PowerCADD is an elegant tool. It does not try to be everything (like 3D Modeling) and this enables it to remain intuitive and easy to learn. What I am finding now, having used it for a few years, is how versatile and powerful each tool is. My approach in learning PowerCADD has been “there has got to be shortcut.” Taking the time to learn the tools and how to control them has helped me find a technique for drawing that is fluid and satisfying. Knowing each tool brings confidence and speed and ultimately, higher quality drawings.
I am convinced, so far, that 3D modeling should be just that, 3D. I am also convinced that constructing 2D drawings using conventional techniques on PowerCADD helps one understand the building more thoroughly because it requires coordination between views that must be confirmed manually. My process for DESIGN works best when both are used: 3D physical models and 2D computer drawings. I find 3D model construction on the computer slow. It is more difficult and less satisfying to view and discuss a computer model. A simple physical model is easier to read spatially and this enables you to get on with design. The process is different for PRESENTATION. Quick hidden line perspectives generated in FormZ can be brought into PowerCADD where detail is added. Next step is to bring perspective line drawing in to Photoshop and/or Illustrator for colour and texture. Final output may be direct or may be included in a Quark presentation document.
We have been using WildTools 3D and have found them to be extremely useful tools for creating 3D working drawings. These tools incorporate scaling factors into the drawing tools which result in more accurate, less distorted axonometric projections. These enable us to produce scaled axonometric diagrams and details that are very helpful in describing sequences of assembly. These diagrams can be produced quickly and accurately and included directly into working drawing sets.
As for the PowerCADD Forum … it cannot go without mention as I find it is an important source both of information and inspiration. It is refreshing, in what is often a competitive world, to have some genuine advice and exchange. I commend all those who have invested time in the discussions and in the Drawing Room … we are all better off.