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post #1 of (permalink) Old 09-15-2003, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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OT: CAD software for drawing houses and other 2D??

I need a recommendation for CAD software. I will be drawing 4 sets of house plans in the next 6 months. I am ready to make the switch from my drafting table to my computer. Who makes a user-friendly CAD software that is capable of producing quality fully-dimensioned plans in a format that can been printed by my local blue-line shop? I am looking for a professional program that is intuitive for a hand-drawer like myself. I have used some propietery CAD programs in the past, but that was over 10 yrs ago. Thanks for your suggestions.

Tom

PS I will probably also use the software for custom Jeep parts.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 09-15-2003, 08:38 PM
 
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Re: OT: CAD software for drawing houses and other 2D??

If you only need 2D try autoCAD LT. will save you about $1000. 2002 & 2004 versions are pretty user friendly
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 09-15-2003, 08:39 PM
 
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Re: OT: CAD software for drawing houses and other 2D??

I do not have a lot of experience with many different kinds of 2-D cad programs because I am still a college student and have only used AutoCAD. This summer I had an internship in which I used AutoCAD to lay out a manufacturing plant. I was unfamiliar with it going into the job because here at school I have only been taught 3D modeling. I found it very easy to learn, within two weeks I felt very comfortable with it. From reading the manual, it seemed like it was designed to be user friendly to someone that is used to the drafting board. You can use guidelines and layers just as if you were drafting. I know the older engineer was used to drafting said he was able to pick up AutoCAD quickly. I know AutoCAD also makes an architecture package if you were primarily using it to design houses and such. If 3D modeling interested you, I would suggest AutoCAD mechanical desktop, which you can use as a 2D package but if you wanted 3D models of you Jeep parts you could do that also. If you have any questions please feel free to email me. I have not had all the experience in the world with different programs but I was impressed with AutoCAD.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 09-15-2003, 08:51 PM
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Re: OT: CAD software for drawing houses and other

If you want to go both cheap and easy, you can go with Broderbunds 3D home architect. I have used it for several years, simple and cheap. It will give you BluePrint quality prints on white paper...I can take a disk into my local Kinkos and have them print from a disk onto full size paper.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 09-15-2003, 09:05 PM
 
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Re: OT: CAD software for drawing houses and other 2D??

Since I've been staring at Autocad every week day for the last 10 years (and some weekends) I guess you'de say my opinion is bias. Autocad LT is a great product, and the price isn't too bad either. AutoCad is also the industry standard, and there's a lot of add on software available for it.
Just my 0.02...
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 09-15-2003, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: OT: CAD software for drawing houses and other

I was considering the AutoCAD LT.

lomodYJ: What type of files does the Broderbund software produce? Are you a builder/remodeler? What have you used your plans for?

I really need quality prints that my subs can easily work off of. I would prefer that they not be able to tell the difference in my plans, and my previous architect's plans.

Thanks,
Tom
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 09-15-2003, 09:19 PM
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Re: OT: CAD software for drawing houses and other

The plans can be exported to DXF or WMF files...never could get a good print off of either of them...just took the software CD to kinkos and they loaded it up on one of their machines and printed from there. The plans you get wont be quite what a architect is going to put out but plenty good enough for most subs.

I do mostly punch and homeowner repair for a builder specializing in remodel/additions/custom homes.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 09-15-2003, 10:14 PM
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Re: OT: CAD software for drawing houses and other

I've been using AutoCAD since the late '80s. It's a powerful engineering tool, couldn't say if it would be the best choice for architectural. AutoDesk sucks though. Don't buy a used copy without checking to see if there have been any legal decisions. There was a big uproar a couple years or so ago where AutoDesk was refusing to sell AutoCAD upgrades to anyone but the original purchaser.

I'd expect AutoCAD to start coming down in price. They have been the standard software for anything for the automotive industry for years. Now, the auto industry is moving to SolidWorks.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 09-15-2003, 10:49 PM
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Re: OT: CAD software for drawing houses and other

Not only is SOLIDWORKS becoming the standard, but AutoDesk is putting out their own version of 3D software called INVENTOR. I've heard rumors of it replacing Mechanical Desktop. I used INVENTOR for about two years. I wouldn't recommend it for any architectual projects. But it does seem to be stealing some emphasis from Autocad. I would think you'd be able to find Autocad LT on sale... SOME WHERE.... that's the program you want. It's windows based, and easy to use. Once you get in over your head......

... besides.... look at all the people ready to help you...... just on this bbs!!!
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 09-16-2003, 07:15 AM
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Re: OT: CAD software for drawing houses and other

lomodyj, I would agree with you on the use of 3D Home Architect if it wasn't for the fact that the title of the post says, "...and other 2D drawings." 3D home architect is a great program for those who are unfamiliar with computers and want to make house plans. My father, who has a 3rd grade reading level and only uses a computer to play solitair, has mastered the program and uses it frequently for his construction business. The program however has little or no capability of drawing in 2D for anything other than house plans and landscaping. I think AutoCAD would be a much better choice if you plan on using the software for more that house plans, and are planning to use it repeatedly. I'm not sure what it costs but I'm sure it's several thousand dollars, so it might make more sense to make house plans using 3D Home Architect and using the old drafting table for other things. That's just my 2 cents.
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