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MicroStation is an architectural CAD solution designed to help businesses in the construction, petroleum, mining and other sectors create, modify and visualize 2D and 3D designs. Administrators can create annotations, paper plots,...Read more about MicroStation


Enscape is a real-time rendering and virtual reality plugin for Revit, SketchUp, Rhino, Archicad, and Vectorworks. It plugs directly into your modeling software, giving you an integrated visualization and design workflow. As an i...Read more about Enscape


Archicad by Graphisoft is a building information modeling (BIM) solution designed for architects, designers, interior designers and urban planners. The product caters to small and midsize businesses and is available both in cloud-...Read more about ARCHICAD

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Bluebeam Revu

As an award winning leader in innovative, collaborative, Cloud-based software technologies that streamline construction planning and building projects, Bluebeam's set of solutions have set the standard for excellence since 2002. A...Read more about Bluebeam Revu

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Edificius is an on-premise 3D building information modeling solution designed for small and midsize architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) companies. It offers parametric architectural objects, landscaping design, a text...Read more about Edificius

4.3 (8 reviews)


Envisioneer by Cadsoft is a 3D building information modelling platform that assists users in designing, developing and constructing residential projects. The product is offered in four tiers based on the types of professionals and...Read more about Envisioneer

3.3 (3 reviews)


SketchUp is a 3D modeling software that is designed for businesses in several industry segments, including architecture, construction, urban planning, woodworking and interior designing. It enables designers to create, store and a...Read more about SketchUp

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Quickbase is a no-code collaborative work management platform that empowers citizen developers to improve operations through real-time insights and automations across complex processes and disparate systems. Here's why Quickbase i...Read more about Quickbase

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Vectorworks Architect

Vectorworks is a versatile, on-premise application that provides extensive 2D drafting, 3D modeling, BIM and rendering capabilities for your architectural and landscape design needs. Vectorworks is equipped with designer-focused t...Read more about Vectorworks Architect

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Concept3D is a cloud-based mapping platform designed to help businesses in healthcare, education, hospitality and other sectors design 3D maps and virtual tour experiences for clients. With the built-in content management system (...Read more about Concept3D

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Cedreo is a 3D home design software for home builders, contractors, remodelers, real estate developers, and interior designers. With more than 7,000 customizable furnishings and materials, it allows users to create a complete conc...Read more about Cedreo

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ActCAD is an engineering solution for drafting 2D layouts, buildings, sections, and other engineering drawings on a unified portal. The platform enables organizations to edit 3D models, design and export custom tables to CSV and s...Read more about ActCAD

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BrioVR is a cloud-based 3D visualization software designed to help individuals and businesses in e-commerce, real estate, advertising, architecture, industrial design, games, education and automotive industries create virtual real...Read more about BrioXR

5.0 (3 reviews)

Chief Architect

Chief Architect is an interior design and remodeling software that helps residential builders, architects, and remodelers design and manage architectural designs. The platform allows users to automatically generate floor plans, 3D...Read more about Chief Architect

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Developers, architects, and contractors that want to make the most of a site's potential and close transactions quickly can use TestFit's real estate feasibility platform to make site planning simple. By creating quick concept ite...Read more about TestFit

4.0 (4 reviews)


AttendanceBot is a time and attendance tracking solution that helps businesses manage time-off requests, overtime and availability of employees. It enables managers to streamline employee scheduling operations, approve employees’ ...Read more about AttendanceBot

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3D Repo

3D Repo's mission is to rapidly modernise the AECO industry by giving all stakeholders democratic access to project data in a secure and collaborative fashion using modern enterprise architecture in the cloud. 3D Repo is a cloud-...Read more about 3D Repo

4.8 (4 reviews)

Space Designer 3D

Space Designer is an online architectural space-planning application that lets users visualize their projects in 3D. Its intuitive tools are user-friendly for professionals and novices alike. Its technology is adopted by a large ...Read more about Space Designer 3D

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abstractBIM is a building information modeling (BIM) solution, which enables businesses in the architecture, engineering, construction and operations (AECO) industry to convert Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) to gbXML file forma...Read more about abstractBIM

5.0 (1 reviews)


ARCHLine.XP LIVE comes with simple interface and powerful engine as well as high quality images, panoramas, and animations in seconds. The system comes with features such as a real time renderer, libraries of materials and models,...Read more about ARCHLine.XP LIVE

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Buyers Guide

Last Updated: March 16, 2023

Software Applications for 3D Architecture

For architects, engineers, and construction firms at large, manual two-dimensional designs are time-consuming and error-prone. Even after multiple iterations, 2D drawings may fail to communicate the final project concept. With 3D architecture software, however, architects and engineers can provide virtual tours, giving stakeholders the full experience of a proposed project.

