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Design Software
Posted: 07 November 2010 09:54 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Hello,

I have a IT and A/V business that I am looking to take to the next level.  Currently we are using paper and pencil to design systems and looking at several programs that will do a better and more professional looking job.  I am looking at several programs that all seem to do the job with some pluses and minuses to each of them, can anyone help me out and let me know what worked or didnt work for them? 

AVSnap
Visio
AutoCad
AutoCad LT
AutoCad Freestyle

Thank you all in advance, I am new to this forum, but have been following CEPro online and in print for several years and cherish the knowledge and experience we all can learn from each other.

Kurt Kruel
Klass Act Solutions

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Posted: 07 November 2010 02:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Kurt,

I can’t weigh in on AVSnap or CAD Freestyle.

Visio is EASY.  Easy to make or import icons, photos etc.  Builders and architects can send you CAD plans that can be opened by visio, given the layers are in the right format.
The downfall is that if you are going to do any commercial work, CAD is the standard, and providing a DWF file back to the architect will most likely be required. 
If you are doing all residential work, your builders will be more than pleased typically with Visio, although you will need their cooperation to get their CAD files formatted properly.

CAD and CAD LT I will group together.  You will need a formal class most likely to get this moving properly, and it takes some time.  However, being able to work in scale, create an AV layer on the E plan for the architect is huge in commercial work.  Having CAD means you also depend less on the builder/architect to send you the right files for Visio import.  (We had about a month of back and forth with one builder who got extremely frustrated and finally just told us to work of the pdfs on the website).

CAD is not as artsy, in its basic use, (No pictures, etc, and is less homeowner friendly.

The question is, who are you providing this to?  The builder architect? Use CAD.

The project owner and your install team?  VIsio would be fine.

I personally would invest in the CAD format as it makes you more viable long term, and homeowners can understand plans without fancy pictures.

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Best and God Bless,

Mark Coxon

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”-Arthur C. Clarke

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