How to choose the best design software d & # 39?

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How to choose the best design software d & # 39?

Each architectural firm has a slightly different working method, routine and style of task execution. This method will certainly have evolved over time to allow the unique architecture design process of your business to be the best possible.

The use of good architecture design software is essential. Identifying the best match for your architectural graphic design process will ensure that your team’s work becomes more efficient, time-saving and increase the quality of output.

  • What is architecture design software ?
  • Why should you use architectural design software
  • 15+ best software for architectural design
    • Filestage – examination and approval of architectural designs
    • SketchUp – Building information modeling software in 3D
    • Space Designer 3D – design advanced 3D floor plans
    • SmartDraw – complex floor plans
    • Floorplanner – meticulous architectural planning software
    • RoomSketcher – create floor plans and online house designs
    • Chief Architect – architecture and sophisticated home design software
    • Infurnia – web-based architecture and interior design program
    • 3D Studio Max by Autodesk – modeling and 3D pro rendering
    • Cedreo – elegant 3D architecture drawing program
    • Substance by Adobe – create 3D sketches
    • V-Ray – architectural visualization
    • Revit by Autodesk – state-of-the-art BIM software
    • CATIA – cloud-based building information modeling software
    • Arcon Evo by elecosoft – Flexible CAD software for the design of 2D and 3D houses
    • AutoCAD by Autodesk – advanced CAD software
  • How to find the best architecture design software for your needs
    • For which phases of the architecture design process do you need the tool ?
    • Can a tool be used for several purposes ?
    • What are the most important requirements that tools must meet ?
    • Create a list of your favorite tools to compare them.
  • What architectural design software can be used in each phase of the design process ?
    • 1. Pre-design phase
    • 2. Schematic design
    • 3. Design development
    • 4. Construction drawings
    • 5. Construction administration
  • Ready to take your architectural design to the next level ?
  • Have your best work with Filestage approved

What is architecture design software ?

Architectural design software is online web tools designed to simplify each phase of your architectural design process. These architectural graphic design tools provide users with key functionalities and capabilities to simplify the design process.

Architectural design software comes in different forms, offering users different options and specific features. Architects can choose one (or more) of the following types of software:

  • Architectural layout software
  • Architectural planning software
  • Architectural modeling software
  • Architectural drawing programs
  • Architectural sketch software
  • BIM software
  • CAD software
  • 2D and 3D modeling software

Each is designed with slightly different elements from the architectural design process in mind. We will cover their specific uses in more detail below.

Why should you use architectural design software

This type of intuitive, innovative and detailed building information modeling software (BIM) offers architects and project managers the opportunity to transform their process in different ways.

It is worth exploring the different types of software available to design buildings and examining how they can be used to solve the weaknesses of your process.

The main benefits of implementing appropriate architecture software in your system are:


Having use-specific, advanced, reliable and familiar BIM creation tools at hand at each stage of the architecture design process will help you and your team to take these steps much faster. . In addition, if you are looking to improve your efficiency, it is always a good idea to study different types of productivity software.


By creating a process with clear stages and a dedicated tool for the whole team, you make sure of the consistency of the work produced. Thus, expert workflow management tools will not only reduce errors, but will also present elegant and professional visuals in a consistent style at all levels. In this spirit, the use of software for approving illustrations and design is essential if you wish to maintain professionalism in all your projects.


Such software allows isolated architects or entire teams to carry out a more streamlined process, with clear steps and dedicated software to process the work in suspense. Once familiar with the tool, it will be much easier to create drawings and sketches than to stick with a pen and paper. As such, the use of this intuitive technology will inevitably make the process simpler and much more user-friendly.

15+ best software for architectural design

We have explained how important it is that you choose the best architecture design software that meets your unique creative needs, operations and processes. To help you make this decision, we have listed the top 15 software for architects.

With this list of architecture software in hand, you will be sure to find the one that best suits your operations. You will see fantastic results in no time.

Filestage – examination and approval of architectural designs

Filestage offers a centralized platform where designs, drawings and construction documents can be shared with customers and colleagues. The online spraying software allows customers to leave clear comments on the document, making it easier for architects to understand customer wishes and adapt sketches accordingly.

In addition, when the drawings meet customer requirements, customers can approve the file in one click. With easy-to-use functionality and an intuitive interface, Filestage simplifies the review and approval process for both the architect and the client. This effective collaborative tool replaces long threads with e-mail and reduces the need for meetings in person or even virtual.

