Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 28

Thread: AutoCAD for planners/urban designers

  1. #1

    AutoCAD for planners/urban designers

    Hello fellow cyburbians,

    I am one of those poor planners/urban designers who does not come from an architectural background and therefore I don't know how to use autoCAD...

    I am hoping that those of you with experience or those of you who are at college might be able to provide me with guidance and tutorials on how to use autoCAD for planning purposes.. i.e. a more focused approach rather than the many books out there that cover every little detail.

    I mainly just need to provide concept maps and diagrams (which I currently do in illustrator) but I want to be able to move on from this to provide 3-D impressions of site proposals and move into the 21st century.

    I am still a student and my course doesn't cover autoCAD hence the request for help. I just hope to make myself a bit more marketable...

    Thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you all.

    -Scotgman

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Mr. Cool Ice
    Posts
    4,161
    Ummmm.....no offense, but do you expect to get taught via a message board?

    Just start playing around with it, it really isnt hard, and you aren't going to learn what you want to do in any basic class.

  3. #3
    Suspended Bad Email Address teshadoh's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    427
    Look into something easier - like Sketch-up.

  4. #4
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2003
    Location
    at the neighboring pub
    Posts
    5,348
    Quote Originally posted by teshadoh
    Look into something easier - like Sketch-up.
    I agree on this. I like the 3D stuff done using ArcGIS with the Sketch-up plugged in. My suggestion is to go take a course or two at a local university (you might even find a tech school cheaper that does similar applied courses).

    Sketch-up is a breeze to learn and looks to be going places.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Mr. Cool Ice
    Posts
    4,161
    ^^Why do planners always have to use these off-the wall programs. AutoCad is the industry standard.

    Compatibilty between consultants, clients, etc should be a concern.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Reductionist's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Swans, Fruits & Nuts
    Posts
    66
    Quote Originally posted by Jeff
    ^^Why do planners always have to use these off-the wall programs. AutoCad is the industry standard.

    Compatibilty between consultants, clients, etc should be a concern.
    AutoCAD is a stodgy, complex application with a steep learning curve that tedious and boring to use for conceptual design.

    SketchUP by comparison is a joy to use. It was designed first and foremost for usability and it is very easy to learn. For planners, most of whom lack any formal training in either design or engineering drawing, this makes it an ideal solution.

    I have substantial 3-D and engineering drawing under my belt and I prefer using Sketch Up for concept work and then exporting my conceptual designs for refinement to MAX/VIZ, Maya, AutoCAD or whatever. I spend more time being creative and less time pushing buttons and looking for tools to get the exact effect I want.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 2001
    Location
    skating on thin ice
    Posts
    6,958
    Here are a few simple things to remember

    layers - make them logical and consistent - never work on "0"
    pen weight - understand that what you see is not what you get and to be a proficient drawer you need tro understand how to create and set the pens.

    As for the usefulness of autocad, I learned when you had to type everything, and can sketch/draw faster than people who rely on the pull downs, learn the commands and what they do and you'll be set for all but the most complex drawings or tasks.

    Basic commands line, circle, fillet, chamfer dtext, mtext, block, oops, undo.

    All this being said, I almost never use it anymore, that is what techs are for.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Section 14-12-7, 3rd PM
    Posts
    2,096
    Quote Originally posted by Jeff
    ... and you aren't going to learn what you want to do in any basic class.
    Exactly, I messed around with MicroStation for a few weeks before starting a class. I ended up knowing more than the teacher. After about three weeks he asked if I wanted to teach the class. I kept my mouth shut after that.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Mr. Cool Ice
    Posts
    4,161
    Quote Originally posted by Reductionist

    SketchUP by comparison is a joy to use. It was designed first and foremost for usability and it is very easy to learn. For planners, most of whom lack any formal training in either design or engineering drawing, this makes it an ideal solution.
    But its worthless if the engineer cannot convert the sketch plans into construction drawings (which are designed in ACAD).

    ....serioulsy, the learning curve is not sttep at all. I have a new Co-Op every 6 months, they walk in knowing nothing, and leave ACAD whizzes. The more advanced features, in Civil Design....arent going to be used for what you're looking to do anyway. Lets be real here...a sketch plan is nothing more than lines. You're not designing sewer, calculating volumes, or modelling a detention basin.

  10. #10
    Thanks for your worldy wisdom...

