When it comes to housing and architectural design, there are a number of great 3D design tools that can help to make the process infinitely easier.
In this article, we will introduce you to some of the best software and online tools available to those who are looking to design a space from scratch or remodel current living spaces. These tools offer fun and easy ways to create floor plans and furnish your house without having to move one single piece of furniture.
Here is a quick list of the best interior design software programs on the market.
AutoDesk Homestyler is without a doubt one of the best software selections in this article. Both a software and a web service, the program offers a comprehensive approach to interior design that is fast, intuitive, and modern and makes the design process both easy and fun.
Homestyler's online service is free to use, and does not require any registration (though registering is the only way that users can save their work). Drag and drop capabilities allow users to build 2D planes very easily, taking care to add in angles, walls, windows, doors, and other key home elements to render an accurate design. Each element can also be edited through a very clear zoom function. Measurements are available in both imperial and metric units.
In addition to general blueprint capabilities, it is also possible to place furniture, and other interior and exterior decorations. A 3D view makes it easier to visualize rooms from every angle, and ensure that the design has a good flow. When finished, users can even share room plans on Facebook, Twitter, or via email.
Google Sketchup is a 3D modeling program intended to be used on Google Earth. It allows you to insert 3D housing models or other buildings onto Google Earth.
Google Sketchup is not the most handy tool when you need a quick and simple editor to make your house plans (the software is much more architecture-oriented). However, if you're looking to generate sophisticated 3D designs without using very expensive architectural software, it is a good choice. The 3D engine is quite powerful and efficient, even if your computer's graphics card is not. It's important to note that this software is intended to design the building, but not to develop it.
The program is compatible with Mac OS X and Windows XP, Vista, and 7.
IKEA Home Planner
When it comes to arranging an apartment or smaller space, IKEA Home Planner is a great tool to help plan your space (especially if you plan on furnishing your home with IKEA furniture). Creation of a floor plan is relatively quick and simple, thanks to the software's efficient rendering tools. You can choose to work on either a 2D plane or to activate a 3D view for a more accurate rendition of your housing model.
The IKEA Home Planner includes a library of almost all of IKEA's signature furniture styles (dated from 2010). You can also add in items such as electrical outlets, radiators, and water sources so that all factors are taken into consideration in a room's layout. Items can be added and removed by a simple drag-and-drop process. Once a room is ready, the system will actually price out the design and give you a checklist of what needs to be purchased.
Space Designer 3D
Space Designer 3D is an online application that allows you to easily draw floor plans and walk through your project in 3D real-time. The Smart Wall Technology included in Space Designer 3D allows you to draw walls in just a few seconds without needing any special skills. Once a room is created, flooring automatically appears with its dimensions. A furniture catalog includes high quality objects to fit any kind of project. New items are added on a daily basis, and you can suggest new furniture to add to the catalog at any time.
The main goal of Space Designer 3D is to provide you with architectural tips and a functional tool to help you create a room that best suits your needs. Space Designer 3D is more than a designing and visualization application; it is also a communication channel between individuals and professionals, whether they are realtors, constructor, event planners, or furniture sellers:
Sweet Home 3D
Sweet Home 3D is a practical software tool that allows you to map a digital image of your interior and redesign rooms without having to move any furniture. To begin, you must create a map of your space by either importing your floor plans or by creating your own. Creation of a floor plan is relatively simple, and can be done by using the system's drawing tools and adding dimensions.
Sweet Home 3D is compatible with Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows operating systems.
Although slightly less intuitive than Autodesk HomeStyler or Space Designer 3D, FloorPlanner offers very similar capabilities to its competitors. The service is available online, but registration is required to take full advantage of its offerings.