Author Topic: software to draw general wiring diagram for a product manual?  (Read 362 times)

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Offline Tif

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software to draw general wiring diagram for a product manual?
« on: September 09, 2019, 06:48:37 pm »
Hi EEFolks,

I've been searching for quite a long time for a software that would allow me to create a simple and nice looking wiring diagram.
The goal is to create a wiring diagram to let the client know how to wire my product.

Whant I have in mind is something like this diagram


or



Please let me know if you have any idea of the software I could use to do this. I thought about using fritzing or fusion360, but I still haven't found a solution that suits my needs.
Thank you!
 

Offline Pseudobyte

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Re: software to draw general wiring diagram for a product manual?
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2019, 07:06:11 pm »
I would actually suggest something like circuit maker. Altium/Circuit Maker schematic capture can do all the things you want. While it is generally not meant for doing this type of schematic capture it does the job very well. If you tried hard enough you could make something that looks exactly the same as what you posted above.

  • Colorful Wires
  • Different Thickness
  • Draw Symbols Or insert Pictures

I have used it in the past to do wire harnesses for race cars. Here is an example:






« Last Edit: September 09, 2019, 07:15:38 pm by Pseudobyte »
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Online T3sl4co1l

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Re: software to draw general wiring diagram for a product manual?
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2019, 12:08:06 am »
- Most SCH tools (see above).
- Microsoft Visio -- part of the Office suite (but not the main package, you have to get it separately I think).
- Most 3D CAD e.g. SolidWorks. Can include physical routing, if you are constructing a complete 3D model of the product.  If nothing else, 2D drawing output.
- Any 2D CAD, e.g. AutoCAD.  Harnesses and wiring diagrams are lightly abstracted in a schematic form so all you need are the shapes, line types and connections.

Downside of SCH tools: you may be stuck with either plain 2D drawing (and usually fairly limited at that, no plane geometry functions?), or abusing SCH objects (symbols, net labels, etc.) for a purpose not quite the same as what was intended.  In which case, you may have to grapple with ERC (electrical rule check) or name collisions or connectivity.  Upside, you can get a netlist output from the graphical connectivity -- but this may be of limited usefulness.

Downside of most others: doing SCH-like operations (drawing blocks, and connections between them) is kind of special-purpose, so you end up taking a lot of time making groups/objects/symbols and drawing the lines exactly between them, rather than concentrating on structure and presentation.

Flowchart tools are not to be overlooked.  If you can do manual placement and routing, and custom symbols, that's pretty much all you need.  Visio is pretty commonly used in this way, and isn't bad at all.  I don't know of others offhand, but I think there are several at least?

Tim
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Offline apurvdate

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Re: software to draw general wiring diagram for a product manual?
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2019, 07:07:20 am »
have a look at Dia at http://dia-installer.de/
its very simple diagram editor, mainly for flowchart.. but it has other shapes/symbols too..

or you can use inkscape for vector file based colour drawings.. getting svgs for additional shapes/symbols is a matter of simple google search..
i think the second image in your example post is probably created in inkscape..
« Last Edit: September 11, 2019, 07:09:41 am by apurvdate »
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: software to draw general wiring diagram for a product manual?
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2019, 07:19:45 am »
I use Visio, which is, after Altium Designer, the only reason I run a VM in my Mac.

You can draw simple diagrams in PPT, and my boss does so, but I personally prefer Visio.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: software to draw general wiring diagram for a product manual?
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2019, 07:54:30 am »
I use Visio as well for these kind of drawing although the counterpart of LibreOffice may also do the job. Another option could be Inkscape. Either way there will be a learning curve involved.
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Offline olkipukki

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Re: software to draw general wiring diagram for a product manual?
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2019, 08:18:11 pm »

Please let me know if you have any idea of the software I could use to do this. I thought about using fritzing or fusion360, but I still haven't found a solution that suits my needs.


Are you looking for a free software or do not mind to pay?
Should it be independent from your other tools aka integration is not required and you are happy draw on a blank sheet?
What are going to do a result - copy & past to Word-like editor to complete a manual?
What is your platform - Windows, right?

My obviously suggestion would be Microsoft Vision as less costly and an universal solution,
but since I am in progress ditching all MS software, I have looked into similar issue too...

I would assume that Fusion360 cannot do this
,
so you can try to look from another angle and see how it can be done differently.

The long time ago, I dumped Adobe Creative Suite subscription and completely switched to Affinity Photo (eq Photoshop) and Designer (eq Illustrator) tools.
Recently, I am started to prepare manuals (not like 100 pages etc) using Affinity Publisher (eq InDesign) and stopped a launch MS Word since then.
These allows me to manage and complete everything in most efficient way.

Also, the key point - Affinity runs on PC/Mac and perpetual license cost ~50 EUR per tool/platform.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2019, 11:12:52 pm by olkipukki »
 

Offline Tif

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Re: software to draw general wiring diagram for a product manual?
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2019, 05:02:41 pm »
Thanks for all the ideas you have all suggested!

Are you looking for a free software or do not mind to pay?
I would prefer a free software, but I can afford to pay up to about 100$

Should it be independent from your other tools aka integration is not required and you are happy draw on a blank sheet?
I am okay with drawing on a blank sheet.

What are going to do a result - copy & past to Word-like editor to complete a manual?
The idea is to get nice looking images so that I can includ them in my manual (written with Latex)

What is your platform - Windows, right?
I mainly use mac OS X, but I also have a laptop with Windows 10 and ubuntu, so platform is not really an issue.

I would assume that Fusion360 cannot do this
,
so you can try to look from another angle and see how it can be done differently.

I have seen that you can do things like this in fusion360


And since I have a complete 3D model of my product, I thougt I could do something like this. I was just wondering if there was not another solution since doing this kind of diagram is very time consumming...

 


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