Rich_Winsor

How Well Do You Know Chief?

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I think we can all agree that Chief is a very complex software

package with seemingly endless and permutations and combinations.

 

The question is this: What percentage of Chief’s features have you

mastered? Perhaps mastered is a little too strong. How about we go

with what percentage of Chiefs features have you become reasonably

proficient with?

 

For example I will go first. I currently use 3 CAD programs:

AutoCAD, SolidWorks & Chief Architect.

 

I started with some cheepo 2D CAD programs and worked my way

thru AutoCAD Lite until in 2000 I got the full blown version of AutoCAD.

I used AutoCAD daily from 2000 – thru 2006 at which point we were

looking for more 3D capabilities and started exploring SolidWorks. At

my peak in 2006 I would say that I was capable of using 75% of

AutoCAD’s potential.

 

I tinkered with a bootleg version of SolidWorks for several years and

finally had the wherewithal to purchase a legitimate seat in 2012. I

have used it sparingly up to the present. In my opinion SolidWorks is

exponentially more complex than Chief and I would say that I’m

probably capable of using about 10 to 15% of its capabilitys.

 

This brings us to Chief.  I started with HD Pro from 12 thru 14 at which

time I took Chief’s offer to upgrade to X5. Since I tend to learn mostly

what I need to do the task at hand there are still segments of the

program I have yet to explore or employ. I’m probably flattering myself

by claiming a 50% proficiency level (it’s probably more like 40%).

 

Anyhow, I think it would be interesting to hear to what degree ya’ll

think you are using the programs capabilities.

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I began with AutoCAD in about 1986 or so. Tried to use it for a year or so. Took training. Was never very proficient with it; I had drawn with paper and pencil/ink for years - remember those? :)  Used it off and on thru version 2004, which I still have but never use. Went to a small 2D program called EasyCAD in the late 80's. Then to its big brother FastCAD. FastCAD was well named - it was extremely fast at what it did. Got pretty proficient with it, but had to go back to AutoCAD for some 3D capabilities when 3D came out. Started with ART's 3D Home around mid 90's, just to play around with. Eventually bought Chief '97 and have never looked back. CA does most everything I need to do in Residential and (some) Light Commercial design, prep of ConDoc's, and customer presentations. But even though I have used it since the late 90's, I would estimate only about 50-60% proficiency. I use it almost daily and it works well for me. But I have soooo much more to learn from the great help on this forum. ChiefTalk is invaluable as a resource. I have never been involved in a help forum quite like this one.

 

Mike

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Here's my CAD resume (in the order I used them):

1991

AutoCAD (V3? in college)

Arris

Architrion

1996

Mini-CAD

Form-Z

1997 (first job)

PowerCAD

AutoCAD

1999

DataCAD

2003

Vectorworks (Vexerwerks)

2004

Archicad

Sketchup

2007

Chief Architect

still use sketchup to make objects for Chief and make quick design studies

 

I feel like I use/understand a majority of  Chief

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CA since 2.0, I have never used any other design software. In earlier versions I used photo shop or file converters and in ver 10 I would say I was at 85% and it will take time to reach that level in ver 17. Right now I say 30 - 40% in the new tools of ver 17, but basics that carried over from ver 10 85%. I'm here forever with CA and all my work will be done with this program only. Majority of my work is residential and light commercial. 

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I am about 50%.  I have no formal training.  Started with DesignCad in the 90's.  I have always concentrated on

3D and did some rendering using it prior to switching to Chief.  Bought Planit for a month and turned it back in

as it was much more than what I needed,  Being a remodeler I use Chief for 3D presentation for kitchens and

baths and of course other projects.  My real weaknesses are ConDocs and proper structure for all the details etc.

Since I supervise the work I usually don't get overly detailed as would have to if I were designing for others.

We do not do new construction so again, never needed to develop the skills for full drawings with condocs.

I will be 64 in a couple of weeks so doubt that will change.  But who knows, I may want to continue design

for many years yet.  I really should work on my weaknesses.

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Great question but extremely difficult to answer.  On a good day, with my morning cup of coffee racing around in my tummy being chased by 0.8 pH digestive juices ... MAYBE  30% to 40%. 

 

Chief is one of those programs that to be very proficient with and take advantage of most of its features and tools, you need to put in an hour or two extra pert near every day of the week studying/practicing [David Potter has mentioned this] ... at least for awhile until you get all or most of that 'important stuff' into your brain such that it comes natural, like muscle memory. 

