tahoebrian5

New Guy With Framing Questions

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Hello everyone, I'm a long time autodesk architecture user. Recently fed up with price gouging and decided not to give autogouge another dime. After doing a whole bunch of research, here I am. Chief Architect looks really great.. Much better than Architecture at least for what I do. I'm an engineer and sole proprietor but I end up doing a lot of architectural design in addition to structural. I do a lot of remodels and additions. My questions are mostly how do you guys deal with existing framing vs new framing? Also how to go about framing two or more different roof areas using different methods? For example a main portion using trusses, a bedroom addition and entry area using heavy timber and decking? Also I've seen where you can turn floor framing.. What about turning part of a roof to a purlin type system?

Lastly, can you guys recommend some remote training options?

Thanks a bunch, Brian

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Too much to list here, but I do these all the time.  I always do an as-built plan first save it and then continue doing the new addition. When framing Chief will fill in areas that don't have trusses with conventional framing so put your trusses in the existing first and lock them. Then frame the new.

 

There are lot of guys here that train but make sure you look at all the Chief videos and youtube videos. There are lots of them. For you even the old video's will help you get a feel for how things work, not like AutoCAD at all.Chief is a room based program.

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Thanks for the reply Zilla. I am going through the available videos but I think getting instruction will save time and resources in the long run. A lot of the videos seems good but it's hard to concentrate on some concepts without having a good grasp of the big picture of how to work in Chief.

When you say lock the framing, are you referring to locking the framing layer? If so, when you do this can you then perform another framing build of other areas that are not locked?

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Lock framing-trusses just so you don't move or change them, but once you get acquainted with Chief you really don't have to lock them. You could also just turn them off.

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Good to know AutoCAD is a rip off and I made the right choice with CA, I was wondering about that. I've used AutoCad for solid works design and it sucks imo so I shyed away. With your background you should be able to pick it up fast with the reference manual and videos. I had zero prior home modeling experience and I am getting there. CA wants $120/hr for training on their schedule which is a rip off imo, others look at that and charge a ridiculous price. Be careful just because someone is a good driver does not mean they are a good teacher or have teaching credentials. Lots of great help out here, without it I would have got a refund by now. 

 

I may be modeling heavy timbers bolts soon as I get a quote back, not that I know how the heck to do that yet. 

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I've watched nearly all of the chief vids posted at the user center... They are all pretty basic and don't go into much detail but despite that they are better than nothing. I'm going to limp along a little bit longer.. Maybe a few more days, to learn as much as I can before spending money on professional help. $125/he doesn't seem terribly unreasonable. Anyone have any feedback on how good the instruction is? I'm going to post something in the services forum to see if anyone is interested in trading time for some structural design maybe. Bartering is always good.

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Are you licensed in KS and know heavy timbers if so I got nothing to offer but cash. :) I know structures in my sleep but do not have a KS license. No luck finding a code path either. IRC Code points to AWC nothing there for traditional joinery. I need a local/regional miller & Timberwright if anyone knows of one, too. 

 

Here is a blog of a multi-million(~20) dollar commercial job we did I managed the production on and managed other trades including stick framing, and where I want to go with my home designs: http://paramountbuilds.blogspot.com/ 

 

Scroll down to my summary if you do not want to read the entire blog. 

 

If anyone cares to challenge what I wrote in the blog I be interested to hear your opinions, please provide data to back your opinions. 

 

I am waiting for a quote from a local Timber builder(Clydesdale) that deigned/built this an has their own PE, I am looking to reduce cost and I will not do a SIPs wrap for the reason stated in my blog. I can send you a plan of the bolts I have in mind. My email is Terrylport@gmail.com

 

http://clydesdaleframes.com/

 

We finished what we were hired to do I need to get there and see the final which is awesome! The timbers anyway. 

 

The ref manual is your best friend & these forums, not the vids. CA needs to organize the vids by version so they are clear otherwise they can be a waste of valuable time. $125 hr you got more budget to R&D burn than I do I'll read the ref manual before I pay that :) I can think of better uses for my $$, outside of CAD software. If CA was integrated with BIMS, HVAC, WUFI, FEM, PHIUS, Electrical load analysis, CAM, etc, perhaps. Doing CAD design means nothing unless the design is robust & integrated you should know that. 

 

Edit: Structures analysis and FEA is one part of the equation but not the entire equation. Life cycle analysis, Fatigue(sustainable), physics and mold growth, chem and material science, building microbiology & physics, medically safe and healthy buildings, to mention some others. CAD layering without a clear understanding of these design parameters can lead to a disaster!

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Structures analysis and FEA is one part of the equation but not the entire equation. Life cycle analysis, Fatigue(sustainable), physics and mold growth, chem and material science, building microbiology & physics, medically safe and healthy buildings, to mention some others. CAD layering without a clear understanding of these design parameters can lead to a disaster! That is where most CAD software and some that put it together falls through the roof, including America with far too many layers and a clear understanding of the interfaces and reactions. 

