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What is sketch up and how does it tie into what we are doing with Chief Architect.  I downloaded the loaner version and have tried to create a couple of building but really have not given it a chance. I'm Guessing it's not BIM.   

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Sketchup is quite powerful and it only costs $595


depending on your needs Chief will probably be better


Sketchup has far better BIM capability than Chief does in relation to inter-communication with other BIM software


while Chief has good BIM  info in walls door windows etc - Chief lacks in communicating with other BIM software


a few years ago Sketchup was a very nice companion with Chief for creating symbols


but for some time now Chief can do quite well in making symbols


if your needs are residential projects and creating permit sets or construction docs

then Chief is far better


yet, Sketchup is nice to have around also



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So Lew.... your saying that




ect ect  communicate to one another .   Is this why job seekers are usually advertising for drafters with experience using  these programs.  I haven't seen an ad for someone using Chief

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Yes, that is about the size of it


the big dog industry players are trying to be BIM compliant so they can share the plans

create a plan in Revit - send it to the Energy software to do its thing - then back to Revit - then over to the MEP software

to check for collisions among the Mechanical, Plumbing, electrical and building - then back to Revit

then over to the structural software etc etc etc


Sketchup can communicate and share with these BIG Boys

surprisingly Chief can't


I have been after CA for over a decade about this and they have given strong indications that they are not interested


Chief also doesn't allow for plug-ins


Sketchup does


yet, Chief is far better than Sketchup for creating plans and construction docs

it is an island ....



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By the time you're done buying the professional grade extensions needed to make SU fully functional as architectural modeling software, you'll be well beyond the cost on CA Premier.


That said, SketchUp is a valuable companion toolset to Chief for interoperability with other modeling/rendering software and rapid modeling of certain symbol types  Just like Adobe Photoshop and MooTools 3D Browser/Polygon Cruncher--it's just part of the toolbox.

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For me Sketchup is just an extra tool.  I personally don't make models or use it for much more than opening and editing sketch up models that I import into Chief but most often I don't need to edit them. Sometimes you import a model of a couch but it also has loveseat and chair and you want the pieces saved as individual pieces to use. It was bought out years ago by Google who really took it to another level and created 3d warehouse website ( I believe ) as a place for people to share models and manufacturers a place to  be found. It since has been sold off but still is a great tool even as a free version.  You can find tons of models for pretty much anything on 3d warehouse and I have downloaded several hundreds. You can then save them and import / copy and paste them into your chief model.  some models import perfectly. Some have almost a photo overlay to  give that model a realistic look that doesn't always work well when imported to chief. Also you may need to save the newer versions of models as I think there were problems importing sketchup vs 7 models or earlier????  I could be wrong on versions but know that and possibly save hassles. Most plumbing and appliance manufacturers and many others are found on there and growing.

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