Alaskan_Son

For anyone who uses Plan Footprint CAD Details

Recommended Posts

The Plan Footprint CAD Detail is really quite a handy feature in Chief.  It can help make drawing up site plans quite efficient.  Having said that, it also has a couple problems.  Most notably, and the subject of my query this evening...

 

We can draw lot lines, setbacks, roads, power lines, etc.,  we can position it all according to any North direction that we wish, and we can position/rotate the house on the lot totally unencumbered.  Here's the problem though.  Some of the things we naturally want to put into that CAD Detail such as roads, sidewalks, and driveways also need to exist in the plan view sometimes for 3D views and possibly landscaping plans among other things. 

 

My question is how do you guys manage the 2 different views and those potentially duplicated objects?  Those things are truly a PITA to sync up if the house gets moved on the lot.  What i do now requires creating one or more CAD Details from view, turning layers on and off, cutting and pasting one or more temporary lines between views, drawing angular dimensions, placing temporary points, group selecting and rotating various objects using Current Point, and then group selecting and moving objects using Pt. to Pt. move. 

 

We can obviously just draw it all in plan to avoid those particular issues and I'm fully aware of that and capable of doing so, so please try to avoid responding if that is all you have to offer.  I'm just trying to find out if anyone who actually uses Plan Footprint CAD Details has developed a more effective method of syncing their plan and CAD Detail in such a way that moving/rotating the house on the lot is only a minor inconvenience.  Right now I consider it to be a moderate to major inconvenience.  It's not always a problem, but when it is, it really is. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a quick recent example...

 

Plot plan (with live Plan Footprint)...

Plot.thumb.png.df9c79155fb474e8b1ef1214c5074229.png

 

Start of a landscaping plan with driveway...

plan.thumb.png.5522716c84a9d2e5518b0da76d6d79ac.png

 

Reposition the Plan Footprint on the lot...

Driveway.thumb.png.f746337274ba74663f8a619db0705069.png

 

Not too cool.  Whether or not various parts and pieces are drawn twice (can vary from one instance to the next) things have to get synced up somehow.  I manage, but I feel like there might be a more effective method of dealing with this that I'm not thinking of. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PDF or alike methods. 

It is best to get it right in the first place so you do not have to move and move again, or rotate +5 degrees, -5 degrees, +10 degrees, etc.

 

But if variables present (septic locations, etc), create a separate plan file: lot.plan, place your roads, setbacks, ponds etc. Print to image or PDF. Import PDF /image back into your house plan. Now you should be able to rotate the house with some silly landscaping, and independently move pdf/image layer, rotate the image position with roads and setbacks and all "Plan Footprint 1", "Plan Footprint 99" - will be in sync. New driveway place it into lot.plan, export and import- until you are happy. 

 

Combine plans when all placements are firm.

[My wife changes her opinions daily - so this is what I had to do for my own project.]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, BrownTiger said:

PDF or alike methods. 

It is best to get it right in the first place so you do not have to move and move again, or rotate +5 degrees, -5 degrees, +10 degrees, etc.

 

But if variables present (septic locations, etc), create a separate plan file: lot.plan, place your roads, setbacks, ponds etc. Print to image or PDF. Import PDF /image back into your house plan. Now you should be able to rotate the house with some silly landscaping, and independently move pdf/image layer, rotate the image position with roads and setbacks and all "Plan Footprint 1", "Plan Footprint 99" - will be in sync. New driveway place it into lot.plan, export and import- until you are happy. 

 

Combine plans when all placements are firm.

[My wife changes her opinions daily - so this is what I had to do for my own project.]

 

Thanks for the input BT.  I can't say your method sounds any better though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have just never used the plan footprint, for me its easier to use an annoset for site plans

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Michael, just curious. Why DON'T you currently draw it as a live plot plan instead of a detail? Maybe your explanation will make me go back to my original way of doing it.

