ChiefMango

Plan Options

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Hey fellow Chief users,

 

I work for a large residential builder and we have recently purchased Chief Architect to incorporate into our business. We are a custom/track home builder with numerous sets of blueprints. On our prints we have numerous plan options that our customers can choose from. Coming from AutoCAD, the person that ran it would have all of our plan options drawn on one layout and then cut and paste to add the options that the customer has selected and then make additional custom changes if needed.

 

I've watched a few videos on the layers but I'm not really understanding if that is the route to go or there is a better way. 

 

For example I would like to essentially build multiple master bath layouts (moving walls, add and delete doors, change cabinets etc.) Is this something that others are doing?

 

Thanks in advance  

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1 hour ago, ChiefMango said:

 

For example I would like to essentially build multiple master bath layouts (moving walls, add and delete doors, change cabinets etc.) Is this something that others are doing?

I would use separate .plan files for each design iteration. Send each to layout, you're on the right track

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2 hours ago, ChiefMango said:

 

I've watched a few videos on the layers but I'm not really understanding if that is the route to go or there is a better way. 

Since walls are 3D objects in Chief they always exists. That means that even if you place a wall on a hidden layer it is still there. So no you can't use layers for multiple wall placements (or doors or windows).
I'm guessing that the number of possible combinations of structure and optional spaces could be considerable? 6 -10 home styles, 3-4 variations to 4 or more spaces each? 12-16 combinations of options per style? If not then something simpler than the following but..

If it is

then one way I'd be looking at if I had to deal with a lot of options and multiple basic plans would be:

Start with House A, basic structure and layout. Take a CAD detail from view, name it and place on a layer dedicated to options and not used for anything else-just these CAD details. Give it a line color that will show up-orange, lime green, sky blue...

 

Then adjust the model with the first group of alternate configurations. Take a CAD detail from view, name that...and so on..

Once you've done got all the variations done it's time to get the original basic model back.

 

Copy the CAD from the original layout, go to the plan view, paste and hold position (make sure it ends up on the CAD options layer and it is visible-read up on current cad layer in help)

Lock that layer.

You can now move walls, other objects or place new ones and they will snap to the lines on that CAD detail.

Once done correcting the 3D model you can unlock the CAD layer, select everything on it using match properties and delete.
You will still have that CAD detail elsewhere, just not in the plan.

 

Now you have a 2D plan, CAD detail, with all the options to show clients.

To alter the 3D model to match any options repeat the copy paste hold position; trace and place with the option client wants.

Works even if options are not all on the same CAD detail. 

 

 

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No more mangos?

this is probably the biggest downside of these “professional” programs, not suited for production builder work.

Theres nothing keeping you from having the options on the same drafting area like you do in AutoCAD, the canvas area is large enough to have them there. 
This has always been an issue with the BIM platforms, even the design options in Revit are not fully developed for this type of work.

Theres no way in Chief to have several design options on the same floor plan and turn on/off as needed, even in AutoCAD most people won’t draft them superimposed, but, rather will draw the options on the side and then send to the viewports from there.

i would like to hear what happened after this single post.

 

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I often do like Jorge suggests in the design phase.   I will copy the walls of certain rooms off to the side of a developed floor plan to show alternative options which can be shown in 3D.  I've even copied multiple copies of the whole house off to the side to show options. But once you start developing ConDocs you should make multiple copies and just keep one alternative plan per copy.  If you register all copies to the same place in the virtual modeling area, then you can easily copy and paste things between plan if future changes to all options are made.   Keep all alternative plan files in one folder unique to the particular project.


The 2D Cad detail route is another totally viable way to do it and you'll have all versions in the same plan file.  The best procedure really depends how you intend to present the options and whether you'll need to have a full plan set for each option or just a small cropped plan view of the alternative room configuration.

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You could probably do what you want using referenced plans and saved plan views.

ie, you could have you master plan that contains your basic floor plan.

You would also have seperate plans for each of the plan variations.

Your master plan would be the primary plan that you work with - this plan would reference all of the other variation plans.

You could choose what you want displayed by using saved plan views.

You may have to use things like room fills in your referenced plans (to hide, say, and existing bathroom), along with other tools like Move Up and Move Down (to control the referenced plan display.

This would also allow you to open the referenced plan for edit and those changes would be displayed in the referenced plan used by your master plan.

 

In theory, it should work.....

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On 5/16/2020 at 4:59 PM, glennw said:

You could probably do what you want using referenced plans and saved plan views.

ie, you could have you master plan that contains your basic floor plan.

You would also have seperate plans for each of the plan variations.

Your master plan would be the primary plan that you work with - this plan would reference all of the other variation plans.

You could choose what you want displayed by using saved plan views.

You may have to use things like room fills in your referenced plans (to hide, say, and existing bathroom), along with other tools like Move Up and Move Down (to control the referenced plan display.

This would also allow you to open the referenced plan for edit and those changes would be displayed in the referenced plan used by your master plan.

 

In theory, it should work.....

 

Glenn,

 

I think you were implying this technique when you were helping me with a post too.  Can you maybe provide us a short video on how exactly you can do this?  This concept sounds very intriguing and would like to know more about it.

 

Marc

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1 hour ago, mgianzero said:

This concept sounds very intriguing and would like to know more about it.

I could be wrong, but I don't think I've ever seen Glenn post a video!  But I'm sure he'd be happy to explain further. 

FWIW...assuming you understand Saved Plan Views?.. if so, then you'll know that you can select the SPV you want to view and that will automatically turn on and off various layers to show exactly what you've set that SPV to show.  In order to use SPV's the way Glenn is suggesting, which could be very cool, it will take some upfront creative thinking and work creating alternative layer names for walls, windows, doors, and filled areas (which offers another way to hide or expose areas that will be different between various plan options).   Then the SPV you set up for each option will have these layers either on or off as needed to enable you to view the plan as desired.

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1 hour ago, DzinEye said:

I could be wrong, but I don't think I've ever seen Glenn post a video!  But I'm sure he'd be happy to explain further. 

FWIW...assuming you understand Saved Plan Views?.. if so, then you'll know that you can select the SPV you want to view and that will automatically turn on and off various layers to show exactly what you've set that SPV to show.  In order to use SPV's the way Glenn is suggesting, which could be very cool, it will take some upfront creative thinking and work creating alternative layer names for walls, windows, doors, and filled areas (which offers another way to hide or expose areas that will be different between various plan options).   Then the SPV you set up for each option will have these layers either on or off as needed to enable you to view the plan as desired.

Glen has done many videos in the past.

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20 minutes ago, DRAWZILLA said:

Glen has done many videos in the past.

Thx Perry.  Glad to know it. 
That's why I noted I could be wrong! :P... I've only been on the forum a couple of years...but in that time I don't think I've ever seen him post a video.
I've seen he's very generous with his time in explaining things though.

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