    First point, no I wasn't expecting to be taught through a message board; I was, however, discretely hoping that some kind soul would offer me a pdf or something that their college had given them which was specific for autocad and planning/UD

    In addition, I perhaps should have mentioned that I do already use sketch-up and it works fine with me and I'm happy with what it does for concepts. However, as certain people point out autocad is the industry (lets say built environment to encompass all) standard.

    I'm not aiming to work in local government planning and would prefer to work with a private consultancy, and pretty much all job adverts for urban designers whether graduate level or a few years down the line, all ask for autocad (or similar) experience. This was the reason I was hoping for a tutorial to get started as I'm a bit strapped for time at the moment with writing my masters thesis...

    Anyhoo, I'll figure it out at some point. There is always good ol' pen and paper after all I'm sure Gordon Cullen would approve

    -scotgman

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Mr. Cool Ice
    Posts
    4,161
    ...you can come work with me, unpaid of course, for 6 months. I'll personally teach you all you need to know.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally posted by Jeff
    ...you can come work with me, unpaid of course, for 6 months. I'll personally teach you all you need to know.
    hmmm an offer of unpaid work in The Great Abyss, I'm not sure I can contain myself. I don't think my bank manager would like that very much

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Reductionist's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Swans, Fruits & Nuts
    Posts
    66
    Quote Originally posted by Jeff
    But its worthless if the engineer cannot convert the sketch plans into construction drawings (which are designed in ACAD).

    ....serioulsy, the learning curve is not sttep at all. I have a new Co-Op every 6 months, they walk in knowing nothing, and leave ACAD whizzes. The more advanced features, in Civil Design....arent going to be used for what you're looking to do anyway. Lets be real here...a sketch plan is nothing more than lines. You're not designing sewer, calculating volumes, or modelling a detention basin.
    Everything I've read indicates that SketchUP works just fine with AutoCAD. Admittedly I haven't had a chance to try it since the City I work for is hesitant to pay for AutoCAD licenses for planners, as we really wouldn't use enought to justify the high purchase price. And the low price (or no price) of SketchUP is a big appeal, especially in the public sector where budgets are tight and the upgrade path for software and hardware is much more frugal than in the private sector.

    At most we're doing conceptual work to show developers changes that we'd like to see or design guidelines for new construction in the historic district. That and maybe massing studies, or street sections, but otherwise that's it. We're certainly not doing any type of detailed deisgn work that requires a tool like heavy, full featured package like AutoCAD.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2005
    Location
    BC
    Posts
    1,584
    Yeah, ArcGIS is real fringe, Jeff. You're an obstinate thing, aren't you?

    SketchUP, admittedly and against my protestations, has proven its value in conceptual design. And with it being bought up by Google it is being increasingly integrated with Google Earth, which affords some interesting techniques.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Jess's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Tip of the Iceberg
    Posts
    364
    Quote Originally posted by abrowne
    Yeah, ArcGIS is real fringe, Jeff. You're an obstinate thing, aren't you?

    SketchUP, admittedly and against my protestations, has proven its value in conceptual design. And with it being bought up by Google it is being increasingly integrated with Google Earth, which affords some interesting techniques.
    Just always remember the command "area". That's very important especially if you have a client who is a developer. Once you go on detailing of indiviual lots, developers are very particular to recovery rate of the land they will develop.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Mr. Cool Ice
    Posts
    4,161
    Quote Originally posted by abrowne
    Yeah, ArcGIS is real fringe, Jeff. You're an obstinate thing, aren't you?
    .
    you're using it to make pretty maps, whats the point. get with the winning team. Using GIS to layout a sketch or a zoning map is liek driving a land cruiser to get groceries.

  17. #17
          bluehour's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Northern Ireland
    Posts
    102
    Quote Originally posted by Jeff
    you're using it to make pretty maps, whats the point. get with the winning team. Using GIS to layout a sketch or a zoning map is liek driving a land cruiser to get groceries.
    Exactly-- in my school days (3 years ago, which I admit is eons in GIS time) the GIS maps were the equivalent of crayon on paper to AutoCad's oils on canvas.

  18. #18
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 1996
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    7,609
    Quote Originally posted by abrowne
    Yeah, ArcGIS is real fringe, Jeff. You're an obstinate thing, aren't you?
    Moderator note:
    Please, let's not make this personal. Jeff is entitled to his opinion without being attacked personally.

