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CA vs Vectorworks

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Does anyone have any experience with Chief Architect.

CA, seems to be like ArchiCAD where one draws in plan but with a click of 1 button, one can move to the 3D environment. Also CA similar to ArchiCAD, looks like it can control elements in all views (sections, elevations, perspective, etc.) unlike Vectorworks. Also unlike VW one can adjust all elements with the mouse eg. stretching a window. Also the roofs look like it automatically includes gutters and one models the roof.

Any feedback on how CA compares to Vectorworks will be greatly appreciated.


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I tried CA for a presentation at school, and I must say that it's really really good at what it does and what it let you do. But once you want something different then the standard things in it, all gets really terribly wrong. It just doesn't have the flexibility VW has. But it has better pio's as far as they let you draw the things you want.

Another major problem I found out is that you can only have viewports to plan view which updates. All other kind of views like 3D, elevations etc... you can't make with viewports. Instead, the program just takes a shot of the model at the moment you want with the render option you want. So... Each time you edit the model, you need to do the whole proces over for getting those elevations, ....

You can try the trial version and see if the things you draw are in it.

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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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