Not very long ago, architects conjured up entire structures and buildings on cartridge paper, transferred them onto tracing paper so that later they could be reproduced at will. These were the blueprints of yesteryears when technology hadn’t yet developed. It was in the 1960s, that the very first computer-aided design software emerged; interestingly not in architecture, but in the aircraft industry. It was the combination of the need to save time, produce consistency in work and replace the need to hand-draw architectural plans that gave rise to computer-aided designing tools. Over the years, the software was improved and 1982 saw the launch of AutoCAD which was the first software to make drafting and architecture software commercially popular.
Architects today have a host of software to choose from as each architecture software is designed to address drastically different requirements of an architect. A creative architect might also want to combine and use different software for different stages of her project. Architecture software help architects analyze and stimulate their plans, making them more foolproof.
Here is a list of 5 Software which we think hold their own and have something unique to offer:
Despite a host of new-age software in the market, AutoCAD has held its own, simply because of its widespread acceptance. It is used not just by students but many established architects because of its universal compatibility which comes handy when transferring files. AutoCAD is a pre-cursor to advance 3D modeling and architects can finish basic drafting, standard drawings on this platform before moving ahead on their projects. Established architects can also opt for AutoCAD Architecture which is an architecture software designed keeping in the specialized requirements of an architect. To put it simply, AutoCAD is good to have in your architecture software toolkit.
A breakthrough software from Autodesk, Revit stands apart, given its capability to churn out both 2D and 3D designs. The jump from simple 2D to 3D with beams, foundations, walls, and the roof is quite rewarding for an architect who wants to render her plans in 3D. Revit allows for quick changes; even the most minute of changes are automatically updated across all plans. A smooth user interface and embedded tools make for an exciting experience. Revit is a must-learn and a must-have for any architect worth his salt.
ArchiCAD is an intelligently designed Building Information Modelling (BIM) software which allows for effective 2D & 3D modeling of architectural plans. One key reason why architect and builders prefer this architecture software is because it provides very high-resolution photo-realistic visualizations and has a massive storage capability. It competes with Revit for the majority market share in the architecture software industry.
When it comes to user-friendly architecture software, Chief Architect Premier is one of the most preferred choices by architects today. Its user base includes interior designers, home planners, and builders. It allows for the generation of material lists and key construction documents. Architects can view spherical views of their renders and it also has options for labeling elements automatically. All in all, Chief Architect is an effective yet easy to use software, which indeed is a rare combination.
Infurnia is the world’s first cloud-based interior design and architectural software, making it an effective collaborative platform for various stakeholders of a project. It supports real-time update of designs allowing for immediate customer approval. Being cloud-based, architects can use Infurnia, on the go, without having to download it. It is embedded with cutting edge drafting tools, floor planner and other essential architectural tools. Ahead of the curve when it comes to commercially used architecture software, Infurnia is an essential tool for any architect working to create a seamless experience for their clients.
We hope the above list helps you narrow down the architecture software that you want to make your go-to, for your architecture projects. Over time most architects understand by practice, which software works for them and which doesn’t. However, it is always good to use at least three to four of them in your practice to make use of the innovative features they offer.