Building design
Which Software is Best for 3D Building Design?

Which Software is Best for 3D Building Design?

Do you have a building design project to work on but wondering about the best app to use? Today, architecture apps have evolved beyond 2D and 3D building models.

February 11, 2022

Do you have a building design project to work on but wondering about the best app to use? Today, architecture apps have evolved beyond 2D and 3D building models. The latest options are the Building Information Modeling (BIM) apps that make it pretty easy for teams to collaborate on different areas, including design, planning, technical details, labor, and materials. In this post, we take a closer look to answer the big question that starters and experts alike often ask, “Which software is best for 3D building design?”

What is 3D Building Design?

3D modeling is the creation of mathematical representations of three-dimensional shapes or objects. In building and design, the process involves the use of advanced computer applications. These apps enable architects to be more creative and experimental in their architectural work. With advanced technologies, such as reality modeling getting adopted into the construction lifecycle, rolling blueprints in the construction industry is fast getting phased out.

Architects are now using digital presentations, and they come with numerous benefits. By adopting 3D modeling in architecture, the process of designing a new building is simplified so much. What used to take days or even weeks can now be done in a shorter period. Some 3D building model applications, such as Foyr Neo, make it possible to complete a full architectural design in less than an hour. Other benefits of using 3D building applications in architecture include:

●        Helps architects to avoid costly design mistakes by providing them with the opportunity to test designs before the construction of a building can commence.

●        3D apps help to increase architects efficiency and productivity. The software makes it possible for you to rapidly extract 2D information from other completed models, so that you can put more focus on the design process. Then, you can identify areas that require immediate modifications in your architectural designs.

●        Using 3D applications can help you to easily win clients and keep them happy. With photorealistic rendering and virtual tours created using 3D apps, your clients can reimagine the spaces more effectively. The apps even make it possible to customize different elements for building architecture.

●        It is an excellent way to visualize your end product in modeling. With 3D modeling software, you can create more “what ifs” scenarios to help give clients more options about their building designs. The lovely thing is that if you want to change some components, be they walls or the size of rooms; there is no need to start from scratch. You only adjust the damaged part. If you have a very good app for architecture designed to promote collaboration, all the team members will be able to see the changes too.

Which Software is Best for 3D Building Design?

Whether you are targeting to rapidly complete your building design or create a unique house model, these six programs or software options are all you need.

  • Maya

If you ask most architects, they will tell you the undying desire to make their work outstanding. However, they indicate that most building design programs limit them so much. They limit creativity, meaning that the models they develop are likely to closely resemble what is already available. Now, Maya offers the best way out. Although some architects indicate that Maya does not have a lot of tools, such as those in apps like Revit and Foyr Neo, the flexibility it offers helps to remove most of the constraints common with other programs.

Maya is an excellent app for helping you to explore building design concepts that extend far beyond the other pieces of software. You enjoy more freedom, which is crucial for enhanced creativity in building design. As a result, Maya is emerging as the most preferred app for developing new ideas and creating unique models. You can even download new tools for further enhancement of your designs.

Designers who are new to 3D building design indicate that Maya is not just an excellent choice for their work but also for learning the basics. Because it does not have constraints, getting the core concepts of three-dimensional designs is pretty easy. You will also love its tutorials, which architects agree that they make learning how to use the program easy and fun. If you ever get stuck when using Maya, its large community makes getting assistance fast and convenient.

  • AutoCAD

This app was created in 1982, making it one of the earliest building design apps. Indeed, it is credited for ushering the world of Computer-Aided Design (CAD) to personal computers. Only a few years after launch, AutoCAD had become the most preferred app for architects, and that trend has not changed to date. This is the reason why it is very common in many learning institutions, and even the top architects are likely to have used it at some point in their careers.

Today, most building designers use AutoCAD to create two-dimensional models, especially for elevations, floor plans, and sections of their buildings. Because of its large collection of objects, such as roofing and windows, you can complete a building design pretty fast. Even for new architects, AutoCAD is pretty awesome to use, whether for practice or working on the first commercial project. The program also works well for other engineering works.

The best bit of AutoCAD is that it makes converting 2D drawings into 3D objects pretty easy with only a few clicks. Autodesk, the program’s parent firm, also provides users with a long list of 3D tools for advancing their work. So, whether you are looking forward to creating a unique home design or a unique skyscraper, rest assured that AutoCAD is up to the task.

  • SketchUp

This is another high-rated 3D modeling app that works excellently for both small and big building design projects. The program is owned by Trimble Inc., a firm that focuses on changing the way the world operates. It works excellently for architects, construction professionals and interior designers. However, engineers, filmmakers and woodworkers also appreciate its features and are now using it too.

One of the main features of SketchUp that makes it outstanding is its high-fidelity object library that comes with a wide range of elements for architects. This means that instead of starting from scratch, you simply pick the parts, such as walls and doors, and position them where you want. You can also change the dimensions of the elements to create awesome designs.

