Ben Rendell, the founder of BSR Design Ltd started his career as a designer and took on more and more responsibilities. Having worked in a management position for a number of years, Ben decided it was time to go back to his design roots:
“My job had become mostly desk-based. I didn’t get to meet customers anymore or draw new designs. I missed the creativity of coming up with designs that reflected what the customer wanted and seeing those designs realised. So, I decided to set up on my own.”
“My company has only been going for a short time, but it is doing really well and I like the challenge. I’m working closely with a timber frame manufacturer and I refer some of my design clients to that company to get the frames built. In return, they use me as a designer on their contracts.”
Only a few months into his new venture, Ben has already designed bespoke new houses and house extensions, barn conversions, an office block extension and is now working on a school extension.
Timber frame designers have a large choice of different software programmes available. In his long career Ben has used quite a few of them. Just after starting his new company, he decided to try Framing from Elecosoft.
“I hadn’t worked with Framing before. When it was recommended to me by not only one, but two engineers I worked with, I decided to have a closer look. At first, it looked very different to all the other programmes I knew. It did take some getting used to, but this didn’t take long.
All software programmes have pros and cons but with Framing the pros definitely outweigh the cons. In Framing it is really easy to move and add items without affecting the existing design, for example extending walls or additional openings. For instance, it is easy to work with the display panels, they are easily changed if the design requires it. In Framing, you have the option to alter the panel or put the roof plane on, whichever is easiest. This is not always the case in other software programmes.
The most important point for me is that Framing is based on AutoCAD. This means I can just send the design file to the manufacturer and they don’t have to translate it into something their machines can work with. Designs that have been created in other software programmes can be downloaded but the manufacturers wouldn’t necessarily get the full image because it wasn’t in AutoCAD. A lot of companies use AutoCAD which makes things a lot more simple. For example, one of the companies I design for doesn’t make its own trusses and uses an outside supplier. I just send them the AutoCAD file and they can design their roof straight on top of my plan. This makes it a lot easier and quicker for everybody.
The symbols and commands in Framing look familiar to anybody who has experience with AutoCAD. This makes using Framing and interpreting the drawings much more intuitive. You know what the buttons mean and don’t waste time constantly searching for icons.
The design is visualised in 3D, which makes it a lot easier to explain the drawings to my customers and show them the impact any changes could have.”
When Ben decided to use Framing as the software for his new company, Elecosoft enrolled him on a two-day training course to kick start the process. This was an experience that Ben found very useful:
“The training course I was on wasn’t fully booked so I ended up having one-on-one tuition. The Elecosoft representative taught me a lot in these two days and answered all my questions. We got through the course really quickly and he even helped me to set up some of my basic layouts. I couldn’t have asked for a better service.
The Elecosoft support network is very good in general. This is definitely something I didn’t find as good with any of the other software firms I have worked with in the past. With Elecosoft, help and support is only a phone call away. They have not failed to help me out yet.”
Although he has only been using Framing for a short time, Ben is convinced he has made the right choice:
“I enjoy using Framing. I have picked it up a lot quicker than I have other programmes in the past. I know if I have any problems or issues, as soon as I talk to Elecosoft they will be able to help. The more I use it, the easier it is going to get.”
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