Today’s ânew normalâ means that businesses of all kinds are emphasizing technology and virtual interaction. For designers who rely on an ultra-personal level of service, getting used to doing business virtually comes with a learning curve. While many designers prefer hand-drawn renderings and floor plans, in today’s age of Zoom and FaceTime, this is no longer the practical solution. We’ve compiled the details of four programs that can help you scan your designs for socially distant presentation.
Homestyler is a free tool accessible through the company’s website or mobile app. The company partners with more than 200 brands, allowing users to place real furniture models into their 3D renderings. Light fixtures can be turned on to get a better idea of ââthe overall feel of the space. The mobile version allows users to take a photo of the room and place the furniture directly over the photo. On mobile devices, designers can use the augmented reality feature to help customers visualize furniture in space. A virtual reality viewer is also available.
For 2D floor plans, AutoCAD LT is one of the most popular choices for designers and architects. This economical version of the popular AutoCAD drawing software includes a full set of editing, design, and annotation tools, and drawings can be viewed, edited, and created on desktop, web, or mobile apps. The latest version features cloud storage, enhanced measurement capabilities, and drawing history, allowing users to compare past and present versions of their work. The updates also make it easier to measure the distance between objects. The learning curve for AutoCAD LT and more advanced AutoDesk products can be steep, which is why the company offers instructional videos, articles, and tutorials as a guide.
Cost: $ 55 / month or $ 420 / year
For designers who can’t resist the urge to put pen to paper, SketchUp Pro allows users to upload their own strokes to give models a hand-drawn feel. The Pro version allows subscribers to access the LayOut software to create sets of scale drawings. 3D Warehouse allows kitchen, bathroom and interior designers to place models of real furniture, lighting and appliances on drawings to give customers the complete picture. Users can import files from other 3D modeling programs into the tool or export their SketchUp file for use with other modeling and image editing software. SketchUp’s website also offers a host of educational avenues to help users learn how to use all of the features.
Cost: $ 299 / year
Created by a mother-in-law duo, Minutes Matter Studio graphic design software helps interior designers create scale 2D renderings with drag-and-drop models. Modules for the desktop version can be added at an additional cost, providing even more options for furniture, window treatments, bedding and more. New modules are added often, and the company’s window coverings library is exclusive to Minutes Matter. The desktop software is only compatible with PCs, but the web version, Studio Online, can be used on any device with a monthly subscription and comes with
Cost: Online Studio costs $ 52.60 / month; The studio starts at $ 497