Read an article from the architectural consultant Clayton Taylor and find out why he switched to ARCHLine.XP

In my situation, as an architectural consultant in the UK, I’ve used DataCAD Professional for many years primarily for 2D design and construction plans as the software is designed for the architectural market. Although DataCAD has 3D modelling tools and some smart parametric functions, not all the building elements are covered.

I’ve also used SketchUP Pro since version 5, so I’m quite an expert on this programme as well. I mainly use it when a DataCAD project requires some quick 3D modelling.

Although SketchUp Pro is quite fun and addictive to use, it’s a very basic 3D tool that has no parametric abilities or any specific architectural tools. There are numerous Extension tools (add-ons) that cater for this shortfall, but this becomes tedious as you end up with an array of extensions for different building elements.

In ARCHLine.XP, the building parts can be created natively, without any extensions. We choose from ready-made compound walls, defined slabs, openings, furniture fronts, etc.

Work with styles

There are pre-defined styles for every building element, and we are free to create further styles if needed. The software thinks in tasks – it has designated tools targeted for specific design stages right through to construction plans.

As change and alterations can be inevitable in the design stages of a project, this change and alteration can become time-consuming in 2D CAD methods of working and with basic 3D modelling programmes. Therefore, the deeper and more complex a project gets, the more time it will take to make changes, as plans, elevations & sections of a project are not always dynamically linked.

refresh layouts

As the project gets more and more complex, the changes on your design will reflect on the output – sections, elevations, quantity take-offs – automatically.

Therefore, as ARCHLine.XP at its core heart has been written as a fully parametric CAD programme, it makes changes & alterations easier, even when a project is in its advanced construction stage. ARCHLine.XP also has the ability to make 3D solid longhand manipulated objects with the aid of 2D tools to become part of any parametrically controlled building element, so fully flexible in that regard.

An example of the 3D tools that ARCHLine.XP offers, here we are creating a parametric baluster

Although transitioning from one CAD programme to another takes time and commitment, one may even end up working in both for a period of time. However, once you’ve recognised just how deep ARCHLine.XP is, with many 2D and 3D tools and clever parametric tools, it becomes apparent in the learning process, that ARCHLine.XP can eventually replace 2D CAD and 3D modelling programmes. Furthermore, ARCHLine.XP Professional also has inhouse rendering tools to present your designs.

For me, these main items as I’ve described, and there are many more I’ve not mentioned, together with being sensibly priced with easy payment terms if required and being Perpetual Licensed, makes one more dedicated to this product for the long term.

Clayton Taylor
Trotman Taylor Architectural Consultants, UK