3D CAD software for designers and installers

More and more carpenters, kitchen and bath installers, shop and interior designers, landscape gardeners, and deck and wood barn builders are realizing the need and benefits of getting off the drawing board and using a CAD system as your main design tool. The long-term benefits are substantial in terms of time and cost, and learning to plan in some CAD packages is fairly easy for anyone in this business, especially those used to reading plans.

Some CAD programs are exclusively 2D, but more and more customers want to be able to see the designs in 3D to get a clear idea of ​​the final appearance of the building and now this is possible with software that costs almost the same. as a drawing board. It’s also possible to photograph an existing interior, building, or land, import the image into your computer (this takes two minutes), and overlay your revised design for presentation to the client. This level of technology, while easy to learn, gives any designer/builder an edge over their competition, especially if the opposition still relies on 2D drawings.

The first steps in putting the design together are no different on a computer than on the drawing board. There are a few lessons to be learned, but for many packages this can take just a day and there is often online or phone help when you get stuck. The three big benefits of going off the drawing board are, first, that mistakes and changes are easily corrected. Second, components that are used regularly can be stored and simply placed, without the need to redraw each time. Third, drawings can be sent electronically to clients, manufacturers, or possibly local authorities via the planning portal, for planning permission and feedback.

Most designs, in all areas of construction, will need to be changed at some point to a greater or lesser degree. It may be that the client changes his mind or that the local authorities establish restrictions. In the past this may have meant starting over with a new drawing, but with a CAD drawing this is easily accomplished by simply updating your drawing. Because it’s easy to edit, it’s also easy to present variations of a basic design to the client without having to draw each one individually. Different color schemes or wood finishes can be displayed with two clicks of the mouse and after a while being able to “walk through” your proposed design will impress and win the contract.

It is important that the CAD system can read all major file formats, as many as possible. As long as this is the case, exchanging files with other companies and other designers is not a problem. It will also make it possible to read Sketch Up files and build on top of them. Being able to save as a PDF will allow you to send designs to those without their own CAD package for approval or comment.

Once the fundamental skills are learned, designs will take a fraction of the time they used to take, or if you’ve been paying an architect or CAD professional, it will save you thousands of pounds in costs.

The more you use CAD, the more you learn and the more possibilities begin to open up. Large libraries of materials are available to be imposed on a surface with a click of the mouse. Bricks can be placed on Stretcher, Common, Flemish, English, Stackable and Rowing. Wood grain can open up, change direction or color and there are metals, marbles, stones, textiles, wooden floors, etc., etc. Both indoor and outdoor furniture can be downloaded for free and inserted into your design to give it a more realistic look. The lighting can be changed to create shadows to add a bit of drama to the final display and it becomes fun.

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