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CAD Tech News (#120)

5 Feb, 2020 By: Cadalyst Staff


Radica Launches Fully Browser-Based Electrical CAD Software

Thomas Yip, CEO and founder of Radica Software, discusses the "world's first" solution for 2D electrical, pneumatic and hydraulic schematic drawings that runs in the cloud.

By Cyrena Respini-Irwin

Malaysia-based Radica Software has announced the release of Electra Cloud, an electrical CAD software application that allows engineers to create, edit, and share 2D electrical, pneumatic, and hydraulic schematic drawings. The fully browser-based software is the first such application of its type, according to Radica.

Because it runs in an Internet browser, Electra Cloud is platform-agnostic, and accessible via mobile devices as well as desktop computers. It also enables users to collaborate with remotely located team members in real time, regardless of what software each person has installed on their computer. A dashboard gives all individuals working on the same project access to the latest version of drawings, and supports sharing, commenting, chatting, and collaborative editing.

Thomas Yip, CEO and founder of Radica Software, explained that browser-based software offers advantages for a variety of organizations: "For small teams, being able to access critical engineering resources from the cloud means the boss can go out to meet a client with a laptop, without asking the engineer to email the latest version over. It also means the engineer can still make some modifications over the cloud if required, even though he or she may be on a vacation. The days of forgetting to put in place a backup plan are over, as everything is in the cloud, and properly backed up," he told Cadalyst.

"For large diverse teams, it is far easier to sync up the latest changes and plans with everyone. IT cost, scalability, business continuity (in case of manpower turnovers), collaboration both internal and external, access to automatic updates, and flexibility of work practices all contribute to a far better bottom line for companies, compared to good old traditional software.

"Perhaps the only area where traditional software may be required are absolute privacy like military projects, or specialized software that is used to design planes and automotive, where privacy and extreme speed is absolutely required," Yip acknowledged.

Electra Cloud includes automated tooling including automatic tagging, circuit reuse, real-time cross reference, NFPA/JIC and IEC symbols, PLC modules, automatic bill of materials (BOM) generation, terminals, panel layout, and more. The software also features File Version Control functionality that saves changes made in real time automatically, allowing collaborators to revert to previous revisions without losing any work, according to the company. Read more »

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Cyrena Respini-Irwin is Cadalyst's editor in chief.

Sponsored: AM Support Structures — The Need, Impact, and Elimination Strategies

In additive manufacturing (AM), support structures pose problems ranging from mild annoyance to serious obstacle. David Bentley of Proto Labs explains why eliminating them translates to benefits.

By David Bentley

Since the earliest days of additive manufacturing (AM), support structures have been a nuisance, impedance, or problem. Whether printing with plastics or metals, very few AM technologies have been able to avoid building parts without them. The need for support structures adds unwanted challenges when designing them, printing them, and removing them.

Presently, nearly all metal AM systems based on the laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) class of technology have the requirement for support structures to be added to parts. Generally, these AM processes require supports on all down-facing surfaces that are printed at an angle of less than 45 degrees from the horizontal plane, which is established by the build plate.

David Bentley, senior manufacturing engineer for 3D-printed metals at Proto Labs, responded to a recent Q&A with some insights into when support structures have the most impact, how elimination translates to benefits, and the best use cases. Read more »

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David Bentley is the metals production manager at Proto Labs.

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About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff