3D Floor Plan Software
As an architect, interior designer or 3D designer, 3D floor plan design is essential. A 3D floor planner lets you clearly show the rooms in a house, including vital things like how the doors open. A 3D floor plan app brings clarity to your project, showcasing the design as though it’s already been created, which saves time and money as well as helping your clients visualise the finished project clearly and accurately. And, of course, 3D floor plan rendering helps determine the costs. SketchUp Pro is a popular way to make a 3D floor plan, it’s easy to learn and use, and it’s the perfect way to create useful, simple, elegant 3D floor plans. Here’s what you need to know.
What is a 3D Floor Plan
A 3D floor plan is an extremely useful and detailed type of diagram. It shows you the layout of a room, domestic building or commercial premises in 3D from above, harnessing perspective to make it a lot easier for people to understand the size and layout of a space. 3D floor plan software lets designers draw an accurate, attractive and practical floor plan quickly and easily, completing the planning element faster therefore moving the project swiftly on to the design and real-world construction stage. All this ultimately means designers can work faster and complete more projects.
Including features like doors and windows, plus flooring and other fixed items as well as furniture, the scale of a space and its contents becomes wonderfully clear. No wonder 3D floor plan software is such a popular tool for creating powerful, practical, inspiring estate agency listings, home staging plans and interior design layouts, home improvement plans, new build layouts, office design, factory design, even furniture plans. So what is the easiest floor plan software? SketchUp Pro is highly ranked and respected as one of the best 3D floor plan software tools available today.
How to Create a 3D Floor Plan in SketchUp Pro
SketchUp Pro makes life super-simple. Creating 3D floor plans in SketchUp is fast, easy and intuitive, and it’s also a real pleasure to use.
The process starts with a 2D sketch or imported image, which you download using the file-import function, selecting the ‘use image as’ option. If you already know the scale of the plan based on your measurements, you can scale the image appropriately using the tape measure tool. If you’re sketching a doorway, for example, you simply click from one side of the doorway to the other and enter the measurement before hitting ‘enter’. At this stage you can lock the image so it doesn’t move.
Now you draw the floor of the plan. You begin with your reference point, using the line tool to mark out the floor. Enter the exact measurements if you have them, otherwise drag the line tool to the edge and round things off to the nearest foot or inch. Hold down ‘shift’ to lock the axis, then click the reference point to complete the final corner.
Overlay this floor sketch with your original 2D sketch or image.
To create a 3D floor slab, click on the floor then use the push/pull tool to take it down to the right height, usually eight inches. To draw the exterior walls you click on the floor and use control-c to copy. Leave the group then choose ‘edit’ and ‘paste in place’. You use the offset tool to offset the exterior walls.
Drawing the interior walls is just as easy using the same method. If you don’t have the exact measurements, make sure you use whole numbers not fractions. All your lines need to be closed off or joined, something that takes no time using the Edge Tools plugin to ‘find edge gaps’, which quickly reveals any corners that don’t meet.
Use the push/pull tool to extrude all your walls upwards to the right height, usually eight feet. When you’ve done one wall you just double click on the rest to bring them to the same height.
Adding door frames is also quick and simple. The standard height is six feet eight inches. Click the base of one door frame, type 6′ 8”, draw a line to the mark and another across the width of the wall, then copy the shape and extrude it to the opposite side of the door frame. It’s easy to paste the door shape you’ve made to the remaining door frames, and you can use the eraser tool to get rid of any extra lines.
Add your windows from the parallel projection view. Because you can’t see the window openings, pull the sketch to the top and reduce the opacity. Alternatively leave your sketch under the model and change the opacity of the wall top and bottom. Select the wall top then open the ‘materials’ tab. Choose a colour from the ‘colours’ dropdown menu and paint the top and bottom of the walls. The opacity slider lowers the opacity.
Now it’s time to add all those finishing details – and the SketchUp 3D Warehouse is a truly awesome resource.
3D Warehouse Resources
The SketchUp 3D Warehouse is packed with literally millions of brilliant resources, a place where you can find any model you can imagine. The advanced search function helps you discover examples of 3D floor plans to download from the 3D warehouse, along with a huge variety of 3D components and furnishings, all available to incorporate into your 3D floor plans. It’s the perfect resource to create a realistic view of your project, and many of the products can actually be bought in real life via hundreds of supplier catalogues.
Are you ready to discover the world’s best 3D floor plan software? We’ve got all sorts of excellent tutorials for you, and you might also like to explore the differences between free SketchUp and SketchUp Pro.