Software

On a more serious note . . .

I went and bought one of those cheapie $20 cds for Home 3D design the other day and it really isn't much chop.

Does anyone know of a URL where you can download a good trial version of this sort of program before opening he wallet?

I don't mind paying for it - if it's good.

Pedro
 
Hmmm, being in the software world, software is a "productivity tool" it helps you go where you want to go faster. This is because contrary to the marketing computers and software is as dumb as sheep dribble.

I too puchased a $50 design program, then when I wanted to design floor plan and wanted to put in standard sized "objects" such as baths, kitchens etc, the software didnt seem to have it, even if it such things on the software package cover, then I found that if I wanted to do this (ie why I purchased the software) I would have to buy an "optional" $200 professional design objects CD!!!! f....g, b...ds

One problem with software is it takes time to learn, generally speaking the more flexible and adaptable the software the higher the learning curve. eg. Photo editing software, at one end of the scale you have microsoft paint, which has very few functions and basically is "easy to use" but for all purposed impossible to create professional results, at the other end of the scale you have Adobe Photoshop, it does almost everything you could imagine, professionals use it, unfortanately it is a complex as it comes, it takes weeks and weeks to learn to use with any skill. More or less what I am saying is that unless you invest money to buy the better software and the time to learn to use it

May I suggest a radical solution, buy some graph paper an pencil and use some sissors, use 4cm = 1m and cut out shapes of things such a baths, kitchens, etc. With another sheet draw out the floor plan and try moving things around a little. Find some photos in magazines, catalogs of the design feeling. Then when you are happy stick it down and take it to a professional.
 
Pedro

Out of interest I tried a few different ones but I found them time consuming and didn't have the patience to learn to use them properly.

Without knowing your exact requirements its
hard to make any recommendations.

search for reviews on 3d home design software
www.google.com
and then try to obtain the one thats easiest to use.

Some are available as 30 day demo's
I am sending you a private message
 
I purchased one a while back, and it's been good.

Can do multi storey, furniture, bathrooms etc.

Here's a link to the latest version of it.

3D Home Architect

There's also a suite of the same which has more features again, and landscaping.

3D Home Architect Suite

Its easy to use, and produces pretty good results.

I dont know if there's a demo around.

I've used this to design complete homes, and modification to existing. It's not autocad, but then this is usable :D

Seriously though, I looked around, and you're right, lots of junk around. I bought this after lots of research (5 years ago now), and have never regretted it. Still use it (same version) now when I need to.

STANDARD features to look for.

Furniture
Cupboards - including overhead, sinks, ovens etc
Fixtures - Showers, Basins, Sinks, etc
Windows - styles, size
Doors - Styles, size
Multi storey - how many ?
Wall thickness - does it handle multiple?
Roof designers
Stairs
3d Views, helicopter views etc
Exportable to (DXF?) for architects
Electrical overlays
Room detection and naming
EASE OF USE
etc


Good Luck.

Simon.

ps. Did some looking into it, and it appears latest version has a new engine, so I'm not sure if it's as easy as mine was.

Check out http://www.b4ubuild.com/links/cadd.shtml

further edit - Hmm. reading further, v5 of this is completely different to v3 like I have, or v4. V5 gets a lot of bagging. maybe get an older version from somewhere...
 
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I don't know if it is still the case, but I did get some home design software once which had all the measurements in feet and inches- so it could never quite fit furniture and fittings to the exact sizes.
 
Pedro,

You could also try MS Visto or another of the visual programming designing tools around....many freeware. A surprising number of them have clipart sets including different house objects that can be placed to make layouts.

I've played round with 5 or six of these (for an article) and found them quite useful for room design.

Cheers,

Aceyducey
 
Thanks Stirling, Thats a pretty good alternative for a basic Kitchen/bathroom layout. Nice

Acey, I think you mean MS visio. I have that one at work. Its pretty good. But I dont think its free. Also I dont think it will do 3D views, which would be nice.

I did locate "SmartDraw" yesterday and have been playing with it today. It gives a 30 day fully functional trial. Quite reasonable too.

Pedro
 
Originally posted by Pedro61
Acey, I think you mean MS visio. I have that one at work. Its pretty good. But I dont think its free. Also I dont think it will do 3D views, which would be nice.

I did locate "SmartDraw" yesterday and have been playing with it today. It gives a 30 day fully functional trial. Quite reasonable too.

Yup I did - sorry I drove 5 hours today & am a bit tired ;)

SmartDraw is a nice piece of software!

Cheers,

Aceyducey
 

Sim

Administrator
I own a copy of Smartdraw - the company I used to work for used it extensively for diagrams in our technical documents we created. Quick and simple to use.
 
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