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Any good software for drawing control systems/flow charts out there?

  1. Jun 1, 2017 #1
    Im drawing a system using control systems engineering. It changes over time and many factors affect each other. So far I've been using draw.io for drawing program architecture and it works great but Im looking for something more directed at flowcharts/control systems.

    Requirements:
    >Layers, Ability to draw many pathways, ability to hide different layers or show all.
    >time windows. Here, sheets would be enough, but I want to be able to show how the system changes over time.
    >Different colors
    >FREE. I am a mere student with no income.
    >Able to save my progress

    Non-requirements:
    >I dont need control system calculations, I can already use simulink for that, but ofcourse it wouldn't hurt.
    >Stand alone application, it's ok if it's in browser but ofc I prefer an app.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 1, 2017 #2

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

  4. Jun 1, 2017 #3
    I want to add, import-ability to LaTeX doesn't hurt...
     
  5. Jun 1, 2017 #4

    FactChecker

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    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Since you already have Simulink diagrams, can you use those for your documentation? There are very serious coordination problems if the analysis, documentation, and code implementation have to be kept in line. There are code auto-generation capabilities from Simulink diagrams.
     
  6. Jun 1, 2017 #5
    Simulink is a bit too slow and clunky for my purposes. i am not going to be running any mathematics for now. It's merely for conceptual drawing. Here is an similar thing of what i am trying to create, a biology textbook diagram with negative feedback, something i have not found in either draw.io or lucidchart.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Jun 1, 2017 #6
    UPDATE: I found a bunch of good ones. For others looking for the same yED, Graphviz and Dia Diagram Editor are good, desktop and without the online datamining that comes with server only apps.
     
  8. Jun 1, 2017 #7
  9. Jun 2, 2017 #8

    FactChecker

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    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Keep in mind that successful projects can eventually grow into very large, complicated, detailed diagrams. It is the unsuccessful ones that stay small and simple. So unless you are prepared to throw away your early versions and start over, you should consider systems that can handle a large, complicated project. That requires a system that allows lower levels of diagrams, details of different signals and logic, state transition diagrams, bundling of signals, etc., etc., etc.
     
  10. Jun 2, 2017 #9

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    Yes, @FactChecker has some really good advice there. Not following his advice are some famous last words of people who used to work on the project but didn't plan for scalability and complexity.
     
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