 

I'd barter with a well versed hygrothermics engineer or microbiologist, building physicist, rather than a structures dime a dozen any day of the week :)

 

Follow IRC or your jurisdictions code for what it is worth(little) and you do not need a structures PE. 

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Terry Portier

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Not sure what this has to do with the topic. It sounds like you just need somewhere to vent and there is nothing wrong with that. I haven't come across any clients that want to turn their project into a science project. They just want to get a permit so they can build. As far as my local area, due to high snow loads the prescriptive code is not allowed so every structure needs to be designed by a registered pro.

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Yes I was venting last night sorry to hi jack your thread. After spending decades in a structured corporate engineering environment now looking at the home building industry it does drive me nuts at times. Thanks for understanding. Good news is there is room for good designers/engineers to make a small fortune I believe. 

 

Hey I don't know if this guy has contacted you but he has me and seems like a knowledgeable teacher and driver at a reasonable price. He is a CE. Ysuf333 I may give a try. 

 

https://chieftalk.chiefarchitect.com/index.php?/topic/6186-roofs-and-shapes-a-short-video/

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How about a good tutorial book or video that takes me all the way through to CD's? Chiefs official vids skip over way too much stuff to be useful. I might try that before I'm even ready for live instruction.

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When I first started, I used Terry Munsons training book and DVD. It was much easier to follow because it had a logical step by step approach. You can find it at www.chiefapprentice.com.

Now many of the videos, this forum and some extra help on specific problems make sense but I needed that initial basic stuff first.

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I also would point you in the direction of Terry Munson's books, as Sherry suggested.  IMO they will give you a good grounding in the use of Chief's tools. 

 

I just happen to work on things that are similar to what you are describing, but from the designer side.  I have had a couple of years of engineering, but that was mostly to be better able to work with engineers.

 

My suggestion would be that you do a bit of research on who you hire.  My personal experience with a Chief Trainer was not all that productive.  I haven't been doing any tutoring for a while now.  That is mostly because people wanted to use Chief and Chief only.  I spent a lot of time getting to know the type of tools that Chief has for doing the type of things that you are wanting to do, but decided on a different path for myself. 

 

What I do is combine the capabilities of a traditional CAD program, in my case TurboCAD Pro Platinum, along with Chief.  I would also suggest that you consider exporting your models to other programs in order to take advantage of such things as 3D PDF files.

 

There are many folks here that can provide instruction on basic modeling and plan production, as mentioned above.  If you are interested in seeing how you could use Chief for a bit more than that you can send me a PM.  BTW, I used to work in Sac for a few years.

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Thanks for the thoughts. I'm going to be doing some training with Joey as soon as he has time.

I'm definitely going to need another cad program with more powerful 2d capabilities. I'm currently running the free demo of autocad but that will be played out in a couple weeks. I'm thinking of giving brycsad a try. Having a similar interface is very appealing. I'm hoping that floor and framing plans exported out of chief will play well with brycs or auto cad. I'm sure I'm missing a bunch but my impression is that chief is not very good for manual annotation and drafting.

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Chief is a program that some day you won't need any cad. I don't draw lines anymore but all my cad detail are already in my lib. I just take the one I need and modify as I need it.  In the future I'm sure we will be able to get all details from the 3d model and never draw lines again. I just hope I'm not dead before that happens.

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I hope the same Perry, you experienced, knowledgeable and a great asset to CA community, not to mention a great guy... so I hope you be around for another 100 years. :)

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Greg,

Thank you my friend, we all try to help others, b/c, that's what we do.  I don't get everything correct, (Glen does) but he is a god, must be.  I don't think I will ever retire b/c I love what I do.  The only thing that bugs me is the codes get more complicated every year, and the plans need more pages all the time.

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Good choice with Joey. He was and is a great help.

I am with all the rest on never drawing lines again. I just had some revisions on an old plan come back from the Engineer because of a foundation change. I have to do this all in Vectorworks CAD and can hardly wait to finish and get back to my Chief drawings.

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Thanks for the thoughts. I'm going to be doing some training with Joey as soon as he has time.

I'm definitely going to need another cad program with more powerful 2d capabilities. I'm currently running the free demo of autocad but that will be played out in a couple weeks. I'm thinking of giving brycsad a try. Having a similar interface is very appealing. I'm hoping that floor and framing plans exported out of chief will play well with brycs or auto cad. I'm sure I'm missing a bunch but my impression is that chief is not very good for manual annotation and drafting.

Brian,

 

If you use Chief the way it's meant to be used the annotation and drafting is practically automatic.  A complete set of ConDocs can be created with almost no manual annotation or 2D CAD drafting.

 

Those 2D CAD programs only seem to have "more powerful 2D capabilities".  There's very little that can't be done with Chief's 2D CAD - you just have to learn what to do in 3D and how to turn the results into the 2D views.  The tools needed are all in Chief.

 

I seldom need to do any 2D CAD in order to finish a set of ConDocs.

