autoCAD v ArchiCAD

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by Genghis Khan, Jun 29, 2007.

  1. Genghis Khan macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #1
    I bet this has been brought up several times, so i'll try to keep it short.

    I'm studying Architecture at uni (in australia). This semester, i'm starting computer modeling and such. The main program used will be AutoCAD (silly PC using university).

    I've done a bit of research into AutoCAD and ArchiCAD and it seems they're both excellent CAD programs.

    My question is, is it worth me spending time learning to use ArchiCAD at home when i'll be using AutoCAD at uni? The main points are compatablility of files from one program to another and whether i'll be able to use my skills from one in the other.

    Thanx everyone,
    -a future architect
     
  2. hugotron macrumors newbie

    hugotron

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2003
    Location:
    Santiago, Chile
    #2
    Hey,

    I strongly recommend you take a look to VectorWorks. I am an architect and use it as my everyday tool. In my opinion it is an excellent package, with a mix of graphic and CAD features that leave it as the best choice.

    http://www.nemetschek.net/
     
  3. iKwick7 macrumors 65816

    iKwick7

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2004
    Location:
    The Wood of Spots, NJ
    #3
    I've been wanting to try Vectorworks FOREVER. As a happy Mac user, it saddens me that I have to use my pc laptop (or Bootcamp) to use AutoCad. I've been using it for over 10 years, I use it at work every day, and, quite frankly, I'm sick of it.

    Only problem? I don't see a trial of Vectorworks anywhere and I don't exactly have a grand lying around to give it a try.
     
  4. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    sitting on your shoulder
    #4
    I hate AutoCAD with a passion, and it seems that it's also a common opinion in the automotive field as well.

    Thankfully, you don't need to use CAD apps to be a music major. :p
     
  5. Genghis Khan thread starter macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #5
    thanx for the tip hugotron,

    do you reckon that i'll be able to transfer my skills from VectorWorks to AutoCAD easily?

    because i really don't want to learn how to use two different CAD programs atm:p
     
  6. epicwelshman macrumors 6502a

    epicwelshman

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    Location:
    Nassau, Bahamas
    #6
    My father is an architect and he loves VectorWorks. Definitely worth a try
     
  7. skd macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    Location:
    carmel, ca
    #7
    Cad

    I'm an architect and after using autoCAD for twenty years, I switched to the mac platform for my office about a year and a half ago. It's the best move I've made in my profession career. Since the engineers I deal with use autoCAD, I have autoCAD loaded on my macs and run it thru bootcamp. For production work and presentation my main software is HighDesign for CAD and SketchUP for 3D. As a student take the time to learn as many Cad programs as you can. They're all basically the same. In my opinion, your main goal as a student is to learn how to learn. When you start your own business, you can make the decisions of how you want to operate your software.
     
  8. Genghis Khan thread starter macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #8
    I've already started using sketch-up myself...it soooo easy for 3-D shapes. Thanks for the tip about 'learning how to learn' although i'd thought i'd finished with that in high school:( ....oh well...i'm no wleaning towards a native mac CAD program, the three ive heard so far are ArchiCAD, VectorWorks and High Design.
    Anyone have experience with all three (or more)?
     
  9. iKwick7 macrumors 65816

    iKwick7

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2004
    Location:
    The Wood of Spots, NJ
    #9
    I've been using SketchUp for years- my absolute favorite modelling program, by far. Check out some of my work:

    http://bigmug.net/Blog/Blog.html

    (renderings, renderings 2, blog, etc. are all the same but with different layouts. The site is style a work in progress. I think the blog layout looks and works the best though).

    I agree that one should learn as many programs as they can- the problem, though, is with programs like Vectorworks- I have been wanting to give a try for many years, but cannot find any sort of trial (or cheap version) out there. Sadness.
     
  10. x704 macrumors regular

    x704

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2006
    #10
    Hi, I have been using CAD software for about 1.5 years now. About a half a year ago I bought my mac and went looking for a decent piece of CAD software for the Mac platform that a student like myself could afford. So far my favorite is CSI Concepts, which they call CCAD (conceptual computer aided design).
    I really like it because it is fast.. esp. with the snapping features on.

    I have not really done anything really exciting on it yet... but I did draw up the paintball bolt that came with my paintball gun, I also designed a rocket engine on it.


    You can download the demo (basically you can do anything except save the drawings) at http://www.csi-concepts.com/
    You will have to fill out a forum and they will email you a link to download it.

    As far as compatibility... the most common format is .DWG (as I recall), almost any CAD software can save to that format for 2D drawings, I don't know about 3D.

    I would advise against getting BobCAD... I use it at work and detest it. There is better CAD software out there, like CSI Concepts ;)


    If you wanted to get more into things like "will these two pieces fit together with an O-ring?" and/or simulation like how much stress would be on a bridge, then you would be looking at different more expensive software that will cost more than your computer.
     
  11. Genghis Khan thread starter macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #11
    *prays he doesn't need the engineering software*
    which i doubt i'll need

    good info on what CAD programs do x704 :)
    does anyone know about 3-D file compatibility between windows (autoCAD) and mac (whatever program i get)

    thanx for all the great info guys, and keep it coming:)
     
  12. x704 macrumors regular

    x704

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2006
    #12
    Well, because I was bugged a little by not knowing much about other 3D formats, I went to google.
    It looks like the two most standard formats (DWG and DXF) both support 3D models, at least for DXF... I am not exactly certain about DWG. Still the two formats are widely supported between many different CAD related programs including CSI Concepts and autoCAD.

