Best Post PowerCADD Residential Drafting Application?

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PeterKona
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Best Post PowerCADD Residential Drafting Application?

Post by PeterKona » Sat Feb 17, 2024 10:37 pm

I hope I'm not messing up this thread by introducing this subject. I think it's good that there are threads for each contender program. I just want to bump the conversation and see if there are some other options out there.

We would rather stay with PowerCADD but like the old water heater in my garage, it looks like we have to look at replacement before it becomes a big problem.

We have two people doing single family residential projects, sometimes very large, often multiple buildings per site. We don't need bleeding-edge technology or ability to collaborate with other consultants (dwg and pdf is OK for engineers etc.), but if some higher tech such as BIM aids the process then that's OK. We don't need BIM for it's own sake. We are fine with SketchUp for the 3d work. We don't look for too many more years, but would prefer a program that is forward-looking and robustly in use by the industry.

Neither of us have a modern Mac system, sticking with Mojave to run PowerCADD, so trials are limited at the moment. I've downloaded High Design and Gaphite --to look at the lower end simplified options-- because they can be run on Mojave. Graphite looks straight forward but perhaps TOO basic to draw efficiently. HighDesign is going to take a bit for me to figure out how to use it.

What do you think for our sort of office? We are thinking of looking into:

VectorWorks Architect
ArchiCAD
SketchUp / LayOut (a la Nick Sonder)
TurboCAD
HighDesign
Graphite (sort of wary of the lack of online chat or blog)

Thanks! Maybe this can be thread for general "residential" CADD ideas and one can go into detail for each program in its own thread.

Peter

Eric Pousse
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Re: Best Post PowerCADD Residential Drafting Application?

Post by Eric Pousse » Sun Feb 18, 2024 10:55 am


PeterKona
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Re: Best Post PowerCADD Residential Drafting Application?

Post by PeterKona » Sun Feb 18, 2024 6:23 pm

Thanks. I'm sure I will.

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bellarchitect
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Re: Best Post PowerCADD Residential Drafting Application?

Post by bellarchitect » Sun Feb 18, 2024 6:48 pm

Hey Peter, have you tried Chief Architect? I have the trial version which you can use anytime and there's no time limit. I found there are too many tools and settings to learn quickly. PC is the simplest and most elegent 2D drawing application available. I've had CA for about 6 months and contiune to tinker with it. I don't plan on moving from PC.

PeterKona
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Re: Best Post PowerCADD Residential Drafting Application?

Post by PeterKona » Sun Feb 18, 2024 11:06 pm

I haven't tried it but I know of people who have used it successfully for design on one hand and builders who like as well to develop their construction approach.

chip.clark
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Location: Grand Rapids, MI

Re: Best Post PowerCADD Residential Drafting Application?

Post by chip.clark » Mon Feb 19, 2024 5:17 pm

I took our 5-person office down the ArchiCad rabbit hole back when PC announced it was sunsetting. The ArchiCad people were wonderful and very attentive, but the actual product use did not go well and I could not see the value for our office's model of professional practice. I spent more time clicking setting boxes and trying to over-ride the software to get it to look like our standards, which it fell short of. The learning curve and price was too steep for me recommending we make the switch. I would bet vectorworks is not far off from that experience for us, as it is owned by same parent company, but I have thought about giving it a whirl also.

anything with a good Xref functionality and some "light BIM" capacity totally catches my eye. but I keep learning more about PC9 each day, and I keep developing more love for it despite its antiquated structure. any of you use the 'set symbol tags' capability and run audit reports to get schedule info? this just rocked my world... takes a bunch of preplanning to implement usefulness, but its no worse than the hoops I was jumping through to get ArchiCad to turn out an almost-useful result.