 

I know you didn't want to get into this, but......I know I personally don't like fiddling with the north arrow to get the meets and bounds angles to show correctly. But it only takes a few minutes. As for roads, driveways, and fences not drawing in 3d when they are off the lot, I draw the plot, convert a copy to lines as my plot line boundary, then expand the terrain perimeter boundary outwards by 50 or 100 feet so I can add the streets and background trees without any drop off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Michael,

I use the plan footprint in a CAD Detail frequently so that the property lines can be entered directly from a boundary survey, and the house located accurately on the lot. Anything you are drawing in 3D outside of the plan can certainly be displayed in the "footprint view." So, things like driveways, terrains, etc. can be displayed in the CAD detail (in 2D, of course), you just can't dimension to them. However, you can certainly dimension them in the plan view, and the dimensions can be displayed in the CAD detail, so I guess I'm not totally clear what your dilemma is. There is no need to draw things twice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/30/2018 at 7:10 PM, CARMELHILL said:

Why DON'T you currently draw it as a live plot plan instead of a detail?

 

To put it simply?  Because it's faster and more intuitive to draw it as a Plan Footprint CAD Detail.  Just to make sure we're on the same page too...the Plan Footprint IS live.  It's only some of the various components that are drawn with CAD.

 

Also, just so we're clear, I don't always use the CAD Detail method.  It kinda depends on the circumstances.  In the example above, it was way faster and easier to use the CAD Detail method...at least at the outset of the project.  Let me paint a picture of how that went with this one...

 

The house was already drawn.  I was just hired to clean/button up a few things with the model and to produce a custom layout with a few pages (foundation plan, floor plan, and 4 elevations).  That was it; however, I was then asked if I could also draw up a quick site plan using an aerial view of the property along with survey information and was asked to place the house at a specified orientation to the street and to match the median distance from the road as well as at a median spacing when compared the the adjacent properties.  No problem...

  1. Create a Plan Footprint CAD Detail
  2. Input lot lines
  3. Draw setbacks
  4. Import, scale, and position aerial view
  5. Draw roads
  6. Draw rough outline of adjacent houses (this step wasn't completely necessary--I just find it useful)
  7. Take various measurements of existing houses
  8. Rotate and position house--DONE...

 

...until I was asked later to set up a page for a landscape plan that wasn't originally contemplated.  I wasn't personally going to draw the landscaping plan, I just needed to set it up so my client could do the drawings himself.  This wasn't really a huge deal.  I just needed to copy and paste some CAD work from the Plot Plan CAD Detail over to the plan view so he had some road, driveway, and lot information to work with...

 

...then they decided to move the house which results in the issue I showed above.  Again, not a huge deal, and they decided to hire a landscaping architect to draw up those pages separately now, so it's really not a problem.  It just got me to thinking a little about refining my methodology to help reduce extra work in the future. 

 

On 12/30/2018 at 7:10 PM, CARMELHILL said:

I know you didn't want to get into this, but......I know I personally don't like fiddling with the north arrow to get the meets and bounds angles to show correctly.

 

This is something we kinda have to do either way.  Typically it's easier with the CAD Detail method but not always.  In the example I posted above, I was drawing to match the orientation of the existing plat/survey that we were referencing.  The main plat was drawn with North pointing straight up (as usual in my experience)  but this particular zoomed in portion was drawn with North pointing directly to the left,except that the bearings quickly proved the North Arrow on the drawing to be incorrect. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Richard_Morrison said:

Michael,

I use the plan footprint in a CAD Detail frequently so that the property lines can be entered directly from a boundary survey, and the house located accurately on the lot. Anything you are drawing in 3D outside of the plan can certainly be displayed in the "footprint view." So, things like driveways, terrains, etc. can be displayed in the CAD detail (in 2D, of course), you just can't dimension to them. However, you can certainly dimension them in the plan view, and the dimensions can be displayed in the CAD detail, so I guess I'm not totally clear what your dilemma is. There is no need to draw things twice. 

 

Not sure I can totally agree with that.  Let me try to clarify a bit...

 

In principal we only need to draw things once--lot lines in the CAD Detail and roads, driveways, and landscaping in the plan view.  There are a few scenarios to consider though...

