.

2. Take a look at some of the new technologies and tools available

It’s a great time to have a look at some of the newest cloud-based tools out there.

Vault Mobile app

Why not try the Vault mobile app. You can download the app for iOS devices, iPhone and iPad, in the Apple App Store here.

BIM 360

For the Architectural side of life, BIM 360 is helping people design and collaborate, whilst keeping designs on track.

AutoCAD Mobile App

Edit, create and view CAD drawings in the AutoCAD mobile app

Use the AutoCAD mobile app to design on-the-go via iOS or Android devices.

AutoCAD® mobile app has core design and drafting tools. Work on your CAD drawings any time, anywhere – even offline.

  • Update DWG™ files in real-time
  • Access drawings with your smartphone or tablet
  • Get the app included with an AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT subscription or purchase separately


3. Now is a great time to talk Training

According to the Association of Talent Development, companies that invest in comprehensive training for their employees enjoy on average 24% higher profits than those who don’t.  

We are well aware that squeezing training into your work schedule is next to impossible, in fact, most employers are only able to commit 1% of their employees time to essential professional development. Covid-19 has forced us all to spend more time away from the office and less time commuting, so is now a good time to talk training?

Click here for Online Training

4. Find some great people to learn from

legacy license

We’ve been very impressed at Quadra with some of the blogs and content that are being generated during Lockdown. Here are just a few of our favourites.

Construction and Built Environment

Manufacturing and Product Design

5. Make sure you can continue to work at home

Back up your data


By configuring your workstation to connect to a secure VPN or Virtual Private Network design engineers are able to take it home, connect it to the internet and work as if you are plugged into your network at the office. Your connection to Autodesk Vault and your drive mappings to company servers should work fine (if not a little slow). Remember though if you take your desktop or tower PC home they don’t usually have WiFi so you will need to set up close to your router or use Powerline Adapters*, just make sure you get the ones with Ethernet ports built-in (and take home a network cable).

If you are using network licenses you may need to increase the amount of time your application will wait before it gives up trying to get a license. This involves setting up a system variable on your workstation. See here for instructions. Click here

Inventor Users

For you Inventor users, if none of the options above are suitable and you decide to copy your data to your workstation and take it home please consider the following:-

  • Copy your Templates and Design Data folders too.
  • You may need to create a new Project (.ipj) file to point to your local hard drive and templates.
  • The files you are working on are not visible to other users so stay in touch when working on parts of a model which may influence other parts of the design.

Useful Resources

The Autodesk Resource Center Click here

Guidelines for installing and using Autodesk software in a virtual environment

Best practices for optimizing your VPN

Best practices for accessing Autodesk software while working remotely

Guidelines and help for using Autodesk software at home

8 ways Generative Design is Transforming Business


Quickly generate high-performing design alternatives—many that you’d never think of on your own—from a single idea. With generative design, there is no single solution; instead, there are multiple great solutions. You choose the design that best fits your needs.

What is generative design?

Generative design is a design exploration process. Designers or engineers input design goals into the generative design software, along with parameters such as performance or spatial requirements, materials, manufacturing methods, and cost constraints. The software explores all the possible permutations of a solution, quickly generating design alternatives. It tests and learns from each iteration what works and what doesn’t.

Benefits of generative design

Explore a wider range of design options

In the time you can create one idea, a computer can generate thousands, along with the data to prove which designs perform best.

Make impossible designs possible

Generative design lets you create optimized complex shapes and internal lattices. Some of these forms are impossible to make with traditional manufacturing methods. Instead, they’re built using new additive manufacturing methods.

Optimise for materials and manufacturing methods

Set goals and parameters and the software will create high-performing design options based on those constraints. The software resolves conflicting design constraints so you can focus on innovating.

1. Solving design challenges

Engineers and designers are limited in time, resources, and energy that can be spent on a given design problem to fully explore both the design and manufacturing options that may be available.

