I'm investigating if it is possible to generate electrical schematics for industrial machinery with the LaTeX ecosystem. They are quite different from electronic circuits because are developed sequentially. Here is a typical page drawn with QElectrotech (the only open source package I found for such purpose):

The schematic of a digital input module

These are my requirements:

  1. the schematic can span several pages (let's say up to 50);
  2. adding new symbols must be easy;
  3. should be introspectable (if possible) to leave the doors opened for addition of generated contents (wire numbering, cross reference, terminals and a lot of stuff can be automatically generated);
  4. the result must be easy to be embedded in a LaTeX document.

I checked some existent solution but I'd like to have advices from more seasoned people:

    It is a pleasure to use and MakeCirc yet provides a base, but I fear scalability issues and I don't like the way dynamic text is handled.
  2. Circuitikz
    Seems to be the quickest way to get started but I'm scared of TeX language and I don't have any idea on how introspection can be implemented.
  3. The circuits library of TikZ PGF
    I found no documentation and from what I understood it provides no benefit to circuitikz other than being a core library.
  4. pst-circ
    For this use case, I don't see any advantage over circuitikz.
  5. Circuit macros
    Not tested: I'd prefer to avoid having to learn two new languages (m4 and pic) if there are no clear advantages.

Also, this application seems to be a good candidate for LuaTEX, but I lack a general overview of the interaction between the components, hence I don't know if it is better (or even possible) have LaTeX embedding Lua code that generates circuitikz macros or a Lua program that calls METAPOST for symbols and TeX for labels or Lua embedded into circuitikz in some way to provide introspection.

  • 3
    This is not exactly a question as you might imagine but a feature request. The circuit library of TikZ/PGF is 30 pages long in the manual with a comprehensive list of commands. Also, these are all circuit libraries which are not necessarily suitable for wiring diagrams. Many high voltage elements are not inclcuded , as expected, together with other elements such as contactors etc.
    – percusse
    Jun 17, 2012 at 13:51
  • @percusse: thank you, I totally missed it. Anyway I don't know if this is a feature request because I don't know if it is even possible to use something yet existent to implement what requested.
    – ntd
    Jun 17, 2012 at 15:51
  • As it stands, this is simply too large an area to form a reasonable question in the site format. Of course, if someone does the work then we can reopen and answer ...
    – Joseph Wright
    Aug 4, 2012 at 22:32


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