Substation Design Suite-Physical Comparison

SDS and Physical Comparision

Substation Design Physical is available on two different platforms; AutoCAD® and Autodesk® Inventor®

Learn more about each product and how they compare.

Substation Design Suite Physical for Inventor

Built to work on Autodesk Inventor.

Physical for Inventor tools include:

-Ground Grid, Trench Layout and Conduit Modeling

-Fitting Placement Tools

-Model Cable and Bus Layout

-Lightning Protection Design

-Configurable Database 

-Point Cloud Scans for Brownfield Projects

-Electrical Clearance Design Checks Include Phase to Ground, Phase to Phase, and Fence Safety Clearance

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Substation Design Suite Physical

Substation Design Suite Physical for AutoCAD

Built to work on Autodesk AutoCAD.

Physical for AutoCAD tools include:

-Simultaneous 2D and 3D Design Workflows

-Superior Brownfield and Geospatial Workflows

-Integral Real-Time Design Validation

-Standards and Rules-Based Design

-Design Portability and BIM Workflows

-Native Integration with Enterprise Systems

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Which Physical Design Product is Right for Me?

The Inventor based application tends to be a better suited for those users needing to routinely create custom project designs and leverage the inherent Inventor analysis engine. The AutoCAD product is better suited for standards-based designers and organizations that need to integrate their designs with enterprise-wide systems such as EAM and GIS. Some organizations will benefit from having both products.

Capability Description

SDS Physical for Inventor

SDS Physical for AutoCAD

Enables modeling of all project elements in 3D environment 

Design automation support for placing above-grade structures, equipment and materials

Phase-to-phase and phase-to-ground clearance design checks 

Design automation support for placing of below-grade grounding, trench and conduits   

Graphical representation of lightning protection design 

Automation support for the creation of 2D construction print packages 

Automation support for creation of bill of material reports 

Provides ability to maintain custom content libraries 

Supports workflows incorporating Autodesk Vault document management 

Supports incorporation of point cloud data into the project modeling environment 

Enables integration of geospatial data and imagery 

Enables simultaneous 2D and 3D design workflows 

Enhanced design and drafting standards enforcement through model-based and rules-based design approach 

Provides network connectivity model of all electrical components included in project model 

Enhanced above-grade and below-grade design automation through use of configurable model-based and rules-based operating system  

Configurable real-time design checking, validation, and resolving functionality 

Enables integration of design outputs to enterprise systems material management, asset management and work order management systems 

Direct connection between primary and secondary designs 

Supports integration with Autodesk Construction Cloud 

Enables integration of design outputs to enterprise GIS systems 

Explore Further Comparisons of the Base Autodesk Products

Frequently Asked Questions about
Substation Design Suite™

Do I have to purchase the entire suite? Or can I purchase separate modules?
Many of our customers only do physical or electrical design. Because of this, our modules are sold separately.
Does SBS provide training for Substation Design Suite™?
Yes! SBS provides training and mentoring programs. Learn more information about our offerings.
Do I need Autodesk to utilize my SDS Physical product?
Yes. Autodesk Inventor is required to utilize SDS Physical for Inventor (Autodesk Inventor LT won't support SDS Physical for Inventor). Autodesk AutoCAD is required to utilize SDS Physical for AutoCAD.
Does Substation Design Suite™ provide substation content?
Substation Design Suite™ utilizes our Utility Content product for substation content. With Utility Content you can gain access to manufacturer models or create models with our Content Configurator to help design intelligent 3D substations. Please visit Utility Content at to learn more.