2. Generative design enables you to explore multiple solutions

Generative design is a design exploration tool that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to simultaneously generate multiple solutions based on real-world design goals, product performance requirements, and manufacturing constraints.

3. Increase innovation capacity

Leveraging artificial intelligence, advanced simulation, and cloud computing, generative design enables a new method of rapidly generating hundreds of potential design alternatives by simply specifying design, performance, and manufacturing constraints.

4. Improve product performance

Light weighting or material optimization can improve a product’s performance profile and can reduce product costs by reducing the number of materials used in the design. Light weighting initiatives are pervasive in the automotive and aerospace industries where even incremental reductions in mass can result in dramatic savings in fuel costs.

5. Win more business with generative design and mass customization

Across all industries, there are growing pressures and demand for customized products and services. Attempts to satisfy this demand have strained traditional manufacturing methods and has led to increased production costs and extended timelines.

6. Breaks down data silos between product design and manufacturing constraints

Due to the sequential nature of the product development process, decisions are often made in a vacuum. Decisions on manufacturability and fabrication are typically delayed until late in the design process after major aspects of the project are locked in, sometimes forcing production down a costly and less than desirable path.

7. Enables you to consolidate components

Short-run or custom components are often designed as a subassembly of welded or stamped components that are assembled with fasteners. Ideally, engineers would rather design one component that meets the design requirements rather than decompose it into separate parts that add complexity, must be validated, and need to be assembled.

8. Generative design helps reduce CNC machining

In the aerospace and medical industries, low volume parts are more cost-effectively produced by CNC machining from expensive billets of high tech alloys than by forging, stamping, casting, or moulding, despite the excessive waste material produced from this process.


For more information about how you can embed generative Design process into your design contact the technical team at Quadra

10 Reasons you should be using Revit MEP


Ever wondered if you should be using Revit MEP?

Its a question we hear more regularly than you would expect.

There are numerous advantages to be gained from using Revit MEP and not all of them are related to BIM.

1. It’s easy to use and specifically built to deal with the creation of duct, pipe and containment fittings.

The intuitive, easy to navigate user interface allows Revit MEP users to become productive very quickly.

2. It’s quick and easy to utilise single line drawings created in Revit by converting them to detailed designs, rather than having to start again from scratch.

3. A library of standard Intelligent components to pick and place into a project.
Revit comes with a library of generic equipment, but users can also access manufacturer-specific content from a variety of sources making it quick and easy to build schemes.

4. Promote consistent delivery standards across the team.
By using and building upon the standards built into Revit, less time is spent checking your deliverables.

5. Initial clash avoidance tools with the option to work within Navisworks for full clash checking and reporting.
Revit has tools that are easy to use and can help avoid costly and time-consuming re-works on site.

6. Requests for information are reduced by working directly with project partners information.
When working with a project partner who is also using Revit, the design model will be linked directly into your project. This allows you to view the model from any aspect without the need for extensive requests for information, therefore saving time and money.

7. Design information is embedded in the project elements.
Revit is an intelligent modeller that uses elements which understand what they are and how they interact with other elements in the project. For Example, at any given point in a duct run, the velocity, size and pressure drop can be checked. This level of design validation can prove invaluable and would simply not be available in the same way using 2D design methods.

8. Design information is automatically displayed using intelligent tags. Design information is displayed in tags that can be added to your project automatically. These can also act as a visual check for design adherence, helping enforce standards and avoid costly rework.

9 Automatic update of all views when changes are made to the design.
If a change is made to any aspect of the design, this will be seen across all other views of the model, whether it’s on a drawing sheet or a schedule. This is impossible to achieve using conventional 2D AutoCAD and has significant time-savings.

10. Multiple people can work and coordinate tasks on the same project at the same time.
Revit allows teams to work on the same project concurrently, giving all team members sight of project progress from a single model. This level of collaboration is simply not possible using 2D AutoCAD and provides benefits across the entire team.