 

The real power in being proficient with Chief is knowing the tools well enough to be able to improvise when needed to get the desired results without having to pull all your hair out.  [i don't have much hair under my hat by the way]  The problem with CA is there is so much under the hood that it's virtually impossible to remember it all.  Keep in mind that if I read a book or watch a movie today, I may not remember too much about it in a day or three.  I think I have a memory flush valve that needs to be removed and hard-piped.

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Curt Johnson,

 When us old guys learn something new we have to erase or forget something in our brain to make room for the new information!!!!!!!!  :(  :( :(  :(  

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Ditto .... I have only one memory stick and I can't remember where I put it.  Better go get that cup of coffee now.

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 I think I am 75% efficient.  Material lists is a big weakness,  I don't trust them so I don't use them so I don't know them.

 

I am using CA until the end.  Too much time committed to switch.

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I started with Chief in 1997.  I know the program fairly well but there are so many facets and options, I may never master it.

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I started around 2000 with Chief V7 or 8. Never used another program but dabble in Sktetchup and will use DraftSight to read and import files but have no ACAD knowledge.

 

I have no clue how much of the program I know and don't know. The massive amount I do know is always overshadowed by the small things I should, but don't know.

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I am about 50%.  I have no formal training.  Started with DesignCad in the 90's.  I have always concentrated on

3D and did some rendering using it prior to switching to Chief.  Bought Planit for a month and turned it back in

as it was much more than what I needed,  Being a remodeler I use Chief for 3D presentation for kitchens and

baths and of course other projects.  My real weaknesses are ConDocs and proper structure for all the details etc.

Since I supervise the work I usually don't get overly detailed as would have to if I were designing for others.

We do not do new construction so again, never needed to develop the skills for full drawings with condocs.

I will be 64 in a couple of weeks so doubt that will change.  But who knows, I may want to continue design

for many years yet.  I really should work on my weaknesses.

Dennis, I used Designcad for many years prior to chief. Still keep up with it, ver. 25 just came out. I have too many jobs drawn on it to give it up. Great program for cad work.

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Perry - I wish Chief has some of the features like radiused edges and the like for making symbols.  I did not

know they were still around.  I don't think my old copy will even load into windows 7.

Here are a couple of renders from YEARS ago!

post-132-0-14261600-1440776730_thumb.jpg

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Now you can upgrade for 50 bucks ,Turbocad ( Imsi) bought them years ago and let it die on the vine, that's when I came to Chief.

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I'm often surprised by what I don't know. I'm pretty good at what I do, but there are entire aspects of Chief that I know little about.

I see people like Glenn, or Wendy as a model of proficiency to strive for general knowledge of Chief.

But there are people out there with distinct specialties that simply amaze me: Gerry Teacher for his knowledge of Ruby and macros, Chiefer for his ray tracing abilities, to name just a few.

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Dennis, it is amazing what we thought was "great" years ago. Today, that would not even be considered a "render." It kind-of looks like my first pass doing a raytrace with my settings off! :D

 

Mike

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What I meant was my old LOWER weight!  I have enough extra now for a petite female.

Now if I could just FIND her!  ;o)

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How can you answer this question when you don't know what you don't know!

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Now you can upgrade for 50 bucks ,Turbocad ( Imsi) bought them years ago and let it die on the vine, that's when I came to Chief.

 

Am surprised by that  , I too have an old Copy , which I am sure I paid way more than $50 for way back when , though like Dennis I never had the time to really learn it. 

 

So you'd say $50 well spent P. even if you have Chief ?   I usually use Draftsight Free to look at ACAD stuff if  needed.

 

http://www.imsidesign.com/Products/DesignCAD/DesignCAD

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How can you answer this question when you don't know what you don't know!

Best guess.  KInd of like dead reckoning from boating!  ;o)

Now who would want to rely on "DEAD" reckoning?

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Based on the capabilities of which I'm aware, 34.6%--on a good day.

 

jon

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That is a great question.  I started on Chief around 1995.  I bought it from a local dealer by the name of Dan Bauman, he also trained me in his classrooms.  Whatever version that was I mastered  and as time goes on and Chief gets better and more complex my percentage goes down rather than up.

 

Two nights ago I started teaching my son how to use Chief, we played for a couple hours.  After we were done I bet my son would say I knew 99%.  :-)   I might have answered 75% right then.  :-)  Today I have been ray tracing three different kitchen designs of mine........so currently I would answer 20%. :-)

 

 I honestly don't know but a wild guess might be 35%.  I can fight through another 40% and the final 25% I just leave alone.

 

Ike

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