SketchUp – Building information modeling software in 3D

SketchUp allows architects to transfer satisfaction from traditional drawing by hand to fluid and easy-to-use BIM architecture software. This 3D modeling software offers a wide variety of tools, in particular the possibility of personalizing your 3D workspace and documenting your 2D design process. In addition, you can use virtual reality technology to show your colleagues and customers the proposed building.

By creating elegant and highly professional 3D construction plans, concepts and ideas can be better understood by both the designer and the client.

Space Designer 3D – design advanced 3D floor plans

Space Designer 3D offers a sophisticated solution for floor plan drawings. This three-dimensional house and interior design tool facilitates the creation of modern, detailed and very realistic soil pans.

The creators of this architectural planning software are proud of its user-friendly presentation, ease of use and the speed at which impressive models can be created. It also provides a software solution to facilitate the design process for architects, interior decorators and owners.

It is highly interactive and can be fully personalized to adapt to the requirements and style of each single project.

SmartDraw – complex floor plans

SmartDraw’s Easy Architecture software is powerful professional architecture software that makes it easier to design clear, careful and precise plans. With this tool, architects can select a design model from which to start, an already much more efficient start than starting from scratch each time.

Each model can then be fully personalized, thanks to the library of thousands of predefined symbols of SmartDraw. The proposed models are designed for the use of a wide range of architectural models, including house drawings, office space and landscapes.

Floorplanner – meticulous architectural planning software

Floorplanner offers architects and interior architects a much simpler option for creating 2D and 3D floor plans. Using this architectural planning software to create floor plans, creators can guarantee a finish elegant and highly professional for their projects. In addition, the product is much more neat and more impressive than a traditional drawing in hand.

The pieces of the floor plan can even be decorated, a perfect functionality for creators who wish to give their projects a very realistic effect. Designers can choose from the large Floorplanner library more than 150,000 extremely detailed and hyperrealistic 3D elements.

RoomSketcher – create floor plans and online house designs

RoomSketcher is an online floor plan creator who provides little (or no) experience with architectural drawing programs that are easy to use but still produce elegant, high quality results.

This design tool is easy to master and offers interactive and precise tools. There are options for adding measures if necessary, and the program can be used to easily create 2D and 3D projects

The application allows users to drag and drop items and materials to create a personalized and realistic plan. Better yet, RoomSketcher offers a free option, perfect for users who want to test CAD software first

Chief Architect – architecture and sophisticated home design software

Chief Architect is one of the best design software for residential architectural houses in the industry. This user-friendly software encompasses a wide variety of automated construction tools that allow designers to effectively translate their construction drawings, elevations and 3D models. The program offers computer-aided design (CAD) details and modeling functionality intuitive and very flexible.

The chief architect can be used to create floor plans, renovation plans and interior designs, including detailed kitchen and bathroom designs. In addition, when you draw, the house design software simultaneously creates a 3D panoramic rendering at 360 degrees of your design.

Infurnia – web-based architecture and interior design program

Infurnia provides the ultimate tool for collaborative architectural designs. This interior architecture and design platform facilitates collaboration based on cloud on design projects in a transparent manner. With this powerful web-based design collaboration tool, users can connect to their accounts to access their designs anywhere in the world, without having to worry about the installation.

In addition, users can even create custom product libraries, with a custom interior design catalog that presents their own furniture and materials. These plans can then be easily shared online via the cloud, with clients and team members.

3D Studio Max by Autodesk – modeling and 3D pro rendering

3D Studio Max is a sophisticated and powerful tool that helps interior architects and architects to easily create elegant, attractive 3D models and yet all rights reserved. By adopting this architectural software in your process, you can ensure that consistency, professionalism and clarity are achieved in all of your designs.

The quality and art level of 3D Studio Max software is unique to this particular tool. With its visual hyper-realists, its textures and its many details, 3D Studio Max allows you to provide step-by-step procedures for the construction models offered at a whole new level.

Cedreo – elegant 3D architecture drawing program

Cedreo allows designers to impress their customers with clean, stylish and remarkably modern designs. This 3D architecture drawing program boasts an efficient and user-friendly offer. In fact, Cedreo argues that this is the only web-based house design program that allows designers to create a complete house plan in less than two hours.

In terms of team effectiveness and collaboration, Cedreo documents that users save an average of 60% on the cost of the pre-sale stage while witnessing a 40% increase in sales of new housing, while helping architects to make sales in half the time. .

