Friday, December 2, 2011

CAD or Something Like It

In grade school and then again in high school, we were given the option to study CAD: Computer Aided Design.  For girls like me who would rather have her nose in a book or write notes to her friends during any lull in class, I wasn't interested in learning how to draw things with a computer.  I also wasn't a fan of landscaping, helping my parents with the house they built my 7th grade year, or learning how to sew.  Obviously things have changed.


This blog has taught me nothing if not that there is a whole computerized world out there that I know nothing about.  And I'm pretty tech savvy, or so I thought.


The other day I was talking to J about the blog and what I should talk about next.  I've been wanting to get a blueprint and/or computerized layout of the house done up for our files and I figured it might be something to share via the blog.  I remembered Young House Love did a similar post on the different products they've used so far, so I figured why not go with the experts and then see if there were any more out there?  


They profiled were floorplanner.com, Ikea's Kitchen Planner, and Google Sketch Up.  So we J started with floorplanner.com and took it from there.  Turns out while he claims he's not too techy, which we kind of already knew thanks to his flip phone circa 2001 and his love/hate relationship with his iPod ("Melissa, I didn't dooooo anything.  All of the songs are gone and it's blinking at me!"), he actually did a good job sketching out the kitchen as a test run.  It took him three hours, but he did it.  One of the perks of starting work at 5 am is that he can come home and test these things so I can blog about them later.


{via}
The nice thing about this site is that you can toggle between 2D and 3D and you can add various household items such a furniture, flooring, even a car for your garage.  Since we are just getting used to this whole new technical world before us, it took a little time for J to get acclimated to the website and how to go about using the features.  Since I was Christmas shopping right after work, I wasn't able to come home and play with this as much as I'd like to, but I have a feeling this may be one both of us are able to use.  

The furniture add ons are nice enough but some appear cartoonish so I wouldn't recommend using this for anything other than a layout.  Use Olioboard or Photoshop if you are interested in putting together design ideas/colors/decor.

Below is J's "final" product: a rendering of the kitchen space complete with doors for the pantry, bathroom, and outside.

In 2D view
In 3D view
I'm looking forward to creating a full on floor plan for each of the levels so you all can see what the house looks like from an layout standpoint.  Since I've been taking you room by room it all makes sense in my head, but it'd be good to get it down on paper.  Or at least electronical like.


Do you guys have any experience with these programs?  We already used Ikea's kitchen planner when we were exploring our options earlier in the year but I'm looking forward to learning Sketch Up and sharing that review with you as well.  I've downloaded the software and have heard it's more challenging than floorplanner.com.  Game on computer, game. on.

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