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Chief Architect Or Revit

 
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Old 06-23-2013, 12:14 PM   #1
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Chief Architect Or Revit


My company does primarily residential design build. I have had trouble deciding to use either Revit or Chief Architect for our primary design tool. Currently we use Chief for preliminary because it is faster and easier to use and Revit for construction documents because it has a better set of tools for that. I would like to start using just one program so that I am not drawing houses and additions twice. I am way better with Chief but see the strengths of Revit, so I thought I would get some advice from the forum. Should I drop Chief and take the time to learn Revit better? Or just stick with Chief?
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Old 06-23-2013, 01:27 PM   #2
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Re: Chief Architect Or Revit


I find that I make perfectly acceptable construction documents using only Chief.
It is what I do for a living, in some ways Revit does make better looking documents, AutoDesk gives you nearly complete control of all aspects of Revit and how it produces con. docs. but I find that makes Revit vastly more complicated too, and therefor much more cumbersome than I find reasonable.
But that is just me. If I need to do cad detailing in something other than Chief I use DraftSite which is produced the makers of Solid Works.
DraftSite is a free 2D program that is based on the AutoCAD format. It opens and saves to DWG and DXF just fine without any problems so far.

In short, I find that Revit is like using a 5 lb. single jack to strike a finish nail in place.

Andy.

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Old 06-23-2013, 02:08 PM   #3
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Re: Chief Architect Or Revit


Have you ever had problems with Chief closing for no reason, or being "Glitchy"? I get frustrated because sometimes it closes for no reason and other times randomly moves walls in plan view and in cad detailing sometimes my arrows will move all over the place? A friend suggested it may be a conflict with some of my hardware?
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Old 06-23-2013, 04:56 PM   #4
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Re: Chief Architect Or Revit


I have never experienced those kinds of problems.

Oh wait, the arrows problem yes, but only when I use the arrows in the layout mode for describing something in the plan file. I do not do that anymore though.

Andy.
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:20 PM   #5
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Re: Chief Architect Or Revit


I have been a satisfied Revit owner and user for about 10 years now, and I like it, but I will second Andy's comment that simple problems often have very complicated solutions in Revit. Sometimes adding a single detail involves quite a bit of modeling.

I'd make the same decision again, but sometimes I wish simple things could be simpler.
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Old 06-25-2013, 06:21 AM   #6
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Re: Chief Architect Or Revit


What software r u guys using for estimating? It be nice if they made an estimating software with good 3d solid modeling, drawing, rendering in it.

I'm using xactimate for estimating but the 3d workbench sucks.


Last edited by TLP; 06-25-2013 at 06:26 AM.
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Old 08-02-2013, 03:48 PM   #7
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Re: Chief Architect Or Revit


I use Revit pretty much every day in an architectural office and I have never used CA.
Revit is very, very complicated and also very expensive. Unless you are doing hotels, large retail, etc, I can't see how it's worth the learning curve and the mandatory annual fee to update.

If you're a large operation with sophisticated estimating, engineering, design...etc, this could be a good approach. Otherwise, way overkill.

Our 50 person office has been working with Revit for probably 3 years now and there are still struggles. Interestingly (and this was a revelation for me) even the sales guys will tell you that you only can expect to model about 70-80% of the project. At some point you just stop investing time into modeling detail and just "cover up" the view with 2D drafting (AutoCAD style).

Personally, I think AutoCAD and SketchUp are going to do almost everything a small designer-contractor needs. Just my two cents.
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Old 08-22-2013, 07:55 PM   #8
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Re: Chief Architect Or Revit


This is old, but for a free chief download/trial: http://www.chiefarchitect.com/products/trial.html

Great user forum (free): http://www.chieftalk.com/forum.php
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Old 09-23-2013, 08:47 PM   #9
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Re: Chief Architect Or Revit


I just downloaded DraftSight and really like it, reminds me of my old autocad. I have problems with importing the dwg's into Chief Architect X2? It load the drawing but fills all of the hatches solid, I have to manually go through and change them all back? Any ideas?
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Old 02-05-2014, 11:44 AM   #10
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Re: Chief Architect Or Revit


I am surprised no one has mentioned ArchiCAD in this forum yet. I'm personally looking at upgrading to a full 3d capable program, and at least for me, its down to 2. Either ArchiCAD, or Revit. However I'm quite sure I will be going with ArchiCAD because most of my design / drafting is residential based, and I have experienced / heard too many stories that Revit just isn't made for the custom home (based both on cost, and complexity of awkward / unique design circumstances).

