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ACad insanity ?


CivilDesigner

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CivilDesigner

ACad question :

Preface:  For a decade, I've been using very simple 2D program for work, primarily to draw street & lot layouts and all associated improvements, PLUS detailed sections & basic building schematic integrated into such layouts (plan & section)  

Program uses a "hand/pencil" type of entry:  drawing exactly as one does by hand, via mouse.  This means all sections require hand-drawn re-creation, which is tedious.

But there's basically no learning curve - in few mins. you could be doing what I do, no training. (Assuming you're a professional able to hand-draw your design)


Great program, but I've vastly exceeded its intended use. Despite this, I keep using it, as I can't find equally easy-to-use replacement. 

 

I've searched/tried many demo CAD programs, including ACad, and all are incredibly frustrating: achieving nothing after 1 hour, not even extremely basic things. 

 

The "insanity" part is, its utterly counter-intuitive how to even PLACE or HANDLE a line.  My brain just doesn't get it. 
If you think I'm wrong to expect to use ACad in an hour, then you're not grasping this is merely a tool to convey my designs. (and that I don't have time to spend dozens of hours training)

 

I've heard (& seen) amazing work in ACad's "CIVIL-3d".  But colleagues tell me it's a huge learning curve and difficult (these are 20+ year accomplished engineers, not draftsmen) but admit it'd be great if it was simpler.

 

I'm not a draftsperson, I create/specify designs, so what's essential is being able to clearly communicate my concepts to allied professionals. 
I can effortlessly do this with my little program, but have exceeded its limits.

The 2 things I need are:  1.)  ability to obtain sections & perform conflict-checks -without having to RE-create everything, as I do now;  2.) import topo contours & work with them.

 

Can anyone recommend an ACad version that can do this ?  (with caveat of my need to use it with little training/involvement/drama)

Edited by CivilDesigner
correction
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You're having trouble because you haven't been taught or learned how to use the program. AutoCAD is NOT easy but it IS powerful. It doesn't matter if you are a "draftsman" or "engineer". I have degrees in architecture (AAS) and engineering (BS) and I can do it so ANY ONE can do it (learn CAD). The "little training" part is going to be the problem. Can one learn AutoCAD in an hour? I honestly think that this is an unreachable goal :( I can "teach" you to draw lines, circle, arcs, poly-lines and then to offset, trim and erase in an hour but it much more than this.
Can you share the name of the program that you were/are using that was easier to use?
Have you tried to watch beginner ACAD video on the internet?

Edit: Civil 3D can be a monster btw!

 

Sean

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CivilDesigner

Thank you, I was afraid of that. 
I would dedicate a few hours (not just "1 hr"),  IF I knew I'd be able to be quite functional in performing standard civil routines.
 
Yes, I've watched multiple beginner videos: they only confuse/frustrate me, as I can't conceptually "scale them" into what I actually need to do. (which should be quite simple) 

The more advanced videos, I'm hopelessly lost.  I suppose I need something in-between. 


My program isn't actually a "program", its merely a 2D Applet within a much larger program, nothing to do with Cad. (embarrassing to state its intended use: furniture design aide)

Many years ago I stumbled across it by accident, and recognized its true hand-sketch nature, but with ability to rotate/flip/align, & fully dimension/scale/multiply - just as if one had it on graphite & vellum, but could manipulate & designate the graphite as one wished.
IE, you tell a line what to do, same way you tell your pencil what to do.

 

It dawned on me, this was perfect for outputting my work digitally, which allowed me to graduate from drafting table to PDF's/DWG's

My output contrasts favorably with ACAD/Civil output, but those darn sections are what triple my time. 

 

What about REVIT ? 

Or, NON AutoCad programs, that work intuitively/simply ?  I only need very basic 2D topo line working ability. (80% of my work isn't even Cad-related)

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The civil software I am part time involved with "Civil Site Design" has gone down the path of online tutorials. This means if your not sure you can go back and watch a video, this is being continuously developed to fill in that problem what happens after some basic training. having been involved in training novices I would write down the steps on paper, would return to some offices and they would comment that they often looked at them again.

 

In my last employment we did "How to" and made say Word docs with images on how to do a particular task that we did not do often.

 

Civildesigner there are plenty of us here that can help with any Autocad use question don't be afraid to ask.

 

Like before what software are you using.

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Jack_O'neill
3 hours ago, CivilDesigner said:

 

 

What about REVIT ? 

Or, NON AutoCad programs, that work intuitively/simply ?  I only need very basic 2D topo line working ability. (80% of my work isn't even Cad-related)

Revit, like the other programs you mentioned also has a steep learning curve. 

 

Autocad and some of its clones are about as far away from being digital pencil as the difference between a skate board and a fighter jet. Both have their intended uses, and theres nothing wrong with either.  Still, Autocad might be able to offer you an alternative to what you're currently using.  A digitizer with a stylus would allow you to continue to draw by hand, but you'd still have to learn the commands.  Autocad and most other cad programs are extremely powerful, but they require you to tell them what you want them to do. It is command line driven.  There are shortcuts for most of the commands, so you can simply enter L and hit the enter key draw a line.  You then pick the start and end, or type in coordinates (2d or 3d) for both ends.   A line is just that in cad...a straight line. Circles are self explanatory.  There's a rectangle command, a polygon command, there are commands for splines, arcs, fillets, but none of these are completely free hand entities.  You can draw things to extreme precision with cad programs, down to units smaller than a thousandth of an inch, if necessary.   If you need precision in your drawings, cad will provide it.  If you need only represent objects the way you would on paper with a more (and I hate to use this word but it's accurate) "artistic"relationship between objects, there are a number of drawing programs that might meet your needs.   I'm no artist,  but if you like I can hunt some of them up for you.  