My personal go-to is Rhino since my days in A-school, and what I use for complex fabrication design work (not architectural practice). I have been trying to tinker with the recent Rhino8 layout overhaul, which looks very promising for 2D drafting, but it is such a UX leap for someone to make that is not used to that interface/command line work. Unfortunately it needs the newer OS (like most software) so I am using my personal machines at home to play.

to be honest, our office is now all in on PC10 arriving and have bet the farm it will be here "soon enough". the break point would likely be walking into 2025 without new hardware running PC10. I might personally break before that. I would like to take FormZ for a couple laps to see what that feels like. looking very "sketchup-y" with a Rhino-like backbone. price-point is aligned with rhino.

I have cloned an external thunderbolt SSD with 10.14.6 and Pcadd, and then updated OS on my 2015 MBP to OS12 so I can run new software and other CAD platforms. PCADD runs perfectly fine off the external, and I can access files on the MBP from cloud drive if needed. I must say that this is NOT my office workstation.
Chip Clark

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revival architecture
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Re: Best Post PowerCADD Residential Drafting Application?

Post by revival architecture » Fri Feb 23, 2024 12:55 pm

My own two cents/ experience.... we are a small firm, we do mostly historic preservation and renovations so we are almost always dealing with existing buildings...we do some some small new commercial and residential work. All that being the case, we rarely need to model things in BIM, and if we do need it, or need some rendering, we farm it out. We did buy into Vectorworks when it became clear PowerCADD just wasn't being supported--but its been a struggle to be honest. Not only is it hugely time consuming but it gets in the way of interns learning the importance of how to put together real working drawings. I am very very very relieved to know PowerCADD is coming back and when its 100% available, I will jettison Vectorworks and never look back. There is just no better CAD for small projects, in my opinion.

PeterKona
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Re: Best Post PowerCADD Residential Drafting Application?

Post by PeterKona » Fri Feb 23, 2024 6:58 pm

revival architecture wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2024 12:55 pm
I am very very very relieved to know PowerCADD is coming back and when its 100% available, I will jettison Vectorworks and never look back. There is just no better CAD for small projects, in my opinion.
That's discouraging! Did you try some other software, going for a more basic 2d approach? Yeah, I'm hoping PowerCADD 10 is going to be enough for us as well. I don't see it being as good as PowerCADD 9 plus Wildtools, at least at first.

johncruet48
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Re: Best Post PowerCADD Residential Drafting Application?

Post by johncruet48 » Sun Feb 25, 2024 5:26 pm

revival architecture wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2024 12:55 pm
I am very very very relieved to know PowerCADD is coming back and when its 100% available, I will jettison Vectorworks and never look back. There is just no better CAD for small projects, in my opinion.
For its considerable expense, Vectorworks has worked for my office as strictly a schematic design/ 3D rendering tool. When I first signed into this program, when it was MiniCad, it was easy enough to use. The current program has its complications- for example, we now have "sheet layers" and "viewports" to deal with and commands like "cut section viewport" to cope with, far more complicated than just cutting a 2D or 3D section and placing it on its own design layer.

I'm currently doing a trial beta 2 version of PowerCadd 10.

My current strategy is to use VW as a schematic design and rendering tool, and to continue to use PowerCadd as my "workhorse" construction drawings tool. PC9 was really, really powerful as such. Based upon my limited experience with PC10, I have all the reason to believe it will develop into such a powerhouse.

PeterKona
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Re: Best Post PowerCADD Residential Drafting Application?

Post by PeterKona » Thu Mar 07, 2024 9:07 pm

I've had to deal with imported interior elevations from a 3d based program (not sure which). What a mess.

The thing is I can knock out a section of a building pretty quickly in PowerCADD. I don't need to try to make a section from a model --which is necessarily encumbered with non-essential and misleading information. We also begin our sections before the details of actual construction is known so we are able to show simple generic components with a PC 2d drawing that is not so simple if you have to create a 3d model.

So if a program allows me to do 2d drawing--with or without the benefit of a model, that's the key for me. Otherwise if I am using PowerCADD for this, why use anything else? The only reason is if we are force, by attrition, to give up PowerCADD.

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