Architectural software is available in many different types, prices, features, as well as quality. I won’t talk about every option here, as there are literally many different small, inexpensive courses available at your local software lager.
Instead, I will focus on the fundamental players in the architectural computer software market for design pros. This will also be useful for novice designers… especially those who may wish to share (or pass on) their very own files to an architect or maybe engineer without having compatibility troubles.
Here are some of the most popular executive software programs available, along with these comments, based on my 15 years of experience working with a lot of them. These programs are widespread in design firms all around the nation, but can also be used by everyday consumers, as well.
AutoDesk Products, such as AutoCAD, AutoCAD LT, Revit, VIZ, 3ds Max, AutoSketch, Cyber, and other plugins and additions.
Below are some descriptions as well as comments about the list over…
Many who are die-hard MicroStation users will quickly state that it is a much more stable system to work with, as opposed to the industry typical AutoCad. Many suggest that it truly is much easier to deal with and that the computer programmers did many things much more smartly in their architectural software design and style, as it relates to the user knowledge.
One glaring problem is this specific…
Even IF MicroStation is a far better program than AutoCAD, it actually still got some significant flaws for the end-user. The 1st and most critical flaw, is always that it only comprises about 5-10% of the architectural software industry. Therefore, if the software is certainly not COMPLETELY compatible in BOTH GUIDELINES, this poses workflow destruction for our design team… and also yes, it has some significant compatibility issues with AutoCAD.
Regardless of how much Microstation users would like to deny it, there ARE compatibility conditions issues, especially if you use x-refs and images/OLE objects inside your AutoCAD drawings. When anyone opens your AutoCAD data in Microstation, often the x-refs become unviewable, and the person will then need to contact often the architect to either “bind” his drawings into one painting, or other similar procedure. OR, they will have to transfer the drawings themselves. For architects, this is not practical.
You can get more information about Bentley’s Microstation on their website at http://www.bentley.com.
Archicad is more of a universal 2d/3d application that will provide a total project production, including modelling & copy, as well as 2-dimensional development documents. Changes made to often the model are updated in all of the views, such as plans, elevations, 3d model, etc.
Archicad stores all the information about the making in a central database; adjustments made in one view are usually updated in all others, which includes floor plans, sections/elevations, 3D IMAGES models and bills of fabric.
Although I do not privately have experience with Archicad, they are definitely making an impression in the architectural software marketplace, however, still only living in a very small percentage of the market. One thing I am less than sure about is the sole database file structure.
My very own concern is that I need to have the capacity to delegate different responsibilities to be able to team members, and if only one man can be working on the data at a time, then this poses an essential workflow problem. It is possible this Graphisoft (the makers of Archicad) has addressed this, you can get out more information about their product or service on their website at http://www.graphisoft.com.
Chief Architect is probably the leading software product regarding residential design. Since our business is 99. 9% commercial, I cannot speak to is actually effectiveness, but I do know they may have marketed the product well. The particular graphics are limited, dependent upon the more expensive competition, but it generally seems to provide a very acceptable result from that perspective.
I tried out a demo more than a decade ago and quickly had any idea of its limitations in system software design for commercial plans, so I have not pursued the item for our design purposes.
You can get more information here at their website… http://www.chiefarchitect.com.
SketchUp is becoming well-liked and more well-known, especially ever since Google has purchased the technology rights. We use SketchUp often to convey design tricks to our clients, as well as within our style and design team.
Its ease of use, in addition to the ability to quickly generate three-dimensional representations of building design, allow it to become a very useful piece of system software. Its rendering functionality is limited, compared to 3ds Max, but the price tag will be proportional. SketchUp will not split your bank account, whereas 3ds Utmost is only affordable if you are actually making some good money out of your 3d modelling efforts
I actually highly recommend this product. You can get more details at http://www.sketchup.com.
AutoCAD, by AutoDesk, is the common by which all CAD software packages are compared… not because is actually necessarily a better program, yet because it occupies, by far, the very best market-share for professionals as compared to any other CAD software program readily available.
In fact, for the 13+ several years that I’ve been using AutoCAD (since version 10), just 5% of our consultants as well as other design professionals manipulate anything other than AutoCad, as well as other AutoDesk products. You can get a link to a large variety of AutoDesk products at http://architecturalsoftware.jdlarchitects.com.
Now, of course, AutoDesk will confirm that this IS because their course is superior to the others. This could be the case, but you will get various types of opinions from all sorts of brands, architects, and engineers. Lots of the complaints, including my own, are usually that AutoCad is not extremely user-friendly. This is definitely the truth.
The program is so powerful, that it could take someone decades to understand its features. Often, it truly is so much easier to just use the capabilities you know, than to keep rooting into its vast characteristic sets… you could literally devote all of your time trying to learn each of the features of the program, but you could not get any real treatment done.
That being said, I have used AutoCAD intended for 13+ years now, in case it is used correctly while using proper sheet setups along with reference files, your efficiency can be as efficient as with any executive software product.
To summarize, even if there are debatable troubles about architectural software’s good quality and user-friendliness, it just does not make sense to me, to use anything at all other than AutoDesk’s products. I might not be enthused about it, however, I have to ensure that my productivity is efficient. The unneeded hoops to jump by way of when using CAD software which only 5% of the world is using, are not practical.
I want this file structure to be preserved on my consultant’s end, and as the design process requires back-and-forth transferring of files over the process (sometimes dozens or maybe hundreds of times on significant projects), it is obviously an unacceptable solution if you have child stroller issues to deal with.
Yes, there are many design teams fighting their own way through this process, however, the problem is that their top management, on the average, isn’t savvy enough to present software applications to care about “how” their production happens… these people just care that it will get done. What they don’t realize, is the fact that if they implemented proper productivity usage of architectural software, they might save literally hundreds of man-hours on each job.