Develop fabrication level models within Revit MEP.
Revit MEP creates fabrication level models using the same industry standards from Autodesk Fabrication CADmep.


For more information about Revit MEP and BIM contact us

5 Reasons why our Autodesk Training Passport is a great investment

Training Passport

5 Reasons why our Training Passport is Great Investment right now!

  • Get unbridled access to all Scheduled Training Courses for a period of 12 months (access to over 125 courses throughout the year)
  • Minimal burden on purchasing teams and raising admin
  • Unprecedented flexibility in attending training courses allowing you to make the scheduled calendar work for you
  • Freedom for you to construct a unique development plan for all employees in possession of a training passport.

Contact us for more Information

Frequently Asked PCB Design Questions

In today’s blog we answer the most frequently asked PCB design questions

1. Whats is PCB Design?

Printed circuit board (PCBdesign brings your electronic circuits to life in the physical form. Using layout software, the PCB design process combines component placement and routing to define electrical connectivity on a manufactured circuit board.

2. What is a PCB made from?

A printed circuit board (PCB) is a thin board made from fiberglass, composite epoxy, or other laminate materials. PCBs are found in various electrical and electronic components such as beepers, radios, radars, computer systems, etc. Different types of PCBs are used based on the applications.

printed circuit board (PCB) mechanically supports and electrically connects electrical or electronic components using conductive tracks, pads and other features etched from one or more sheet layers of copper laminated onto and/or between sheet layers of a non-conductive substrate.

3. Which materials are used for PCBs?

Printed circuit boards (PCBs) are usually a flat laminated composite made from non-conductive substrate materials with layers of copper circuitry buried internally or on the external surfaces. They can be as simple as one or two layers of copper, or in high density applications they can have fifty layers or more.

4. Why is Copper used in PCB?

The most common element used to make traces is copper. Why is copper such a popular choice in the PCB industry? The number one benefit of copper is that it is highly conductive. This means that it can easily transmit signals without losing electricity along the way.

5. What data is required for a PCB design quote?

We often only need the basics of a design to begin the process of PCB design. At Quadra we’re happy to accept any form of input. Some of our customers provide completed CAD generated schematics, but we can work with a hand-drawn sketch if required.

6. Which PCB/CAD tools does Quadra use?

Cadence Allegro: We have extensive experience with the Cadence Allegro tool suite

Mentor Graphics Expedition, Power PCB (PADS) and Board Station:

Altium: Now supported with Altium 365 making feedback and design changes easier.

eCADSTAR / CADSTAR / Zuken software packages: As a Zuken PCB design reseller our PCB design skills in this area is second to none.

There are others but it’s best to talk to us to find out what the best solution is for you.

7. Do you perform a Design for Manufacturability (DFM) check of your designs?

Yes we do. You can supply your own Engineering Rules Files (ERF), or you may specify your Fabricator and we will take care of the rest.

8. How secure is my information?

We understand the importance of Intellectual Property and take all Non-Disclosure Agreements very seriously. We hold our employees to very high confidentiality standards.

9. What’s the benefit of outsourcing my PCB layout to Quadra Solutions?

Our philosophy on this is simple: we work hard to make the outsourcing model work for you.

Without outsourcing, you take on the challenge of adding and balancing many liabilities/costs. During peaks, you hire, train, manage and outfit your in-house team with expensive tools, but during troughs, you may need to lay-off designers and continue to pay for idle licenses and overhead.

By outsourcing, you save time and money required to sustain an extended full in-house design team and all the while getting faster, professional results from an outstanding team that acts as an extension of your engineering department.

10. What other services does Quadra offer?

  • Signal Integrity Analysis
  • Schematic Capture
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Design Translation (to/from different tools)
  • PCB Fabrication
  • PCB Assembly & Test

Contact us from more information

AutoCAD Design Training Courses You and Your Team Need Right Now

autocad tips
Have you read our AutoCAD ebook? Read it now

Let’s take a look at the top AutoCAD training and professional development courses that will take your learning to the next level.