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I hope to get there one day. I have projects where I get a set of line drawn floor plans to work with. When this happens it's always a decision whether to copy it into 3D, or just xref the plans in 2d and draw my framing over them. (FYI I'm primarily a structural guy but do architectural maybe 25% of the time as well). I also get projects from civil engineers and need to trade 2d drawings back and forth.. So anyway, the right tool for the job and all that. Brycsad is < $600 and from what I understand it looks and feels exactly like autocad so assuming the demo goes well I will have that in addition to chief. I'm wondering about exporting just so I can panic out of chief and get a project t out while I'm learning but who knows.. Maybe after a few hours with Joey I won't have to.

So far the frustration of drawing simple things is fairly high. For example to draw a line to a specific dimension takes 2 seconds in acad, in chief it's a two step process using either the temp dimensions or the tab dialog. Anyway shortcut around this? Can I just start a line and use a hotkey or something to enter a dimension and the angle follows the cursor?

Thanks for the encouragement! I

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Chief is a program that some day you won't need any cad. I don't draw lines anymore but all my cad detail are already in my lib. I just take the one I need and modify as I need it.  In the future I'm sure we will be able to get all details from the 3d model and never draw lines again. I just hope I'm not dead before that happens.

 

I’m ordered Terry’s books wish I had known few months ago when I started. Way I see it I need all the help I can get to get up to speed fast and his book previews look good. Thanks!

 

It’s called Advanced Technology Assemble (ATA), Determinate Assembly (DA), Rapid Protoype (RP) or Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)… I believe CA has an export to (STL IIRC), I have been doing in aircraft/auto for 1.5 decades. RP has been replaced by FDM and is production capable these days, not a prototype model/tool anymore. I have designed to 3D FDM printers that are in full production now. It is not if, it is when, it comes to a job site near you; construction is already happening in some parts of the world as most technology follows aircraft. Also referred to as MBD (3D Model Based Definition) or DMU (Digital Mock-up Unit) that will require a BIMS interface.

 

Be careful what you wish for, with less demand for drafting skills the 2D drafting skill demand will go down as it has in acft/auto over the past decade or so, equals job loss. Higher skills will be required, some requiring degrees in CAD/CAM technology and ANSI Y.14.5 complex GD&T (3D dimensions & tolerances using composite control frames) that is embedded in the 3D model in camera views. Instead of picking on a camera view to open a window, it zooms into a 3D view with GD&T, build notes, etc, that get turned on by auto-layers.

 

That is the easy part, linking the GD&T to DA/ATA holes, datum’s, that are usually preassembled by closer tolerances this industry is not used to at the manufactures by 3D drilling and inspection methods using 3D Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMM).

 

At the job site, the build goes fast and furious, more accurate than this industry has ever seen before, once the remote tooling and CMMS issues are addressed as they are being worked on. I have talked to some builders already trying it that thought it is something new but, it’s old as dirt, and they did not know what they were talking about or getting into yet.

 

I have plumbing MBDs out for review that are paperless. As soon as I figure out PHIUS/WUFI I’ll help pioneer it in this industry. Unfortunately, it will also eliminate some trade jobs I have seen that happen too.  

 

A lot of the above will apply to framing at first, systems later, the PE’s job will get easier and the loads will transfer better due to tighter assembly and installation tolerances. Basically, Perry has a lot of insight since the 3D world is going to accelerate and 2D will decelerate. AutoCAD is far behind the technology compared to others at this point in time do not get to use to it other than BIMs that CA is going to have to get on the band wagon to compete.    

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I would reconsider purchasing another CAD program strictly for 2D work.  As others have mentioned, Chief can already pull many of the views that are needed from the model.  Where another, more powerful 3D modeling program than Chief can be useful is for modeling and pulling views that Chief does not do. 

 

Chief has been working toward producing detail drawings from the model for quite some time, and they are doing a very good job so far.  There are still, and will continue to be areas that other programs can do even better than Chief in certain areas.  Your field just happens to be one of those IMO.

 

Don't overlook competitive upgrade offers from other companies as well.  The savings can be substantial.  The time you spend learning new software compared to what it can actually do for you is the real issue here.  Why buy additional software if it will not actually do something that Chief does not already provide?

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Chief will at some point - not very far away IMO - be able to extract 3D Cut-a-Way details from the model.  At that point, I expect that 2D Details will start to disappear. 

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I agree with your points. For me I'm in a transitional period and need a familiar tool while I stumble along. This whole thing started when my computer (purchased in 2008) finally gave out. It was a good run. Anyway my software was out of date and not on a subscription. I about had a panic attack when I saw what autodesk wants for architecture. Even in Architcture I did a lot of 2d. In fact the only tools I consistently used were walls, doors and windows. Anyway, I've been downloading demos ever since and I'm committed to chief now (on the 15 month payment plan) but I still need a solid dwg editor for reasons stated above. I really hope brycs works out. I haven't even begun to check out the detailing functions in chief. I will probably just keep using my 2d dwg library and keep em on separate sheets for now.

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