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SoftPlan vs AutoCAD


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#21 Kerry Calvert

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Posted 28 April 2021 - 07:57 PM

I first started my CAD career on AutoCAD ver.2.17B, I will not say how long ago that was.  I worked solely with AutoCAD until SoftPlan version 5 (I think) came into my life, I overlapped the two programs for a couple of years until I moved to using only SoftPlan and have been very happy until the last few years. 

 

A few years ago I took a month long AutoCAD certificate course and the year after that I took an equivalent REVIT course both at the local Technical Institute (N.A.I.T).  In both cases within the first hour of the courses starting the Department head in one case and the Head Instructor in the other case both said that I would not be happy with the AutoDesk programs.  They had both previously tried Softplan and emphasized that SoftPlan was a far superior program for residential and light lumber construction, I definitely agree.

 

Frankly I do not remember anything from those two courses.

 

Recently I have taken to learning a floor system and truss design program (Mitek) and boy am I struggling with it, not only because it is new to me, but it’s also not very intuitive (like AutoCAD) and a number of its features are AutoCAD based.  This program has no manuals, and it has to be learned by trial and error.  Compared to this program SoftPlan is a dream.

 

I especial like that you can contact SoftPlan tech support by email, submitting a support ticket or in the case of an urgent situation just phone them directly.  Does AutoCAD have a direct help line?

 

As the O.P. I started this post because of how frustrated I am with the local residential drafting/building community and how they are unwilling to even try anything other than AutoCAD.

 

AutoCAD blows the doors off all competition because of how aggressively they market their programs NOT because they are better.

 

If SoftPlan offered special training schools for users that wanted to become certified SoftPlan Teachers (like AutoCAD does) I would be one of the first to enroll.  I need their help competing against AutoCAD but unfortunately, they do not appear interested in growing their market share, at least not in my part of Canada.



#22 Jason Bishop

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Posted 28 April 2021 - 08:19 PM

Dan-
The best advice I can give is to try and forget everything about AutoCad when trying to use Soft Plan.

The company I worked for 20 years ago was trying to do the same thing with Softplan as they did with AutoCad. It will only create more frustrations down the road.

Example: They were literally “Line Drawing”
Elevations from scratch in Soft Plan just as they did in AutoCad. This is a Huge waste of time.

I don’t care about crown molding and the colors as well. I have to produce construction documents for builders, not “pretty” interior renderings. And I Produce a lot of them, and I mean a lot. There is no way AutoCad can compete with the efficiency of Soft Plan once you learn the program. Not even close.

Not sure why you have to wait for Tech support to answer an hour or 3 days. I call the 800 number and get any questions answered over the phone in real time.

As far as training goes, I would ask your local Soft Plan sales rep. When I upgraded years ago, my Sales Rep came to my office for a whole day and trained.......and continued to answer any questions via phone for months afterwards. I’m not sure they still did this, but it’s worth a try.

Good luck. It will be worth it if you stay the course.
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#23 Dan Campion

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Posted 29 April 2021 - 05:01 AM

The best advice I was given was to forget everything I know about AutoCAD.  I get that the systems work completely different, and I'm cool with that - just can't believe that Softplan, who is suppose to be a major player in this market, has so little available for real training.  A quick search on Amazon.com showed 0 results for "Softplan Tutorial", and 325 results for "AutoCAD tutorial".  My company's general office handles subscriptions and that, so I didn't know that we had a local rep - good idea to call on him/her.

 

I think there's a market for someone who wants to create a training program for new users - if only the construction industry wasn't on fire right now it would be a good side job.


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#24 Keith Almond

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Posted 29 April 2021 - 05:28 AM

When I originally was introduced to Softplan, the Sales Rep who we bought it from, brought it round in a box. Installed it for us, and spent a day going through it with us. His help was invaluable.


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Keith

There are 10 types of people in this world ....... Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

Softplan user since version 5.5.2.5

www.homehardwarekingston.ca

#25 Kerry Calvert

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Posted 29 April 2021 - 07:58 AM

I'm curious, I have read many posts on this forum that talk about the local SoftPlan representative installing the software on some ones computer and showing them the program basics, where is this?  I am in western Canada and the only representative I can find is in Ontario and there appears to be only one person.  The only way I can find to purchase SoftPlan is online.  Even ArchiCAD has a representative in my area.

