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Recommend construction design software?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi guys,

I have a buddy who does home construction like decks, interior rennovations, that sort of thing. He asked me if I could put together some models and also some renderings of deck dimensions. Could you guys recommend me some software? preferrably cheap or free at this stage! And something easy to learn.

I got sketchup that looks pretty good.
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post #2 of 9
Blender is useful and free too. Probably a bit more advanced than Sketchup.

See if any of these meet your needs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_3D_modeling_software
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post #3 of 9
I would say for what he wants and probably needs sketchup is the way to go. It's free and easy and if you pair it up with vray you can get some very nice results in terms of rendering. I personally use autocad and 3ds max but I make my living with architectural representation.
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post #4 of 9
Have a look at microstation:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MicroStation

Its a cross between CAD solution and modelling/rendering software like sketchup. You can also port it across many popular cad platforms and make drafts of your designs, like production orientated.
post #5 of 9
I prefer Revit and autoCAD

They are free to learn at students.autodesk.com you're supposed to have a educational email but I have used gmail before
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post #6 of 9
I was about to post a thread asking the same question. My issue with AutoCAD student edition is:
It has limitations built around the software itself to ensure it leaves a student edition watermark on all the drawings. While this wouldn't be a problem, the problem arrises when you need to port your drawings into a paid version or use specific file versions with hardware like a LaserCAMM instrument to cut out acrylic.

I've had issues where I completely lost a drawing because in an attempted file conversion process the file became unreadable.

I'm going to try out Sketchup and QCAD and see how they perform. I want something that will allow me to make, at minimum, AutoCAD 2000 DXF files so I can use them in a LaserCAMM.
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrollingThunder View Post

I was about to post a thread asking the same question. My issue with AutoCAD student edition is:
It has limitations built around the software itself to ensure it leaves a student edition watermark on all the drawings. While this wouldn't be a problem, the problem arrises when you need to port your drawings into a paid version or use specific file versions with hardware like a LaserCAMM instrument to cut out acrylic.

I've had issues where I completely lost a drawing because in an attempted file conversion process the file became unreadable.

I'm going to try out Sketchup and QCAD and see how they perform. I want something that will allow me to make, at minimum, AutoCAD 2000 DXF files so I can use them in a LaserCAMM.

Have you considered Draft Sight? It's completely free and a very good AutoCAD clone. It works with .dwg files just fine...I've had no issues going back and forth between Draft Sight and AutoCAD in my experience.
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by francisw19 View Post

Have you considered Draft Sight? It's completely free and a very good AutoCAD clone. It works with .dwg files just fine...I've had no issues going back and forth between Draft Sight and AutoCAD in my experience.
Thanks for the heads up! They have a Mac version so I'm gonna try it out.

From what I read in the reviews, it's perfect for what I want to do which doesn't go too deep into the 3d modeling or simulations. Plus I can always send my 2D drawings to the machines at school for use with Inventor or CAD 3D. I just wanted something so I can draw at home or on the road or in between classes.
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrollingThunder View Post

Thanks for the heads up! They have a Mac version so I'm gonna try it out.

From what I read in the reviews, it's perfect for what I want to do which doesn't go too deep into the 3d modeling or simulations. Plus I can always send my 2D drawings to the machines at school for use with Inventor or CAD 3D. I just wanted something so I can draw at home or on the road or in between classes.

Glad to help! biggrin.gif
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