SoftPlan Features in Detail
SoftPlan is supplied with a comprehensive list of walls and beams. This list comprises of internal, external, load and non load bearing walls, typically used in construction. There are also speciality walls eg, glass, firewalls and retaining walls. Additional walls can be created as required.
Beams and Decking Beams, like the wall list there is a variety of beams that can be applied to drawings. Beams can be edited for size, material and new beams can be created for use in future drawings.
Wall and Beam list
A large library of generic style and size of openings is included along with brand named libraries. Opening styles include, arch, internal and external doors, niche, vent and window. The window library includes, sliding, awning, casement, corner, double hung, louver, side light and speciality styles.
Brand named libraries include A&L, Stegbar, G James, Hanlon, Hume, Trend and Wideline.
SoftPlan includes many different dimensioning tools and formats.
Simple dimensioning between two points to auto dimensioning of plans.
Dimension to the edges or to centre of items, eg posts.
Associated dimensions ensure items like walls match the dimension, so if the item changes size, so does the dimension and visa versa.
Here are a few of the specific dimensionsing tools.
Dimension Point - dimensions between any two points.
Diagonal Square - useful for slab diagonals.
Set Distance Between - a temporary edit and set dimension tool.
Dimension Angle - measures angle between two objects.
Floor System is a mode where flooring components are added to the drawing. Tools include, slab - both structural with footings and non structural for verandahs and patios.
Timber flooring tools allow for the design of joists, bearers and sheet flooring.
Multiple floor systems and levels can be added to each floor as required, using manual or autotrace.
Ceiling mode provides the tools to add ceiling joists and a variety of ceiling lining materials, eg, plaster, plywood, firecheck, ceiling tiles and villaboard etc. Ceilings can be applied flat or raked using manual or autotrace.
SoftPlan's roofing tools are the easiest and most comprehensive in the industry. Using AutoRoof, the majority of buildings are instantly roofed. You have total control over all parameters like overhang, pitch, rafter size, fascia height and gutter design etc.
Initally Auto Roof will apply a hip roof, then simple edit each edge to the style required, eg, gable, dutch gable, double hip or profile. Profile allows you to draw the shape required and apply the shape to the roof panel. Profile is used to apply bull nose verandah style roofing.
Skillion or flat roofs are easily applied by having a hip on the lowest edge and gables on the other edges.
Site mode is used to enter the property shape either by sketching or entering surveyor coordinates. This property will display in 3D according to heights entered. Shot points and height values will provide the information to generate contour lines.
Site objects like roads, foot paths, garden beds and fences will display in 3D. Service information like power, phone, plumbing all can be added using the included tools.
The post library consists of stuctural, decorative and fence. All these posts can be edited for size and appearance in 3D. Posts placed under a beam will follow the beam if it is moved.
Simple to use decking tools, just trace the shape and a deck will be drawn including joists and decking boards. A library of editable railing designs along with different decking surfaces can be applied.
Decking provides options to set overhang, board width and thickness along with spacing and square or chamfer profiles.
A solid surface for tiles can also be used.
Stairs can be added to drawings by selecting from the predefined library or sketching width and length then editing, rise, run and number of treads etc. You have total control of design for tread nosing, stringer number and placement along with railing design and offset.
Stair types available include straight, Angles, Curved, Flared and Fold Back. Different stair types can be combined and latched to landings to form units that can be moved and edited as a single item.
A large library of electrical symbols for power points, switches, tv outlets, ceiling fans and lights with the majority being displayed in 3D. Light symbols have lighting values to control lighting effect in 3D.
Over 5000 symbols are provided. These symbols range from bathroom and kitchen to play equipment, through to cars and industrial equipment. Symbols can be edited for size and texture (color) in 3D. If on the rare occasion an addtional symbol is required there is an import Wizard that guides you through the import process.
There are many pre drawn detail symbols for construction connections, wall and footings details as well as bracket diagrams.
Details can be saved for future use.
Notes can be entered directly to drawings by typing, copying & pasted from text programs or using Speed Notes. Speed notes are previously saved notes that can be selected and placed on drawings.
Libraries of notes are supplied that can be customised as required.
Key Notes are a method to assign a number to a note, then create a table matching the number to the note.
Complete kitchen design is easily accomplished, cabinets can be added one at a time or using AutoCabinet where a line is traced and cabinets will be placed to fill the space, avoiding windows and allowing for white goods like fridges and dishwashers.
Libraries of predefined cabinet sizes and designs are supplied as well as custom sizes.
Custom designs created from various styles like open, draws, single or double doors are easily created and saved for future use.
