Author Topic: Who utilizes ACA to its fullest capabilities?  (Read 8783 times)

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StykFacE

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Who utilizes ACA to its fullest capabilities?
« on: February 27, 2009, 11:28:56 AM »
General question: Does anyone here utilize the full capabilities of Autodesk Architecture?

The reason I ask is this; I have been working as a HVAC Mechanical Designer for 2-1/2 years now. I'll receive AutoCAD files that were made in ADT or ACA because of the AEC content used within the drawing. The thing is, that I've never had a "complete" Architecture drawing come through, finshed with slab, levels, roofs, spaces, and everything else in between. Its always been a partial plan, with a few AEC doors, and AEC walls/windows, and that's it. Does anyone actually try to take advantage of the full intent of the program?

I understand that some who will reply will say "Revit is where its going" but it seems that ACA is not a 'bad' way to produce effecient CAD drawings. I have opened up a few of the training materal from my AutoCAD MEP training CD's before, and it seems that ACA is capable of a lot actually. Especially when used with the project browser. It automates lots of things it seems.

So am I just wondering about nothing really? Or do people actually use the full extent of the software? I would love to know that I could actually start coordinating with some architects a project of this level.  :laugh:

Krushert

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Re: Who utilizes ACA to its fullest capabilities?
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2009, 11:52:28 AM »
Thanks for bringing up a sore subject. 

We have ACA 2008 and there is only one smart object that we use it for.  Ceiling Grids.  Freakin ceiling grids!  There are some in my firm, me included that use the Detail Components to do detailing with and I think I am the only one that uses to thru extent.   Very powerful.    The latest excuse is since the output meaning the drawings are only and will only ever be 2d there is no need to go to 3d or ACA of version of 3d.  The excuse before that is there HUGE not huge BUT HUGE liability if a toilet happens to snap to the top of the wall and not on the floor.  This SOB has head stuck so far in the sand that his toes are only thing sticking out out of the ground.

I was just told that we will be not installing 2010 because we need to upgrade a computer.  :realmad: :realmad:
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TimSpangler

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Re: Who utilizes ACA to its fullest capabilities?
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2009, 12:08:25 PM »
Nope....

Walls, door, windows.

Burns my bottom. all that money for ACA and we use only that little bit.  We don't even use the Detail Comp Manager.

Looking into Stairs, but they are not quite there yet.
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architecture68-raff

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Re: Who utilizes ACA to its fullest capabilities?
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2009, 12:15:20 PM »
We don't utilize much ADT or ACA functionality, and most of the other firms in the area I know of don't really either.  The Detail component manager is one of our biggest uses of the added features.  Other than that, sometimes walls and other objects are added as AEC objects.  Other than that, no not really.
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Krushert

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Re: Who utilizes ACA to its fullest capabilities?
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2009, 12:20:45 PM »
We don't utilize much ADT or ACA functionality, and most of the other firms in the area I know of don't really either.  The Detail component manager is one of our biggest uses of the added features.  Other than that, sometimes walls and other objects are added as AEC objects.  Other than that, no not really.
It is nice to see others using this feature.
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TimSpangler

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Re: Who utilizes ACA to its fullest capabilities?
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2009, 12:43:48 PM »
I think alot of it has to do with legacy files and just the enormous effort it would take to set up ACA to make it to a standard.  If you were doing one off's and were just getting into the business it is a great tool.


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StykFacE

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Re: Who utilizes ACA to its fullest capabilities?
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2009, 01:46:40 PM »
Well, now I'm getting a better understanding coming from real world scenarios from guys you actually use the program.

You know, earlier this week a job came in that is three levels. I am gonna try and set up a true Project in MEP. The floorplans are 2D but the use of utilizing levels and views just seem to make things soooooo much easier for coordination purposes for me. I want to see how organized and efficient I can get my MEP drawings. The thought of having continuous duct risers from floor to floor that is split up into 3 different levels/views, and coordinating sheets with them just seems amazing to me. Plus the way MEP automatically shows Hidden lines for overlapping and crossing objects makes my life easier as well. I can see the full MEP capabilities to actually be useful for me and the other guys in my office.

The main problem is one thing: I have a true passion for AutoCAD and designing, where as the others do not. I have a yearning for knowledge and moving forward when utilizing all the features a design program has to offer. I have got up out of bed at night while thinking about new ways to design something, get on my computer, and mess around with my idea for a half hour because I can't resist it. If I could get the other guys to be that interested then I believe we could really get the ball rolling on some damn good MEP drawing construction documents & coordination drawings.


robindeurloo

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Re: Who utilizes ACA to its fullest capabilities?
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2009, 07:31:04 AM »
So far we use walls, doors, windows, stairs and spaces and we don't generate sections and elevations. But I am starting a pilot project to utilize everything ACA has to offer, so I will be using slabs to and I will be generating sections and elevations. Making the plan drawings will take a bit more time i guess, but generating the sections and elevations should make up for lost time, but as it is the first one I'm not really sure yet.

