Autocad and Ancillary Programs


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My business has grown over the years and we brought on ancillary programs out of necessity. We use Autocad LT for the sole purpose of being able to manipulate DWG  files etc when they are sent to us. The engineering firm we use likes us to send DWG files to them which of course  can be exported from DWG with minimal manipulation of Layers. We  also brought Revit in the office for larger projects and we are in the learning phase with the software, My question is how many of you guys and gals  use other programs and which ones. I know we all have different size businesses  we do about 30 additions and usually around 10 to 15 new homes a year which I would consider a small to medium practice.  


I making a living but I am not slaying it financially by any means. We have so many monthly subscription bills I need to streamline things. We use Drop Box for all our File sharing and recently made a switch to G-Suite for everything else.  I use Nitro pro for PDF which I love and we were using Adobe Photo Suite for some post production work. We have not gone the Lumion route yet because frankly I find the Raytracing and presentation views of Chief Architect enough. I use Sketch UP to change 3ds objects or create ones we need but we are beginners with sketch up.


I would love for a bunch of you guys you weigh in.  

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There are a number of Threads about other Programs , like the "gotta jump ship" one in the Chatroom which may help.


You could use Draftsight for DWG work, it has a Free version which I use occasionally and even the pro version is not that expensive to buy outright.

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You could also dump Autodesk's Autocad LT since they are moving to all subscription and try using a buy it once program like CMS Intellicad or Bricscad which both import/export 100% native dwg.


Adobe has gotten just as crazy as Autodesk with their subscriptions, so I use basic Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements for photo and video work. My structural program Strucalc is trying to go subscription but I'm resisting the urge to upgrade until I absolutely have to.


I agree Chief rendering is good enough. Lumion looks like a lot of fun, but I don't get paid for fun. I get paid to produce. Sometimes less is more. The more renderings I give to people the more revisions and nit picking they do. I don't charge hourly so it's hard to prevent clients from going crazy. I was sending clients the 3d Panoramics and posting the 3d models on Chiefs servers for client review for maybe 3 months and stopped. It was too much. And most clients are so busy in their day to day worlds, they don't have the time to use and manipulate the 3d models. I do enough rendering that I have something decent to use for future marketing. (Chief knows about the rendering "eye candy factor" all too well). Now I just give clients a Youtube video link on our website. It's a video of my thought process when I was doing the design. It draws more traffic to our website too.




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17 hours ago, CARMELHILL said:

. It's a video of my thought process when I was doing the design. It draws more traffic to our website too.





I'd encourage you to use a solid color background rather than the sky with clouds. While this is probably insignificant to you, I think there is an element of, well, "creepiness" for your clients in having their house floating and rotating in the sky that is probably quite distracting for some.

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Here's my list.


In addition to maintaining the SSA with CA and latest version I also:

- subscribe to AutoCAD LT.  Love it.  Use it for details and such that I am not as good at creating in CA.  License is platform agnostic so I can leave the desktop and take the MBP mobile and fire up AutoCAD LT for mac and keep on truckin.

- 2TB Dropbox - fastest as sync-ing.  Also use Box and 2TB iCloud

- Cisco WebX - for screen sharing with people (up to 200 people at a time....but that will NEVER happen)

- OBS - to do screen recordings if needed then handbrake to shrink their size

- Adobe CC suite - it's only $$ and I already have experience with photoshop, indesign, premere, after effects, audition, muse

- Spotify - gotta have good tunes

- Office 365 - industry standard

- Evernote - I finally figured out how to use this that actually benefits my workflow


I used to use SolidBuilder for wall panel production, but I let that lapse since I'm not finding people who need that level of support much.

I went to the intermediate CA training a while back and a guy from VA said he uses Bluebeam Revu


Thanks for sharing.


example section drawn in AutoCAD LT



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 Evernote - I finally figured out how to use this that actually benefits my workflow


since you have Office-365 check out OneNote


I think you'll like it better than Evernote


If you do - your Evernote info can  be imported into OneNote


there are videos on Youtube on how to use OneNote


Onenote has been around since Office 2003 and has been included since 2007


I use Office 2010



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