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We are a 26 year old design/build remodeling firm with an office in Waltham, Massachusetts. We are looking to either develop a relationship with a LOCAL freelance Chief Architect user or potentially hire someone full or part time.
I just posed a question about collaboration with a tech support rep and she steered me here as she did not have and answer for me.
Question: Is there an efficient way to collaborate with colleagues on a single drawing file? Ideally, we would like to store our Chief files on some sort of server that we can both access remotely without the ridiculous process we go through now (described below). Tech support says they have seen many issues/file corruption with this type of system. This seems crazy to me as team collaboration is commonplace in today's workplace.
Note: We each have our own licenses on our own computers. We are a residential remodeling company and do a variety of projects (kitchens, baths, additions, decks, etc.)
Scenario: In our office there are two of us who work on every project in Chief. One person is responsible for all the structural components and permit drawing sets. The other person is responsible for all the interior components including interior/electrical/cabinet drawing sets. We find our current workflow cumbersome and are looking for a more efficient way to collaborate on our Chief projects.
Here's our current workflow:
- Structural: Inputs the field measure info then has to export the file as backup, save to computer, send to shared drive.
- Interior Designer: Downloads file from shared drive, opens file on her computer, designs concepts for client review. After a concept has been accepted by a client, and some detail work completed, the file is exported as back-up again, saved to computer, sent to shared folder.
Structural: Downloads the file, refines structural drawings to send to engineer. Exports file as back-up yada yada yada........
This inefficient process continues back and forth multiple times until all the client requested revisions, structural revisions and details are done and the drawings are completed. BTW, we also have to do this with our layout file as we want all of the information in one layout.
This method has lead to multiple files and back-up files on each of our computers making it confusing which one's is current and which ones are safe to delete. It got to a point where we just started using different files to complete each or our parts of the drawing sets. This obviously leads to discrepancies in the final drawings. So, we recently started doing the same program with the file saved to a physical thumb drive which we have to physically pass back and forth to each other (another inconvenience since we are not always working in the same office).
Frustrated, please HELP!! We are eager to hear how others deal with this issue and appreciate any input.
We recently started using CAx7 to design and build all of our jobs requiring plans but often run into situations needing the stamp of an engineer. We need to find an engineer that would be able to use the work we've put into producing the design and layout files to produce their set and collaborate with us in the process. Our typical requirements are for small home additions and random structural approvals as required by the building department. If anyone is interested, or knows someone who is, please let me know. I am also fairly new to CAx7 (background is Revit/ACAD/Rhino) so there may be a bit of a learning curve on the front end as I get over my "bad habits".