I want to teach myself to use the latest autCAD to design my own home and want the very latest most updated program. I will be going to school for architecture ion a few years and want to start to play with this now. Which version will allow me to design the most modern and creative homes and what might it cost me? What is the best place to buy it?
oh and another dummy question, where will I find a better result in using these programs, PC or MAC?
I am going to guess these questions are adressed more than once in this forum. Sorry for the redundancy.
I would suggest starting with SketchUp (formerly Google; now Trimble). The basic SketchUp is a free download, and the Pro version is very inexpensive. The number of products (objects, materials, fixtures) in the 3D warehouse for SketchUp is enormous--something that is sorely lacking in the ACA world. There is also a 3rd party rendering software, Shaderlight, that allows you to produce easy, beautiful renderings--much easier and faster and sadly, better, than you can ever do in ACA.
AutoCAD and AutoCAD Architecture are workhorses for producing construction drawings, and they have many capabilities that SketchUp does not have. If you pursue a career in Architecture, you will definitely have classes in AutoCAD, and when you're a student, you can purchase a very inexpensive student license. In the meantime, you can have a lot of fun with a product like SketchUp designing your virtual house!
Why pay $5000... its up to you. AutoCAD is still the leader for creating construction documents and BIM. I've yet to find a job posting in my area requiring SketchUp experience. To get a set of construction documents out of SketchUp requires the Pro version ($495). I've yet to see a finished product from Pro, just pretty pictures, but we'll see if they can grow in market share against AutoCAD LT $1200 list price, $861 on Amazon!
For you, since you just want to get your feet wet with a CAD platform, I would recommend using an Educational version of one of the AutoCAD products you will need to know in your career (ACA, Revit, ACAD, LT). I would recommend either ACA or Revit since you want to model your home. You won't have to pay $5k, EDU licenses are free.
Here is a link to the Autodesk Educational Community:
The number of products (objects, materials, fixtures) in the 3D warehouse for SketchUp is enormous--something that is sorely lacking in the ACA world.
There's now an App for that! ~ Mary
I dread it too!