Computer-aided design software makes a major difference in how efficiently architects can perform their duties. So it makes sense that the best rendering software for architects is a hot topic among these professionals. These are the top ones in 2020 according to architects in our community.
1. AutoCAD 🔗
This computer-aided design software is well-known as the best rendering software for architecture when it comes to creating precise 2D and 3D drawings. It offers the ability to draft, annotate, and design realistic models featuring solids, mesh objects, and surfaces.
AutoCAD requires a 64-bit OS, preferably with a 3+ GHz processor and 16GB memory.
The biggest benefits of AutoCAD are the industry-specific features and comprehensive shortcuts for drawing mechanical and electrical objects. Most architects agree that drafting is the strong point of AutoCAD.
Apart from the initial expense some of the drawbacks of AutoCAD are its limited file formats and line-editing capabilities as well as the high computer processing power required. You can get around the latter problem using a cloud-based processor.
AutoCAD is available from AutoDesk for $1,690 annually.
2. SketchUp 🔗
SketchUp is 3D modeling software with a large database of user-created model freeware. Your hardware needs to meet the following specs if you want to download and run SketchUp:
- 2 GHz processor or more
- Over 8 GB RAM
- 700MB available hard-disk space
- 3D class video card with 1 GB of memory or more and hardware acceleration compatibility
- The video card driver must support OpenGL 3.1 or higher
The true power of SketchUp lies in its user-friendliness and affordability. You can download the basic version for free and easily create realistic 3D drawings quickly and easily.
The drawbacks of SketchUp are that it sometimes combines objects in unexpected ways and this is difficult to remedy. The rendering process is also somewhat involved and convoluted.
You can download the premium version of SketchUp, called SketchUp Pro for $695.
3. Revit 🔗
Revit is an all-in-one software ideal for 2D and 3D projects. It produces rendering, modeling, and 2D construction documents using actual building elements like doors and windows instead of circles and lines.
Revit’s compatible with AutoCAD so you can use a DWG file as a trace reference when you start working on your model.
The major benefit of Revit is that when you make a change in your model, it updates everywhere, including your plans and elevations. This increases accuracy and saves a lot of time.
Revit has several drawbacks mostly related to the complexity of the program itself, such as:
- The inability to display Rooms in a 3D window.
- You can’t limit shared or project parameters to certain elements only.
- A convoluted interface.
- No downward compatibility.
You need a 64-bit OS with 8GB Ram and 30GB free space to run Revit. A DirectX® 11 capable graphics card with Shader Model 3 is the norm for advanced graphics. Yet it still places a heavy burden on your system.
Revit comes from the esteemed stable of Autodesk products and you can download it at a cost of $2,425 per year.
Making the Most of the Best Rendering Software for Architects
The biggest drawback of all architectural software is lack of portability. The cumbersome and expensive hardware involved means your deskbound for the duration of your project.
What’s more, as the best rendering software for architects continues to evolve, it requires every-increasing computer capabilities. So, while your current hardware is adequate for now there’s no telling how long it will be before you need to upgrade.
Try Vagon now and run high-performance software on any computer, any time and avoid expensive upgrades in the immediate future.