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Thread: 3D Software

  1. #1

    Default 3D Software

    Just purchased 3D software Northern Focus Edition. Does anyone have any tips, tricks that I should be aware of.

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    Michael Carson
    Inspect It Right Home Inspections L.L.C.
    www.inspectitrighthomeinspection.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: 3D Software

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Carson View Post
    Just purchased 3D software Northern Focus Edition. Does anyone have any tips, tricks that I should be aware of.
    "Northern Focus Edition"? What's that?

    I have used 3D for years now and it works fine for me. Took me quite a while to set it up the way I wanted and I continue to tweak my comments on a regular basis. Not sure if the latest edition is easier to use, but 3D is OK. I used Borealis years ago, and theirs was easier, but not as nice looking. The finished report from 3D is a nice looking product.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 3D Software

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Carson View Post
    Just purchased 3D software Northern Focus Edition. Does anyone have any tips, tricks that I should be aware of.
    From what I've been told 3D is more complex than others.
    Since 3D is the only program that I've used, I never knew the difference.

    I've been using it for almost 9 years now, and still learning new tricks/ lay out options, just by searching and playing with all the layout options built in the program.

    Phoenix AZ Resale Home, Mobile Home, New Home Warranty Inspections. ASHI Certified Inspector #206929 Arizona Certified Inspector # 38440
    www.inspectaz.com

  4. #4

    Default Re: 3D Software

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    "Northern Focus Edition"? What's that?

    I have used 3D for years now and it works fine for me. Took me quite a while to set it up the way I wanted and I continue to tweak my comments on a regular basis. Not sure if the latest edition is easier to use, but 3D is OK. I used Borealis years ago, and theirs was easier, but not as nice looking. The finished report from 3D is a nice looking product.

    3D sold a blank version of their software to a vendor here in the northwoods. What they have done was insert things that are unique to our climate along with a truck load of diagrams that you can insert on the fly. That is good, diagram of ice dams that I dont have to hunt for, etc. I quickly realized that unless you have the premier edition you are very limited as to what documents you can edit because of the limited word program. So, I had to update to premier.

    It is alot of work upfront, had a problem with the headers not starting on their own page. Drove me nuts, for a week I tried to fix it, turned out something was done by the northern people and had to have someone from 3D log onto my computer and fix it. 3D tried to tell me that they were not responsible for fixing errors and was short with me, then I reminded them that this software has THEIR name on it, payment went to them not the salesperson, who represents 3D and she was a little more polite. Not comfortable so far with the E mail tech support. Software I was using I paid annual fee and I could call in and get a human to help me and not want to charge for every phone call.

    So anyway, now that the saga is over it is alot easier to use than the AHIT software, spent waaaayyyy to much time trying to insert pictures, edit documents, etc. Looking forward to using for my first inspection this week. Thanks for the timely response.

    Michael Carson
    Inspect It Right Home Inspections L.L.C.
    www.inspectitrighthomeinspection.com

  5. #5
    Jeff Knight's Avatar
    Jeff Knight Guest

    Default Re: 3D Software

    Michael,
    Are you a member of WAHI ? Have you not looked at our software ? We are right here in your neck of the woods and you can even drive over here if you have any questions or need training. We have been doing this for over 13 years and we pride ourselves on our support also. We do not just do phone support and yes...we have heard that 3D is complicated for some inspectors.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: 3D Software

    I started using 3D when it was in DOS! I think that was back in 1994 and I think in 1995 or 96 they went to Windows!

    At every inspection event that has software vendors at it I try to find something I like better. I have not been able to find anything that looks better or as easy to use. It is pretty darn simple to change the verbaige on the fly; you can add sections for a single report or save it to the master template.

    I understand that they now offer a free FTP report upload service on their servers.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  7. #7

    Default Re: 3D Software

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Knight View Post
    Michael,
    Are you a member of WAHI ? Have you not looked at our software ? We are right here in your neck of the woods and you can even drive over here if you have any questions or need training. We have been doing this for over 13 years and we pride ourselves on our support also. We do not just do phone support and yes...we have heard that 3D is complicated for some inspectors.
    Yes, I am a member of WAHI, actually the V.P. of the Central Chapter. No, I have not heard of your software or I would have looked at it. I was unhappy with my AHIT software and while at the NAHI conference saw several vendors software. Played with them a little. Then Tom Feiza (Mr. Fix It, Radio show Mr. Fix It, past president of WAHI) showed me how the 3D focus software has his diagrams in it, how it was "focused" for northern climates IE meets Wisconsin requirements and he pretty much put his endorsement on it.

    I do find that the 3D software is fairly easy to operate and add the canned phrases that I am tired of explaining by free texting, I give you the double tapped breaker I am not the sharpest tack when it comes to designing or adding templates, formatting my headers and footers, etc. All I want to do now is add my standard thank you letter with the usual disclaimers after my cover page and I am ready to go. Problem is when I follow the instructions, my attached word document is nowhere to be found and the instructions tell me that it will show up when I print. Well through the magic of computers and my disc drive I do not print anymore. I am going green, well almost.

    It is situations like when my attachments dont show up where I want or at all that it would be nice to have a human on the phone to help me. A little personal support in the beginning is all that I need to make my life a brighter place. E mailing back and forth is too slow if you have to have an answer right now. On top of all this E mail support I have to pay them, I believe, an annual fee of $190.00 per year for updates.

