A splinter for my mind's eye
October 14, 2009 3:29 PM   Subscribe

Looking for some architecture/3D modelling tools to help visualise a home/internal renovation.

I'm finding it increasingly difficult to imagine all the variables, functions and flows for designing our new kitchen - ideally something that is free (or at least cheap), but as featured as possible for a reasonably adept graphics oriented person to use.
posted by a non e mouse to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Either OS is fine.
posted by a non e mouse at 3:32 PM on October 14, 2009

Best answer: You could try floorplanner.com.
posted by dersins at 3:37 PM on October 14, 2009

Best answer: SketchUp - free, easy, 3D
posted by djb at 3:41 PM on October 14, 2009 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Even if you're not using their products, the Ikea Kitchen Planner software is very sweet. It does floor plans, part lists, even 3d views.

(Cupboards and such are all standard sizes anyway, so you can guesstimate using similar products to what you'd like.)
posted by rokusan at 3:45 PM on October 14, 2009

Best answer: I had the same issue a few days ago. I started out playing with Google's Sketch 7. This is a great, free 3d package which can do what you want but I found it a bit unfocused for the specific task of furniture layout design. So my next choice was Ikea's Home Planner software - again free. This is all about getting you to buy their kitchen units or whatever - however for a first go at planning I found it very quick: you enter the key elements of your room in the first pass (walls, windows, doors, etc). In the second stage you drop in worktops, base units and so on. Finally you can see the whole thing in 3d.

(Surprise bonus from this approach: print out your Ikea branded plan and wave it around the kitchen department of a competitor store. This helps in the negotiating I found.)
posted by rongorongo at 3:46 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: As an architect and contractor, I would recommend SketchUp. Its free, easy to use (even for a first-time user), and very versatile. It will allow you to view and move through your modeled space in "3-D".
posted by nickjadlowe at 3:51 PM on October 14, 2009

Best answer: My husband has been using SketchUp to design the changes we've been making to our house. It's very user-friendly and it has been excellent. Here is an example of something he's been working on recently.
posted by jeanmari at 4:19 PM on October 14, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks - I've done the initial designs using FloorPlanner - which is utterly simple to immediately use (despite a few limitations that I can live with, like exporting, duplicating designs for multiple variations - but otherwise great for quick 2d and 3d visualisations). I'll progress to Sketchup when I finesse the final designs.
posted by a non e mouse at 8:25 PM on October 16, 2009

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