The Best 3D Modeling Software For Architecture Design 2020

Top 23 Of The Best 3D Modeling Software For Architecture Design 2020

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The Best 3D Modeling Software For Architecture Design 2020 – Digital design software application is vital in the modern architecture industry. Clients expect to see greater than principle drawings, blueprints, and physical versions. They wish to see digital representations that provide more information. With 3D modelling, you can develop insides as well as occupy your buildings. With some, you can even readjust lighting effects and also account for exactly how outside pressures will certainly impact a structure.

software for architecture design
Top 23 Of The Best 3D Modeling Software For Architecture Design 2020

Beyond this, design software automates common procedures. This permits you to conserve time. You can obtain styles to clients quicker and also delight in an extra efficient workflow. Still, you won’t experience these advantages if you pick the wrong software. Your selection must match your needs and also appropriate for your work configuration.

Each piece of Software architecture design patterns has something various to offer. With this listing, we will pick ten of the most effective on the existing market. Better, we will discuss why you must consider every one.

Top 23 Of The Best 3D Modeling Software For Architecture Design

The following are some of the best Software For Architecture Design that are highly recommended for you to use

Rhino 3D

Since its creation in 1998, Rhino 3D has become one of the most popular tools for architectural design. Users can enter drawings or physical models into the software. From there, Rhino can create 3D models and provide documentation for the design. You can even scan real-world data into the newer versions of the software.

Beyond that, Rhino offers all of the tools a designer needs to edit designs. Beyond the base models, you can create animations and professional renders. It is also one of the most flexible design packages around. Designers can translate solid objects and surfaces into the software. It even allows you to work with point clouds and polygon meshes. Because of this, the software is usually favoured by those who don’t want to spend a lot of time learning about the complexities of computer aided design (CAD).

There’s more. People with programming expertise can adjust the Rhino workspace. Using RhinoScript, they can create their own plugins. Those who can’t program also have access to a database of pre-built plugins. Further, you can export Rhino designs into the real world using 3D printers or laser cutting. This separates Rhino from other packages that don’t offer a manufacturing aspect.

3D Studio Max

Although 3DRhino is getting spread at an exponential rate, because of its parametric plugins and smooth modeling features. Yet, 3D Studio Max still the most popular software in the 3D market.  Since those primordial days of computer graphics and 3D Studio (software that was running under DOS), things have changed. In just the last half decade 3D Studio Max tools have found their way into far more areas of our work life than anyone would have imagined. It has modeling capabilities and a flexible plugin architecture and can be used on the Microsoft Windows platform. It is frequently used by video game developers, many TV commercial studios, and architectural visualization studios.

Revit Architecture

The building information modelling (BIM) concept is key in modern architecture. It relates to the development of sustainable buildings. In a world where environmental awareness is at an all-time high, sustainability is high on the agenda for many clients.

That’s where Revit Architecture comes in. The software focuses on providing the tools for effective BIM. Its key feature is automation. Changes you make to your model get recorded throughout the project. The software coordinates these changes to ensure you create complete projects that consider BIM at every turn. As such, if you make a change in the 3D view, those changes reflect across the plan, elevation and section views. The same goes for changes you make in any other view.

The software offers automation elsewhere. For example, it allows you to create libraries of parametric objects. You can access these objects across all designs to quickly implement common models into your project.

Revit Architecture also allows for greater teamwork. You can schedule separate project elements to ensure they get completed on time. The software also allows you to pull in team members from multiple disciplines into the project. All of this while keeping the core concepts of BIM at the forefront.


When creating renderings, whether it is a section, elevation or plan, knowing how to use Photoshop is absolutely vital. It is a high-quality image producing software, perfect for final renderings and touch-ups. With its familiar system of layers, you can give to your rendering the atmosphere and style you want with very few alterations. It is used for image processing, adding textures, landscape, people, a sky, etc. It is also a great way to fix and edit scans of your work and create vignettes for the final presentation.


Many architects favour SketchUp because of its real-world applications. Google purchased SketchUp in 2006. Though it has since sold the company, Google implemented a lot of useful features. For example, you can pull topographical images from Google Maps into SketchUp. The same goes for satellite images.

The key benefit of SketchUp is its price. You can download SketchUp for free. It may lack some of the features of other software packages. Still, it provides enough to help you create professional models. However, the base package has most of the exporting features turned off. Even so, this offers you flexibility. You can choose the features that suit your project. Thus, you only invest in what you need.

The cost makes it ideal for students and those operating on slim budgets. Many use SketchUp to get to grips with 3D modelling before moving onto other software. Speed is also a key aspect of SketchUp. You can create simple 3D models quickly. With the right features, you can even create complex models ready for presentation.


In Design is basically a layout program suitable for creating from booklets to large presentation sheets. You can arrange objects into presentable forms including text, shapes, and images and is also good for document creation, such as resumes and portfolios. You can set up font types/sizes, page master pages with page numbers, helping increase productivity and document consistency. The software also gives you the ability to package your files together and bring them with you so you can work at school or at home without the hassle making sure you copy each separate file and take it with you.


