Our construction industry is moving towards the visualization of sites to improve the coordination and reduce labour costs.
3D modelling software is now used during the pre-planning and design stages making sure there are efficiencies and coordination identified early on reducing rework and costly change orders during the construction process.
We have compiled a list of 13 3D modelling software for you to check out and determine which one is best suited for you.
1. Fusion 360
Part of the AUTODESK family, Fusion 360 is a robust 3D modelling software that can be used in the cloud enhancing collaboration amongst project team. The software can generate renderings and animations that are used during the planning stages for feedback purposes.
Fusion 360 offers 4 different iterations on a single visual so you can make the right decision. The product reduces your design time by 200% and speeds up creating a prototype if needed. It can be used by industrial, mechanical engineering and others while providing a team collaboration platform.
It has many tools and offers simulation tools making sure the produce can withstand the design conditions.
Free for students or educators and available for the annual fee of $495. If not sure yet, download the trial version before purchasing it.
More info at >> Fusion360.com.
2. Cinema 4D
Cinema is a good 4D simulation and modelling software capable of integrating with Adobe to enhance its services and offerings. It comes with pre-loaded libraries and resources to start your design with the very basic details.
It has different tools that designer and drafters will love to complete their design with flexibility and speed. The visuals allow for quick and precise renderings that you can take to your customers for approval before committing to the actual design.
It’s a great tool for modelling new buildings, structures and remodelling projects It offers many pricing plans depending on how much you customize the software. Prices start at $61 per month and its free to try.
More info at >> Cinema 4D – 3D for the real world
Concept is almost considered a VR tool as it provides virtual tours and modelling of the structure being designed. It integrates production location, data and capable of sending messages with customer content to their customers.
Concept 3D uses three different databases to simulate the building and locate it relevant to its surroundings. It is a simple but powerful tool that creates the virtual rendering with the help of SketchUp, Mapbox and Google maps.
It provides services through the web, app or through VR tools. You can try it for free and need to get in contact with their sales team for actual pricing.
More info at >> Concept3D
One of the most popular tools for home builders and construction professionals, Cedreo provides a fast and reliable 3D service. Cedreo offers 2D designs, 3D designs, floor plan uploads, design assistant, living area calculation, dimensions, automatic addition of roofing, resize rooms in the click of a button.
Cedreo is so easy that you can create your own design within one hour using the online tools and resources. The renderings created by the 3D design modelling can be shared through social media making it also a sales and promotional tool for your business.
The software is free to try, and individual plans start at $79 per month.
More info at >> Cedreo
Another powerful 3D modelling software that comes with a lot of functionalities. Lumion offers fast renderings, even for those construction and design professionals with little to no experience in renderings.
The 3D modelling software offers “high-resolution images, videos and 360 panoramas that are ideal for client presentation meetings, architectural marketing and more.” The software provides for real time design syncing across project team members.
You can use the 14-day trial version or purchase the full version starting at $1,499 with a 33% library objects already included in the pricing.
More info at >> Lumion
6. Chief Architect
Chief architect is the most used tool among home building processionals due to its reliability, service and product ease. Export 360° Panorama Renderings and full 3D Viewer Models that can be shared with clients or embedded on your website to experience home design with virtual reality.
The 3D software has many resources available for you to use and learn with a very robust library for home builders. Chief Architect is being used since 1992 for the professional and was the first object-based 3D CAD system with smart object design principles; known as Building Information Modelling (BIM).
Chief Architect® is the market-leading home design software for residential design. The software can be used on your computer or through the mobile app for your customers to access your designs and explore them with virtual reality tools including our Sojourn® navigation.
The client can walk or fly through designs and create dynamic cross sections views on their own tablet or phone.
More info at >> Chief Architect
7. Tekla Structures
Tekla structures offers a unique 3D modelling service available to concrete contractors and structural designers. The software offers enhancements, improvements and new features to boost productivity and create smoother workflows.
With enhancements for drawing production, rebar detailing, steel, cast-in-place and precast concrete, structural engineering design and collaboration, the latest version of Tekla Structures is intended to make your work easier and faster.