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again....

    Attack the IDEA, NOT THE PERSON.

    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  19. #19
    Cyburbian urbanchik's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Detroit, MI
    Posts
    120
    Scotgman,

    I am also interested in learning CAD, and just signed up for a class at a local college. The first class is an intro and while I am sure I'll be bored, I think it will be good to have time to learn the program and get comfortable with it since the most complicated program I have ever used is Powerpoint. Also, there is no one at work to help me out or ask questions, so I feel that learning in a class environment will be best. Then next spring, a second class is offered, which will teach site planning. Each class is just $250, and my employer is paying, so it's all good.

    Good luck!
    urbanchik

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Mr. Cool Ice
    Posts
    4,161
    ^^Alot of colleges offer certificate programs as well.


    Now this is coming from someone who worked in the GIS lab, and graduated from one of the ESRI "GIS Mecca Universities".....

    I truly think that educators are force-feeding this stuff to planners, marketers, bankers, EMS, etc....promising the world. The presentations look really cool, and you're usually sold....but when you get out into the real world, its like the sails are deflated.

    I actually feel that my professors, in conjunction with ESRI, did nothing more than what pharmecutical companies do...create a need for something that really isnt needed.

  21. #21
          jhboyle's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Irwin, Pa
    Posts
    168
    The cartographic tools in ArcGIS have become phenomenal, I think we all need to remember that GIS is not CAD anymore than CAD is GIS, they are two very different ways of dealing with the real world, GIS is more conceptual and meant to be used by people like planners, geographers, cartographers, ect... where CAD is meant to be used by engineers. One isn't better than the other, just different. Now we have inter-compatibility and there is no reason for anyone to not use what makes the most sense to their needs.

    PS: I do have experience in both types of applications

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Doitnow!!'s avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2003
    Location
    India
    Posts
    499
    My personal experience.

    Knowledge of AutoCAD and GIS (Arc/Info, Arcview, Microstation etc) can be really useful. Even though you may not have to do it yourself at all the times.

    Sometime ago I worked myself on the softwares to make maps or improve them. Now I get it done from hired professionals.

    Infrastructure plans as well as master plans can be done in AutoCad. Such plans are technically correct and have higher presentation quality.

    For conceptual planning and related stuff one can use the other softwares. Although I have never tried this Sketch up(whcih I am going to do now)
    "I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them".
    -Isaac Asimov

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Bacolod City, Philippines
    Posts
    17
    speaking of Autocad...Is anyone planning to sell his/her older licensed version of autocad, say R14 or 2k? Autodesk stopped creating these versions, and my PC's cant handle the latest ones. Just PM/email me ok

  24. #24
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Aug 2006
    Location
    1BR, EIK, needs work
    Posts
    151

    Sketch Up catching on

    Funny, when first I read this thread a few weeks ago, I had never heard of Sketch Up. But upon returning to school last week for my second year, I found no less that 3 of my fellow students had started using it over the summer. It really is a cool little tool.

    The thing about GIS is that it is used to analyze information, not just map it. I've received advice from profs. at my school to learn a little GIS, bit be wary of getting stuck doing too much GIS at the beginning of your career. Most planners need to understand how it works, rather than how to perform all the advanced functions.

    I have wanted to learn autoCAD for a while now, but it's so hard to find time to do extra stuff. I generally learn new software when I NEED to, on a stressful deadline. So far I've found my GIS and Illustrator knowledge covers any map-making I need to do for school. Since my school doesn't have an architecture program, I'd have to go elsewhere for a class, and while I want to learn it, other things are just higher up on my list.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Jess's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Tip of the Iceberg
    Posts
    364

    CADD Standards

    Sample of CADD Standards adopted by Dept of Env. Services Arlington,VA.
    You can Download it.

    http://www.co.arlington.va.us/Depart..._standards.pdf

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 0
    Last post: 24 Sep 2012, 12:28 AM
  2. Replies: 1
    Last post: 07 Sep 2009, 1:17 PM
  3. How much money do urban designers make?
    Career Development and Advice
    Replies: 8
    Last post: 11 Jul 2008, 2:27 PM
  4. Why do planners need AutoCAD when...
    Career Development and Advice
    Replies: 3
    Last post: 24 May 2007, 12:20 PM