poco2013 wrote:I agree with this assessment about CA and SoftPlan. I was once very good with SoftPlan. I was selling and training for a SoftPlan distributor when he gave me an ArchiCAD demo so I could be informed about how to sell against it. I jumped ship immediately and have never regretted it.
You neglected to describe your intended use which makes it difficult to compare products as the ones you mentioned are targeted to different markets. To answer your question directly. I'd rate Archicad as superior to any in the area of construction documents in the arena of ease of use, versatility, time, completeness and accuracy. IOW - all areas.
I've used Archicad since version 17 and Chief for about 10 years now. IMNOHO – CA is just adequate for CD, and mostly for mainstream residential. Completely unacceptable for large commercial and somewhere in between for anything else. I would not use CA for any significant commercial project. CA's use in Residential is really dependent on the documentation required by the builder and the review boards - usually not that difficult and with limited specifications. However, I agree, with respect to Kitchen design and their docs, Chief is competitive with any, including 20/20. Wood framing is very good if you agree with their concept. Somewhat problematic to alter and edit. They create a decent B/M but take a lot of short cuts which would cause problems within a commercial contract. Data access is limited and little or no BIM which makes it more difficult to work with trades.
I had access to SoftPlan for about 6 months and found it comparable to CA but offers no real advantage and is not as intuitive. Gave up on it.
Archicad is not a Kitchen design program and is only just adequate there. A nightmare in the area of wood framing and interior design. It takes quite a bit of time (comparatively), forethought and preparation in these areas but there are things you can do in AC that you can not do in residential targeted programs. IOW, Archicad is quite complete, but requires quite a lot of user preparation. Most AC users have a long history and a fairly extensively prepared custom user library and preferences. It has a number of tools that makes a complex design straight forward without workarounds but all require time and expertise. My point is that there is a lot more to consider overall than just Con Docs.
Not knowing your requirements, but I agree and would strongly recommend that you put Vectorworks on your list?
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Steve wrote:Everyone is entitled but I disagree (mostly) that it's a matter of skill here. More a matter of familiarity and experience with the programs. Or the degree of training required in comparison. The view posted can be done with a few clicks in residential programs with a complete listing and summaries of all elements without resorting to objects and/or property programing, and without too much training - not impressed if that was you point as i am aware of the effort & time to produce the same in Archicad vs other programs. Same with Kitchens. It's not a matter of "can it be done" but the effort.
I think this is a matter of skill with the program not it's functionality.