John Siegenthaler, P.E.


Hydronic radiant floor heating system at a municipal center.


I came across PowerCADD while searching the web in a somewhat desperate attempt to replace my aging ClarisCAD software. Don't get me wrong -- ClarisCAD was a good product for its day (introduced in 1991, I believe), and it served me well for many years -- but its color palette and export capability where really limiting what I could do, especially in preparing graphics for publishing.

Anyway, during the search I came across the Design Community site, which led me to I downloaded the PowerCADD demo, and was blown away with what it could do. I especially liked that I could enter my old command key sequences from ClarisCAD and thus ease the productivity transition.

I also liked the "personal touch" of the creators of PowerCADD and WildTools, their "philosophy" about what a CAD system should and should not do were very much inline with my own. It was evident these folks carefully thought about the functionality and efficiency of their drawing tools versus creating features with a demo "whow factor" but lacking in productivity for 2D production drafting.

One thing that also delighted me was the response to a technical question I posted on the Design Community website about exporting PostScript files containing gradients. Alfred Scott, the creator of WildTools, personally called me on a Saturday morning to discuss the problem. Within a few days, he sent me a patch that corrected the situation. Do you think you would get that kind of treatment from AutoDesk or Microsoft? The people behind PowerCADD and WildTools have certainly demonstrated their commitment to excellence in their products and support.

John Siegenthaler

John Siegenthaler

John Siegenthaler is a mechanical engineering graduate of Rensellaer Polytechnic Institute and a licensed professional engineer. He has over 25 of experience in designing modern hydronic heating systems. John is also an Associate Professor of engineering technology at Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica, NY. He is the author of the text Modern Hydronic Heating, and numerous other publications dealing with hydronic heating, including Plumbing & Mechanical ( PM Engineer ( and Heating Piping & Air Conditioning ( He uses PowerCADD to generate the illustrations for all these publications, which are put together using Pagemaker or Quark, and thus need clean EPS files for the illustrations. John Siegenthaler, Appropriate Designs, 9568 Steuben Valley Road, Holland Patent, NY 13354 Phone/FAX: (315) 865-8903 E-mail: Website:


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