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Everything posted by Jaime

  1. The good news is that Chief Architect is releasing a MAC version of their software in September. The bad news is that the 3D model will not import into Vectorworks in any meaningful way. Yes a .dwg can be imported but it retains nothing useful for 3D interaction. You can import any views from the model to a Chief Architect .Layout file. The layout file with 2D information can be exported as a .dwg file that is great for creating construction drawings. Chief is a fantastic program for creating 3D models of residential and small commercial projects. You can keep the model alive through the entire Construction Documents phase. I used to import .dwgs and do my construction documents in VW. Now I do everything in Chief. Clients love the quality of renderings and the speed changes can be done in Chief.
  2. Not much of a tease. After VW2012 it is going to take something a heck of alot more impressive to get me to part with any cash.
  3. Take a look at Project Spark at Autodesk Labs, you can download a thirty-day trial. Project Spark is a possible REVIT LT product similar to their Inventor LT, that is in a testing phase to see if there is a market for it.
  4. Vectorworks has gone from having the best documentation and help system to the worst. Lose the Adobe System it isn't working. All the help index should be reviewed and repaired.
  5. I use both Chief Architect and Vectorworks Architect. Most of my work is residential, residential and small commercial. I use Chief Architect for design and rendering. It is much faster to draw with and has a far better library of residential items as well as specialty libraries such as restaurant fixtures, medical, even crime scene. The quality of the renderings is better and faster. However, the drafting tools in Chief are primitive and are not near the quality of Vectorworks. They have improved some, but are still lacking. I use Vectorworks for most 2D tasks in my office. The question you have to ask yourself is can you live with slightly less attractive construction drawings to produce a set of documents 100% extracted from the Virtual Model you create. On small Projects with small fees, I have found that I make a lot more money doing the Project in Chief Architect. I also have a set of drawings that may not have the exact look I desire, but they are totally coordinated. I have not been happy with Vectorworks 2011. It has been a buggy release and the new rendering engine has not worked at all for me (literally it takes hours and then crashes). That has made me use Chief even more.
  6. I make back-ups of all Projects in .DWG format as well as .PDF. With the free Draftsight program from Dassault for Macs and PCs you or another Architect could always open the file and work on it.
  7. Since the initial release and SP2 have in my opinion should have been "Beta" releases of software (i.e. slow, buggy, memory problems and crashes). I hope that SP3 is an improvement.
  8. Is this a problem in Renderworks only? This is the only place I am encountering it. So far I am not impressed with the new rendering engine and I think you should reconsider Liteworks or try Artlantis.
  9. A friend of mine in Boston has a legal license they would like to sell (and legally transfer). Contact me off the list at jaime_blanco@live.com.
  10. Layout elevations in Chief Architect remain connected to the model and you do not lose notations made to the elevations.
  11. I use both Chief Architect and Vectorworks depending on the Project (although I am considering selling Chief Architect-make me an offer). Making a choice between them is really a question of what you consider important. Both have strengths and weaknesses. If your bread and butter is traditional residential design 'Chief Architect' has a lot of pluses. You can create 3D models quick and it has great rendering tools. It is weak in commercial architecture and doing good looking working drawings. I can model houses in Vectorworks that look the same as Chief. It just takes me longer to do. I can create much better looking construction docs in Vectorworks. Looking at your Website I would say you could swing either way.
  12. I use Chief Architect for all of my residential projects. I have just completed my first project that all drawings and schedules are generated from the building model. The rendering tools are also easier to use and produce a better finished product. They also have excellent residential symbol libraries. I love Vectorworks for 2D drafting and the graphic capabilities are great. But, I wish that the modeling and rendering capabilities would improve.
  13. The strength of Vectorworks is that it does not pigeon-hole you into residential or light commercial. I don't think there is a limit to the size of a project that you could do with Vectorworks (or project type). I would contrast this with a product like Chief Architect that is fantastic for residential, but is difficult to use for commercial or institutional work.
