16 Best 3D Modelling Software for Architecture (2020)

For an architect or a designer, modelling and rendering are an important part of the job. Being able to present their ideas and projects with 3D models allow them to influence the people around them. Enhanced 3D modelling can be vital for getting clients. Architects, designers and hobbyists aim to use the best of the 3D modelling software around to get a realistic overview of their work. However, with so many options around, it can be daunting to choose the right modelling software for you. In this post, we present 16 best 3D Modelling Softwares that can be used to turn your ideas into gorgeous models!

What is the need for CAD software?

A huge number of architects, interior designers and civil engineers are using CAD Softwares for all their modelling needs. This allows them to draft, edit and redo their projects very smoothly and saves a lot of time.

Additionally, some software programs have cloud-based networking where you can connect with your teams or clients and create customised designs. 

3D printing your architectural mock-ups can create a lot of difference to your presentation and further enhance your skill. 

Choosing the right 3D Architecture Software

There are a lot of options to try. But before you invest your time and money on any software program, you need to be clear in your demands. 

What kind of architecture software do you need? A 3D rendering software or an architectural drawing software? You might also need to consider your operating systems. 

You also might have to check whether the software you are going for allows your team to work together.

As we said before, the options are numerous. But we are here to help you with selecting just the right software program for you!

Best 3D Modelling Software for Architecture (2020)

Software dedicated to Architecture:

  • ArchiCAD

Coming from Graphisoft, ArchiCAD is a 3D modelling software built specifically for architectural projects. From 3D and 2D drafting to visualising and building modelling, this can prove to be the one you’re looking for. Providing architects with high-quality rendering, ArchiCAD can be used to design buildings and interiors as well as urban areas. Architects and interior designers can use this for all their modelling and presentational needs!

  • Revit

Built by Autodesk, Revit is another software for BIM (Building Information Modelling). Coordinators and design teams can access the designs built on Revit and work together. This saves a lot of time and avoids delays. Revit is all you need for impeccable architectural designs.

  • Cedreo

Cedreo is another great option for architecture practice. Being a web-based 3D home design software, Cedreo allows rendering professionals to create and model their designs within a few minutes.

With more than 7000 3D objects, Cedreo can be used to create outdoor and indoor designs, 2D and 3D floor plans and generate customized drawings and photorealistic renderings.

Using Cedreo for your practice can shorten your sales cycle and get you more clients!

cedreo
  • AutoCAD Architecture

Another gem of a software program from Autodesk, AutoCAD architecture is used for 2D and 3D modelling. With its combination of solid, surface and mesh modelling tools, it allows photorealistic renderings and models. Just like Revit and the other Autodesk programs, it also allows collaboration in projects.

  • AutoCAD Civil 3D

Another AutoDesk product that can be useful for you as an architect, is AutoCAD Civil 3D. It is more focused on civil engineering and construction. So if you need to do civil designs, this is exactly what you need. Moreover, once connected with Revit, you can do additional structural modification and complete your designs.

  • Chief Architect

Chief architect is another very good option for 2D and 3D architectural renderings. Designed to be easy to use, Chief Architect is all you need if you are still improving your 3D modelling skills. With a friendly interface and smart building tools, this program can generate building plans automatically for you. Once done with the renderings, they can be shared with clients and your team members very easily.

  • All Plan 

Built by Nemetscheck, this software works only on windows. With a plethora of design tools, it can be used to edit drawings, conception and topography.

  • Vectorworks Architect

Vectorworks Architect is another very useful design software for going from conceptual design to BIM models. With a wide range of features, this software can be used to meet all your design needs: From precision drawings and creative site modelling to algorithmic designs, everything can be done using this 3D program.

  • MicroStation

MicroStation is another CAD architecture software, that comes with all the features you need to create the concept of your architectural structures. With detailed tools and features, MicroStation is a flexible and powerful CAD software for perfect visualisation and presentation.

  • Bricscad BIM

Bricscad is a new building design software. Coming with the power of free-form modelling and the accuracy of CAD, Bricscad is the one BIM software you need. Equipped with AI, Bricscad BIM can automatically replicate details in your BIM, saving a lot of time.

Other 3D software that can be used for Architecture:

  • Rhino3D

Rhino 3D is not an architectural design software, but it is a very useful tool for 3D design. With a geometry based on NURBS, Rhino 3D comes with good accuracy for your models. Structural engineering, fabrication and even architecture professionals find a lot of applications for Rhino 3D. 

  • CATIA

CATIA was developed initially by the Dassault Systèmes for their requirements. Being used in a wide range of sectors, CATIA provides an easy way to build complex models with high accuracy.

The award-winning curvilinear buildings by Frank Gehry are the result of what CATIA can achieve!

 

  • SketchUp
SketchUp is one of the free CAD software programs. It comes with a friendly interface and can be used for 3D modelling. Creating walkthroughs and flyovers with SketchUp gets very easy. Additionally, SketchUp can also be used for scaled and accurate complex 2D drawings.
sketchup architecture
  • 3D Studio Max

3DS Max is another software from Autodesk. With applications in the video games industry, it is a very good tool for 3D modelling. Being very similar to AutoCAD, 3DS Max can be used to create perfectly structured designs for architecture.

  • CorelCAD

Creating and editing 3D projects can not get easier than this! From 2D sketches to advanced 3D designs, CorelCAD has it all. It provides easy exporting your designs in STL format and allows you to 3D print models.

  • Solidworks

Used mainly by engineers throughout the world, Solidworks is another 3D software for creating quick designs. However, as it is not a CAD program, complex rendering with lots of materials and textures might not be available. It is used by professionals to create quick building designs for an overview of the project.

 

Conclusion:

Modelling and rendering are two important aspects in architecture. Improving your renders and using the right modelling software can do wonders to your skills and help you make the right impression on your clients and potential clients.

As stated before, while selecting a modelling software its important that you assess your priorities. Find out what works for you best. Good luck!

 

Image credit: Autodesk.fr

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