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Design Tools??? Software vs. Drafting Table

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by trailboss, Oct 3, 2002.

  1. trailboss

    trailboss LawnSite Member
    Messages: 206

    I'm just curious what you guys think is better - software or hand drawn designs??? Up to this point I have done everything by hand. I have had no formal training and wish I could make a little more professional looking design. I am thinking about buying some software just to have a design with a little cleaner look, and I figure it will be easier to alter a design done on the PC. Any comments and/or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  2. KenH

    KenH LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,622

    It all depends what you are using the drawings for. If you are doing residential installs, then the software is definately the way to go. I use Designware, and the program sells itself.
    If you are doing commercial work, or work off a spec sheet, then Cad-like drawings are needed, especially for builders, etc.

    I have a degree in Land. Design and find myself using the computer way more than the pencil. I do mostly residentials.
  3. lawnstudent

    lawnstudent LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 472

    I've trained on Auto-CAD 2000 and prefer this to mechanical drafting any day.

  4. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,776

    My hands suck, so I am dependent on CAD. You still need the same understanding of drawing to be successful with CAD because it does not do it for you.
    Using different line weights and building up a good library of plant and other symbols (or blocks) is essential to having good looking drawings.
    I actually dropped out of Landscape Architecture in the early 80's because I could not draw at the level required. I returned in the mid 90's because I thought that CAD would be the great equalizer for me. I got my BLA and have since become a Registered Landscape Architect.
    I don't think that CAD is better than hand drawing as far as how it looks. In fact a good hand drawing is much nicer to look at. But, if you work between engineers and architects there are many other benefits. Being able to turn on and off layers, printing to different scales, updating changes by architects, getting lengths and areas, and lots more. It all depends on what you need to accomplish.

    What program are you drawing with now?
  5. trailboss

    trailboss LawnSite Member
    Messages: 206

    I do not currently have any design software. What would you recommend?
  6. Mow&Snow

    Mow&Snow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 335

    I bought Pro Landscape last month. Expensive. I tried all the cheepos and found little success. I like Pro so far, It seems real easy to learn and has a huge library of pics and symbols. Along with the ability to draw a plan, it also allows me to import a picture of a clients house, and add landscaping. Very cool. Customers love being able to see thier own house with new clothes.
  7. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,776

    Check out gardengraphics.com. I looked at a demo and thought it to be very good. It was a lot easier to learn than than ACAD, Landcadd, or Intellicad, but it had capability to work with those drawing files (if you work from engineer's plans or with architects). It is a very professional program.
    If you want to really get into CAD, or fing out if it is too much of a learning curve, try Intellicad (by Briscnet). It is very, very, close to Autocad, but costs about $200. You will have to train yourself, though. You can buy Autocad books to train yourself because almost all the commands are the same. Without formal training you can do alright, but these are very deep programs that have things in them that people using them for years don't even know about. But, you don't need to use all of it.
  8. lawnstudent

    lawnstudent LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 472


    this summer I interned with a woman who does country garden designs and installations. She typically did not use drafting or a CAD program, just did her designs from the heart. Most of her work was small perennial gardens and we didn't draw up plans for the clients. We would talk over the ideas and just start installation.

    I have an interview this coming Saturday with a landscaping group for another internship. They currently employ two landscape architects and run six to eight installation crews. I would be assisting their architects in the design department. I believe they use mechanical drafting techniques and AutoCAD. AutoCAD is what I trained on at the local college.

  9. longslawn

    longslawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 201

    Try Garden Graphics. I use to draw by hand and I think that a well done hand drawing is very pleasing to the eye. i demoed thier software and bought it. Thier program is very good. You get the hand drawn look but Cad capabilites.
    You can demo it for 45 days for $45.00.
  10. lawnstudent

    lawnstudent LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 472


    P.S. I do have IntelliCAD on my PC at home, but I prefer to use AutoCAD.


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