Advanced design and manufacturing technologies have changed the way we create our world. In architecture too, CAD (computer-aided design) and simulation tools like BIM (building information modeling) mean designers and architects now use computer-aided 3D architecture software to plan projects and structures.
With the arrival of BIM, 3D architecture software and printing, and various other advanced technologies, architects can now digitally visualize and showcase to clients what a building will look like.
In 2013, a study done by researchers at the University of Oxford said that architects had only a 1.8% chance of being automated. The researchers observed that architecture is a “creative task” which involves a high degree of human intervention, manipulation, and engagement. But the ensuing years have proved them wrong. Architects are designing and building structures utilizing the best 3D architecture software and interior design software to build virtual models.
Architects and design studios are increasingly turning to BIM and CAD architecture software to design and build projects. Before going any further, let us find out what BIM and CAD are?
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BIM and CAD
BIM is a 3D design software that designs three-dimensional virtual models of buildings. An added advantage is that BIMs use “real” construction material to design some actual parts of the building model. It incorporates the whole construction ecosystem in the model. In other words, BIM stimulation incorporates the space where a building will be built, and the quantity and quality of material to be used to give clients an idea of how the building will look. It offers clients a digital prototype of the actual structure, including the construction material. It is done using the 3D printing method.
CAD or Computer-aided Design is a comprehensive design done in 2D or 3D of the manufacturing process involved in constructing a building. Detailed diagrams of a product’s materials, processes, tolerances, and dimension can be done using this 3D architectural design software. CAD systems exist today for all of the major computer platforms, including Windows, Linux, Unix, and Mac OS.
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Leading 3D Architecture Design Software
Here we list some of the best 3D architecture software available in the market:
REVIT: Revit is a BIM software developed by Autodesk. It enables both 2D and 3D architecture software modeling, rendering, and construction. The best feature of Revit is its collaborative aspect. It ensures that the whole team working on the project has access to the process of designing and updation. It helps in the smoother execution of the project and saves time. Revit is also compatible with AutoCAD.
SKETCHUP: It is a top-rated software on all the best 3D architecture software lists. It is widely used by architects and interior designers due to its ease of use and cost-effectiveness. It is also available in a free version, however, some of the features do not work in this mode. It has a user-friendly interface and comes with a vast marketplace of extensions. It has an added feature of a 4D virtual builder.
It allows one to plan the entire life-cycle of the project. It has a comprehensive library from where around 2 million sketches can be downloaded. SketchUp has a variety of rendering functions like drawing, animations, and photographs.
FreeCad Arch: FreeCad Arch is a free 3D architecture software. It allows one to design 3D objects of any size. It has a BIM modular software, is scalable, and it lets workbenches (software that allows data sources to connect to design models) dedicated to a particular field to be mounted on to the core application. It is also fluid, and innovative 3D architecture designs like floating walls and floors can be designed with this software. This software is suitable for cutting-edge architects who like to be different.
With FreeCad, one can import and export files in multiple formats. It comes with wizards that facilitate designing windows, stairs, and roofs along with material specifications.
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AutoCAD Architecture: Autocad has been in the market since 1982 and is an AutoDesk product. This 3D architecture software has been a favorite among architects and has kept up with the times. It integrates well with other Autodesk products.
AutoCAD has an excellent rendering function and is used for visualization and 3D interior design modeling. It is commonly used for 2D drafting and drawing. It is compatible with Revit, and the 3D architecture software allows collaboration so that different people working on the project can communicate and work as a team. AutoDesk has another software called AutoCAD Civil 3D, which is useful in civil construction and engineering requirements of an architectural project.
DYNAMO: Dynamo is an AutoDesk product and is the latest in 3D architecture software. It produces designs based on specific parameters. It is an open source software.
Architects and designers can build 3D design models in a graphic interface with this tool. It is an intuitive 3D architecture software and easy to use. It comes in both free and commercial packages.
Dynamo has a unique feature called the Dynamo Studio. Designers and architects can test for sound dynamics using algorithms with this feature. Dynamo Studio creates advanced designs using primary data and analysis. The software’s features can be integrated with Revit.
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TAD: TAD is an Indian-origin 3D architectural software and was first released in 1989. It is a cost-free BIM software. TAD expands to The Architect’s Desktop, and this software offers 3D architectural design solutions.
The developers felt the need for specialized software for architects as they believed that the other applications in the market were offering engineering solutions rather than architectural ones.
TAD is used to design the concept of a building rather than solving the nitty-gritty of how to construct a building down to its last brick and screw. It gives holistic solutions and incorporates the designing elements from scratch. TAD comes up with advanced 3D architectural design software updates regularly.
PHOTOSHOP: Photoshop is a high-image quality producing software. It is an essential requirement for all architectural students. Photoshop allows layering, which means you can add texture, style, people, and atmosphere to your designs to give it a real-life dimension. It has a great editing function, which comes in handy to fix errors. It is faster to work with compared to 3D interior design softwares where renderings can take hours to format.
It is an Adobe product. Photoshop is a great tool to build mockups and make presentations.
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