Electrical Design Software | Elecdes Design Suite by Scada Systems Ltd

Panel Construction discussion

2D Vs 3D

Historically panel layout design has been a 2D procedure.

Electrical engineers and designers would draw several 2D views of their enclosure showing:

  • The (sometimes-approximate) locations desired for major components of the panel; on the front door, on mounting or gear plates, possibly a gland plate arrangement.

  • A manually generated materials list - usually only containing major components.

This level of documentation requires intelligent panel manufacturers to cope with the following problems.

  • Interference of panel parts (e.g. Front door meters protruding and clashing with internally mounted components).

  • Wire looming lengths (How much wire is required, optimum looping and which ducts to run it through).

  • Generating accurate materials requirements (For items not shown and for items shown but not quantified accurately e.g. ducting).

Paneldes has introduced a new concept in Panel layout: The 3D model.

Historically panel designers would not use 3D due to the difficulty of driving 3D cad packages.

The common principle: "I would spend more time and money creating a 3D drawing than the panel manufacturers would charge to correct errors and omissions created by 2D limitations" was indeed true.

Paneldes offers a new way to look at this situation. With the Paneldes panel design tools, you can now:

Create a 3D model, to scale, in the same time as was taken to produce your old 2D drawings.


  • A Bill of Materials for all components of the panel is automatically created. I.e. You can spend time accurately representing your panel as a model, rather than omitting detail to give you enough time to count and list a summary of parts.

  • You can easily ensure that interference will not occur in your panel (during the design phase).

  • The designer completes the final design (AS BUILT) of your panel rather than a person in a remote workshop.

  • Wiring lengths are optimised and reported.

  • Components are selected from parts databases (from your circuit diagrams) - minimising error.

  • Component sizing is parametric AND catalog (database) based. You do not have to measure or scale components as you insert them.

  • Maintenance is made easy with the Paneldes Global Editor which allows you to simply re-specify multiple components which will automatically be re-sized on your model.

  • Panel layout models can contain multiple enclosures AND external raceway systems. They are suitable for modelling an array of panels or a control room, substation or analyser shelter etc.

  • Wires can be pre-cut, labelled and crimped, either by cheap labour or machine [rather than by expensive electrical contractors/electricians] saving in the manufacturing costs..

In summary: You can end up with the same style of drawing as you use now, with less risk of AS BUILT change, a more accurate knowledge of parts and materials required (i.e. cost), in the same time frame. AND YOUR PANEL CONSTRUCTION COSTS SHOULD BE REDUCED.