 

  1. Plans change like in the scenario I spelled out in my previous post.  I had drawn all the roads and the driveway in the plot plan until a landscaping plan was added to the mix later.  That meant I needed to move at least the driveway over to the plan view.  I went ahead and moved the lot lines and road as well though since that is also information needed to draw up a good landscaping plan.  This resulted in an unintended duplication of some items.  I could have just deleted the road from the plot plan had I wanted to, but the lot lines had to be drawn twice if I wanted in the plan view and wanted to stick with the CAD Detail method.
  2. Accurately drawn driveways are dependent on accurately drawn roads and accurately located structures right?  This means you need to sync up something right from the get go.  Doesn't necessarily mean things need to be drawn twice in a strict sense of the idea, but information has to be moved from the plot plan to the plan view somehow, or it needs to be drawn initially in the plan view and then move to the CAD Detail.  This leads to the aforementioned syncing issues.  
  3. Accurately drawn roads are dependent on the lot lines.  No 2 ways about this.  This means that if you want the road in your plan view that the lot information has to be synced between views somehow.
  4. Assuming its an easy lot and with liberal accuracy tolerances for the plan view, there's still the issue of what happens when the house gets moved on the lot later in the game.  If you have all your driveway and road information in the plan view then all that gets moved along with the house similar to what I showed in my example above.  Again, you might not need to actually draw the lot again, but you have to get that information over to the plan view somehow if you want to properly reposition your roads and driveway.  IMO its just as easy to copy and paste the lot info. and leave it in both plan.  It makes for an easier way to sync the views back up.

 

Anyway, at the end of the day, I STILL think the Plan Footprint CAD Detail can be a faster and more intuitive method of drawing up site plans...even with the syncing issue.  There's definitely a tipping point there somewhere though.  It kinda depends on the complexity of the project and on what sort of pages need to be produced.  If I need to draw up an accurate terrain?  I can't say the CAD Detail method would have any benefit.  If I just have to draw up a quick site plan?  CAD Detail hands down. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see. It's a matter of what you contemplate might change more.....your house design or the site plan. I unfortunately deal more with existing home renovations and additions. The existing geometry of the house often dictates the extents of the addition. I am more likely going be making changes to the plot plan requested by building department to legalize everything that's been added to the property in the last 30 years before I get the permit for my addition.....sheds, decks, gazebos, 4ft fence, 6ft fence, detached garage, driveway encroaching too close the property line, etc....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally do all this in a Cad program like Turbocad.

 

Usually get a dwg file from the various engineers so have the plot plan ( and most of the time the topo information is present as well) or an alternative is to get this information by way of the registers office as a recorded pdf plat (online available) or we have also gotten from Google earth. Now direct import or open into Turbocad  with either method involves re-scaling plat to 1=1 and separating  the individual lot before or after scale. Using Chief make a footprint of the plan per cad and export as a DWG. 

 Next step is to  use the front/side or rear property line and offset from said some dimension... say 35' so we now have a front line or other to work with.  Next step is to import the house file into the plot for the lot or open in a separate dwg file next step is to group or block the house somewhere that we can only select the house and then cut, paste or move into plot plan drawing. Now that we have both the plot plan and the house in the same drawing we choose the front/side etc of the house and use a snap command which allows matching the setback or other line we used.(the existing front/side etc to the line of the property angle direction is irrelevant if the original Plot plan is accurate as for N-S directions and again fairly easy to do if we have something to match to). House is now lined up accurately with the front line or any other line we used as the match line. Rest is simply adding the various items needed. Personally can do what Michael showed in his example in about 15-20 minutes total including drive, sidewalks, elevation points etc. not uncommon to do 300-400 of these a year. If we need this back in Chief simply convert to a DWG export and then import. Rarely need 3D terrain but if we do usually stay in TurborCad where most of our plats already have the topo information and where blend, extrude, Boolean is much more effective. We usually go one step further with our plot plans and lay them out so personal on the ground can lay the house out if an engineer is not required. Personally think that this is the time to use the best program in your toolbox and for me Chief just does not perform this well.

