Interior Design Software
- ArchiCAD® – by Graphisoft is architectural and interior design software for Mac OSX. It is purpose built for architecture and interior design and has been around for many years. It was the leading Architectural CAD software globally for some time and is at the higher end of the price range. ArchiCAD does require time to learn and master as you might expect at this level. It is a professional software product designed with dedicated professional users in mind. Interestingly Graphisoft since 2007 has become a part of the Nemetschek Group who also own All-Plan and Vectorworks. All competitors of each other!? It will be interesting to see what happens in this space.
- DomusCAD® – by Interstudio of Italy is an architectural and interior design software for Mac OSX and supports QuickDraw 3D technology and plug-in renderers. Whilst this Italian software is relatively unknown outside of Italy, it is a powerful architectural tool and extremely well priced. The lack of support options in English outside Italy seriously prevent us from giving the program top marks but for the price it is well featured.
- BOA – French architectural and interior design software for the Mac that allows users to design projects in 3D and obtain 2D drawings automatically. By today’s standards this software is quite elementary but could be worth considering if your demands on software ability are not too high.
- Home Designer Professional – Chief Architect Corp (USA) is a slightly reduced version of its full Chief Architect software. We currently regard this software as the ‘best in class’ for residential and light commercial building design and interior design. It is easily the easiest and fastest building design software we have tested and comes with a staggering array of automated features. It can be used on its own or combined with third party tools and templates to make it an all time favorite with our team.
- VectorWorks® – Architect by Nemetschek is a well featured well known and extensive 2D/3D CAD program for Mac. Albeit quite intense to use, especially for the beginner, Vectorworks has a large following due to it being one of the first Mac based CAD programs, originally known as MiniCAD. It has a particularly strong user base in landscape and interior design as well as stage and lighting design. On its own Vectorworks compares with AutoCAD® and RealCAD® but most Vectorworks users will add a plug-in for either architecture, landscape or lighting design and rendering to make it even more useful. Whilst historically popular and well supported throughout the world, Vectorworks suffers from a legacy of being complex to use and having much of its screen real-estate taken up with menus and dialogs.
- SketchUp – By Trimble Corp, is a world wide phenomenon in 3D modelling software, On its own it can be used to very quickly design and decorate interior spaces but works best when combined with a good 2D drafting tool to create cabinet making documents or detail plans.
A good combination is SketchUp with RealCAD. RealCAD has a direct SketchUp file import facility and will be extremely useful in all the 2D detailing of your 3D designs.
- Live Interior 3D is a very interesting software for playing around with your 3D interiors, and is again not really a drafting software but a 3D viewing program. Live Interior 3D is designed for people who are making decisions about the look of their future home, those who want to get a look at their interior before buying furniture and paints and professional designers who prepare presentations for clients and advertising.
- Interiors Professional Again, Like Live Interior 3D Interiors Professional is a 3D visualization tool rather than a drafting program and does a good job for it purpose. It is easy to use and compatible with models produced and available from the SketchUp 3D warehouse which is a big plus. Well worth a look.
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