What is the leading 3D residential design sotware for professionals?

Anonymous October 23, 2011

I am currently trying to navigate away from 2D drafting world into 3D. I have used AutoCAD for about ten years. To this point this sofware is not geared specially for the residential design market.

  1. Max H
    November 1, 2011 at 6:05 am

    Actually it boils down to three titles, Chief Architect (as FIDELIS as mentioned) , SoftPlan, and envisioneer. Envisioneer is actually a software based on the AutoCAD engine and has been playing catch up with Chief Architect for the past several years. From what I have seem it's getting closer but still not there yet but deserves an honorable mention here for sure. Chief has been around since 1992 and has just begun to start attracting more and more professional Architects due to it's speed, easy learning curve, and great presentations. As far as construction documents, I find it 2nd to Softplan though. Softplan is a true blend of object oriented drawing and basic cad. It's presentation tools are not as good as Chief's but I don't think it will be much longer before they catch up and pass Chief. If you are about Construction documents then Softplan is the ticket. I have used Chief for many years as well as Softplan and have found I can produce a full set of house plans about three times faster in Softplan than Chief Architect.

    As to pricing, Chief and Softplan are now neck and neck at nearly $3000.00 for the full programs and all bells and whistles. Envisoneer is just over half the cost of the other two.

    In summary I would make a decision based on usage: If you are about 3D and presentations then go with Chief Architect. If you wish to produce construction docs then go with Softplan.

    Max H

  2. Jay
    October 24, 2011 at 7:40 am

    Autocad has a version for 3d drafting.

    both 3ds max and Maya are the standard software in use both are from Autodesk.
    3ds Max Design and 3ds Max two different versions,
    3ds max Design is more of your use, as it has special feature for designing.

    There is a free software by Google called google sketch up, not so professional, but it has a free version.

  3. Jeff Fabish
    October 24, 2011 at 6:41 am

    I use 3ds Max and Maya, as they are the industry standard. Autodesk also releases their software licenses for free to students.

    Blender is good, too.  All 3D modeling software are capable of rendering 2D engines as well, as the third demension is only an extension of the second dimension. In short, you don't have to use the Z axis (therefor creating a two dimension image).

    October 24, 2011 at 6:38 am

    The following software has received good comments.....I do not know if it is the best though....