Software Garage/Building Plans & Cost Estimators
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    Software Garage/Building Plans & Cost Estimators

    Last summer I had a local lumberyard sketch out what I wanted for a garage...at the time it was to be 30x40, but I've since decided to go 30x44...while they gave me a nice sketch of the "exterior" appearance and a real nice bill of materials, it didnt give me any framing plans, etc... So I hate to spend another 100 bucks on nothing but a bill of materials....I'd REALLY like to have at least a rough framing plan. I know when I build my 12x16 Garden Shed, having those plans speeded up the process tremendously.
    Does anybody know of any good software to design a pretty simple 30x44 Garage?

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    mjncad's Avatar
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    Dave:

    Have you looked at Google's Sketchup? Maybe it will do what you want; but I don't know since I haven't tried it because I have AutoCAD. Is TurboCAD still around?

    How about checking Tucows www.tucows.com for low cost CAD programs.
    I have more ideas than ambition.


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    I've got Autocad 2010....Use it to design some of the parts I've had Plasma-CAM'ed....I only learnt 2d In college so thats about all that I'm familiar with... I was hoping there was an idiot proof app out there that using the dimensions and a few questions on door placements and stud spacing, just pump out the wall framing.. Roof and all that happy fun jazz is easy to do on the fly.

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    eepete's Avatar
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    The've come out with AutoCad for the MAC, but no AutoCad Lite for the MAC.

    The cost of the various drawing programs (that do 3D) is high enough that I just pay the chassis shop to do my drawings. In general, all CAD software is out of control now. The entire industry pretty much can't survive unless the thing they are selling is $5K. When you've built your company around those sort of prices and margins (i.e. sales people, advertisements, commissions, etc) it's hard to back down.

    I'm still using a 1997 package for circuit boards. The company that did that product was bought out, the price went from $1500 to $5K. All the "features" they added to justify this price are worthless stuff out of marketing. AutoCad, Visio, PhotoShop, some of the programs for editing audio, are all way out of control.

    Company I worked for in the 1999 time frame spent $75K or so for circuit board software, autocad, 3D modeling programs, simulator programs, and parts libraries. Productivity went down. I'd cut the circuit boards by hand and then put them in chassis from drawings, then fix the problem spots. Even with $1500 tooling charges for it all, it was way cheaper and faster. You also solve all your problems, not just the ones the software thought you had.

    There is a myth out there that you can get all this software, hire the people to run it, and then crank stuff out more efficiently and get it right on the 1st cut. Building a plane or rocket? Ok. Building most of what gets built, well, no.

    There is a need for basic programs that let you transfer what you want to the machines that produce it. What the world needs is good $500 circuit board, 2d and 3D drawing, and various simulation packages with targeted scope. I'm hoping the current craze over 3D printing machines will deal with this problem. That's a new start up area, and it's hard to sell a $1500 machine that needs a $5K program to make drawings for it.

    Didn't solve Dave's problem, but it was a fun hijack and rant...

    Pete
    '09 JD4520 Cab (60HP), '97 KubotaB21 TLB (21HP), 400cx loader, MX6 rotary mower, SB1106 6' Sickle Bar, BB3272 6' box blade, GradeMaster 7' Landplane, Frontier AF11E Front Blade, 4' Pallet Forks, 6' landscape rake, ballast box, Woods GTC 40" tiller, PHD 9" auger, 4' x 8' chain harrow, '16 X755 (23HP Diesel) w/front PTO, 60" deck, 72" front blade, '90 JD318 (18HP gas) with 48" MM mower, 54" front blade, 47" snowblower.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eepete View Post
    Didn't solve Dave's problem, but it was a fun hijack and rant...

    Pete
    LOL, you sure didnt solve my problem but its nice to see that I'm not the only one that feels this way. Probably be faster to just pencil & paper it...
    Friend here said he has some Better Homes & Gardens designer software which comes close...but I could care less about the siding color and the nice features so to speak. I just want to know how many & how long I need to cut the 2x6's etc...
    Professional design shops only want to go full bore and pick out siding color, roofing, add in the elevations and what kind of trees & flowers I want around it.... all I want is a "schematic" with dimensions I can use for framing & concrete work, and at the most the amount of squares of roofing I need, etc... And they also want stupid money to do it (prolly cause they gotta pay for that 5k software)...

