Free 3D Design Software - General DIY Discussions - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > DIY Forum > General DIY Discussions


Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-26-2012, 10:25 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 48
Rewards Points: 25

Free 3D Design Software


I have almost completed the framing of my basement. Since I have more time than money, I want to complete a 3D layout of the finished basement before I make final designs for electrical, water, etc. I have completed some Google searches and have found 3 different free 3D design software options. I was curious if anyone has used any of these or has another recommendation. I would like to find a software that is flexible in the design but does not have a steep learning curve.

SketchUp from Google

Autodesk Homestyler

mydeco 3D planner

Any feedback is appreciated.



VikingDinKC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2012, 10:32 PM   #2
PE Mechanical Engineer
Thunder Chicken's Avatar
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Massachusetts, USA, Zone 6A
Posts: 622
Rewards Points: 844

Google Sketchup is pretty easy to learn, just tinker with it. There is also an online array of 3D models of furniture, cabinets, etc.. made by the community that you can just import and position in the model. It can also handle lighting, both interior and solar.

I'm unfamiliar with the other two, but I am an engineer and use AutoDesk's AutoCAD occasionally, so I am curious how Homestyler would work.


Thunder Chicken is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2012, 07:09 AM   #3
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: WV
Posts: 3,471
Rewards Points: 3,130

Unlike Thunder Chicken, I found Sketchup incomprehensible (and I am also an engineer who uses AutoCAD). When my wife was designing our current home, I bought her a program called 3D Home Architect by Broderbund. It was only about $50. She was able to learn it very quickly. That was almost five yeas ago so I don't know if the program is still available.
md2lgyk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2012, 08:09 AM   #4
Too Short? Cut it Again!
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 9,634
Rewards Points: 2,000

Of all I have tried for floorplans and quick 3D representations, I like Sweet Home 3D the best. It has a low learning curve, has extensive symbol, furnishing, etc. templates you can download, and will kick out drawings more or less as detailed as you want and can measure. One thing I like is that you can stretch symbols say to show an custom counter with a sink in it. It will snap nice dimension lines if you want them. You can enter dimensions directly by numbers which is nice if you do not have a drawing input device.

Sweet Home 3D is an open source project, works across platforms and is free to use. The community developed symbol sets are too.

Of course none of the floorplan software programs are intended to be used for things like finish cabinetry. You need something in a more complex CAD drafting program if that is where you are headed.

Last edited by user1007; 11-27-2012 at 08:11 AM.
user1007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2012, 10:12 AM   #5
Ole Wood Worker

BigJim's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee
Posts: 10,119
Rewards Points: 82
Blog Entries: 1

I have the 3D Home Architect 3 and 8, I like the 3 but the 8 is hard to catch on to.

Thanks for the links to the other 3D programs.
New members: Please consider adding your location to your profile.

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose.

BigJim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2012, 08:07 PM   #6
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 48
Rewards Points: 25

Thank you for the feedback. Looks like I will be giving Sweet Home 3D and SketchUp from Google a try. After a few weeks, I will try to post my feelings in case it is beneficial to others.
VikingDinKC is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to VikingDinKC For This Useful Post:
BigJim (11-27-2012), user1007 (11-28-2012)
Old 11-28-2012, 06:55 AM   #7
Too Short? Cut it Again!
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 9,634
Rewards Points: 2,000

Here is a list of suggestions I kept from another post on this topic. Note that many are commercial products so not just freeware, shareware and open source.

Chief Architect Premium

I have been playing some with DraftSight which is free. I think it might be worthwhile if I ever need a part drawing and have time for the learning curve. Chief Architect Premium looked gorgeous but is more than I generally needed for quick permit drawings and floorplans.
user1007 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to user1007 For This Useful Post:
DangerMouse (11-28-2012)
Old 11-29-2012, 10:34 AM   #8
"You can do anything"-Mom
brockmiera's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Littleton, CO
Posts: 724
Rewards Points: 500

I liked homestyler quite a bit. It takes up a bunch of memory to run but the graphics are great. The dimensioning isn't the best but since it's an AutoDesk product I was able to export a .dwg (AutoCAD) file. Then a quick send to my engineering buddy to dimension and plot.
brockmiera is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2012, 11:31 AM   #9
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 12
Rewards Points: 14

I used the Chief Architect for mine. Easy enough to figure out and worked well.

I didnt have much luck with any of the free software, finally broke down and bought the real thing.
atljar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2012, 08:51 PM   #10
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 48
Rewards Points: 25

Finally had some time to do some playing around. The learning curve for Sweet Home 3D is very low… I had something going within an hour. Here is a video that was pretty helpful.

After playing for a few hours… I think I found my problem… I am not good at designing a basement. Attached is what I have put together. If you have any feedback, it is more than welcome
Attached Thumbnails
Free 3D Design Software-basement.jpg  


VikingDinKC is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
exterior design software Mrsvwal Remodeling 3 11-25-2012 10:17 AM
Free design software n0c7 Off Topic 3 07-14-2010 02:44 PM
Free apps for 3D CAD design Red Squirrel PC Repairs & Upgrades 0 05-01-2010 08:51 PM
Good home construction software odigity Building & Construction 5 08-18-2008 11:53 AM
Wholesale IPE or Cedar Decking free deck design woodybill Carpentry 1 01-28-2004 11:57 PM

Top of Page | View New Posts


Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1