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I know this topic has been beat to death but just making sure there aren't any new Stage Design software programs that I am not aware of.  Of course I would prefer free but I just want to know what is the best software available at this time.

 

Thanks in advance!

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3 hours ago, Trentmopar said:

I know this topic has been beat to death but just making sure there aren't any new Stage Design software programs that I am not aware of.  Of course I would prefer free but I just want to know what is the best software available at this time.

 

Thanks in advance!


Best option right now is Sketchup. Sketchup Make is probably the best version to use - they’re no longer updating it, but the latest version is available for free and, unlike the current (and still updated) version of Sketchup Free, it can be used offline. 

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Sketchup is great but I am seeing more and more people using the 3d stage builder kits, I think they are probably a good idea for people that are not super computer savvy or who don't have a fast computer, I do stages in sketchup but almost never do them at home because the speed of my home computer is so much slower than my CAD workstation at work.

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I don't have to design any stages but I like working on it especially now due to the cancellation of matches. Just prior to the article appearing in the USPSA magazine I opted to buy the 3D Stage Planner after stumbling across it on the Alpha Dynamics website. I love this thing. Its pretty well equipped as received although I have ordered a few additional items just because I wanted them. You can easily get by with what is included the package.

 

I'm fortunate that I can submit some ideas to my local MD and likely get some used. Hope so anyway. It has relieved some boredom resulting from virus restrictions and incessant rain.Otherwise I would be making enough ammo to last years and that's true even though between me and my shooting friend we shoot about 70,000 rounds per year. I have two 1050's both automated and for better or worse could make one hell of a lot of ammo until I ran out of components.

 

The set has few problems the worst of which is dealing with targets and target stands and sticks falling apart when you handle them. As someone pointed out its best to assemble these targets and glue them together. That's pretty much why I ordered a few additional items to have more sticks and targets and a couple of targets not included in the set.This is absolutely not required. I just did it cause I could.

 

I see from the magazine that NROI is accepting and even encouraging stages for approval be submitted with pictures taken of 3D Stage Planner stages.I can see why. Its very easy to see from the models where risk/reward target opportunities exist in the stage. It actually encourages designers to include more such opportunities to test your guts.

 

If you are bored with shooting restrictions get yourself a 3D Stage Designer kit. The damn things are additive. I agree with the comment above that they are cat magnets.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I personally prefer the templates I have in Excel.

I know it is not a spreadsheet, but many years ago Russ Cluver put together a nice set-up with excel and I found it was easier than powerpoint.

 

Jay

 

 

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  • 2 months later...

I've used the Sketchup and Trident Stage Designer tools a few times, but find it to be a bit more time consuming than the old fashion PowerPoint.  I found a USPSA template online with 90% of our props already created, scale can be a bit challenging, but it never final until we do the walk through to make sure our intent is physically present.  We have contemplated the 3D stage builder, but dang that can get expensive quick.

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Ive created close to 400ish unique stages in sketch up over the last 5 years for local clubs and majors. Its is a very useful tool but does require a bit of patience when you are starting out.

 

Excel doesn't offer enough detail for set up crews IMO. I like how I can take multiple screen shots from different views in sketch up. This allows your intent behind placement of props and targets more clear. This is very important if you are not going to be helping the set up crew.

 

The 3d printed figures are cool but require a lot of $$$ for initial start up. If your local club will foot the bill, I would do that.

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  • 1 month later...
29 minutes ago, Kokeman said:

I use power point. I found a template on the web for free. It works pretty good. Walls are the hardest for me to set up in it.

Can you post the link to this template? Thanks.

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On 3/16/2020 at 1:00 PM, broadside72 said:

I hate all the software options right now. I spent the money on the 3D kits and am much happier (other than the cat walking across the desk knocking things over)

Funny enough I’ve upgraded as well. My response to the cat was to buy pin magnets and built out a whiteboard with all the stage info needed. I used magnetic tape and a label maker to make start positions and what not. I’ve spent way too much money to do this but it makes my life easier 

3A35F9BE-26FF-4CC8-8861-3FAAD96E6C63.jpeg

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  • 1 month later...

Once you have learned the tricks using Sketchup, designing a stage becomes more easier. I can lay out a stage design straight to Sketchup within 20 to 30 minutes. Designing a stage becomes more of a hobby to me. Make sure to always use the correct dimension of the bay that you will work on to get the correct distance and position of the props. Aside from being free, Sketchup is the most accurate, easy and has all the props you needed to create a stage design.

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