If everything is digital today, why not interior design then? Today, even an entry level designer is expected to be aware of more than one computer aided design (CAD) tool to design and plan interiors. Hand drawn designs are out of fashion and literally no one prefers them, especially employers and interior design firms looking for interior designers.
Compared to the traditional method of hand drawn designs and renderings, it is a lot easier to design and redesign using these software tools as they enable innumerable iterations. In addition, the output is simply better and hyper realistic when compared to the former, thus making it easy for interior designers to visualize and express their ideas better.
Here’s a list of the top 5 interior design software tools employers expect their interior designers to be well versed with.
Formerly known as Google SketchUp while it was under the ownership of Google from 2006 to 2012, this popular 3D modeling computer program is one of the most basic interior design software tool to begin with. Known for its easy to learn and use interface, SketchUp is available in two versions, SketchUp Make (freeware version) and SketchUp Pro (paid version). SketchUp comes with an online open source library of free model assemblies called 3D Warehouse and supports third party plugins to improve the functionality of the software. However, considering its basic nature, interior designers often face difficulty in modeling complex surfaces and visualizing complex 3D models using SketchUp.
Moving on with interior design software tools that are simple in functionality and easy to learn, 3Ds Max from Autodesk is another popular one under the category. Used by interior design students as well as professional interior designers, Autodesk 3Ds Max provides excellent tools for rendering, simulating and visualizing interiors. Though the software is pretty easy to begin with and getting used to, it includes a ton of functionalities and also offers a flexible plugin architecture to support many third party applications. Study material and tutorial videos are abundantly available on the internet making 3Dx Max more easy to learn.
3. Autodesk AutoCad
Moving up the complexity ladder, Autodesk AutoCad is one of the most essential but difficult software tools used in interior design. Regardless of its complexity, AutoCad is a very popular software that is used in almost all architectural and interior design firms, making it a must learn software tool for interior designers. Known for its hyper realistic details and high productivity tools, AutoCad was once Autodesk’s most popular product. Adding, AutoCad offers excellent tools for 3D animation and visualization of interiors to realize hyper realistic and detailed visions of the proposed design plan.
4. Autodesk Revit
Another Autodesk product, Autodesk Revit unlike the above mentioned is exclusively for architects and interior designers. Highly technical in nature, Autodesk Revit is a building design and construction software that enables professionals to digitally construct buildings and models with a consistent and coordinated model-based approach. Specifically built for Building Information Modeling (BIM), Revit allows to create plans, elevations and sections in a quick manner. To be a successful interior designer, creativity alone won’t suffice; but you have to master over highly technical software tools like Revit as well.
5. Autodesk Homestyler
Lastly, the most popular of all the interior design software tools, Autodesk Homestyler. Homestyler is a full featured interior design software that makes it easy for designers to design floor plans and build layouts with doors, windows, furniture and various other accessories through its brilliant personalization tools. Homestyler unlike AutoCad or Rivet doesn’t have a complicated interface and can be easily used by a first-time user as well. The online community of Homestyler can be well utilized by interior designers to share their work, express their views and help each other in bringing out unique and creative interior designs.
Apart from the above mentioned top interior design software, we would like to make a few more notable mentions which are actively used by interior designers.
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