As an instructor of construction cost estimating, I've looked at 30 or 40 computer estimating packages over the last few years. Recently, I encountered a new product called CAD Estimator, developed by a former framing contractor. It caught my eye for two reasons: First, it takes a "visual" approach to cost estimating, which makes it easy to tell when you've left something out; and second, it produces material lists good enough to take to a lumberyard. CAD Estimator's chief feature is its graphical interface, which is similar to a digitizer, except that it works not with paper drawings but with images that have been loaded into the computer. These can be CAD files, or photographs of a building