FREE Software Helps You Draw Fluid Power Schematics

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One of the most frequent inquiries that comes my way is where to find inexpensive software for drawing hydraulic and pneumatic schematics. I've seen many good ones come and go through the years, and it's hard to keep track of what's currently available.

Many programs have some fantastic features. Unfortunately, they are accompanied by fantastic price tags. Most of this high-end software has simulation capabilities, and if that's not something you need, you won't want to pay for it.

How does FREE sound? I know, you get what you pay for, so if software is free, it probably won't do much. Either that, or it's so commercial that you can only use it with the vendor's products.

However, I recently learned of a free computer-aided drafting program called DraftSight, from  Dassault Systèmes.

Go to www.draftsight.com to read about it. DraftSight was developed by Graebert GmbH for Dassault Systèmes (www.3ds.com), and Graebert also markets plugins for DraftSight.

DraftSight lets you construct drawings that can be saved and exported or converted into a variety of formats. I didn't see anything about a library of common fluid power symbols, but once you've drawn a valve or group of components (such as a hydraulic power unit), you could save it and make your own fluid power library. You could probably even go to a users group and share symbols with others.

One feature most potential users want is an automatic bill of materials. I haven't dug deep enough to find out if DraftSight offers this, and it may be an add-on feature or part of an add-on package. (I have since learned that a plug-in features an automatic bill of materials. Click here to learn more.

But don't take my word for it. Click here to go to a page of reviews.

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What's The Hitch Post?

Observations about fluid power and other technologies, technical writing, and unrelated topics

What's The Hitch Post?

Observations about fluid power and other technologies, technical writing, and unrelated topics

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Alan Hitchcox

Alan joined Hydraulics & Pneumatics in 1987 with experience as a technical magazine editor and in industrial sales. He graduated with a BS in engineering technology from Franklin University and...
Contributors

Alan Hitchcox

Alan joined Hydraulics & Pneumatics in 1987 with experience as a technical magazine editor and in industrial sales. He graduated with a BS in engineering technology from Franklin University and...
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