    Michael Carson
    Inspect It Right Home Inspections L.L.C.
    www.inspectitrighthomeinspection.com

  8. #8
    Jeff Knight's Avatar
    Jeff Knight Guest

    Default Re: 3D Software

    Michael,
    We have been working with Tom Fieza for over 10 years and we even resell his CD of his diagrams that works with our software. I was previously with Borealis, and am still an owner, but we have split the company since the contract I signed with ITA/Kaplan has made Borealis focus on their Matrix format . My new company is the same software but only better with a focus more on a semi-narrative style report which is what we were using for years but even better and not the matrix style checklist report.
    Just let me know if you want to take a look at it..I know we should have been there at the NAHI show in Chicago since I talked to Dave Kolesari in Vegas at the Casey-OMalley show and he said it was a very well attended show. There was just too many shows this month to be at all of them.
    I'm not trying to convert you from 3D...they have nice software...just letting you know your options.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: 3D Software

    Whatever you use stay away from the check box type semi-narratives that use letters like: A, N, NI, etc. etc..... They are almost impossible for your client to understand and are a pain to try and defend if you screw-up and get named in a lawsuit.

    Just use plain common everyday English and tell your client that it needs repair or whatever it needs.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  10. #10

    Default Re: 3D Software

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Whatever you use stay away from the check box type semi-narratives that use letters like: A, N, NI, etc. etc..... They are almost impossible for your client to understand and are a pain to try and defend if you screw-up and get named in a lawsuit.

    Just use plain common everyday English and tell your client that it needs repair or whatever it needs.
    That is why I think I will enjoy the 3D software, not check boxey and appears more narrative. After some help, I am going to use it for a second time. First time was learning curve etc and was not the best I have produced. I like having the photo's go over to the summary page.

    Michael Carson
    Inspect It Right Home Inspections L.L.C.
    www.inspectitrighthomeinspection.com

  11. #11
    Jeff Knight's Avatar
    Jeff Knight Guest

    Default Re: 3D Software

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Whatever you use stay away from the check box type semi-narratives that use letters like: A, N, NI, etc. etc..... They are almost impossible for your client to understand and are a pain to try and defend if you screw-up and get named in a lawsuit.

    Just use plain common everyday English and tell your client that it needs repair or whatever it needs.
    Scott,
    I totally agree on the checkbox type reports with single letter ratings etc. In my opinion semi-narrative means that it is not completely narrative. What completely narrative means to me is like a format of a novel or term paper. Just paragraphs of information under major sections like Exterior, Interior, Roof etc. This format is very hard to search through to find any specific information.

    A semi-narrative report, or what I really should call a table-delimited format, has complete sentences but has a tag, or a separate column, for each item that is inspected during the inspection process. That way it is easier for the agent or client to find all the information about the water meter, for example, without having to read the entire Exterior paragraphs of information.


  12. #12
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    Mar 2007
    Location
    Eau Claire, WI
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    37

    Default Re: 3D Software

    Michael,
    I've use the Wisconsin version of 3D for over 2 years now and am very happy with it. It does have a learning curve to it, but once you have everything set up the way you want it, it is very easy and quick to do a report. I did change many of the "canned" verbiage to better suite my style. I don't send any attachments with the reports, I have all of my disclaimers and information right in one of the comment boxes directly in the report. Once I had the software working properly and set up the way I wanted it, I stopped renewing the tech support. It just didn't seem worth it to me. I make sure to backup the software through the program monthly, to an external drive, in case I have computer issues.

    I'm a member of WAHI, Chippewa Valley Chapter, and I went with the 3D software because of seeing it at a WAHI seminar where Mark and Joy were demonstrating it. Jeff Knight spoke at one of our chapter meetings. His companies software appears to be very user friendly. I purchased the 3D prior to seeing Mr Knight's product. I don't use the PDA portion of the software yet, but another inspector in my area uses it and says it has cut his report writing time in half. I just can't bring myself to spend another $500 for the PDA.


  13. #13
    Jeff Knight's Avatar
    Jeff Knight Guest

    Default Re: 3D Software

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Jarvis View Post
    Michael,
    I've use the Wisconsin version of 3D for over 2 years now and am very happy with it. It does have a learning curve to it, but once you have everything set up the way you want it, it is very easy and quick to do a report. I did change many of the "canned" verbiage to better suite my style. I don't send any attachments with the reports, I have all of my disclaimers and information right in one of the comment boxes directly in the report. Once I had the software working properly and set up the way I wanted it, I stopped renewing the tech support. It just didn't seem worth it to me. I make sure to backup the software through the program monthly, to an external drive, in case I have computer issues.

    I'm a member of WAHI, Chippewa Valley Chapter, and I went with the 3D software because of seeing it at a WAHI seminar where Mark and Joy were demonstrating it. Jeff Knight spoke at one of our chapter meetings. His companies software appears to be very user friendly. I purchased the 3D prior to seeing Mr Knight's product. I don't use the PDA portion of the software yet, but another inspector in my area uses it and says it has cut his report writing time in half. I just can't bring myself to spend another $500 for the PDA.
    Scott,
    You can get one of the iPaq 110s PDAs for as low as $250. If it cuts your time in creating the report in half later on wouldn't it be worth the price of one inspection for you ? The PDAs are not for everyone but I would recommend at least trying it to see what your experience is....you can always resell it later on e-bay or something to get most of your money back if it does not work for you.


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
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    84

    Default Re: 3D Software

    I have the 3D focus edition by Bob Kille of Acu'spect and have had great results. The clients like the narrative reports & I like being able to modify on the go depending on the inspection. I also have the Phase Inspection manual & software which has been a big help to me.

    Chris


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