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Latest Chief Arch. vs Latest Softplan

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  • Latest Chief Arch. vs Latest Softplan

    Is there a feature for feature comparison anywhere between these two programs?I would also welcome general comparisons of the two if the person commenting knows both programs in theircurrent release.How do users produce door and windows schedules?Grading plans?

    Thanks for comparisons between these two programs.

  • #2
    Re: Latest Chief Arch. vs Latest Softplan

    LarryI use chief 6 but I cannot comment on Softplan. Funny how just last night clening out part of my office I stumbled across all sorts of software demos, including Softplan demo from 97 I think. Anyway, chief 6 has added many new features that I haven't even tried yet so I'm probably not a good source. Use a rating and analysis site such as These people know their stuffJim


    • #3
      Re: Latest Chief Arch. vs Latest Softplan

      If you want to make a fair comparison you should compare Chief with SP Lite, not pro. Lite was developed to compete directly with Chief.

      Chief and SoftPlan *Lite* are quite similar in functionality. What you get out of the box is what you get in terms of features, symbols, etc. The programs are pretty much pre-configured , there are no user-created libraries, etc.

      SoftPlan PRO is a horse of a different color - allows you to customize all aspects of the program- create your own 2D and 3D symbols, libraries, etc. Plus, SP Pro has advanced rendering capability and a fully configurable materials take-off module.

      You can get somewhat similar results with Chief by purchasing their developers kit and 3rd-party rendering packages such as Summit as options .

      Both have evolved into excellent products, but they are really designed to do different things. Chief's strength is real-time rapid modeling, SP's strength is presentation renderings and working drawings.

      As far as goes, it's focus is 90% commercial architecture. You won't find anything meaningful about SoftPlan, Build!,SolidBuilder, or most of the other programs a homebuilder would consider. Builders and even residential designers have very different needs from their CAD products than architectural firms - our problem is usually rapid turn-around, an architect is more concerned with documentation. JLS


      • #4
        Re: Latest Chief Arch. vs Latest Softplan

        I have used 3D home alot, granted it is not Chief Architect, but still pretty good. For $50 you can't beat it.We just purchased softplan, and, while the learning curve is definitely greater, it is an amazing program. I guess the big question is what do you want to do with it. If you want to generate faste plans and renderings, 3D (or Chief?) is very good. If you want accurate, detailed plans. Soft plan is great. I am sure as I learn the program I will be faster. One feature I like about softplan. I recently designed a house for a couple, then took some pictures of their plot, as the view is the reason for building the house. With softplan I can scan the photos into the computer, choose materials, etc. for the house, and develop a picture fo what it would be like for them to sit on their porch.


        • #5
          Re: new post =- Latest Chief Arch. vs Latest Softplan

          I have reviewed both companies demo programs and fins they are very similar. A Chief Architectrep said that they latest release is comparable toths full version of Softplan . It appears they are very close.I have been very impressed with both of these programs coming from anautocad and autoarchitec background.

          However you can't tell the real value of a product until you use it on projectsfor a while.

          Anyone actually using both want to comment?


          larry watts