Chief Architect’s design and drafting software is available from Chief Australia.

Features of Chief Architect’s design and drafting software:

3D Modelling / Design tools

  • New enhanced user interface with new icons and a drop-down toolbar mode
  • Quickly place and arrange walls, windows, doors, cabinets, fixtures and other architectural objects from a structured library of over 10,000 items and textures to create a floor plan and 3D model in just minutes
  • Construct buildings of up to 30 floors and add, delete, and swap the position of any of the floors at anytime with total ease
  • Use a complete collection of powerful CAD tools including Accurate Move, Placement, Visual CAD Snaps, Text tools, Spell Checking and Arrow placement
  • Use the Symbol Wizard to easily import or export an object that has been created as a 3D DXF or DWG file, or .OBJ file, or a .3DS (3D Studio) file complete with texture mapping, and automatically convert it into a 3D symbol to add to the libraries within Chief
  • New easy 3D Modelling – Add, subtract and merge with new box, sphere, cylinder and cone tools – use to generate custom shapes or symbols
  • New support to include dentil and rope styles for 3D molding and millwork
  • New replication tools to easily replicate objects like walls, windows, cabinets, and even entire buildings for improved design efficiency.

Powerful new roofing and roof framing tools

  • Automatic and manual roofing tools now allow for the production and customisation of several roof shapes and styles including hips and half-hips, gables and dutch gables, shed, skillion, flat, mansard, gambrel, cape cod, curved and barrel roofs.
  • New 3D roof designer tools – edit in both 2D and 3D
  • Automatic roof returns: hip, gable, full, flat and sloped roof planes
  • One-Click Auto Dormer tool to quickly and easily place dormers with Hip, Gable, and Curved roof options.
  • Easily create cathedral and vaulted ceilings including exposed rafters or trusses and even attics rooms.
  • Roof, ceiling and floor framing can be automatically generated to your default settings, timber sizes, etc, including blocking and bracing
  • Powerful automated roof and floor truss creation, including girder trusses, sissor trusses and curved trusses
  • Manually add, delete or edit any roof framing components to meet your specific requirements.

Enhanced stair tools

  • New stair tools – One-click stairs and wrap-around stairs
  • Custom staircase tools allows the creation of almost any style of staircase, including curved, multi-sectioned with landings, flaired, winders, open treads, etc, and with custom balusters, newel posts and handrails
  • Automated stairwell creation tools.

Improved dimensioning tools

  • Complete dimensioning tools with full support for both Metric and Imperial dimensioning
  • Dimension your plan in seconds with One Click Auto Dimensions
  • Enhanced manual dimensioning tools include interior, exterior, surface to surface, angular and point to point, all fully editable
  • Dimensioning styles, arrow heads, extension line lengths all fully customisable by the user to accepted international industry standards.

Powerful wall and wall framing tools

  • User definable wall types allow for the accurate representation of virtually any wall structure in all plan, elevation and 3D views
  • New 3D wall designer tools – edit in both 2D and 3D
  • New continuous wall drawing mode
  • Pony Walls facility will break any wall into upper and lower sections of user defined heights, and constructed of different materials, e.g. solid masonary lower section and a framed and clad upper section
  • Automatic and manual framing tools for the production and customisation and production of detailed wall framing
  • New deck tools allow for the creation of custom shaped decks which Chief can then automatically frame to your default settings
  • Automatically detailed cross section and wall elevation views
  • Chief's CAD to walls tool enables you to import a properly layered 2D floor plan in an AutoCAD DXF or DWG file format and automatically convert key components such as walls, doors, windows, and railings to 3D objects forming the basis of a new Chief plan and3D model in a flash.

