Kathy and I want to make some changes to our new house. I decided to try the various home design CAD systems to see how well they could handle my split level. I choose to look at 2 major packages.

  • FloorPlan by IMSI. I had some experience with version 8.2 and now its at version 10.
  • Punch by Punch Software. I had also tried this some time ago ut at that time it was too slow and cumbersome.

I purchased FloorPlan ($50) 10.0 and tried it out. While better than 8.2 it still requires strange workarounds for what I think are simple things. More on this later.

I downloaded Punch demo and tried it. What a disaster! The demo prevents almost all the advanced features of Punch from working including cabinets, textures, etc. The demo is so horrible limited that it is nearly impossible to form a good opinion of the software. The forums are full of all kinds of weird work arounds making it simular to FloorPlan in that regard. But the final straw was the 3D views. They are nearly impossible to control via the mouse, and I am experienced in FPS (First person shooters)! Many others have complained of this so it is not just me. At $200+ for the upper end version I am not prepared to purchase the program to try it. Note to developers; when producing a demo make sure it shows off your program in the best light. Punch’s demo is like test driving a car that lacks a engine, has only one working door and tunes only to AM 1600 with a single rear speaker. Hardly a good experience.

I also tried Chief Archetect. At $2500 it is WAY beyond my budget but I wanted to see what an upper end system could do. The demo is resonably limited; 4 hours per session, no save and limited textures (but many are shown just unavailable). While it appears good it just wasn’t $2,450 better than FloorPlan.