 

As BigAl said, don't be shy.  There are plenty of folks here that would be happy to help you find what you need, and help you learn what ever you choose.  We all work all day with this stuff, so we tend to be blunt as a sledgehammer, so please don't take offense.  Direct questions will get direct answers and possibly more direct questions as a reply.

 

Have a great evening.

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Personally I would like to know the name of this 2D program (Applet) that you have been using all this time, that was supposed to be a furniture design aide, which you actually use primarily to draw street & lot layouts and all associated improvements, PLUS detailed sections & basic building schematic integrated into such layouts (plan & section) AND it appears from what you have said to possess true hand-sketch abilities.  What is this remarkable program?  

 

List the 10 most important features a new replacement program must posses.  Then, and only then, can we made an informed recommendation.

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I'd like to see the program as well. I've been around the block a few times (turning 49 this June) and I don't recall ANY program that is this "easy". A CAD program that's as easy as pencil on paper is pretty much another "Holy Grail" in the CAD world. AutoDesk had this COOL program back in the mid 2000's that had promise but they let it die :(
AutoDesk Architectural Studio
 

ArchStudio.jpg

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12 hours ago, Jack_O'neill said:

  As BigAl said, don't be shy.  There are plenty of folks here that would be happy to help you find what you need, and help you learn what ever you choose.  We all work all day with this stuff, so we tend to be blunt as a sledgehammer, so please don't take offense.  Direct questions will get direct answers and possibly more direct questions as a reply.


Indeed, we'll be glad to give you a hand ;)

 

Sean

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CyberAngel
18 hours ago, CivilDesigner said:

ACad question :

Preface:  For a decade, I've been using very simple 2D program for work, primarily to draw street & lot layouts and all associated improvements, PLUS detailed sections & basic building schematic integrated into such layouts (plan & section)  

...

If you think I'm wrong to expect to use ACad in an hour, then you're not grasping this is merely a tool to convey my designs. (and that I don't have time to spend dozens of hours training)

 

I've heard (& seen) amazing work in ACad's "CIVIL-3d".  But colleagues tell me it's a huge learning curve and difficult (these are 20+ year accomplished engineers, not draftsmen) but admit it'd be great if it was simpler.

 

I'm not a draftsperson, I create/specify designs, so what's essential is being able to clearly communicate my concepts to allied professionals. 
I can effortlessly do this with my little program, but have exceeded its limits.

The 2 things I need are:  1.)  ability to obtain sections & perform conflict-checks -without having to RE-create everything, as I do now;  2.) import topo contours & work with them.

 

Can anyone recommend an ACad version that can do this ?  (with caveat of my need to use it with little training/involvement/drama)

 

If you want to import and manipulate contours, you must have Civil 3D. Yes, there is a steep learning curve, but once you have the skills, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish. If you won't take time to learn it, you'll keep losing time doing it the old-fashioned way.

 

Civil 3D also has tools for building drainage systems, roads, parcel layouts, and water pipes. If you don't need those tools, you don't have to learn them.

 

Here's an example. When you create a drain pipe, you specify the material and the diameter. When you place it, you can attach each end to a structure. You can then specify the inverts of both ends of the pipe. That's all. Once you have the surface and an alignment that follows the pipes, Civil 3D can draw the entire section for you, including crossing pipes. The real complexity is in formatting the appearance of the pipes, structures, and labels.

 

As others have said, we'll be happy to help. There are lots of moving parts in Civil 3D, but you can safely ignore many of them. I had to learn it on my own through trial and error. So many errors. We made the mistakes so you don't have to.

 

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Let's backup for a moment shall we?  CivilDesigner, what type of computer are you running this program on (Mac, Windows, Linux)? 

 

BTW....there is a program called iSketchnote, created by startup ISKN, where users place a piece of paper on an tablet PC and write with a special pen thus allowing a person to draw and write digitally.  A magnetic ring tracks your writing and drawing and automatically transfers it to a connected computer or tablet.  Is this what you are searching for?

 

I fully understand the frustration of learning a new piece of software.  Fortunately you and I live in an age where access to learning is wide open.  There are online courses, You-Tube videos, videos on disc, free and fee-based websites, local community colleges, access to source downloadable source material, and even private online tutors.  Why not take advantage of what is out there?

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Another good sketch based program out there is Creo Sketch - link. They much like AutoDesk have left this one to die as well :( They ported/wrote it for iPad but it's not finished and shows no sign of ever being finished.
 

 

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If the OP stopped teasing us we could all stop guessing what this Utopian software is and give him our best advice.

 

Why do so many posters neglect the only bit of information you need even when you ask for it?

 

I can never understand why someone asks for help, but is then reluctant to give you all the information you need to help them.

 

@CivilDesigner I don't mean to be rude but all the guys (and gals) here are only here to help the rest of us and they give their time freely, so please give them all they need.

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