Using DraftSight in chemical engineering
Updated August 02, 2022

Using DraftSight in chemical engineering

Uday Singh | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with DraftSight

I use DraftSight extensively in designing the entire emission control system for customer manufacturing processes. The design includes a General Arrangement (GA) plan and elevation layouts, details of components, sectional views of process equipment, and Piping and Instrumentation Diagrams (P&ID). I export the detailed design drawings, typically as .dwg files, to customers and construction contractors for installation of equipment. It would be a challenge to work with both customer engineers and their construction crews without DraftSight, which greatly facilitates my work.
  • It allows me to quickly fit equipment into tight spaces because it is very flexible.
  • It is easy to learn and use, and its numerous features give me many options in the design phase.
  • It provides me with a single tool to design everything from layouts to instrumentation drawings.
  • It enables independent small users like me to wield the design capability of a large enterprise.
  • It would be more efficient to have direct access to Help Support, although the Help feature and Forum can often answer questions.
  • For instrumentation, an embedded symbol library would be valuable. I currently have to create my own library.
  • For layouts, an embedded equipment symbol library (for example, pumps, motors) would be helpful.
  • The ability to quickly commit new features into an existing design
  • Ease of use once you understand the various tools
  • A great variety of design tools
  • Now that I use DraftSight, I can parlay a small investment in the software to a consulting rate of $300 per hour, thereby paying for it in 30 minutes.
  • Using DraftSight, I can easily compete with larger enterprises and be more nimble.
  • The use of DraftSight has actually extended my skill set, allowing me to add new features to my designs.
  • My work is now presented in a more professional manner, and has gained me more respect.
Far simpler to use, and includes many of the same tools as AutoCAD. In our business, the ability to quickly get up and running without a long learning curve is of paramount importance. We are a startup, and don't have a lot of resources, which requires each of us to fill many roles.

Do you think DraftSight delivers good value for the price?


Are you happy with DraftSight's feature set?


Did DraftSight live up to sales and marketing promises?


Did implementation of DraftSight go as expected?


Would you buy DraftSight again?


The program is well suited to quickly creating detailed design drawings to scale. Because of its functionality, a smaller entity or individual designer can start with a clean slate and develop numerous arrangement and associated design drawings, export them to colleagues, receive revision requests, and implement revisions for additional review. It is less well suited, however, to provide accessible symbols and block components which can be scaled.

Using DraftSight

1 - As a design chemical engineer, I provide the range of services needed in my startup. This includes development of process calculations, conceptual design, and moving the design to a CAD file.
1 - A deep understanding of process chemical engineering; ability to go from a simple concept to a full- fledged CAD design that other professionals can understand and then use effectively.
  • Development of chemical engineering process flow balances
  • Development of general arrangement elevation and plan views
  • Development of Piping & Instrumentation drawings
  • The ability to re- design equipment to fit into unexpected small spaces
  • Exploiting the presence of different physical orientations to optimize our design
  • Simplifying piping layouts for quicker field installation
  • Moving from current industry sectors like power plants to new sectors
  • Optimizing our design in current sectors to reduce capital costs
  • Gaining new customers with more professional CAD
It has given us, a small startup, the ability to compete effectively with far larger competitors by evening the playing field at a low cost.

Evaluating DraftSight and Competitors

  • Product Usability
As noted earlier, we had to find a way to compete with far larger and very competent organizations at a low cost. This meant being nimble and equally professional at the same time. It helped that we could come up the learning curve quickly.
I expect that DraftSight will continue to improve, allowing us to refine our designs and compete even better with others. I would herefore not change my process of evaluation and selection unless the software stumbled.

DraftSight Implementation

An easy to use User Guide would help new and inexperienced designers get up and running even quicker. Ideally, intelligent prompts in pop ups would be wonderful, but at this cost it is a lot to ask.
Change management was minimal - Assuming you are referring to the ability to make design revisions, this was actually easy.
  • Creating a scaled version to start

DraftSight Training

It was relatively easy since I was moderately familiar with CAD. For beginners, I recommend training as it would otherwise be time consuming.

Configuring DraftSight

I think that it is about right for this product. For beginners, a few tools may be helpful.
For beginners, a few pop up tips to expedite the process would be very helpful.
No - we have not done any customization to the interface
No - we have not done any custom code
We did none and have no recommendations because it is useful as installed.

DraftSight Support

Being a startup, we are always very short on time. Because we have to rely on delayed information from the user community, we experience a slowdown when we need help.
Less knowledgeable
Problems left unsolved
Difficult to get immediate help
Slow Initial Response
We did not as we cannot afford it. Our time and financial resources are very limited.

Using DraftSight

Even previously inexperienced users like us came up the learning curve reasonably quickly. Once we did, it became quite easy to use. This became a time saver, which is crucial to us.
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Quick to learn
Feel confident using
  • Moving from a concept to design
  • Creating process drawings that customers could quickly use
  • Providing field construction crews with key instructions they could implement
  • Creating a desired scale
  • Finding templates to add features

DraftSight Reliability

As a startup, we really appreciate scalable software or tools, and because we use it for diverse types of projects, flexibility is key.
We have never experienced an availability issue over the years of using it. Had we done so, we would have switched quickly to other software.
We have never experienced any such problem. Pages load quickly, and this may partly be an artifact of using top- end hardware. And we have never had customers complain of issues with opening and using our exported files.

Integrating DraftSight

We have never had a problem with imported or exported files.
  • We have never attempted to integrate, as we have had no need to do so in the past.
  • File import/export
Follow the instructions carefully, or simply practice several times.

Relationship with Dassault Systemes

The purchase and installation process was easy and seamless. The vendor in our case is Cleverbridge, who can be contacted by email and is responsive.
They are responsive and helpful with answering questions. I would rate them higher if it was easier to get phone support, which we can after some time trying to get help.
We did not have to negotiate any, nor were we trying.
If you really need to talk to a human, try using the chatbot, and if not satisfied, look for a link to a phone number. Some issues really need human intervention.

Upgrading DraftSight

  • We did not upgrade.
  • Pop up tips when we are in a quandary would help.
  • More intuitive menus when setting scale and dimensions.
Yes - We did this a few years in the past, likely because we wanted the most powerful features we could get at a reasonable cost. As we develop our startup, it is probable that we would upgrade to Enterprise. The previous upgrade to Professional was quick and worked very well.