Architect/Technical Drawing Software


A friend would like to play around creating technical drawings and would like some recommendations of software to use. I was asked but have no knowledge of these things at all!
He'd like to be able to knock up a plan, and view it from different elevations without preparing the different elevations seperately. Apart from that, feature-wise he isn't bothered.. But would prefer something that isn't complete overkill, for financial and ease-of-use reasons.
Any software suggestions or pointers to more appropriate groups appreciated, thanks!
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I would suggest you mess around with Google Sketchup. It isn't fully technical, but will allow you to do plans in 3D which will give you the elevations pretty easily. It is very easy to use.
http://sketchup.google.com /
It is very intuitive and quick to learn, fun, and best of all its free for non-commercial use.
Otherwise, what you are asking for (knock out plans and have the elevations come out automagically) is stuff for highly technical and highly expensive software.
Now if your talking about those floor plan programs you can buy at Best Buy or Circuit City, that proclaims "Anyone can do this stuff", nobody is here is going to recommend that to you. They are all junk...and worthless junk at that.
-- Edgar
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Google SketchUp? No way, free is not always better because its free. SketchUp is too abstract and requires understanding complex concepts. For architectural drawings there are no tools to draw floorplans, insert windows and doors and so on, they have to be created from scratch.
A better suggestion IMO would be one of the off the shelf 3D home design software programs that can be bought for peanuts from CompUSA. A child can learn how to use these programs without any reading of manuals or help files and 3D or 2D elevations are generated with a single click of a button. They also dimension an entire plan with a click of a button.
I suggest a shopping trip to CompUSA if the drawings have anything to do with residential or light commerical design. For machines and other types of technical drawings this suggestion will not do. In that case I would recommend something like TurboCAD which can be purchased for as low as $9.95 or thereabouts.
<%= Clinton Gallagher NET csgallagher AT metromilwaukee.com URL http://clintongallagher.metromilwaukee.com / MAP 432'17"N 882'37"W : 432'17"N 882'37"W

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Like I said, IMO they are all junk. And Sketchup can be as abstract as you want it to be. I would never recommend any of those 3D home design POS programs. But that's just me.
-- Edgar
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I'll add that I didn't realize this thread was crossposted, so I don't speak for all the groups represented.
-- Edgar
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Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com


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I second Edgar's suggestion of SketchUp. I've used it to prepare a complete set of drawings for a building control submission. The free version has 2 limitations, it can only do printouts at the screen resolution and it cannot translate files to output to other packages (e.g. the industry standard .dxf or .dwg) - the commercial version can of course do both - and the printout quality is then superb.
It's taken me about 2 weeks to get competant with SketchUp, and it has never software-glitched once. It really is one of the best drawing/cad packages I've used. I'm that impressed that I'm teetering on finding the 300 for the full commercial version - and that's from someone that has only ever bought one 80 set of software development tools and kicked and spat at that prospect.
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Have a look at floorplan 3d. http://www.imsisoft.com/ You can download a trial version. Only 28 from http://www.floorplan.tv/floorplan3Dv10.php There's a basic or a pro version. I found an older, free copy on a cover disk a couple of years back so check the computer magazines too. WM

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Alec Storey wrote:

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Brendan wrote:

GSP 3D Home Designer is a feature-limited version of Arcon, which is a professional architectural design package. It's limited to 4 storeys (including roof), no saving of flythroughs as video, no creating new objects (furniture etc) but other than that is pretty comprehensive
Owain
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some for around 30. Some like Floorplan have pretty wood patters to decorate with
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Have a look at Room Arranger: http://www.roomarranger.com/index.html
It's cheap ($20) and is very easy to use.
Ash
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Alec Storey wrote:

I'd recommend looking into Cycas (free for non-commercial use last I looked), and the Sourceforge open source software repository.
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