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  1. #1
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    Default Anyone have experience with Envisoneer, Chief Architect, or Softplan?

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    I am looking at using one of the three strictly for residential design. Unfortunately, it is hard to find a good comparison of them. I do want to have the ability to render in 3D on occasion, but I mostly want a product that will produce quality construction documents faster than I am doing it now. I am currently designing my homes with AutocadLT.

    my feature order of preference is probably something like this...
    - quality construction documents
    - speed of producing plans
    - company support
    - user community support
    - learning curve
    - cost

    I have a trial version of all 3, but it is kind of a pain to learn all three programs while trying to keep up with my normal workload. I don't see a huge noticeable difference in them so far. I really need to make a decision, then make a purchase and spend my extra time learning the program so I can make the switch.

    TIA

  2. #2
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    I have had experience with all 3. If working drawings is your primary focus, stay away from Chief Architect which has more of a strength in interior renderings.

    Both Softplan and Envisioneer are better at drawings and I have found and are pretty equal in quality and speed of production. Envisioneer is easier to use by far and has better compatability with AutoCAD files as it supports blocks, attributes, ACAD hatch patterns, dimension styles and layers where Softplan tends to reduce DWG files to lines and explodes just about everything. However Softplan gives more information in creating cross sections and is very reputable in producing drawings but is tougher to learn. Both products have quality forum and technical support and support is free of charge. I found Softplan to be overpriced for a comparable product so ended up with Envisioneer as my choice.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the info. That is pretty close to what I've discovered from other sites. The main thing that worries me about envisioneer is I don't see much activity on their user forums and I saw a thread on another site saying the same.

  4. #4
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    I use Chief Architect, its an excellent program and will beat just about any program speedwise when producing construction documents for residential purposes except for(as I've heard from other Chief users )...Softplan.

  5. #5
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    I tried Chief for almost a month. I found it to be easy to learn out of the box, but there were several things that seemed kinda buggy to me. Maybe I didn't give it enough time. It was real close b/t Softplan and Envisioneer. My decision came down to Softplan being around longer, and they have a larger online user base. The price of Envisioneer is very tempting, however I was afraid I would spend that difference paying for training since help from other users might not be easy to obtain.

  6. #6
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    Chief Architect was created for the professional Home Design Software market and was the first object-based 3D CAD system with smart object design principles; known as Building Information Modeling (BIM).

    About Chief Architect Software

    Chief Architect Software is a leading developer and publisher of 3D Architectural home design software for builders, designers, architects and home DIY enthusiasts. For professionals, we publish the Chief Architect software product line, the most popular product for residential home design.

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