Select from 8 door styles, 5 construction methods and 20 user defined finish colours. Accessories like light valence and top cornice moulding along with under lights are a simple selection.
Line draw shapes like box, triangle, circles, arcs and polygons etc are all available and can be draw to any size or direction. These line shapes are commonly used for construction details, border sheet design and additional detail to elevation and section drawings.
A library of editable solids that are displayed in 3D. Shapes include cones, cubes, polygons, pyramid, spheres, wedges and cylinders.
En extensive library of architectural line draw paint fill patterns along with many fill styles for roof, cladding, brick and tile etc. Manufacturer libraries for stacked stone and various paving designs.
Image texture can also be added to drawings, this enables true to product representation to be displayed.
Generated panorama files can be exported via SoftPlan reView for viewing on PC or for a better display use SoftPlan+ for viewing on phone or tablet device. When panorama are viewed on devices the gyroscope will move the image as the device is moved, like looking through a port hole into the room.
At any time of the design process of the floor plan an automatic presentation view can be generated. This presentation is displayed as a downwards view of the building with the roof and ceiling materials removed, giving a true feeling of space.
The 3D model of the building can be displayed in various styles, wire frame, visible line, shaded, sketched, illustrated, clay model, water colour, textured and rendered. Also see modes of Interior 3D
All modes are independantly adjustable for lighting, background image, face options, fog and other effects.
Rendered mode is the highest quality and will produce photo real images with reflections, shadowing, indirect lighting and other graphical options. All easy to use and will produce a very good quality image without changing any settings.
Creating video animations is remarkably easy, position the camera in 3D, with the mouse, add the image by clicking the plus sign on the time line, move the camera and add it to the time line, continue adding and when finished SoftPlan will join all the images filling in the movement between images to produce a smooth continious movie that can be viewed on any PC.
Lighting is one of the most important aspects to producing realistic 3D images. Lighting and resulting shadows give depth to images. Lighting can be applied in a few ways in SoftPlan, false lighting, lighting from light fixtures and ambient light. Light from light fittings is the most realistic where brightness, colour and decay can be controlled as well as direction and shadows.
On the right is the same image the left half has no lighting while the right side has. Where there is no lighting image appears washed out and over exposed. SoftPlan is supplied with settings that will produce very respectable images, these settings can be altered as required.
SoftPlan is supplied with thousands of textures that can be applied to surfaces. You have complete control of the appearance of the texture regards brightness, reflectivity, size and many other settings.
Many manufacturers libraries are supplied for bricks, roof tiles, metal roofing material, shade cloth, carpets and wall paper to mention a few.
Additional textures can be added, gathered from digital cameras, the Internet or scanned from brochures etc. Simply place the file in the texture library and it will be available from within SoftPlan.
Although Room Mode is not a 3D mode it greatly enhances 3D internal images by adding finishing materials to the model. A single click will add skirting, cornice, floor coverings, wall and ceiling paint, ceiling material and depending on room, chair rails. The room is coloured and design size added to the plan.
A schedule of materials is generated showing material, type and size, other information can be selected to be included in the table.
Room Mode is one the most appropriate ways of displaying floor plans for sales brochures as it can be coloured and enhanced with furniture symbols, leaving out much of the construction type information.
Materials added to the plan by Room Mode are also counted by SoftList in the material list report.
|Material List Tools|
SoftList - Material Lists
There are several presetup material list formats, being Summary and Detailed. Apart for the usual description, quantity, price and total columns that the Summary Report has, the Detailed Report also has markup and labour fields and many materials are counted in units rather than totals.
Material calculation as well as report style can be customised as required. Additional materials can be added to the list and counted in the way you require.
Edit Item - Quick List
When editing an item on the floor plan a quick material list for the items can be generated. This can be useful when requiring material quantities for a single wall.
Material Take Off
SoftList Mode is a method to trace over imported line drawings, eg, DWG / DXF to calculate areas, lengths, heights and count items. The Lighting Load report uses areas to reference wattage per m2 to calculate allowable electrical loading.
Utilising SoftList Mode to define areas and Electrical Mode to add lighting symbols and apply a wattage to each light, SoftList can then calculate wattage to habitable, balcony and garage areas and report if values are exceeded. The report table can be included on floor plan drawings.
Using information from the site drawing for property, building footprint, drive and other hard surface areas, SoftPlan can generate a site coverage report calculating percentage of permeable area.
If the maximum coverage is exceeded the exceeded value will be displayed you adjustments can be made to comply.
This Report picks up the values from the Site plan and displays them with the relevent values for length width and volume where applicable.