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Diagramming application recommendations? (OFF TOPIC!)

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  • Diagramming application recommendations? (OFF TOPIC!)

    Since I’ve come to respect the technical acumen of those who post in these forums, I would appreciate recommendations for diagramming applications. (My apologies to those who take offense from the fact that this is not GTD-related.)

    I own a small business, still in its infancy, and the steel building that houses it and I am trying to plan for some remodelling and expansion. Consequently, I’m interested in finding a software package that would let me draw floor plans of the building as it exists now—walls, partitons, locations of electrical lines, air lines, etc.—and then what it needs to become (relocate interior walls, electrical lines, water lines, air lines, ethernet lines, heating and air conditioning, etc.). And since I’m looking at adding onto the building at a future date, I would like to be able to do some site drawings that show the footprint of the building as it exists now and as we build onto it (in phases) in the future. I should think it would be helpful to be able to do this in a format that an architect could then use to import my sketches into their CAD programs.

    A good place to start might be to draw process flow diagrams of the processes we do now (and those we intend to do) and then design the floor plan with regard to work flow and material flow. Microsoft’s Visio will do process flow diagrams and Visio professional apparently will also do floor plans (and perhaps site plans?). But although Visio is the only application in the Office category that I don’t have, the price is steeper than I think I can justify, since I don’t foresee any use for it beyond this one project. Can anyone recommend a better alternative?

  • #2
    Have a look at Concept Draw.

    http://www.conceptdraw.com

    May be a better fit than Visio for your pocket book. Have used the demo for network layout (floor plan, rack), flow charting (old school), and org charts.

    Otherwise you would have to look more towards a good CAD program, which do tend to have steeper learning curve.

    My favourites other than AutoCAD (too pricey for hobby work) These are over the top for most of what you wish. This is what you pay other people to know.

    http://www.datacad.com (DataCAD LT)

    http://www.chiefarchitect.com/

    stripped down 'home version'
    http://www.homedesignersoftware.com/

    http://www.softplan.com

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    • #3
      SketchUp

      Originally posted by smithdoug View Post

      ..., the price is steeper than I think I can justify, since I don’t foresee any use for it beyond this one project. Can anyone recommend a better alternative?
      You might want to try SketchUp, http://www.sketchup.com now acquired by Google. They have a free version as well as a paid version. For 3D, work, handily the easiest program I've used. And you got the usual suspects in TurboCAD http://www.turbocad.com. I started with TurboCAD many years ago but pretty much turn to SketchUp more these days. Most of my drawings are not particularly sophisticated.

      Good luck.

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