What is the best free 3D Architecture software?
Whether you are architects, designers or just passionate, you can use 3D modeling software for architecture to create insights or test new interior architecture ideas. If you are a professional, this software represents a real advantage in showing your work to your customers. Also, did you know that 3D printing and architecture could be linked ? You may soon be able to print a house in 3D, but first you could just print a miniature of your project. This would provide a good overview of your work. 3D printing can also be helpful in saving you time by creating precise models in record time. Using 3D printing, or just 3D modeling, can be an ideal solution for testing new ideas.
In this article, we offer you a top 10 of the best software to create your 3D models in the middle of architecture.
3D modeling software is an essential tool if you work in the field of architecture. It’s a great way to visualize your work, first for you, but especially for your customers. For example, you can use many materials and textures to obtain a photorealist rendering. This 3D software is also useful in order to edit your work faster. Your ideas can then easily turn into a very detailed design.
In addition, if you are looking for better collaboration within your team, software exists in cloud, and will allow you to optimize your communication. Your work will be accessible by your colleagues and you will be able to work on the same files.
Don’t worry, 3D modeling software doesn’t eliminate the pencil and paper method ! But it is certain that the result will be much more detailed and realistic with 3D software. In reality, this is the best method if you are looking for a solution to save time and modify your models as much as you want.
Software dedicated to architecture
ArchiCAD is software for architecture developed by Graphisoft. This Open BIM (Building Information Modeling) is a complete tool for architects, allowing you to work in 2D or 3D, get a good visualization of your projects and model buildings. Thanks to ArchiCAD and all these functionalities, you can work on all the technical and graphic aspects of your work. This 3D software is particularly good for having high quality renderings. It is also recognized for its ability to store a lot of information within your 3D files. ArchiCAD can be used for the design of buildings, interiors, as well as urban areas.
Revit is BIM (Building Information Modeling) software, developed by Autodesk. It is a powerful tool, almost essential if you work in the field of architecture, the functionalities of which have been specially thought out for architects. All infrastructure and buildings can be created through Revit. One of the great advantages of this software is its collaborative aspect: the data is centralized and everyone can have access to the current project. The fact that this software is collaborative can be a significant advantage, allowing you to improve your teamwork while saving time.
- All Plan
This 3D architecture software is developed by Nemetschek and only works with Windows. It will be perfect for carrying out your architectural plans. This BIM solution allows you to work on 2D but also 3D designs, quite easily. Its design tools offer the possibility of working drawings, design, topography. This 3D software can be used for both simple projects and for the most complex projects.
- AutoCAD Architecture
Developed by AutoDesk, AutoCAD Architecture can be very useful for your 3D projects. It is a complete and practical tool for 3D modeling, but also for visualization, thanks to its very good results. You will then be able to create realistic models by combining the different tools offered by this software. AutoCAD Architecture is also useful for working in 2D. As with Revit, and all software developed by AutoDesk, you can collaborate more easily with Cloud.
Cedreo is home design software online, allowing construction and remodeling professionals to draw 3D shots and renderings in minutes. Users can easily draw 2D or 3D floors, customize interiors and exteriors in a few clicks with more than 7,000 3D objects and generate realistic renderings.
- AutoCAD Civil 3D
Another software that you can use if you work in architecture is AutoCAD Cvili 3D. It has all the advantages that we mentioned earlier, but it is more oriented civil engineering and construction. You can connect AutoCAD Civil 3D to Revit to rework your designs and add new structures.
- Chief Architect
Chief Architect is 3D software also created specially for professional architects. This software is easy to use. If you don’t have a lot of 3D modeling experience, Chief Architect will be useful to you, especially if you have an interior architecture oriented project. The interface is really intuitive and offers many tools to create your 3D structures. In addition, you can export a panoramic rendering at 360 °, which can then be shared with your customers.
- Vectorworks Architect
Vectorworks Architect could be your next 3D software for your next designs. This software offers all the tools necessary for the creation of architectural structures using 3D modeling: everything can be done with this program.
MicroStation is CAD software for architecture, which will help you create the concept of your architectural structures. This will allow you to properly view your project and its details. MicroStation is flexible and powerful software.
- Bricscad BIM
Bricscad is a very good solution to help you create buildings virtually. You can then test free modeling with the accuracy of CAD software
Other software useful for architecture
Rhino 3D is an essential tool for 3D modeling in general. This software is mainly used for industrial design and architecture. Rhino’s geometry is based on NURBS, and provides very precise results. For more possibilities with Rhino 3D, you can also download Grasshoper, which will allow you to go further and do visual programming. This program is recommended for structural engineering, architecture and manufacturing.
If you want to know more, don’t hesitate to go see our tutorial that will help you prepare your 3D file for 3D printing with Rhino.
CATIA was developed by Dassault Systèmes to meet its own needs. This software is used in many sectors such as automotive, aerospace, high-tech and architecture. This software creates precise and complex models. It also has a collaborative interface since the Cloud version was available.
For example, CATIA was used by Frank Gehry to create incredible buildings.
SketchUp is known for its intuitive interface. This program, very practical for its drawing tools, which will allow you to gain freedom and creativity, but which will also save you time. This software can be used for any project related to 3D modeling, and architecture is no exception ! It is possible to create walktroughs and views of the sky thanks to SketchUp, which can be used in particular when you want to show your projects to your customers. This software is perfect for 3D but it is also ideal for creating very precise 2D drawings
If you plan to print your models in 3D, go see our tutorial to prepare your models for 3D printing using SketchUp !
- 3D Studio Max
3DS Max is software developed by AutoDesk, fairly close to AutoCAD. 3DS Max is mainly used in the video game industry, but it can also be used by architects to create great renderings. It is a good tool for architecture, many tutorials for architects are available online to learn how to use this software.
If you need a little help, we also have a tutorial to help you with the creation of your 3D models with 3DS Max.
Solidworks is 3D modeling software mainly used by engineers. It’s a good solution if you need software to create a design quickly. You cannot create complex renderings by playing with textures, as this is not CAD software dedicated to architecture. It is possible to work on the design of buildings and get a good overview.
You are using Solidworks and you are looking to print your models in 3D ? Our tutorial to prepare your files for 3D printing with Solidworks is there for you.
LibreCAD also allows users to model technical drawings for their architectural projects. A catalog linked to this software allows access to numerous models of windows, doors, stairs, walls, etc.
We hope that this Top will have helped you find the best 3D modeling software for your projects in architecture and that you will be able to bring all your ideas to life. If you would like more information on the link between architecture and 3D printing, we recommend this article on 3D printing in the construction and architecture world.
If you want to print a 3D template or a miniature of your architecture project, you can download your 3D file to our online 3D print service.
If you have a question about 3D printing, don’t hesitate and contact us.