Another unique thing about SketchUp is that it works with most platforms. Unlike other CAD programs that require highly advanced computers, SketchUp works well even in most standard computers. This makes it excellent for starters or students in their 3D building design journey. Indeed, you can also download the free version as a starter and use it for building designs. However, this comes with limited features, and you will have to buy advanced plans when targeting to create more complex building designs.

Before selling SketchUp to Trimble Inc., Google added awesome features that make the program stand out from peers even today. For example, the app allows you to pull 9072 from Google, making it an excellent choice for urban planning. Other features that make SketchUp outstanding include advanced collaboration tools, component library, 2D modeling capability, and Data collaboration capability.

  • Digital Blue Foam

Digital Blue Foam is the newest kid on the block in architecture softwares. DBF software has been created by domain experts having extensive experience in the fields on architecture and computational design. The latest version boasts of the following features:

- Intelligent 3D sketching in the browser
- Urban Insights analysis for 15 minute city design
- Advanced Generative Typologies
- Realtime tenancy automation and metrics
- LIVE Sync to your favourite BIM software with DBF hub.

A huge benefit of Digital Blue Foam is that you can use it (currently) for free and the beta version has opened up all the key features of the advanced packages making it ideal for creating professional models for your clients. So, start by reviewing the features you want, and use it until the beta is free and open for all.

The beta version makes Digital Blue Foam a great pick for new urban designers, planners, architects or students who want to quickly create fantastic designs and plans. Create fast, impressive 3D models with the added value of feasibility analysis for your prospective clients.

  • Foyr Neo

Which software is best for 3d building design? To answer this question, many architects will look at a number of things, and the two most important are the complexity of an app and the ability to complete designs fast. For example, if you have a client who wants a building plan pretty fast, perhaps in the next few hours, can you deliver that? Yes, you can with a program such as Foyr Neo.

Foyr Neo is a cloud-based building design program with a globally curated catalogue of ready-to-use building parts, from kitchens to offices. Therefore, you will not need to work on these again. Using the Foyr Neo AI tool, it is possible to design top-notch 4K photorealistic renders in minutes. It is one of the best programs that you can use to create the top designs in no time in the building design.

Featuring an advanced AI tool and pre-made designs does not mean that you cannot create your own designs. The app allows you to also work on your own designs from scratch and add them to the library. Some people prefer starting their own designs and then enriching them with elements from the huge collection of more than 50,000 3D objects in the Foyr Neo library.

If you are new to 3D building design, Foyr Neo is also your app. It allows you to draw your designs in 2D and then convert them to 3D models. Whether you want to create simple designs for DIY home projects or advanced commercial building designs, Foyr Neo is one app that will not disappoint.

  1. Revit

Revit is one of Outodesk’s BIM apps created to make building design easy and fun. It comes with a collection of tool sets that you can use to create both 2D and 3D models for your projects. The most notable thing about Revit is collaboration capability. The program allows you to use a centralized database that updates all aspects of your plan, helping to keep your designs properly documented and coordinated. So, if you have a team working on the same building project, Revit can be an excellent find for better coordination.

In building design, the primary goal is expressing and sharing ideas with different stakeholders. Instead of using flat images for your presentations, Revit simplifies the task with its one-click 3D modeling feature. You can use this tool to turn your design into more appealing visualizations. This simplicity has made Revit one of the most sought after building design apps for starters.

Other notable features of Revit that you will find useful include a library of 3D objects, multiple user capability for effective collaboration and photorealistic rendering abilities. Autodesk is also updating these features regularly to make Revit even better.

The only challenge that comes with using Revit is that it is pretty expensive. Even if you go for the monthly plan, the cost is still pretty high, but architects who have used the app indicate they love every bit of it. So, if you are looking forward to creating complex building designs and interior designs for your project, do not hesitate to pick Revit.

  1. ArchiCAD

This list of the best building design apps cannot be complete without including ArchiCAD. It is an excellent tool for building designers, interior designers, urban planners, and architects. The app is designed by Graphisoft and has become a common choice for designers because it works excellently for developing both 2D and 3D models. It does not matter at what phase your project is, be it designing or implementation; ArchiCAD can come in handy to help make the work more efficient and professional.

One unique thing about ArchiCAD is that it is distraction-free. You get a workspace that is clean by only showing the elements you use regularly. You can also save these elements for faster access when working on building designs. In their recent improvements, Graphisoft enabled zooming and 2D planning that make building design a lot smoother no matter the project’s complexity.

Using its workflows and multiple enhancements, documentation of projects is also pretty easy. This implies that the app is very effective when working on project schedules and cost estimations. Other features of ArchiCAD that you need to know about include advanced parametric custom profiles, expression-based properties, and collaboration capabilities.

Each of the apps reviewed in this post can help you as an architect realize your vision. They come with advanced features and you can use them to create outstanding building designs rapidly. Remember that you should always start by determining what you want and selecting the app to help you achieve it. The most preferred 3D building design app was Maya because of its ease of use and ability to allow architects to extend their creativity beyond what standard apps allow. Remember that to create building designs that stand out in the industry; it is important to progressively hone your skills.

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