December 27, 2010 at 7:51 pm #166005
I’m entering into the software world for new ideas of what is the latest cutting edge, professional grade and convenient design software. I heard MAC just got a CAD program recently? Different from one out there before? What is it called and all about? I’m primarily a residential designer with possibility expanding and also working for Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens as Therapeutic Horticulture Program coordinator.December 27, 2010 at 9:30 pm #166015
I use BricsCAD (autocad clone) and LandFX and SketchUP Pro (All PC) Autodesk recently released Autocad for the Mac but It has a lot of catching up to do to be on par with the PC platform. The PC paltform is till the platform of choice for most desigers.
s.December 27, 2010 at 10:39 pm #166014
Thank you for your input.December 27, 2010 at 10:58 pm #166013
The Mac program that you probably heard about was likely Vectorworks.December 28, 2010 at 3:24 am #166012
VectorWorks is not new to the Mac is it Andrew? He sounds like he is talking about AutoCAD for the Mac. It is the only recent addition that I am aware of.
s.December 28, 2010 at 12:12 pm #166011Eric GilbeyParticipant
Steve, You’re right…Vectorworks has been on a Mac since it started out as MiniCAD in 1985. AutoCAD did once have a Mac version then pulled out of the Mac world until just coming back in this year.
Irene, I have used AutoCAD for many years, but started using Vectorworks Landmark just over 3 years ago and absolutely love it. I believe Vectorworks has a user group in Maine, and you could contact them to gain their experiences in using it for residential and non-residential garden design.December 28, 2010 at 12:35 pm #166010
I know that it has been around, but it seems to be the Mac program most talked about when it comes to landscape design. She sounds like she is just looking into CAD for the first time. I’m very hesitant to recommend Autocad to anyone who has not had formal training with it and is not working amongst others using it.December 29, 2010 at 12:13 am #166009
I agree absolutly! Andrew. I think I would rather learn sketchup now (if I was starting over) rather than Autocad! I have to hold my nose when talking about Autodesk products in general. Not intiuitive, Expensive! And over rated!
s.December 29, 2010 at 2:16 am #166008
Over priced, but not over rated, in my opinion. It is a huge world in there, although most of us don’t need all of that complication. It is nice to have so many options as well as a pain in the neck that there are so many options. If you are put in the position where you have to use a lot of it, it really sucks not to have it.
Carlson or Intellicad, or Bricscad, or whatever are great when you work isolated from going back and forth with files with others. There are enough subtle differences that I would rather dump the money on Acad than to constantly deal with those subtle differences. I completely understand that others might not be so bothered by those differences or not feel that the extra money is worth it.December 29, 2010 at 1:04 pm #166007
Thank you all for your replies. It’s good to hear your opinions based on experience.December 30, 2010 at 8:42 pm #166006Scott LebsackParticipant
Much of your software decision may rest with the style of project you undertake, this is largely determined by the client:
- One type of client, usually a group or government agency hires you to design, document and permit a project, typically through a drawing/specification package which is then turned over to a contractor to build with minimal project management during construction. These clients may spend 80%-90% of the design fee before breaking ground.
- The other type of client may appreciate saving money on documentation and spending money on site-visits and close coordination with the contractor prior to and during construction. These clients may have over 50% of the design fee left when construction begins. The fee may then be spent on tasks such as hand selecting plant materials or placing stones.
I agree AutoCAD is very expensive/complicated, but it is also the industry standard. Whatever program you use be sure it is able to import/export .dxf or .dwg files, if you expect to work in coordination with other consultants, this included surveyors.
I can only make recommendations based on software I have/do use. We currently have all three programs in our office and often use all three for production.
If your work requires a lot of documentation AutoCAD (~4500) or AutoCAD LT (~$1200) is probably the way to go [the best thing about AutoCAD LT is it’s price relative to AutoCAD]. The learning curve on these CAD Systems can be very steep, but because AutoCAD is so ubiquitous, there is a lot of help available online. P.S. If you are experienced w/ AutoCAD moving “down” to LT is a nightmare…
Sketchup Pro might be a good option for residential and private work, it can import export .dxf and .dwg formats and easily facilitates 3D design for about ~$495. It can also be used to create construction documents. I have used it for 3-4 sheet sets, but use AutoCAD 2011 for anything beyond that.
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