    If you wanted to be 100% sure then I would email both companies and ask what 3D formats are supported and to what extent (like supporting surface texture, color... etc.). I looked all over the AutoDesk website (makers of autoCAD) and could find zip about formats that it supports, much less if that format was for vector (2D) or NURBS (3D) only. Other websites only hinted at which format was 3D only or 2D only or a mix. Piecing a few websites together, DXF supports both 3D and 2D drawings as well as layers.

    Whatever program you choose, I think your chances of compatibility between it and autoCAD are fairly good... but then again if you want to be 100% sure you will need to ask.
     
  13. ArchiMark macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2003
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #13
    FWIW, I've used MiniCAD (before it became VectorWorks), starting back in '87 up until about 2000 or so....

    Used AutoBAD for periods from about '88 to about '95....

    Around 2000 or so, I got ArchiCAD and used it since then until about 3 years ago, when I hung up my pencils (or stylus...) in my own firm and went to work for a company doing project management. So, now hire people who do the CAD work for me.... ;)

    Anyway, while ArchiCAD is more expensive than VectorWorks, I think it of the 3 mentioned programs is the one that I found works the best in terms of how an architect works and thinks about design and documents.

    That doesn't mean that VectorWorks isn't a very good program, it is. As mentioned above, I used MiniCAD for some years before switching to ArchiCAD and produced many good sets of drawings with it. Where it lost me at the time was in terms of its 3D capabilities.

    Basically, I felt that MC was a 2D drafting program that had 3D stuff glombed onto it...whereas with ArchiCAD it is a 3D program that you can extract the necessary 2D views out of your 3D model to use them as the typical plans, elevations, and sections you need for a set of contruction drawings after you've finished design concepts...

    I'm just stating my preference from many, many, many hours at the drawing board, I mean CAD station.....

    Of course, YMMV......

    :)
     
  14. toaster_oven macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2003
    Location:
    not sure
    #14
    Learn how to use autocad, Revit, and SketchUp - they will make you more employable. the other programs you should at least play around with so that you'll know what to expect in an office that doesn't use Autodesk or Windows.

    IMO - autocad, or ADT (now Autodesk Architecture), is one of the most bloated pieces of CAD software in existence. I spend most of my day fighting with it - sometimes it's someone else's sloppy work, but usually it's random cryptic stuff that drives me crazy. I prefer Vectorworks, but there are very few firms in the states that use this program. it seems to be very popular in Europe, though.

    but - good cad/3D skills, and good drafting and drawing skills in general (i.e. visual communication skills), are indispensable to any firm - even if your ultimate goal is to be a designer and/or to run your own office. Even better - if you become a principal of a firm, you'll at least understand importance of accurate drawings - and the amount of time it takes to make a good set drawings.

    good luck with school!

    -to
     
  15. jrichie macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    Aus
    #15
    Just my opinion.....

    I practice and teach architecture and there is a definite lean towards using sketchup for design work, and Revit / Archicad for drawings.

    Having been an Autocad user for nearly 10 years, I hate the clumsy thing. It is the most bloated rubbish ever to touch a computer, and who knows why it is still the standard.

    However for the office, I would recomend learning Revit or Archicad - nothing else [perhaps acad if you really have to]. Go 3D all the way in BIM rather than 2D - it will improve your design and save you time.

    The future is BIM [building information modelling] and vectorworks is not it.

    However try and play with as much as you can, before you make a decision.

    For me, now, I am using Revit and it is a good programme, although clunky still. I want to get into Archicad more due to it being on a mac, but given the industry we are in, Autodesk unfortunately rules.

    Hope this is useful!
     
  16. Genghis Khan thread starter macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #16
    thanks for all this guys...some really useful stuff here

    the general ideas coming through are
    1) Learn as many CAD programs as i can
    2) autoCAD isn't all that (autodesk comes up frequently)
    3) sketchup is good (i can do pretty much anything, can't imagine anything i can't do in it)
    4) archiCAD and Vectorworks are the most popular/preferred mac CAD programs

    i'm leaning towards one of archiCAD/vectorworks for 2 reasons
    i) don't want windows on both my macs
    ii) it's useful to know how to use many CAD programs


    now i just have to try them out

    :) thanx guys for all your help:)
    if you think of anything else i should know just post it here:)
     
  17. Genghis Khan thread starter macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #17
    Hey guys,
    me again...turns out we're using Rhino 3D
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhino_3d
    anyone know if it can be used on mac, or will i have to open up my windows partition again?
     
  18. x704 macrumors regular

    x704

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2006
    #18
    Nope. It looks like Rhino is a windows only program... but the file formats still holds the same. Rhino is more for artwork than mechanical designs, but you can still open the 3D file in most any NURBS based CAD program (most have common formats).
     
  19. Genghis Khan thread starter macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #19
    sweet thanks...i think i'll get ArchiCAD as my long term CAD program (for now) as i've seen it on some comps at uni
    some people who've been using rhino for the last week have done some pretty cool things with it

    but i admit it more for making shapes than actual buildings


    *btw check out this
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOMVqA4cipA
    that's the architecture building at uni...i've done this as well:D
     

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