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    mjncad's Avatar
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    Dave:

    Since you have ACAD 2010, you have all that you need to make drawings; but to get an intelligent building design program you need something like Autodesk's Revit, which I've demoed for 30-days, and if I ran an architecture firm I'd be moving away from ACAD to Revit. However Revit is pricey and geared more for commercial buildings; though it can easily be used for residential type work. If you only used your ACAD 2010 for buildings, I'd suggest looking into crossgrading your ACAD 2010 to Revit; but since you make designs for machines with ACAD, Revit won't work for that.

    I looked at Chief Architect that's geared for residential buildings, and it's way to pricey for a niche player software house. It was comparable to or more expensive than ACAD as I recall; but was intelligent according to the company's website.

    Pete is right about the price of CAD programs getting out of sight with AutoCAD LT (Light) at about $1,200 now, and I recall it was originally $500. The problem is that the big boys have essentially squashed the small fry and can now charge what they want.
    I have more ideas than ambition.


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    eepete's Avatar
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    The 3D printer craze will have the effect of doubling to quadrupling the demand for 3D CAD programs. The last little manufacturing show I went to had a bunch of people in the 3D printing market. There was a similar explosion of the printed circuit board (PCB) market when the 1st programs came out that let you lay out a board on a computer. The ability to go from computer to fab machine without any intervening steps is very attractive. You didn't have to find a place that could photograph your artwork and make negatives, the step of setting up where to drill the holes was gone, no pick and place data to enter and you got a BOM.

    I can a see a start-up coming up with a CAD program that would "only" be $500-ish and having great success with it. And since the big boys will have a corporate structure that depends on $5-10K per copy software, they will not be able to compete with the new stuff. This is much like the mini computer market going away as the PC came into it's own. If a company was used to selling $50K minicomputers and in a decade you could buy 10x the performance at 1/10 the price, that company can't restructure itself to get by on the low margins.

    Uh Oh, there I go not solving Dave's problems again....

    Pete
    '09 JD4520 Cab (60HP), '97 KubotaB21 TLB (21HP), 400cx loader, MX6 rotary mower, SB1106 6' Sickle Bar, BB3272 6' box blade, GradeMaster 7' Landplane, Frontier AF11E Front Blade, 4' Pallet Forks, 6' landscape rake, ballast box, Woods GTC 40" tiller, PHD 9" auger, 4' x 8' chain harrow, '16 X755 (23HP Diesel) w/front PTO, 60" deck, 72" front blade, '90 JD318 (18HP gas) with 48" MM mower, 54" front blade, 47" snowblower.
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    Pete, have you searched Open source solutions...your posts kinda reminded me of that, I'm gonna go search now...
    I use an Open Source program called inkscape to do my vector graphics...I do have access to Illustrator, BUT I actually like inkscape better.

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    eepete's Avatar
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    I saw some stuff for BSD Unix, just need time to play with it. Have not looked for stuff on a MAC. PCs are right out.

    Audio editing software is big on my list. The program I have only runs on an old PC, and when it dies I out of luck. It was a $200 "two channel only". The people that did it were bought out, so now it's a $6-800 full studio version only .

    I let the chassis house design my chassis. They own and keep the design, so I have to make the chassis there. In return, I get a near zero NRE to do the chassis. So the 2D/3D not high on the list now, but some day I'm sure something will come up.

    Can't wait to see what _your_ solution is :grin:...

    Pete
    '09 JD4520 Cab (60HP), '97 KubotaB21 TLB (21HP), 400cx loader, MX6 rotary mower, SB1106 6' Sickle Bar, BB3272 6' box blade, GradeMaster 7' Landplane, Frontier AF11E Front Blade, 4' Pallet Forks, 6' landscape rake, ballast box, Woods GTC 40" tiller, PHD 9" auger, 4' x 8' chain harrow, '16 X755 (23HP Diesel) w/front PTO, 60" deck, 72" front blade, '90 JD318 (18HP gas) with 48" MM mower, 54" front blade, 47" snowblower.
    Volunteer Firefighter.

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