V-Ray is not a standalone design software. It is actually a plugin. You can use it with ArchiCAD and SketchUp. Its purpose is to create realistic rendering. This allows you to show off your 3D models as they would look in the real world.

This makes V-Ray ideal for those who need to add that extra spark to their designs. The software offers access to stunning textures. Further, its colour palette has few rivals. This means you can use light and shade to your advantage with V-Ray more so than most other design software.

Designers across many industries use V-Ray in their work. Beyond architecture, it has proven ideal for video game design and CGI rendering for film and TV. Coming back to architecture, V-Ray is all about placing clients in a visual space. It helps them see what your designs will look like once they’re built. Further, designers benefit from an extensive resource library to help them take their base designs to another level.

Hand Drawing

The one thing you should always remember is that drafting and design software is just a tool in the hands of architects to facilitate the workflow and reduce the valuable time of drawing production. Architects draw and sketch. There is no more basic and valuable skill, even in our technologically advanced world than hand sketching. The initial idea should be clear and concise and easily communicated to colleagues and clients. A simple sketch can say a lot more about your concept that the best and most detailed rendering. After all, pencils don’t require any updates.


AutoCAD software has been a fixture of the architecture sector since its release in 1982. The software has come a long way since those early days. This history has bred familiarity. Students and professionals have used AutoCAD for decades. As such, learning how to use it often proves helpful when searching for jobs in engineering or architecture.

Many use AutoCAD as a first step on the way to creating 3D models. It allows you to develop drawings that represent your buildings at the more basic level. Designers will often transfer these drawings to other software packages to work on the more advanced modelling concepts. Because of AutoCAD’s popularity, most other design packages are compatible with its files.

Further, AutoCAD is a useful teaching tool. Users can change preferences and use it to learn the basics about line weights and design layers. Architects can even access an industry-specific version of the software. This allows for more efficient drawing of base models.

Civid 3D

Modelling and drawing are only two of the functions needed from CAD by architects and builders. There are many others, many of which are addressed by Civil 3D from Autodesk.

Designed to work with other Autodesk products, specifically AutoCAD, Revit and 3DS Max, it offers a design and documentation pipeline for Building Information Modelling (BIM) workflows.

One useful ability is the integration of survey images with terrain modelling, roads, service schematics and constructional geometry. All these elements are placed into a single highly annotated package. Allowing engineers to focus on their specific area, but also see how their changes might interfere with others.

Civil 3D costs $2,315 per year to license, or like 3DS Max it can be licensed with other Autodesk products in the Architecture, Engineering & Construction Collection for $2,965 per year.


There is some disagreement about how useful Maya is when it comes to architecture. Some argue that it is too general a design software. They note that it doesn’t have many of the tools that more dedicated pieces of software benefit from. However, this lack of constraints is often useful to designers.

Maya proves perfect for exploring concepts that stretch further than what other types of software allow. It offers you more freedom in your work. This fosters innovation in design. Many use Maya to come up with new ideas before transferring their Maya models into other software. It is this freedom that has led to Maya gaining acceptance in the architectural sector. You can even download additional toolsets specific to the industry.

Many who are new to 3D modelling also use Maya as a teaching tool. It allows them to get to grips with the core concepts of creating 3D models without dealing with the constraints of specialised software. Its tutorials prove very useful. Further, Maya has a large community around it. This makes it easier for designers to get help if they start struggling with their work.


Many point to ArchiCAD as offering everything a designer would need. It proves useful in creating both 2D and 3D models. Further, you can integrate several other software packages into it. A common favourite is pulling V-Ray into ArchiCAD. This allows designers to create photorealistic models. Even those who don’t integrate V-Ray into ArchiCAD can create realistic models. The new versions of ArchiCAD feature CineRender for creating lifelike models.

ArchiCAD’s main feature is its user-friendly nature. You can learn the basics of the software with minimal effort. This has made it a favourite with students and those just starting out in architecture. It offers a time-effective way to create detailed models. As such, it is great for projects where time is a factor.

Beyond that, the software offers several tools for automating complicated processes. For example, it has an inbuilt library of stair and rail designs. Better yet, you can match these resources to the building you have created. Many architects agree that designing staircases can prove difficult in large projects. ArchiCAD removes much of this difficulty through automation.


We first encountered CATIA over thirty years ago, when the creators Dassault Systèmes started to promote their in-house solution to other companies.

Originally conceived to precision model military hardware, it can easily handle complex architectural problems and generate finely detailed models.

Where many CAD systems added collaboration and security controlled distribution later, CATIA had this from its inception. And, more recently it expanded those coordination features to embrace Cloud functionality.

With such powerful and fully featured software Dassault don’t post exact pricing. Instead, you have to ask for a quote. That hints at a high cost per seat, although the number of companies that use it also indicates that it is probably worth what they’re demanding.


MicroStation is a CAD architecture software, that will allow you to get all the features you need to create the concept of your architectural structures. You will be able to visualize correctly your project and all its details. MicroStation is a flexible and powerful CAD software.  