Visualisation tools

  • Create a virtual look and feel for the design before it is built, incorporating actual colours, wall finishes, flooring, furniture, fixtures, appliances, window and window treatments
  • Glass House view provides a fully translucent view of the interior and exterior or the model simultaneously
  • 3D sectioning view provides the ability to view from any angle a fully rendered 3D cross-section through any part of your model to visualise structural or other details
  • Material painter enables you to apply material finishes to individual objects in 3D or Render views, e.g. to change a counter top from a laminate finish to marble or granite, change the cabinet doors from a laminate to timber or other finish, or paint walls with your favourite paint supplier's colours
  • Define your own custom lighting schemes and visualise shadows, drop off (attenuation) and variations in intensity.
  • Set sun angles for your locality for any time on any day of the year to calculate sun shadow plans and to define and cast the realistic shadows in your rendered views
  • Produce rendered images with graduated shadows and reflections, a photo-realistic image using Chief's built-in POVray ray-trace and radiosity rendering tools and now with improved speed.
  • Now edit your model in all 3D vector and rendered views. e.g. cabinets, windows, wall shapes, doors, framing, fixtures, furnishings, electrical, etc
  • Expanded 3D editing now includes the ability to copy and paste objects in 3D
  • Create a virtual walk-through of your model within the program that can be saved and give to your client as an industry standard AVI file, or produce a standard VRML file that can be emailed to your client or even posted on a web site
  • Take individual views of any part of your model that can be saved in BMP, JPG, PNG image formats.

Terrain / Site planning and landscaping tools

  • Create lot and site plans of any size and detail (even full estates and subdivisions) on flat or hillside land. Import or set elevation points to automatically generate a 3D model of the actual terrain.
  • Incorporate site features such as building pads, cut and fills, retaining walls, streets, foot paths, lighting, plantings, trees, etc, to show your client exactly how the finished project can look
  • Plant Encyclopaedia, Plant chooser, plant hardiness zone reference maps, and sprinkler designer.

Custom cabinet design

  • Fully customisable cabinets – backsplash, appliances, custom countertops, bulkheads, drawers, rails, doors and door styles, door hardware, shelves, toe-kick, custom moldings, millwork trims and now the number of, depth of, and placement of shelves within a cabinet.
  • New ability to scratch builds totally unique cabinet styles
  • Choose from over 350 standard cabinets or customise your own with the ability define every detail of the cabinet to create any custom kitchen and bathroom, including curved cabinets and doors
  • Detail cabinets with countertop shape, door/drawer styles, open shelving, backsplash, cornice and trims, cabinet hardware including hinges, handles and pulls, and your chosen finishes for all of these items
  • Create and combine custom cabinet and component groupings as Architectural Blocks and save these into any of your object Libraries. Suitable for quickly inserting into your plan a standard kitchen layout, or a custom island unit configuration
  • Cabinets, fixtures and furniture can be placed on separate CAD layers and schedule of materials.

Documenting your designs for working drawings

  • Use Chief's Layout feature to put together sets of detailed working drawings from your models - floor plans, automatic elevations and cross-sections, site plans, perspective views, 2D CAD details, construction notes, schedules, 3D images, photographs, etc.
  • All Windows compatible printers and plotters are supported
  • A comprehensive set of 2D CAD tools enables you to add any necessary detail to your documented plans. A structured library of more than 1,000 standard CAD blocks and details can be used or customised for your plans, or you can import or create your own and add them to the libraries
  • New text tools including spell check, alignment, snapping, arrow and much more
  • Produce fully dimensioned wall frame and roof truss schedules
  • Produce detailed schedules for windows, doors, cabinetry, plumbing fixtures and appliances, and electrical items
  • Import from and export to other CAD systems plans and design information using AutoCAD v11 - v2007 compatible DXF and DWG files
  • Time Tracker/ Log Manager to track time on multiple projects
  • New Project Browser allows quick selection of all plan, camera and CAD details for any plan.
  • All new CAD Layer management facility, unlimited number of user definable Layers which can be grouped into Layer Sets for effortless navigation with your drawing structure. Any object on your plan can be allocated to any layer. Total control of line colours, line styles and line weights for each layer, and whether the layer can be viewed on 2D and/or 3D

Floor / Space planning

  • The Build House Wizard provides a quick way to layout adjoining rooms and play what if with the available building space, a great tool for that initial client consultation
  • Use the 3D views and models to help communicate and illustrate the finished project to your clients
  • Doll house view is a effective overview tool for floor and space planning.

Cost estimating / materials list

  • Materials list creates a detailed take-off list of materials in the design by room, by floor or a defined perimeter
  • Individual material costs can be calculated within the Materials List, either by room or by material category
  • The materials list can be exported as a text file, or in Microsoft Excel format to form the basis of a data input that can then be linked into an existing Excel costing spreadsheet or other proprietary estimating software program.