Typical Engineer Drawing.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, KevinWaldron said:

Personally do all this in a Cad program like Turbocad.

 

Usually get a dwg file from the various engineers so have the plot plan ( and most of the time the topo information is present as well) or an alternative is to get this information by way of the registers office as a recorded pdf plat (online available) or we have also gotten from Google earth. Now direct import or open into Turbocad  with either method involves re-scaling plat to 1=1 and separating  the individual lot before or after scale. Using Chief make a footprint of the plan per cad and export as a DWG. 

 Next step is to  use the front/side or rear property line and offset from said some dimension... say 35' so we now have a front line or other to work with.  Next step is to import the house file into the plot for the lot or open in a separate dwg file next step is to group or block the house somewhere that we can only select the house and then cut, paste or move into plot plan drawing. Now that we have both the plot plan and the house in the same drawing we choose the front/side etc of the house and use a snap command which allows matching the setback or other line we used.(the existing front/side etc to the line of the property angle direction is irrelevant if the original Plot plan is accurate as for N-S directions and again fairly easy to do if we have something to match to). House is now lined up accurately with the front line or any other line we used as the match line. Rest is simply adding the various items needed. Personally can do what Michael showed in his example in about 15-20 minutes total including drive, sidewalks, elevation points etc. not uncommon to do 300-400 of these a year. If we need this back in Chief simply convert to a DWG export and then import. Rarely need 3D terrain but if we do usually stay in TurborCad where most of our plats already have the topo information and where blend, extrude, Boolean is much more effective. We usually go one step further with our plot plans and lay them out so personal on the ground can lay the house out if an engineer is not required. Personally think that this is the time to use the best program in your toolbox and for me Chief just does not perform this well.

Typical Engineer Drawing.jpg

 

As with Brown Tiger's approach, I'm not sure this is any easier.  Different? Yes.  More efficient for you?  I'm assuming yes.  Slower?  I think yes, but that is obviously debatable.  But easier?  I don't think so.  Same exact challenges. 

 

I'm thinking that there is nothing that I'm missing.  It's just going to be a pain to sync things back up if the house gets moved late in the game and that there aren't any additional measures we could take to alleviate that.  Again, I can obviously do it all the plan like many people do and there would be no syncing,  but IMO that is just a lot slower and less intuitive for many cases. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/31/2018 at 10:46 AM, Alaskan_Son said:

 

Not sure I fully grasped the issue, just posing a "maybe" solution. Set a cad detail to "site 1" layer and set the layer to light grey...then create a "site 2" cad detail and send to layout using "site 1" as the reference layer. CA will lock the view together and you could use "site 1" for snapping. Not sure at all if that helps but just a thought.

 

Another thought, when working in 3D rendering programs I often times right down and pin xyz coordinates. Inputting a point becomes quick work. 

There is a free program called "always-on-top" where I can force any program to remain on top of a working program. That way I can keep sticky notes on top of CA for quick reference when needed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Renerabbitt said:

Not sure I fully grasped the issue, just posing a "maybe" solution. Set a cad detail to "site 1" layer and set the layer to light grey...then create a "site 2" cad detail and send to layout using "site 1" as the reference layer. CA will lock the view together and you could use "site 1" for snapping. Not sure at all if that helps but just a thought.

 

Another thought, when working in 3D rendering programs I often times right down and pin xyz coordinates. Inputting a point becomes quick work. 

There is a free program called "always-on-top" where I can force any program to remain on top of a working program. That way I can keep sticky notes on top of CA for quick reference when needed.

 

Thanks for chiming in Rene,  I don't think either of those are really going to help though.  I've concluded that it's just an issue on a very fundamental level that can't be avoided with the current tool set.  Thanks again though : )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

  • Member Statistics

    27614
    Total Members
    6254
    Most Online
    chiefusergus7
    Newest Member
    chiefusergus7
    Joined