Substance by Adobe – create 3D sketches

Adobe’s Substance software is a powerful program that provides extremely detailed 3D textures. It allows users to create textures and hyperrealistic materials to bring their drawings to life.

Users can add these textures to real-time drawings using a breathtaking and highly professional 3D materials library, which includes more than 1,800 fully customizable textures that have been created by Adobe’s own team of specialists and guest artists . With these textures at hand, you can bring a superb finish to your architectural designs.

V-Ray – architectural visualization

V-Ray is 3D rendering software that provides cutting edge architectural visualization. The software provides users with complex and photorealist images of construction plans that come to life and are in real contexts.

This BIM software interfaces with a wide range of advanced online applications, including 3Ds Max, Revit, Rhino, SketchUp and Unreal. In addition, this software allows architects to transform their design processes at all levels, with early mass models, photorealist images, animations and even virtual reality presentations of final designs available to designers. In fact, V-Ray is used by 95 of the top 100 architectural firms in the world.

CorelCAD – 2D and 3D modeling

CorelCAD was created by Corel Draw as a professional, user-friendly and affordable CAD software option. This time-saving architecture design software makes design more efficient and improves both the productivity and the professionalism of business projects.

CorelCAD combines 2D drawing functionalities with modeling tools that can provide a detailed 3D rendering of building construction projects. Once the first writing process is complete, architects can quickly and easily bring their 2D and 3D designs to life through advanced infographics.

ArchiCAD – pro BIM software

Graphisoft Building Information Modeling (BIM), ArchiCAD, is advanced and highly sophisticated 3D architecture software. It provides designers with many tools and functionalities, including data modeling, graphic replacement and attribute management assistance, as well as virtual reality and rendering tools.

This detailed BIM model saves architectural firms money in the long term by ensuring that designs are fully understood by the client from the earliest stages of the project. The system is designed to be efficient, user-friendly and easy to navigate. Therefore, your team can adopt ArchiCAD without hassle or stress.

Revit by Autodesk – state-of-the-art BIM software

Revit is designed to provide architects with very complex visual renderings of their designs. This detailed BIM design software can be used throughout the life of a project, from the first initial concepts to the final design stages.

Using Revit, your design concepts and intentions are communicated to customers in an absolutely clear and impressive way. The software even offers sophisticated analysis functionalities that allow users to create an optimized construction process from the earliest stages of the design process.

CATIA – cloud-based building information modeling software

CATIA provides architects with a cloud-based 3D building development tool. This BIM software is specially designed for speed and efficiency. Architects, fashion designers and manufacturers can all use this tool to break down conceptual models into components that best convey the intention behind the design to customers and team members.

Reactive to all identified problems, requested design changes and site realities, the intelligent environment of CATIA allows automation to adapt to these changes.

Vectorworks Architect – from the sketch to the BIM

Vectorworks Architect is a remarkably advanced all-in-architect software. This remarkable tool transforms the whole design process, taking the architects of their first sketches to the final modeling stages, throughout an innovative BIM workflow.

Users can take advantage of the wide range of versatile tools offered by the software, including improvements in 3D modeling, multiple drawing views, algorithmic design tools, access to the Vectorworks Graphics module cache and very design dimensioning. precise in designs. In fact, Vectorworks Architect has won the most flexible 3D modeling engine title in the market due to these capabilities.

Arcon Evo by elecosoft – Flexible CAD software for the design of 2D and 3D houses

Arcon Evo d’Elecosoft offers architects powerful CAD software. This all-in-one architectural CAD solution allows users to create everything, from detailed plans to automated 3D models, including elevations and cutting details, with ease and efficiency.

In addition to speed, Arcon Evo’s drawings are very precise, offering the flexibility and specificity necessary for architects in 3D design. Furthermore, users can simply enter the latitude and longitude of a location selected for the proposed building to provide this design with the exact parameters of daylight that vary from anywhere in the world.

AutoCAD by Autodesk – advanced CAD software

Also from Autodesk, AutoCAD helps in the creation of 2D geometries and 3D models. The software offers a wide variety of industry-specific tools. These include the possibility of automating floor plans, drawing technical additions such as circuits and piping, automatically generating annotations and applying a workflow based on rules.

These various features make AutoCAD one of the best architectural CAD programs on the market. In addition, this advanced CAD software for architects can be used as an online web browser application or via a mobile application so that architects can access their designs anytime and anywhere.