 

If you have been fortunate enough to have had SoftPlan in-person support or sales I would like to know where you are located?



#26 Keith Almond

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Posted 29 April 2021 - 09:39 AM

Sorry, Kerry ... Kingston, Ontario. We bought the Software from the Softplan stand at a Home Show in Toronto in the early 90's. As far as I'm aware Softplan was designed and marketed from Waterloo (The Tech Support is still there I believe) ... Things may have changed a bit since then.


Keith

There are 10 types of people in this world ....... Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

Softplan user since version 5.5.2.5

www.homehardwarekingston.ca

#27 Mark Petri

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Posted 29 April 2021 - 10:42 AM

Kerry,

 

When they open the border and we can freely roam North I will gladly meet up with you and show you some things I know. The other option is to do a conference call with one of the many gurus on here and get an online walk-through of your most pressing questions.

 

Another option may be to reach out to Tom Roman or Tim Stockton and see if they have any reproductions of their training videos from when they did live seminars (along with other gurus). They may be willing to send you a DVD set so you can follow along and go back to parts as needed. Invaluable information was shared in those seminars they did before SP had any sort of online training.

 

-Mark


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#28 Kerry Calvert

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Posted 29 April 2021 - 01:03 PM

Mark,

 

Thanks for the offer.

 

I think I am pretty good with Softplan myself but what I am looking for is help converting local closeminded AutoCAD users to SoftPlan.

 

Right now such a high percentage of local builders use AutoCAD that I am having troubles finding enough work to keep me busy.  Home construction in my area is booming but AutoCAD is the software of choice by a huge percentage.   The few builders that are using SoftPlan here are busy drawing AutoCAD style (shapes, shapes, shapes) while using ver. 2014 or 2018.   

 

In a one year period I watched one builder blow more than $150,000ca. fixing site problems that were caused solely by poorly drawn construction plans.  When I tried to address the situation with him he said it was an acceptable cost in order to apply for permits faster.  Better more accurate drawings take longer and he wasn't prepared to delay his permit applications.


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#29 Keith Almond

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Posted 29 April 2021 - 02:10 PM

You can't FIX stupid!


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Keith

There are 10 types of people in this world ....... Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

Softplan user since version 5.5.2.5

www.homehardwarekingston.ca

#30 Mark Petri

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Posted 29 April 2021 - 02:43 PM

Some people drank too much of the Kool-aid!


Mark Petri

Petri Building and Design

 


#31 Keith Almond

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Posted 29 April 2021 - 03:13 PM

If you are a Softplan PLUS subscriber, you really should check out ALL the video's in the Softplan+ Training Video Library. Although I suspect the PLUS Subscribers are already aware of that.


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Keith

There are 10 types of people in this world ....... Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

Softplan user since version 5.5.2.5

www.homehardwarekingston.ca

#32 Carl Lee

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Posted 28 June 2021 - 02:01 PM

I prefer SoftPlan over AutoCAD.



#33 Joseph Smith

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Posted 29 June 2021 - 10:00 AM

Carl +1


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#34 Thomas Roman

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Posted 29 June 2021 - 11:41 AM

Joseph.. this is super nice design and rendering..

 

ask someone who uses autocad to create this model / rendering.. they can't..

 

Autodesk does make REVIT.. show a REVIT user how to change fascia, soffits, gutters styles in SoftPlan with a few clicks and you will hear either a "gasp" or "curse words"...

Attached Files


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#35 Thomas Roman

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Posted 29 June 2021 - 11:45 AM

in terms of 2D "drafting".. and the available trained drafting help for 2D "drafting".. YES.. AutoCad has the market tied up very well...

 

I occasionally will hire autocad drafting help for "linework" drafting... set the layers up right, and it's easy enough to import into SoftPlan... we do need to coordinate issues like arrow styles, fonts, etc..



#36 Jonathan Verduzco

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Posted 02 September 2021 - 12:29 AM

I have found it quicker, easier, and less chance of errors to just trace over a PDF of someone else’s floor plans.


I actually tried that yesterday and was pleasantly surprised how quick I was able to trace a plan. I’ve definitely wasted time trying other ways but never again!
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