As a well-known provider of "innovative infrastructure solutions", Baskerville would seem an unlikely user of Design Master Software. However, when the firm was awarded a hospital renovation project, their electrical engineers and designers turned to DM Electrical. Senior Designer Howard Erskine recently provided some feedback on their progress thus far:
DM: How long did it take for you to become proficient with the software?
HE: Design Master's electrical package is very intuitive. It took a couple of days for me to get the "third party" software concept into my head. Once I got beyond that, things progressed quickly. Within a week or two I was able to utilize the program fairly efficiently.
DM: What types of projects do you use DM for?
HE: Currently, we have only used the program for a hospital addition. This was a sizeable addition to a functioning hospital, and involved adding onto four different power systems simultaneously (Normal, Equipment, Life Safety and Critical power).
DM: What features of the software are most useful to you?
HE: Being able to update/change panel sizes and loads has become critical as the project nears construction stage. As a drafter, being able to re-circuit devices quickly saved us a considerable amount of time. The fact that the panels were updated automatically was an unexpected bonus.
DM: In what ways could the software be improved?
HE: As I am currently downloading the newest version, I would have to say that I don't have any complaints/requests regarding the electrical package. It is encouraging to know that the Design Master team is quite responsive to our requests as users.
DM: How do you feel that Design Master differs from other engineering or CAD software?
HE: This is my first venture into third party software for design. I had been told horror stories about how the programs would not integrate with AutoCAD, how they would crash it, etc. Apparently, the gang at Design Master read the same articles I did, because their program has worked seamlessly with AutoCAD, making my job that much easier.
DM: Can you describe a situation where Design Master has made your job easier?
HE: Due to a change in scope from the client (hospital owner) our entire lighting design had to be changed. I was able to use Design Master to meet the owner/engineers needs in a very short time, basically recreating the design effort of a month in a 3 day time period.
DM: Do you see the industry using these types of design tools more often in the future?
HE: These types of design tools will only serve to increase productivity. As long as they remain affordable, the industry would be foolish not to utilize them. They put design tools that were previously unavailable in a cad format at the technician's fingertips. With just a few days of training, production can be increased immeasurably.