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House Plan 3D Design Software…

 So you are ready to play with some ideas in 3D…  there are several different software programs available, here are just a few, but  be warned; most of these programs are costly, and require building or drafting knowledge to perform the task at hand. Many people have invested thousands of dollars, just to find out they cannot operate, or produce the drawings they had anticipated. The sellers of these programs advertise ease of instruction; but quite the opposite is true. Most of these programs require some knowledge of drafting.

The follow is a list of programs, company description, average prices and directory links

www.SketchUp.com - Free - $500.00  - Google SketchUp is FREE software that you can use to create, modify and share 3D models. It's easier to learn than other 3D modeling programs, which is why so many people are already using it. We designed SketchUp's simplified toolset, guided drawing system and clean look-and-feel to help you concentrate on two things: getting your work done as efficiently as possible, and having fun while you're doing it.

www.3dhaonline.com/ - $29.00 - Featuring professional grade drafting tools in an easy, intuitive interface, 3D Home Architect Home Designer 9 is the jump-start you've been looking for. It's easier to get started, easier to access and use your tools and easier than ever to design the home of your dreams

www.artifice.com - $29.95 - Sketch your dream house easily in live 3D, then just copy and paste to add real 3D furniture, finishes, doors, windows, and even lighting.  Perfect for 3D design, rendering, and walkthroughs from simple remodelings to kitchen design and additions, all the way up to extensive new home design projects

www.adobe.com/products/acrobat3d/ - $995.00 - Adobe® Acrobat® 3D software empowers CAD, CAM, and CAE users to convert virtually any CAD file to a highly compressed 3D PDF file to enable 3D-based collaboration and CAD data interoperability. Increase engineering productivity by sharing Adobe PDF files containing precise geometry and product manufacturing information with users of free Adobe Reader® software to mark up 3D designs, or leverage Adobe PDF files for downstream manufacturing processes without having to buy CAD translators.

www.chiefarchitect.com/ - $1400.00 - $2700.00 - specifically designed for the residential and light commercial design professional. Chief Architect makes it easy for you to visualize your design ideas for your client’s home or remodeling project. Move a wall, add a room, redesign a kitchen, change materials, estimate costs - all before you build.

www.cadsoft.com/ - $950.00 - $3000.00 - Cadsoft develops start-to-finish home design software for residential and light commercial construction markets. Our products are used by professionals worldwide to create high-quality 3D presentations, detailed working drawings and accurate project estimates. We create a feature-packed work environment that is easy to navigate and understand, so that clients can design, create and build with ease and confidence.

www.autodesk.com/ - $500.00 - $6000.00 - Autodesk® Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) Solutions enable AEC firms and the clients they serve to create and profit from digital design data and streamlined communications across extended teams. From renowned AutoCAD®-based design and documentation software to advanced technology for building information modeling (BIM), dynamic civil modeling, and collaborative project management,

www.broderbund.com/ - $39.95 - Put your dreams into designs with everything you need and more in FloorPlan 3D Version 11! Improve your home, remodel or build new with one easy-to-use program!

Each of these programs has draw backs and benefits. Your skill and budget will determine which will best fit your needs. Personally we recommend the free version of SketchUp. The learning curve is small and the usability of the files is great. It’s not setup to be so user friendly as some of the others as far as architecture is concerned, however there are community user groups of pros to help you figure out the software like the GoogleGroups/SketchUp and the SketchUp Community Forums.

 A few things to consider about 3D home design.

  • Make sure you have permission to use any house plan graphics that you trace in 3D.
  • Styles are not important, room space and use is most important…
  • Use shapes, like squares, circles & ellipses… to determine the room sizes. as in the site orientation chapter.
  • Find out local minimums and maximums for things such as hallways, bathrooms, garages and ridge heights.
  • Take into account rooms sizes as to not over extend load bearing supports, think in 10’ & 20’ increments.
  • Use natural framing plate line heights like 8’1-1/8” and 9’1-1/8” and so on.
  • Don’t worry about how detailed your model is. The professional you use will be able to use it to some extent.
  • Don’t expect finished working drawings from any software, regardless of what they claim, you will need a professional to check the drawings that are used for construction.

 You can create anything in 3D depending on how long and how you want to work on it. Use the internet and search engines to ask questions and research processes of construction, while you build your 3D model. The more you learn in the design stage the more you’ll know in the construction stage.



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