Krushert

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Re: Who utilizes ACA to its fullest capabilities?
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2009, 09:56:05 AM »
Robindeurloo

How do you manage/coordinate the layers and your office standards?

**edit**
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robindeurloo

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Re: Who utilizes ACA to its fullest capabilities?
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2009, 11:00:59 AM »
Robindeurloo

How do you manage/coordinate the layers and your office standards?

**edit**
BTW; Welcome to The Swamp.  There is lots to see, do, learn and teach if you are so minded.

Thanx for the welcome, I hope I can contribute a bit to this comunity and I'm sure I can learn a lot from it.

If with Layers you mean the onse you can see with your layer manager, those are manages by the layer standards (layer key styles). All the objects in our library get a layer key and when placed in a drawing they automaticly will be placed on the right layer. For all the non AEC objects or stuff people get from the internet they need te be placed on the right layer. In the layermanager there is a "New layer from standard" button which makes sure the layer is withing the office standard. so that does need a bit of user input and can therfore go wrong, but the time I found entire drawing been drawn on a text layer is a long time ago (thank god).

And about the office standards, we have made a library with all sorts of stuff in it that people can use and so far that library is sufficiant for most projects and people. For things like drawing names and locations we have a 'userguide' that tells everyone how to name their drawing, where to place them and what to put in it (text and dimensions in Views).

I am the first to admit that we had a bit of a struggle to get everyone to stick to the office standards but now everyone has seen the benefits of the system they stick with it more and more.


Artisan

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Re: Who utilizes ACA to its fullest capabilities?
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2009, 02:09:50 PM »
It is interesting that I came across this post this morning. I just had a conversation with the owner about our software.

I took over the drawing responsibilites here over a year ago now after we went through the dreaded layout phase. In the past, there was an Arch Manager and 3 to 4 CAD drafters going full speed ahead for like 4 to 5 years there. The software of choice for the CAD Manager at the time was ADT, 3.3 and then onto 2005. The thing is, he never used it for what it could have been used for. He went with it for the doors, windows and walls. He told the owner he getting the scheduling and so forth going, but he wasn't actually and in fact took all of the 2D non-interactive schedules off of the plans because he couldn't get them done correctly. Right before his departure, he got permission to buy a copy of the 2009 ADT software because he thought that he could work in that software and save it down to 2005 ADT and have no issues. Well it didn't work out for him, so we had only one copy of the 2009 here.

Well the owner was asking me about our software this morning and I just came out and told him that unless it is pressing, we are ok with our 2005 seats right now. I told him that the ADT software was never fully utilized for what we do and that the 2009 copy was really nice to have, but unless he wanted to pay a lot of money out for more software, then I would stay where we are at. I based this call on the fact that we have no one currently out sourcing here to companies that use an upgraded release. I also know that we only draw houses here and they never even set up the constructs or elements to work correctly and just did straight xref'ing. No one used the detail library and there were no 3D drawings done in the software. All of those factors along with the pressing issue of money for extra costs right now, I just think we are ok with what we have. I wished I had more time to work with the software and setup a lot of the features, but since I do all of the drawing right now, among other things, I just can't. I think we expand our use of 2005 ADT and be effective in what we need here.


Matt__W

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Re: Who utilizes ACA to its fullest capabilities?
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2009, 02:38:24 PM »
Revit, man.  That's where it's at (or going to if it's not already there).  Revit.
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architecture68-raff

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Re: Who utilizes ACA to its fullest capabilities?
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2009, 03:02:25 PM »
Revit, man.  That's where it's at (or going to if it's not already there).  Revit.

True, but wouldn't you agree that for residential design Revit may often be overkill?  Sure, some architects use it for drawing houses but it seems akin to buying Grandma a Porsche to go to the grocery store and church in.  The rendering and 3D aspects show promise for impressing clients, but I still find it hard to make the justification for abandoning the Autocad or ADT systems many companies already have in place.
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Matt__W

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Re: Who utilizes ACA to its fullest capabilities?
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2009, 03:07:32 PM »
True, but wouldn't you agree that for residential design Revit may often be overkill?
No, not really (well... I suppose if you're only doing small houses: less than 2000 sf, then it might be overkill).  If you decide to run with the out of the box content, you could be productive (after some training) rather quickly.
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JCTER

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Re: Who utilizes ACA to its fullest capabilities?
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2009, 03:08:55 PM »
I don't think Revit does much rendering that ADT/ACAD can't.  Likely it uses the same software for it (mental ray)

I would like Revit more, if the Structural package was more flexible.  As it is, I'd have to buy Revit Arch -and- Revit Struc just to do -most- of what I do day to day, and even then, Revit wouldn't work for a large amount of my work, without extensive customization :(