You can use Tekla Structures for design, detailing and information management from conceptual planning to fabrication and construction on site.
They offer a free demo and subscription packages customized per the end user’s needs.
More info at >> Tekla
8. Soft Plan
Soft plan is a good 3D software service for design professionals. The software can generate panoramic views easily and can be accessible from your desktop or through the app. SoftPlan provides an entirely new level of customer interaction that facilitates communication so that the customer is always up to date.
This efficient system of interaction gives the customer the ability to view your designs in 2D plans and 3D models that can be used with your customers for them to visualize the design. Soft Plan 3D brings to life your design using shadows, reflections, sun studies, and photorealistic graphics.
SoftPlan allows you to captivate clients early in the design process by showing them stylized renderings that are quick and easy to create.
Soft plan offers small packages for companies or large packages for network enterprises and corporate users.
More info at >> SoftPlan
BrioVr offers many pricing packages, including one free subscription for those who do this as a hobby and other robust packages listed for different pricing packages.
BrioVR offers drag and drop solutions creating 360 degrees solutions that can be enhanced further with textures for most if not all the solutions being designed. The 3D VR solutions is compatible with most of VR headsets and most of the common design CAD software tools.
They can provide multiple solutions and pricing even for college students.
More info at >> BrioVR
Roomle offers more than just a 3D design solution, it’s a platform providing VR and augmented services for the construction and design professional. Roomle creates 3D design for office spaces and other functional areas while allowing the team partnering and input through the design process.
The 3D design solutions provide for floor decoration and configurations of live 3D livable areas. Ultimately the goal is configuring products live in 3D and walk them through the VR app.
Roomle contains more than 2.500 3D furniture products, which are fully configurable and can be viewed live via augmented reality in every space. The 3D design software solutions are fully synchronized multi-platform approach (web & mobile).
The pricing starts at $200 and goes up as it is customized to fulfill your requirements.
More info at >> Roomle
11. Idea Architecture
This fantastic software is said to be the “low-cost alternative to Revit® or ArchiCAD® yet easier and faster to use and significantly more affordable to purchase and maintain.” It is a powerful BIM software for 3D and 2D design, rendering, animation and 4D scheduling product.
The software is easy to use and can be mastered with basic CAD knowledge. Once you know basic commands such as polylines, entity snaps, copy… and you will soon be drawing in 3D using our libraries of 3D BIM objects. IDEA Architecture uses DWG as its native file format and includes features to convert the 3D BIM objects into simple vectors that can be further viewed and modified in AutoCAD®.
You can therefore freely share 2D or 3D files with most of CAD users. Their pricing starts well over $2,000 with no free version for students
More info at >> Idea Architecture
12. Arcon Evo
Arcon Evo is a solid design 3D software solution with a wide variety of CAD tools needed to complete building design including residential and large-scale developments. The software provides a comprehensive way of drawing and designing building to levels suitable for planning submissions, add detailing and working drawings for building control and visualize it in a detailed 3D model.
The 3D model is capable of drawing and projecting shadows using the exact location of the structure through a Google Map feature. The integration is enhanced when it uses over 240 CAD detail blocks for the most common requirements for building regulations.
You can opt for a trial version or using a single user license, server enterprise license of SaaS license for more than one user.
More info at >> Arcon Evo
13. VectorWork Architects
Vectorwork 3D software is solid product to support your entire project from beginning to end, or anywhere in the process from conceptual design, to fully coordinated BIM models, to construction documents. Vectorworks allows you to easily collaborate and share files with colleagues, consultants, and clients.
They offer the most default import/export capabilities available, as well as support for openBIM and IFC, and direct links with Revit®, SketchUp®, Rhino®, Photoshop®, and Cinema4D. The software as many functionalities that only facilitate and helps understating the design the implication during the pre-planning and detailed engineering phases.
The vendor provides a trial version plus different pricing packages starting with a monthly coverage plus a lifetime version that can be paid upfront.
More info at >> VectorWork Architects
Are you using 3D Modelling Software or are you just getting your feet wet?
If you’re an experiences user, what software would you recommend?
A start a conversation below in the comments section.