  14. Are you building a custom system or buying one from H-P, Dell, Alien or the like? Are you trying for the fastest machine on the block or trying for one generation back with a good price point? Overall I would suggest a minimum of a Quad processor (either AMD or Intel). The Intel i7 extreme is primo but I run a AMD Phenom quadcore and VW runs just fine. Since VW runs best under Vista or Windows 7 32-bit more than 4 Gig of memory is superfluous, but is good to have for the future. The most important element is the graphics card. Make sure you have a minimum of 1-gig of graphics memory. Both Nvidia and ATI make great cards compatible with Vectorworks. You can get a great system in the $1,200 range.
  15. Aesthetically, I think that would work. It is only with the last release that Autocad imports and X-Refs .PDF files. I don't know how enthusiastic an engineer would be working over .pdf backgrounds. I still have some concern over the accuracy and snapping over .PDF's. I have noticed some differences (minor) in .pdf's.
  16. Yes, I am having the same problem. I keep having to "Open latest drawing". The good thing is that the drawings are staying open in the Resources palette, so I can copy symbols and textures.
  17. I agree with Kool-Aid that the new Help is utterly useless. If you type in "reference files" you find "preference" comes up first. If you are not going to distribute usable User's Guides, you better have a good Help system. Also, I suggest a "What's New" section of help that is just commands and features new to Release 2010. The movie that covers what's new goes way to fast and skips over the "how-to's" on each command.
  18. I always send a set of .PDF's with any .DWG file I give to any Engineer or team member so that the other party knows what the drawing should look like, it saves alot of headaches. I am not sure whether Autodesk true view on the other end substitutes fonts for those not available.
  19. The ifcwiki.org shows Vectorworks Architect to be certified to IFC-X2 standards. Whether that is a meaningful standard or not, I don't know. It does not appear to me that anyone could do very much with any of the drawings or data that is exported into IFC format. I sure would not want a Structural or M/E Engineer or Contractor working with what I have seen come out of any IFC translation.
  20. The only way to successfully translate to Autocad is to completely dummy down your Vectorworks to the lowest common denominator. You have to only draw on one layer and make your classes match the Autocad layering standard. You have to only draw in two dimensions using lines. If you use walls, do not use any wall components and avoid fills. Use Autocad hatches. Have the other party prepare a template with layers, hatches, symbols and dimension styles. You will still have to deal with font sizes not matching 100% and although dimensions will be associative they are almost always quirky. It can be done. But it will be frustrating for both parties.
  21. IFC stands for Industry Foundation Class a standard for translation of graphic BIM data sponsored by BuildingSmart (formerly IAI). There is a thread by Jeff Ouillette of Nemetschek that shows a comparison of IFC data exported to various programs. That is very telling of what translates and how the graphics will look. There are various levels of IFC compatibility. REVIT and Archicad achieve a somewhat higher level of translation of information. Vectorworks Architects meets the minimum standards.
  22. You will have to use export to IFC to transfer BIM data and the results are very inconsistent. Three dimensional Vectorworks drawings do not export well into the DWG format. The best you could do is 2D to DWG. On the positive side most government entities have no idea how to use the BIM data they collect or want to collect. Most of the other programs translate poorly to IFC as well.
  23. I have used Chief Architect for residential Projects in the past. It is very easy to model almost any residential project (down to setting the table). It has a great set of three-dimensional symbols and textures. With the newest version CA-X2 it is very easy to keep the model alive from design through working drawings. You can generate elevations, interior elevations, sections and schedules from the model. There are also tools for framing and tools for electrical plans. It produces a duel set of drawings: the "Plan" set is a three-dimensional model the "layout" set is a two-dimensional world for producing construction drawings. Plans, elevations, sections etc. from the "plan" model are sent to the "layout". They are still linked from layout to the plan model. Where Vectorworks Architect is superior is in the is in the two-dimensional drafting tools, in the look and feel of the final drawings and the myriad of tools such as Site Modeling, Database schedules and other tools used by Architects. Although I know an Architect who uses CA for his commercial work, it is a real stretch for the Product. Although I find it a little slower to model a Project in Vectorworks, I can reach the same level or more in quality of the architectural model and graphically produce a better set of drawings in Vectorworks.
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