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Fine Deckbuilder
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402 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We just received Sketchup Pro 7.1 for the test. So far we are still working on Softplan 14. After that we do DeckTools, Chief Architect, Luxwood and Big Hammer. Looks like the last two are very easy to learn. Autocad is probably to much for deck designs but they don't rule it out yet.
They still have a few other ones on the table (not sure which ones) None of us use Sketchup Pro and we will start this one in a few weeks.
If anyone of you outthere willing to join a few meetings and give us a jumpstart, tell us the do and don't etc. and share your knowledge that would be great.
The meetings are online and all members can see your screen including audio. Most meetings are about 2 hours, ones a week and done on Wednesday starting 8.00 Eastern Time.
I'm looking at probably 3 or 4 meetings.
Clemens
 

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Fine Deckbuilder
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402 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Brian, wish I could say yes but probably not. Unless you know Sketchup than of course you are welcome.
 

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solar guy
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1,917 Posts
I use softplan 14
this is way overkill for decks however
I seem to remember a deck specific cad program. However I can't recall the name I would like to say archideck but that is probably wrong.
You may also want to change testimonys in your website to testimonials
 

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Eater of sins.
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4,687 Posts
Here is a deck I copied from the above mentioned website, did it Chief in about 15 min. including the rendering time.

Chief uses Pov-Ray to render, not the best or the fastest by any means. It is adequate for some quick raytracing though.

Chief does a lot of things very well in my humble opinion, like decks and rails and cabinets and even some 3D modeling, but does not specialize in any of those categories I just mentioned.

Sketchup would do an adequate job of this deck and partial house also but it would take much longer to do than I just did in Chief. The time it would take in Sketchup would be less if you had elements like the kind of windows in the sample already existing but that is not too likely. In Sketchup you would have to build at least one of every element of the deck like the handrail, balusters, newels, deck boards and framing then copy and place as needed. I would estimate it would take me about 1.5 hrs. in Sketchup to do what I did in Chief. And I am pretty good at Sketchup.

Now the Sketchup model would be more accurate as to exactly the size and style of rail etc. but I could model this closer to spec. in Chief with about another .5 hr.

Andy.
 

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Fine Deckbuilder
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402 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You're right Nap, Softplan is an overkill for deck. It is a very powerful program but more geared toward architects. We only focus on what it can do for deck builders. If you do additions and remodeling also it might be a good program. I am aware of some mistakes on the web and my webguy retired. I'm working on a few different things to get it rolling again. (Thanks anyway)
Looking forward to work in Chief Architect and Sketchup. I talked to a few guys that bought Cad-Quest. They where dissapointed and one said that he tossed the software in the trash where the designers should be too!
Heard that BigHammer is part of Cad-Quest so we will see since they picked BigHammer also.
Clemens
 

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Fine Deckbuilder
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402 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the info, Andy.
Great to have all your years of building experience and as you get older gearing towards the design trade.
Clemens
 
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