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New User - What should I focus on first?

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I'm getting close pulling the trigger and purchasing Chief X7.

 

I've been reading many of the topics and posts on the forum and I've watched most all of the overview/training videos.

 

I've been designing residential homes for about 20 years, almost exclusively in AutoCad Architectural.

 

I'm curious, based on your use of CA, what areas of the program should I focus on and learn first so I have a good foundation?

 

From what I've read so far getting familiar with the preferences and defaults is a must.  It seems like layer sets and annotation sets is a must also.

 

What other areas would you recommend?

Thanks in advance!

Dennis

 

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Text Styles - naturally associated with Layer Sets.

Eventually you will want to get comfortable with creating and modifying symbols as well as using macros.

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.......From what I've read so far getting familiar with the preferences and defaults is a must.  It seems like layer sets and annotation sets is a must also.

 

.........

 

Boy oh boy,  you nailed it,   you will be good,  also learn about ref sets  (IOW the MRLS).

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Give yourself enough lead time on projects concerning deadlines.  I've been stuck many many times and had deadlines missed since I didn't account for getting as stuck as I did.  Obviously every time you get stuck you learn how to get through the process, and the people on this forum have been beyond awesome in their help.

 

Also, one thing that I am still trying to nail down is what object/type to use for what circumstance - and more specifically what view you need to start it in.  If you draw say a poly 3d shape in one view, you end up restricting the ability to edit that shape in different views and so must return to the view you created to perform certain actions.  Different tools have different rules, and coming from software that doesn't have that restriction was a real bugaboo for me.

 

Lastly, dont approach CA with logic thats often present in other apps.  CA has its own rules, and its own ways of doing things.

 

That said, CA handles otherwise complex residential modeling elements simply.  I've wanted there to be a software package out there that I could make work and CA is the only app i've found that can do the things it does.

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It wouldn't hurt to pick the brain of a power user. Some of them offer training classes via the internet. That way your feet will already be wet when you jump in. ;)  

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Dennis:

 

I'll go against the grain, and say that you can go slow with anno-sets and study them and

use the ones Chief provides and then add more as you need them

 

unless you do 20 - 40 page condocs and need all the power they offer right away

 

concentrate on the basics and roofs and terrain

 

Lew

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Abandon what you know about other cad applications and embark on chief tutorials using the methods presented. Meaning try to learn the software in it's native language. Don't try to force something to operate the way it did in your old software. Use it at first with all the out of the box settings and understand how things work before you customize things.

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Dennis, email me (email below) if you like. We could set up an online meeting for me to show you some things you need to know to get started. I'll give you the first hour free and a minimum fee for longer. I don't recommend much over 3 hrs. for any session because your mind can only absorb so much information at one time. Let me know if I can help.

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Just keep drawing every day and you will get it

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to follow-up on Perry's suggestion

 

model your house/apt or a relative's or friend's

 

in doing a real world project you should become quite proficient

by the time you have it done - probably a few weeks

depending on time spent at it

 

Lew

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I am also a new user and will be looking into the books and website you all recommended. Thanks

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The fundamental-fundamentals are found in the definitions and nomenclature that the software uses, then learn where and what all Default Settings are for and what they do and do not do (there are many of these and how you use them or not will determine how efficient you become). Roof and Terrain tools require lots of careful practice to master along with your general study. Do not guess but rather learn how it works and then follow the intended procedures and conventions. I have seen plans created by new users that became corrupted and useless due to too much wrong guessing. Be competent and enjoy!

 

DJP

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I agree with Lew's suggestion model a house you are familar with first. I would start with a single story reasonably simple one first and then move onto multi story and split level.

As you are doing these get to know what the default settings actually do, especially as CA uses some odd nomclemature and terms.

If you are familar with other cad programmes forget how they do it and use CA how CA would like you to use it, ie don't fight the programme.

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