From:  eric (ERICCLOUGH)
4793.4 In reply to 4793.3 
Hi Michael and Marc

Thanks for the suggestions. Actually I have a lot of software I have purchased over the years but I have been on a personal quest to find ways to make modeling simpler, less expensive and clear. My wish to create a book for small houses anyone can build themselves is part of the same impetus. I do a range of architectural work but my passion is affordable housing, energy efficiency and renovation and retrofitting. I hope to create a portfolio of construction details (illustrations) anyone can understand without a lot of experience at reading drawings. Many manufacturers are doing fine work in this direction.
So, I now use MoI almost exclusively for modeling and for most 2D drafting, as well. Octane is producing decent renderings ... fast and low cost ...though for most of my 3D detail work screen prints from MoI are clean and clear enough. Draftsight is free and a very adequate 2D program for dimensioned layout plans.

I'm attaching a preliminary (and incomplete) illustration that I just did as an experiment with a small renovation project I am currently working on. The object was to work with inexpensive and efficient tools.

All modeling with MoI
Quick render with Octane (needs a CUDA equipped graphics card).
Lettering with Inkscape (a free Illustration program) saved as a .jpg file for small file size (using PhotoShop Elements). I think I will be able to use Inkscape for annotating construction details. (it does not save as .jpg files ... a pity as this takes another step).

By the way, SimLab Composer is great with 3d pdf creation and a good, low cost rendering tool, as well.

I know Michael is working on a .dxf export for MoI ... that will help a lot to export to a 2D drafting program.

So far I have not found ViaCad 3d very useful for importing MoI 3dm files ... it seems to miss significant parts in the translation (maybe I am not careful enough). I have been trying out ViaCad Pro 7.
ProgeCad is a good translator for AutoCad files but moderately expensive and Draftsight is free and does a pretty good job on .dwg files in both directions.

Sorry this discussion is straying away from MoI topics a bit ... but it is now my primary architectural design tool (After more than 30 years since setting aside my pencils and drafting table).

I have been looking for a magic bullet to take it from MoI to completion but have not found it yet.

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