AutoCAD is the standard design software used in the engineering, architecture, interior design and construction industries. Designers and drafters use it to create two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) computer drawings. Students interested in learning how to use this software can complete coursework to earn a certificate or degree or take individual non-credit classes at a higher education institution.

Courses that earn continuing education units toward professional development and training are available at Autodesk-authorized training centres. 

The following are some of the most common topics covered in AutoCAD design courses:

  • Curves
  • 3D modelling
  • Multiple Lines
  • Geometric Shapes
  • Isometric drawings
  • Linear Dimensions
  • Polar Arrays
  • Layers and Line Types

AutoCAD Training Courses

Introduction to AutoCAD Course

Introductory courses provide students with a basic knowledge of AutoCAD’s interface, menu options, toolbars and operational commands. Courses often include the opportunity for students to observe the execution of professional drafting projects and learn to create their own 2D designs. Basic skills include drawing, editing, layering and plotting.  Click here for more information

Beyond the Basics

After completing prerequisite introductory instruction in AutoCAD, students often receive training in intermediate-level AutoCAD skills. These can include hatching, dimensioning, cross-references, tables and block attributes. Students can also be introduced to 3D designs and related drafting skills in preparation for advanced AutoCAD training. Click here for more information

AutoCAD – AutoCAD Electrical

The AutoCAD Electrical Fundamentals training course covers the indispensable core topics for working with the AutoCAD Electrical software. In this training, delegates will learn how to use many of the
powerful electrical drawing creation tools in the AutoCAD Electrical software. Click here for more information

Autodesk AutoCAD Update Training

The course includes updates on interface colour scheme, tab and panel enhancements, Autodesk 360 collaboration, Model Space Viewports, and help. There are several updates to commands, such as hatch, array, erase, arcs, polylines, offset, and various 3D tools, such as 3D Model import file types, presspull, point clouds, and creation previews. After completing this course, users will be up-to-date with the latest version of software.  Click here for more information


Autodesk AutoCAD P&ID Essentials Training

Delegates learn how to use AutoCAD P&ID to administer P&ID design projects. This training includes lessons, exercises and review questions. The training provides a focus on project setup and administration. .  Click here for more information

Introduction to Plant Design

In this training, delegates will learn how to use the AutoCAD P&ID, AutoCAD Plant 3D and Autodesk Navisworks to complete a plant design project. This training course provides a comprehensive overview that includes all common workflows for plant design plus a focus on project setup and administration.    Click here for more information

AutoCAD Training Courses

AutoCAD courses are available in AutoCAD and Autodesk certificate programs. Students can complete these training programs online or in a traditional classroom format. AutoCAD training programs might consist of only one comprehensive course that includes progressive instruction from basic to advanced skill levels. More often, students are required to complete several courses over a specified period of time, sometimes as long as three years. Some programs also include instruction in other CAD software programs such as Revit and 3ds MAX Design.

About Us

Quadra Solutions | Gold Autodesk CAD Design Software Solutions

We specialise in Autodesk Design software solutions for the Construction and Manufacturing industries. InventorRevitAutoCAD Collections and Vault software helps our customers design, visualise, innovate and implement Building Information Modelling (BIM) solutions. Autodesk builds software that helps people imagine, design and make a better world. Quadra has been an Autodesk partner for over a decade and our team of product and technical experts have helped deliver design success to hundreds of customers across the UK. We have the knowledge that helps companies embed, enhance and extend their design flow.

Autodesk Training

We have been an Accredited Autodesk Training Centre (ATC) since 2001 and provide training for Autodesk and eCADSTAR and IPC CID. Our most popular courses, InventorRevit and AutoCAD courses are scheduled throughout the year and can be delivered in a variety of ways.

Click here for Bespoke and On-site Training   |    Click here for Online Training

For more information about AutoCAD training contact us

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