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Posted by bevangel (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 2, 12 at 13:20

I just saw your post on someone else's thread asking what CAD program I use. I currently use "Punch 3000" but I started with "Punch 5-in-1" and pretty much every thing you see me post here on GW can be done on Punch 5-in-1. The big limitation I found with Punch 5-in-1 was when I started designing a home with a fairly complex roof and I couldn't get the roof to look right in the 3D images. For the kinds of floorplans and occasional elevations that I post here on GW, 5-in-1 would work fine.

Punch CAD programs are the only CAD programs I have ever used so I cannot compare them for ease of use with other nonprofessional programs. I can say that I taught myself to use Punch in about 3 weeks (and I was over 50 and not particularly computer literate when I started.)

Punch programs are really inexpensive. You can pick up a copy of 5-in-1 at for $10.

Be aware tho that Punch CAD programs are NOT professional CAD programs. Lots of people slam the Punch CAD programs for all the things that they say Punch won't do that a professional CAD program will do. But when I read the reviews on saying that Punch is garbage because it won't do this or it won't do that, I know for a fact that it WILL do those things because I use Punch to do those things all the time.

Furthermore, the last time I checked, the professional CAD programs ranged from about $600 (CorelCAD) to almost $4000 (AutoCAD) so it seems rather silly to me to even attempt to compare the two. If you're a professional architect, spend the money to get a good professional program and the time necessary to learn to use it. If you're not a professional architect, I say, spend $10 and see if Punch will do what you want.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: tkfinn97

I LOVE the Punch programs. I had that before I used 3d home architect. With 3d home architect, I am still learning how to do different things with it. I've tried to post some of my drawings here but, to no avail, I cannot get them to post. It's a favorite hobby of mine.

RE: tkfinn97

Thanks for letting me know Bevangel...your designs always look so "clean". I have a hard time seeing through the clutter with some of the other floor planners out there...the fact that it is inexpensive seals the deal!

RE: tkfinn97

I get the "clean" look b/c Punch lets you turn certain functions (like the background grid, auto dimensioning-and window & door call outs) on and off so that they don't show up on your screen.

Doesn't means the info isn't there, it just is hidden till you turn it back on. I realized that images of full floorplans are simply too small in a GW post to be able to read any dimension lines and that they just clutter up the view. So I just turn them off and set the background grid for 1 sq = 1 sq foot and figure that'll give most people enough info to figure out the sketches wall enough to take them to an architect.

One thing that may bother you tho is that Punch doesn't allow you to export a jpeg of tiff of your floor plans. Apparently other CAD programs allow you to do this and the lack of this functionality bugs people who want to post their images online. But I figured out that I could get around that limitation by simply taking a screen shot of the floor plans once I have them looking the way I want and then pasting the screen shot into my paint program, saving again and posting the image from Paint. You do have to clean up the edges a bit (You'll see what I mean when you try it) but, for my purposes, I find it works as well as exporting a jpeg would.

If you get a Punch program, once you've spent a little time learning how to work with it, if you find you're still having trouble figuring how to do something with it, email me by clicking on the "my page" link beside my name and I'll be happy to try to walk you thru the process.

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