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Building design

Top 10 3D Building Design Software

3D software programs are very useful as they help save time and create realistic virtual models of what’s going to be built.

Priya Sangani
November 9, 2021
Building design

The perfect, amazing buildings we see around us, aren’t just raised up with the bricks and beams in a few months. There’s a lot of thought and skills that goes behind it. Architects and designers invest a lot of time and effort, and design software helps them be efficient. CAD (computer aided design) helps designers create virtual models in both 2D and 3D environments. Whereas, BIM aids architects and engineers in both design and documentation simultaneously.

  

3D software programs are very useful as they help save time and create realistic virtual models of what’s going to be built. These programs give better accuracy than 2D modelling software. It’s easy to collaborate on some of the programs and it improves the overall workflow efficiency. The fast-pacing growth of designing industry needs tools and technologies to cope up, and the market has several options to choose from. 

  1. Revit 

Description- 

Autodesk Revit is a leading BIM software that allows designers, architects and engineers, all to work in a collaborative way. It helps 2D and 3D modelling, analysis, simulation, and creation of documents all at once. Most stages of building design and implementation can be covered using this software.


Benefits- 

  • Simultaneous 2D planning and 3D modelling
  • Easy documentation
  • 3D+BIM into one
  • Simultaneous visual programming using plug-ins like Dynamo for generative design


Pricing- $320 per month, per account (and more options)


  1. Rhino 

Description- 

Rhino 3D is a very strong 3D modelling software that can be used for modelling anything and everything a designer can imagine. It has a short learning curve and supports visual programming software like grasshopper.  It has a number of plug-ins to support various kinds of analysis which aids sustainable building design. It is easy to set-up with 3D printing too.


Benefits-

  • Unrestricted geometry for modelling
  • Lot of Plug-ins for support for parametric modelling and various analysis
  • Accuracy
  • Several model creation tools


Pricing- $995 for permanent account (and more options)


  1. ArchiCAD 

Description- 

It is a CAD/BIM software by graphisoft solutions which enables easy 2D and 3D modelling. It offers parametric custom profiles, facade design, create models, and keep track of BIM. The software is quite easy to learn and the chance to easily collaborate with co-workers. It is popular among small and mid size AEC firms. 


Benefits-

  • Both 2D and 3D modelling
  • Easy Collaboration
  • Can save most used tools 
  • Realistic renders


Pricing- $196 per month, per account (and more options)


  1. Sketchup 

Description- 

Sketchup is a 3D modelling software that is used for many tasks such as 3D building design, architectural site planning, urban design, landscaping, etc, and is quite popular because of it’s very short learning curve and several tools, textures, colours, and other such features. It has many tools and plug-ins to make the 3D models as desired. It is commonly used by beginners. 


Benefits-

  • Short learning curve
  • Various plug-ins to speeden up the processes
  • 3D warehouse having several options
  • Many versions to adapt to our needs
  • Options to view in AR/VR


Pricing- $299 USD per year for sketchup pro account (and more options)


  1. Blender 

Description- 

Blender is an open-source 3D modelling, rendering, and animation software that is widely used for 3D building design, conception of ideas, and mostly in the animation and graphic world. It has countless options and tools to make whatever crosses the mind. It has addons for various options, and the shaders can help designers and architects to model according to the parameters required. 


Benefits- 

  • Free
  • Has tools to create anything
  • All-in-one option to do 3D modelling, UV, animation, rendering, lighting, etc.
  • 3 rendering engines in one to fit your need


Pricing- Free


  1. DBF 

Description- 

Digital Blue Foam tool is a game-changing web-based 3D modelling tool that allows designers to generate sustainable building designs according to the latest demands of built-environment. Powered by AI and generative design, it reduces a significant amount of time spent by designers on initial study and form conception. It uses the world's real-time data for analysis and design generation.


Benefits-

  • Collaborative and time-saving
  • Easy to learn and presentable UI/UX
  • Easily compatible with conventional 3D building software/BIM as well
  • Custom features available for enterprises
  • AI powered to easily work according to parameters


Pricing- Soon to be released...


  1. Fusion 360 

Description- 

It is a cloud-based tool that enables designers to work in 2D and 3D environments. The features also include sketching, freeform and parametric modelling, PCB design integrations, etc. Forms can also be rendered in the same application and this makes it fit for designers for quick designing, collaborations, and corrections. 


Benefits-

  • Easy collaboration
  • Works on laptop, desktop and mobile phones
  • Documentation options


Pricing- $60 per month per account (and more options)


  1. Cedreo 

Description- 

Cedreo is a web based architecture design application that helps architects, interior designers, and remodelers to create 2D and then 3D models of a house quickly in less than 2 hours. Due to quick tools and mobile options, the design can be edited on-spot, in front of clients. The design could be ready in 3 steps- plan, furnish, and render.


Benefits-

  • Web-based
  • Fast
  • Mobile


Pricing- $79 per month per user (and more options)


  1. 3ds Max 

Description- 

3ds max is a 3D modelling software by autodesk that allows architects and graphic designers to generate models, graphics and animations in a single software. It is simple to use and fast, making it useful for architects to rely upon. It allows rendering, concept and design visualization, modelling, texturing, lighting, VFX, and animation too. 


Benefits-

  • Fast
  • Simple to use
  • Many applications in one


Pricing- $215 per month per account (and more options)


  1. Formit

Description- 

Autodesk Formit is a 3D sketching software for creating conceptual diagrams for 3D building design and architectural design. It is perfect for visualizing concepts on site using site data and context. It can be used for energy analysis, solar impact, etc. It is available in the AEC suite of Autodesk as AutoCAD, Revit and dynamo. 


Benefits-

  • Free mobile app available 
  • Simultaneous analysis


Pricing- $390 per month per account



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