Discover specialized toolsets for creating electrical drawings with AutoCAD professional design and drafting software.

Learn about electrical designs and drawings

An electrical drawing is a type of technical drawing showing information about communication, lighting, and power for architectural or engineering projects.

What is electrical design?

Electrical design is the process of planning and creating electrical equipment, such as electrical components, schematics, lighting equipment, power systems, and telecommunications infrastructure. Electrical design software and tools address the specific workflows for electrical controls systems designers.

What are electrical schematics?

An electrical schematic is a type of electrical design that provides a graphical depiction of an electrical circuit. Its primary purpose is to show how the components of a circuit are laid out and interconnected, rather than to show a realistic, scaled representation of a finished engineering or architectural (US site) project. Electrical schematics may also be referred to as circuit diagrams.

Differences between wiring and electrical schematic drawings

A wiring diagram shows the components of an electrical circuit within a realistic drawing of the finished device or architectural project. A schematic drawing, on the other hand, only diagrams the components and their interconnections, and does not illustrate their physical layout in the finished project.

How is CAD software used in electrical design?

CAD software is an essential tool for creating electrical drawings, electrical schematics, wiring diagrams, and many other forms of electrical design. Builders and makers use products like AutoCAD to create the electrical design for household devices like laptops and video game consoles to architectural projects like houses and office buildings.

Use AutoCAD for electrical drawings

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Get started with AutoCAD Electrical tutorials

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  • AutoCAD Electrical basics

    Get step-by-step tutorials on circuit design, project creation, report generation, and more on the AutoCAD Electrical toolset.

  • Guide to AutoCAD Electrical Toolset

    Uncover the guide to the basic commands needed to create and modify schematics using AutoCAD Electrical toolset.

  • AutoCAD Electrical videos

    Explore the 7-part video series on getting started in AutoCAD Electrical toolset.

Benefits of the AutoCAD Electrical Toolset

Get access to the specialized Electrical toolset (formerly known as AutoCAD Electrical) when you subscribe to AutoCAD. See how you can dramatically increase productivity and save significant time on common AutoCAD electrical design tasks.

See how customers are using CAD software


    Making the switch from AutoCAD LT to AutoCAD

    Martz Technologies switched from AutoCAD LT to AutoCAD (with the Electrical toolset) and saw greater efficiency with the additional features.


    AutoCAD makes ice cream sandwich machine a reality

    Martin CSI relies on AutoCAD Electrical toolset for industrial manufacturing projects—including an ice cream sandwich filler machine.


    Streamlining conveyor systems

    Ever wonder how processed food gets packaged or how beer gets into bottles? Can Lines Engineering makes conveyor lines that get the job done quicker.

Electrical design resources

FAQs on electrical design

Below you will find answers to some of the questions we get asked the most about electrical design and Autodesk’s software.

Electrical design software is used by systems designers for planning and creating electrical equipment, addressing specific workflows. Electrical design software such as AutoCAD® allows electrical engineers to design integrated systems in a fraction of the time normally required when creating the process by hand.

Autodesk’s AutoCAD Electrical toolset includes all the features and tools you need for electrical design. AutoCAD® is computer-aided design (CAD) software that architects, engineers, and construction professionals rely on to create precise 2D and 3D drawings. With AutoCAD, you can draft, annotate, and design 2D geometry and 3D models with solids, surfaces, and mesh objects Automate tasks such as comparing drawings, adding blocks, creating schedules, and more.

AutoCAD Electrical’s automation tools can dramatically help increase productivity, standardization, and consistency during the design process. AutoCAD Electrical software is full of automation tools, from automated wire numbering to full API, and includes Automatic Reports, Title Block Update, various import and export utilities, Circuit Builder, and more.

An electrical schematic is a type of electrical design that provides a graphical depiction of an electrical circuit. Its primary purpose is to show how the components of a circuit are laid out and interconnected, rather than to show a realistic, scaled representation of a finished engineering or architectural project. Electrical schematics are sometimes referred to as circuit diagrams.

AutoCAD Electrical helps companies compete in the global marketplace by offering support both for regional and international standards (AS, GB, IEC, IEC-60617, JIC, JIS, NFPA, and IEEE). There are more than 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 also available. Learn more

Autodesk offers free one-year educational access for students and educators, allowing you to use the same electrical design software as top professionals around the world. Confirm your eligibility, download the software, and get started. Learn more (US site)

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