Has anyone done a comparison between Chief or ArchiCAD? Everything that I've heard / seen is that ArchiCAD gives you the flexibility you need for residential, and well as a superb tool for doing Construction Docs.
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Old 02-05-2014, 12:47 PM   #11
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Re: Chief Architect Or Revit


Archicad is a great program. Revit is too.
I found though that both programs were just too expensive and complicated for what I needed to do for my design drafting business.
It sounds like you will be needing a program that is geared toward rather more complex residential applications than what I do. I do only about 3-4 ground up new house designs and construction documents per year. The ground-ups are bout 2000-3000 sq. ft.
But, I also do about 40-60 additions and a bunch of remodels. All requiring con. docs. and I find that Chief was the correct program for me. I think that SoftPlan may have been a good choice for my business too but I opted for Chief.
I am still thinking about getting heavier into Sketchup too as it is a great tool for architecture and is highly flexible.

Andy.
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Old 02-05-2014, 12:59 PM   #12
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Re: Chief Architect Or Revit


I noticed Chief latest version 6 I think it is has output to a 3D printer. That technology is growing. Can Chief do part design, like a machined part I send to a 3d plastic printer? For example, take a block subtract out sections to form a web with ribs sorta like autocad?
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Old 02-05-2014, 01:19 PM   #13
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Re: Chief Architect Or Revit


Quote:
Originally Posted by TLP View Post
I noticed Chief latest version 6 I think it is has output to a 3D printer. That technology is growing. Can Chief do part design, like a machined part I send to a 3d plastic printer? For example, take a block subtract out sections to form a web with ribs sorta like autocad?
No.

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Old 02-05-2014, 02:44 PM   #14
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Re: Chief Architect Or Revit


Re-Andy

In regards to what I need, from what I've read, I "think" I need something with a bit more control. I am interested to know if you've ever come across something in design that Chief really limited the design, or the amount of a work around that may have resulted in the program not understanding what you want? Or what is typically hard for Chief to do?

Last edited by DYD; 02-05-2014 at 02:48 PM. Reason: missed some information
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Old 02-05-2014, 04:49 PM   #15
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Re: Chief Architect Or Revit


With some of the larger residences that I have done, I have noticed that it can be difficult to define rooms, walls, ceiling planes, and dormers correctly. Especially when they may collide and interfere with each other.
I rather suspect it is very much the same with any program, just different problems. I think that ultimate control is probably best in Sketchup. But Sketchup does not have what the other programs have.

Andy.
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:15 PM   #16
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Re: Chief Architect Or Revit


Sounds like Chief has problems generating complex curves from intersecting surfaces. What version you talking about?

Andy - How about ICF or sandwich construction construction showing say 6" concrete w/ 2.5 " foam skins, or SIPS? Can you do concrete roofs flat and pitched? And get a PL or BOM for it all?
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Old 04-22-2014, 02:19 PM   #17
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Re: Chief Architect Or Revit


In the end anything you generate is only an approximation of the built project. The question is how much time you want to spend learning software and how much time you want to invest in a project gleaning/using imbedded information. As I've said, Revit has an enormous learning curve and does not contain many "things" you need out of the box. There's a great deal of customization needed and finding or making many, many graphics symbols and families: walls, roofs, doors, windows, etc. Many that are available for "free" online are messed up or will cause you headaches later on. but for larger projects, the imbedded databases contain a lot of usable information.

And on the other hand, Sketchup is very easy to learn and to get fast and effective results. It's a LOT easier to produce renderings, elevations, etc with Sketchup than it is with Revit. But, it's not going to give you material take-offs, or cut lists. (Although there are some plugins that help towards these goals) Also, Revit is like $four or five grand and Sketchup Pro is what, $600?

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