One of the most used tools in the remodeler’s industry are computer aided programs or design software that help the professional visualize the project during the conceptual stages. Providing that help and 3d images will help your client to visualize what your project will be when completed. Three of the most common software are Sketchup, Chief Architect and SoftPlan.
From Google. This design software, free to download, is an easy to use application that will help you learn to create 3D models of houses, decks, home additions and woodworking projects. It is quite simple and so easy to use that is a must have if you are starting on the drawing business.
Skecthup will allow you to add details, textures and glass to your models, design with accuracy, and place your finished models in Google Earth. Another benefit that you have is the possibility to share them with others by posting them to the 3D Warehouse, or print hard copies. Google SketchUp is a great way to discover if 3D modeling is right for you.
- Modifying and drawing different types of geometrical figures.
- It also has the Offset function and intersection among others.
- It can also calculate area, length and dimension.
- It has a protractor, tape measure, layers and section slice.
Using SketchUp you can:
- Draw, modify, measure, rotate, and scale geometry
- Place section slices to view and work on model interiors
- Add pre-made textures to your models, or create new ones
- Add pre-made components like trees, cars, doors and windows, and people to your models, or create new components
- Soften and smooth faces
- Cast real-time shadows for any location on earth
- Simulate movie camera placements
- Perform walk-through
- Create presentation tours
- Import 2D images (.jpg, .png, .tif, .tga, .bmp) and 3D models (.3ds, .dem, .ddf, .dwg, .dxf, .skp)
- Export your models to Google Earth
- Export 2D images of your models (.jpg, .bmp, .png, .tif)
Chief Architect Software is a publisher of 3D Architectural home design software recommended for architects, engineers and construction companies. For professionals, the company publishes the Chief Architect software product line and for the consumer DIY home design market, the company publishes Home Designer product line. Both product lines are compatible, allowing professionals and home owners to interact. It can be used effectively in residential, commercial, institutional and hospitality industries.
Chief Architect design software does not require as much computer experience as other comparable software, as it is very intuitive. For beginners, there are excellent training tools and videos available. The support is excellent, and most of the time problems are immediately solved through their technical support department.
Chief Architect can:
- Create 2D and 3D rendering images
- Prepare materials list
- Create material take-offs
- Prepare cost estimated
- Code checks Analysis
- Animated walk-throughs
- Analysis of interference
- Calculate square feet and lineal feet
- Align and Distribute Objects
- Prepare wall elevation views
- Define multiple dimension styles
- Automatically re-build deck framing
- Create Center Swing Double-Doors
- Create an opening between two rooms or draw half walls
This line of software has several other components specified for each particular use.
This design software draws with scaled components, walls, joists, beams, etc., not with lines representing items. SoftPlan will understand technical and common used building terms like walls, footings, and many other building members. It is ideal for extensions, renovations, kitchen / bathroom, decking and pergola construction.
SoftPlan can be used for:
- Create full 3D image rendering with light sources, reflections and shadows
- Realistic images can be presented including object placement
- 3D images can be viewed from any angle inside or out
- It can simulate sun’s shadow effects for better designing
- Complete house design with materials and images
- Anybody can view, print (with permission) and comment on the drawing
- Create detailed estimate of materials, including labor and waste
- It uses a 'Picture-torial Estimating System' instead of using a tabular input system
- Site Plan mode will generate a footprint of the building on the site
- Voice activated control software
- It can generate contour lines. Services like power, telephone, water, etc., can be indicated along with contours and building setbacks