Grasshopper allows architects to use parametric design to improve the efficiency of their workflows. So what does this mean for you? Well, Grasshopper has several tools that help you automate menial tasks. Consider the software’s use of variables. In most design software, you will need to copy and paste basic elements, such as lines, if you wish to use them again. Some software use matrixes to reduce the time this tasks take. Even then, it is often annoying. Grasshopper’s use of variables makes such actions easier. You only need to enter a number into your variable to create the desired number of elements.

Better yet, you can create modules centred on these common tasks. Over time, Grasshopper allows the designer to create a full library of previously used ideas and elements. You can access these modules with the click of a mouse.

Grasshopper also benefits from being an open source software. It has a community around it that constantly develops new plugins. Coupled with that, Grasshopper links closely with Rhino 3D. This integration eliminates the need to understand coding when using Rhino 3D.

Bricscad BIM

Bricscad is your new building design software. It will be a really good solution for you to create your building virtually with BIM. You can experience the power of free-form modeling with the accuracy of a CAD software. This software is also using AI to help you automatically replicate details in your BIM. You will definitely save time using this architecture software.

Chief Architect

Substantially more homes are built than giant office complexes or retail parks, and that is the forte of Chief Architect.

This tool can be utilised by homeowners wanting to remodel, home builders, interior designers and architects creating unique residences. 

Depending on specific needs there is a product selection that begins very modestly and focuses, for example, on Interiors. Or, you can spend much more on their Premier product that handles complete buildings with all their details.

Using Premier or Architect Interiors you to rapidly construct 3D models of exterior and interior spaces and then project those into 2D plans and elevations.

Premier costs $2,995, and Architect Interiors costs $2,195 per annum, and then $495 per year renewal for either. Or you can rent Chief Architect for $199 per month.


CorelCAD is a great 3D tool to create and edit your project. You can use it to work on both quick 2D sketches and advanced 3D designs. It can totally be used as an architecture design software. Using this program, you can totally export your designs in an STL format and use it to 3D print models.


Dynamo often comes as a free plugin for use with Revit. However, there is also a standalone version of Dynamo. This means you can choose to use it independently of Revit, though this requires payment of a subscription fee. Much like Grasshopper, Dynamo is an open source software. This means it has a large community around it that constantly builds new features for the studio.

Dynamo is well regarded for having one of the best geometry engines of any design package. This makes working on complex elements easier. Further, the software slots well into the BIM workflow. Dynamo allows you to make quick changes to your designs. Further, it allows you to customize your designs on the fly. This saves a lot of time that you would otherwise spend on editing designs and saving them as separate files.

The software also works with a large number of file types. As such, you can use it as a support tool for a range of other software. One of the most common uses of this is exporting Revit design information into Microsoft Excel files.


Solidworks is a 3D modeling software mainly used by engineers. It can be a great solution if you need a 3D software for a project, and you just want to create a quick design. You can’t do complex rendering, with a lot of material or texture as it is not a CAD program dedicated to architecture. But it is possible to design a building and get a good overview of your architectural projects thanks to the various functionalities of Solidworks


Cedreo is a web-based 3D home design software that enables construction and remodeling professionals to draw floor plans and create 3D renderings in a matter of minutes. Users can easily draw 2D and 3D floor plans, customize home indoors and outdoors in a few clicks with more than 7,000 3D objects, and generate construction drawings and photorealistic renderings. Cedreo offers a wide range of time-saving features to quickly create, render and share project visualizations: one hour is all it takes to draft a complete home project, without complicated tools or a design degree. 

Using Cedreo, construction professionals save time, shorten their sales cycle and close more deals. They can manage project designs without having to go back to the engineering or CAD department, and help clients better understand design intent before construction begins.

Fusion 360

Fusion 360 has gained popularity due to its versatility. The software offers an all-in-one solution. Beyond designing and testing, you can use the software for fabrication. Further, Fusion 360 supports collaborative work environments through its use of the cloud. This allows you to bring together professionals from several sectors to work on projects.

This cloud-based structure has other advantages. You can use Fusion 360 on many devices. For example, you could create a design via a desktop computer and then show it to others away from the office using a smartphone or tablet computer. It’s powerful too. Fusion 360 is one of the few tools that will help you create realistic renders of your designs. This proves useful when making presentations or helping clients visualize your work.

Fusion 360 is also one of the most well-supported design software. You can expect to see updates every two months or so. As such, new features get introduced into the software on an almost constant basis.

Vectorworks Architect

Vectorworks Architect could be your new architecture design software, allowing you to go from conceptual design to BIM models. This software offers all the features you need, step by step, to make your architectural structure using 3D modeling: Precision drawings, creative and site modeling, algorithmic designs, everything can be done using this 3D program. You can totally use to create your graphics and presentation.  


Each of the ten pieces of software in this article can help architects realize their visions. Which is best for you depends on your needs. On a general level, students and new designers tend to prefer Maya, SketchUp, and ArchiCAD. These software architecture design patterns offer lower prices and more flexibility than many others.

Others prefer more established architecture software home design. AutoCAD, for example, has been an industry standard for many years. Revit is reaching the same status. Beyond this, software like Grasshopper and Dynamo prove effective for those who want to create more comprehensive design packages.

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