Search the best 3D architecture software

3D architecture software

3D architecture software is employed to simplify the process of taking a concept from design to reality. It has an array of tools to create sophisticated and realistic renderings.
Professional architects and civil engineers most commonly use 3D architecture software, but it is also appropriate for students and interior designers.

If you’re considering investing in 3D architecture software for your design needs, view our guide to search the most popular products available to buy.

View our guide to the best 3D architecture software

3D Architect Software
3d architect software expert guide
Read the guide below

More about 3D architecture software

There are two types of architecture software: CAD (computer-aided design) and BIM (building information modelling). CAD is a drafting tool that allows you to create 2D and 3D renderings, similar to manual drawings. BIM is an evolutionary product from CAD.

3D architecture software has even developed to include more complex functions such as analytics and the ability to measure sustainability and energy efficiency. The most recent advances have seen 3D architecture software incorporated into cloud-based platforms. Cloud-based working enables individuals to collaborate in different locations and in real-time, making it easier to develop and manage a project from concept to final presentation.

3D architecture software

Is 3D architecture software right for your business?

No longer a product exclusively for professionals and experienced users, the technological advancements with 3D architecture software means it is easier for beginners and students to get started. A business of any size can benefit from 3D architecture software as there is such a variety of options available, with varying levels of complexity.

With cloud-based platforms increasing in popularity, it is definitely worth considering whether this option is suitable for your business, especially if you will be collaborating with other individuals. It is also worth checking whether the software you choose is compatible with other types of software, especially for large, collaborative projects.

What difference can 3D architecture software make?

There will always be some traditionalists that are reluctant to use 3D architecture software, but the difference it could make to your business is significant:

Enhanced visual communication

With clear and highly realistic 2D and 3D renderings, your presentations will be more effective and easier for clients to comprehend. If you can communicate your concept clearly it can avoid costly changes later down the line.

Effective marketing

The ease of creating high-quality videos and renderings means you can share your design projects on social media and make a greater impact on the market.

Greater productivity

The software automates many processes and can manage various changes and drafts, making for a quicker and more streamlined design process.


The software provides detailed information and automated functions that flag issues in the design phase. This saves on having to rectify costly mistakes during the construction phase.

Features 3D architecture software

Common features of 3D architecture software

Some features of 3D architecture software are fundamental to the business of architectural design. It is important to consider whether you need the basic versions of these features or more advanced options.


All 3D architecture software has the ability to create 2D and 3D renderings, with a varying amount of tools and complexity between products. More advanced products have ready-built features such as tiles, roofs, bricks and columns to create highly realistic renderings.

Drafting capabilities

Most products allow for both 2D and 3D drafting with import and export functions. Some products have more advanced capabilities with in-built tools for making calculations for resources and materials, which is helpful for budget management.


Given that many sizeable projects require collaboration, it is important to have a product with a simple user interface so that individuals of varying expertise can use it. Features and tools should be streamlined with built-in capabilities to make it easier to get started.

Technical support

Whether you want to master some more advanced features, or you’re a beginner who wants to get the most out of a basic 3D architecture software package, good technical support should come with your product. Support should be for all levels of users.

Cost of 3D architecture software

How much does 3D architecture software cost?

3D architecture software usually comes in a variety of packages from basic to premium. Most vendors offer a free trial and it’s a good idea to take advantage of this to see how you manage with the software. Some software is actually free. It is usually basic in its capabilities but may be more appropriate for students who need to get familiar with using 3D architecture software.

At the top end of the scale is AutoCAD, considered a staple for architects and construction engineers. AutoCAD offers a variety of packages and a quote can be acquired by contacting the vendor.

SketchUp has a variety of packages. A basic but comprehensive package is SketchUp Pro, which is available for a one-off price of £465 per user. It has all the essential drawing and drafting tools and a good range of management functions. It’s ideal for beginners while still retaining some of the advanced capabilities used by professionals.


Choosing the best 3D architecture software

With so much choice in high-quality 3D architecture software available, it can be quite overwhelming trying to find what is right for you. There are some features that are clever, complex or are praised highly in reviews, but what is important is ease of use and relevance to your business. Browse through the guides and products on to help familiarise yourself with what is available.

It’s worth considering the recent developments in cloud-based technology and its relevance to your business. Architect Magazine gives an informative rundown of software with cloud capabilities and how it could benefit your business. As for the future, the developments in Virtual Reality (VR) technology are something to look out for, as this is predicted to be the next trend in 3D architecture software.