self build design software
Posted 05 November 2011 - 06:56 PM
I am new to this site,I am planning to demolish my property and rebuild a 4 flat/apartment building. I went to the self build show in Swindon last weekend hoping to get advice on the most suitable software to use to design the build. Nobody was able to give me any information, from experience, on the most suitable software to use. Can anyone help?
Posted 05 November 2011 - 07:40 PM
You can use a pencil and paper to design a house very effectively; many architects still do. You can do the same process on a PC using an ordinary CAD package, something like AutoCAD (which is my choice) or one of the simpler 2D CAD packages. Or you can do a drawing in a free package, like Sketch up, to get a rough 3D representation of a design.
If you want to move up to the world of professional CAD software, like AutoCAD, Rhinoceros or Solid Works then you need to invest, both in the software and in the time needed to get competent. All CAD software, and particularly good 3D packages, like Solid Works and Rhinoceros, takes a long time to get to grips with, expect to spend several weeks getting up to a basic level of competence.
I would avoid the toy CAD programmes sold specifically for house design, as they are, in my view, just expensive mickey-mouse things, without the ability to produce acceptable working drawings.
Finally, if you want to be able to do basic structural analysis, then there are add-ons for all professional packages that allow things like areas moments, beam deflections etc to be calculated, which can be useful if you want to produce something that gives you confidence in the structural aspects of the design (but doesn't remove the need for a structural engineer to do a set of calcs).
If you want the simplest possible package, the easiest one to learn to use by far, then I suggest taking a look at Sketch Up. It's free, and pretty capable for what it is.
PS: Whatever software you choose, you need to have a basic understanding of technical drawing to use them effectively, especially if you want to produce drawings that are acceptable for building regs etc.
Posted 06 November 2011 - 12:26 PM
Google Sketchup is good although it depends on whether you want to get into 3D renditions.
I agree that you will need to have that basic technical drawing training first to know how to put together a set of acceptable and to scale drawings. I wouldn't agree that you should get involved with structural analysis though, leave that to the professionals, the Structural Engineers.
Posted 06 November 2011 - 06:35 PM
I'll second Nick's endorsement of TurboCAD, having used it for about 12 or 13 years, might even be longer. My version is that old, but unlike Nick I didn't find it 'clunky'. I have the Pro version, and went for that option having tried AutoCad on a mate's insistence that it was superior to TurboCAD - it wasn't. May have improved since then, but TurboCAD was so much quicker with some of the facilities it had. I still run it, but have given the discs and manual to a young guy just starting out, so hope my PC doesn't die on me.
Edited by joiner, 06 November 2011 - 06:37 PM.
Posted 06 November 2011 - 07:42 PM
Posted 06 November 2011 - 10:48 PM
As an electronic engineer, I did tech drawing many years ago both on my original apprentice type training and as a pre-requisite for HNC Engineering. I have already used and produced some very good 3D drawing with the camera 'walk through'. That was back in 2005 when I first contemplated the project. I was working in the middle east at the time and the program called Bruderbund 3D was also limited to XP. The program was very intuitive and easy to produce very good drawings quickly. I subsequently purchased their version 5, however it must have been designed by someone completely different because I found it to be a waste of time.
I have tried sketchup, I used it to support a pre-planning application last Monday 31 Oct. I must admit it drove me potty until I realised that it was best to orientate it to start drawing as a 2D plan. The drawing produced was vastly inferior to the Bruderbund drawings mainly because of the short time I spent with sketchup.
I don't want to spend 1200 on autocad, however I would consider spending up to 400.
I am at present evaluating Visual Building Pro with a 5 day trial 860MB download. It is early days yet. I will keep you posted.
Posted 04 February 2012 - 05:36 PM
Posted 05 February 2012 - 11:22 AM
Posted 16 May 2012 - 07:43 AM
easy to learn on line tutorials great package some examples below of what it can do
Edited by hunggaur, 24 May 2012 - 07:25 AM.