How to find the best architecture design software for your needs

Now that we have presented some of the best architectural design software the industry has to offer, the next step is to find the products that are best suited to your operations.

Although each of these software products offers excellent and innovative functionality, each architectural firm has unique needs that must be met.

Determine which of these options is the right tool for you by asking yourself these key questions:

For which phases of the architecture design process do you need the tool ?

Identify the specific areas of your design process that you want to upgrade. This will help you decide which features are essential and which, although impressive, may not interest you. For example, 3D plan VR rendering is an expensive and unnecessary feature if you are only looking to improve your floor plan process.

Can a tool be used for several purposes ?

You can get the best value for money by looking at the user’s goal behind each tool and finding one that covers a variety of basics. For example, rather than buying two separate precision drawing and graphics tools, look for a tool that effectively ticks these two boxes.

What are the most important requirements that tools must meet ?

While all of the above are good tools in themselves, it is essential that the software you choose meets exactly your individual needs. Discuss this with your team and identify the essential requirements for your choice of design software.

Create a list of your favorite tools to compare them.

Once you have refined your search taking into account the above questions, break down your final choices and make a direct comparison. List each tool, its details and its advantages and disadvantages. From there, you will be able to best assess the options in an organized and objective manner.

What architectural design software can be used in each phase of the design process ?

To help you see the potential ways in which this software can be directly applied to your process, we have created an example of a distribution of the design process and explained how different types of architectural design software can be introduced in each phase.

1. Pre-design phase

In this step, client requests are taken into account with other key factors, such as budget, schedule, proposed site and site analysis. This phase will require regular discussions with the client (s) and will ultimately lead to the creation of a brief for the project.

2. Schematic design

The schematic design phase involves the creation of a first approximate sketch of the design plans based on customer requirements and previous research carried out.

Software that can improve the overall efficiency of this phase includes BIM modeling software (such as ArchiCAD and AutoCAD) and 2D drawing tools (such as CorelCAD Revit).

Filestage is a fantastic tool to facilitate the process of reviewing and approving these first drawings. Customers can then leave their comments and discuss other ideas directly on the sketch in Filestage.

This collaboration platform helps architects to understand the required modifications and to keep in mind the wishes of customers when creating the next design for the building.

3. Design development

In this phase, the designer and his clients determine the key details of the project. These may include elements such as interior finishes, materials, structural features and a finalized plan for the interior and exterior of the building.

To help architects improve this stage, software such as Cedreo, V-Ray, AutoCAD, Chief Architect and Substance all offers functionality that will make this phase more professional and efficient, while bringing more clarity and style to visuals. of conception.

With Filestage, you can easily manage the second set of comments and the receipt of the final client approval. This online spraying platform makes it easier for architects and clients to collaborate on construction sketches and discuss ideas in a clear and organized manner, ensuring the best possible end result. Beyond keeping customers informed, this ease of use will also save the team considerable time.

4. Construction drawings

At this stage of the process, several design reviews between the architect and the client (s) are required. The design will finally be finalized and converted into drawings which can be used on the site to physically build the building.

To ensure that these real world drawings are precise, clean, clear and professional, use architectural drawing software such as Arcon Evo, AutoCAD, Vectorworks Architect or CorelCAD

Comments and requests from the client (s) are particularly essential to implement at this stage. This software for architects will help you get the best end result for your work.

With Filestage, architects can ensure that clients’ comments on the final review and approval process are stored safely via the cloud, easily accessible and fully implemented in construction drawings.

In addition, if you are looking to improve the security level of your digital assets – especially these final designs that you have spent hours perfecting – take into account our recommendations for digital asset management software.

5. Construction administration

In this last stage of the project, the architect supervises the site. By closely monitoring the progress of the building, they can ensure that the project respects the finalized plans and the wishes of the customers.

Ready to take your architectural design to the next level ?

With the addition of the architecture computer software you have chosen, your design process will move to a whole new level.

The wide range of advanced architecture software available includes a variety of tools, features, tips and general tricks, and the courtesy of some of the industry’s greatest innovators. We hope to have succeeded in demonstrating the incredible range of tools available to architects today.

Whether you are looking to simplify collaboration, your more elegant floor plans or your ability to access comments more effectively, these innovative tools are exactly what you need to ensure significant improvements in your operations. Make sure you make the most of it !

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