I use Delta Cad for quick dwg. , however all the points above are something to consider.
How is this CAD Application working out for you (hopefully all good!). Is this an application that "jeffrose" might find useful, affordable and "comfortable" for his intended tasks.
many times hours could have been saved with a better app.
That's really an important point for anyone considering any CAD package to be aware of!
This will also include how well a CAD package works with other applications - such as Word Processors, Spreadsheet Apps, Database Apps, plus Printers, Digitizers, etc.
Another issue is backwards compatability.
The learning curve for full blown cad is much longer, than the basic cad apps.
This is the "Downside" of all CAD apps'. The learning curve is great for any CAD package - just to grasp the basics.
For advanced uses, the learning curve becomes even more complex - with additional sub apps to learn.
Just last week the Architect said he would send me the rev. for a job. Well, what could have been easy, was hours of work.
What happened? Was the Rev. something extreme, or was there file compatability issues too?
What I do normally is to Xref the floor plan, then draw on top of it as stand-alone files.
That way, if the base plan gets altered, all that is needed to be done for the complete planset is to swap the Xref dependent base plan, then edit my work as needed to fit the new layout.
As an electrical engineer dealing with signal processing circuit boards and chips, I find "layered" drawings a real pain to deal with.
Believe me, I know where you are coming from here!
With PCB layouts, I would say 5 layers is 1 layer too many!
1 layer holding the PCB's border lines,
1 layer holding component outlines,
1 layer holding component ID labels,
1 layer holding circuitry.
(layers 2 and 3 could be combined as one layer, further reducing the layers to 3 total).
In the types of CAD drawings used for Construction, multi layers can be of help - if done right; otherwise, they become very annoying and major time wastes.
Seems like many Architects end up with the same over-abuse of layers, after a project's Planset is compiled together for Prelim. use.
For example, I have seen base plan files with upto 40 layers used for walls alone. Another 15 for text, and maybe 20 for symbols.
Not all layers contain complete entities, nor are all these really needed!
It's a result of compiling the plan file from multiple team members into a single file / page.
I will use layers as required for a certain page.
The ability to turn off things like ceiling grids and Arch symbols for hard copy (plots) is of great value!
Apparently, the abuse of layering is found in more than just Construction CAD drawings! From your post, they are also found in Signal EE CAD work!
No discipline is immune to this layer abuse virus
Why anyone would plunk down unplanned layers - let alone not include some references to the use per name, is one thing... to use 25 layers where 2 or 3 layers is enough, well that's just wierd to me...
p.s. to "jeffrose":
Hope these issues do not "scare" you away from using a CAD package, but only help bring up the related underlying issues involved with them.