3D architecture software includes features such as 3D modeling, computer-aided design (CAD) tools, and animations so users can design virtual tours and visualize structures. These tools allow multiple designers and architects to collaborate and co-edit designs via virtual 3D models.

In this buyers guide, we'll explore 3D architecture software as well as its features and benefits.

Here’s what we'll cover:

What is 3D architecture software?

3D architecture software is used by architects, construction professionals, and engineers to design virtual tours and create three-dimensional models. It uses 3D modeling and CAD tools to create a visualized concept of proposed structures.

3D architecture software uses building information modeling (BIM) to help architects analyze the entire construction process, including planning, operation, design, and maintenance. These tools also allow users to check errors in models, identify potential issues, and make changes. 3D architecture software facilitates animation, data import/export, image editing, and drafting.


An example of a 3D architecture software dashboard in AutoCAD (Source)

Common features of 3D architecture software

3D modeling

Create a three-dimensional model of a structure to provide a realistic and accurate view of the project. Check errors in the architectural design process, provide virtual tours for clients, and more.

Collaboration tools

Teams can collaborate and co-edit a 3D infrastructure model.


Build 3D animations for landscapes and interiors to visualize ideas and provide an interactive experience.

Building information modeling (BIM)

Evaluate physical as well as functional characteristics of a construction project by integrating every detail about the project's strategy, design, operation, and maintenance.

CAD software

Develop, modify, and optimize 3D architectural designs. Calculate the impact of any change on the overall design.

Component library

Select required presentation elements such as text, images, videos, and animations from a component library to create immersive presentations.

Landscape design

Refine your 3D model by adding landscape elements such as trees, plants, and people.

Data import/export

Import and export data files, diagrams, and 3D models.

File management

Store and track all project-related files in a single database that only authorized stakeholders can access.

What type of buyer are you?

Most 3D architecture software buyers belong to one of the following categories:

  • Large enterprises (500+ employees): Buyers in this segment include large businesses with separate teams of architecture design engineers and professionals. These professionals are involved in complex or multi-dimensional projects with multiple stakeholders. Buyers in this category should look for 3D visualization software with advanced features such as BIM, 3D rendering, 3D printing, project management, data import/export, and file management capabilities. These buyers should also pay special attention to whether the 3D architecture tools they're considering integrate with their existing software such as construction management and BIM tools.

  • Small and midsize enterprises (up to 500 employees): Buyers in this segment include small and midsize businesses with smaller teams and limited budgets. Often, these buyers provide construction design services as well as consulting throughout the project lifecycle. This means they need 3D architect software with collaboration tools, file management, and data import/export capabilities. These buyers should look for a basic 3D architecture tool that is effective yet cost-efficient.

Benefits of 3D architecture software

  • Realistic visualization: 3D architecture software uses animation and landscape design to help clients visualize project designs. Designers can create a virtual tour of architectural projects that include minute details such as textures, light, and outside views.

  • Streamline corrections and re-modeling: Users can re-model components separately without disturbing the overall design. Using the components library, editing and rectifying issues is much easier and more economical than manual 2D drafting.

  • Reduce costs and mitigate risk: You can easily rotate and view a 3D design from all sides, making it easier to analyze and identify potential issues. This helps save time and money by eliminating any stress points in the design.

  • Integrate multi-disciplinary data: BIM features integrate structured, multi-disciplinary data related to the strategy, design, and maintenance lifecycles into 3D models.

Key considerations for 3D architecture software:

Here are a few factors to consider while selecting 3D architecture software:

  • Business requirements: Evaluate your business requirements and your expectations for 3D architecture software to determine whether a basic tool would work or if you need a software package with advanced features such as 3D rendering, BIM, 3D printing, and drafting.

  • System compatibility: Ensure that the software you choose integrates with your existing tools and systems. You'll also want a tool that supports multiple file formats such as STEP, IGES, VDA, IDF, .OBJ, and .STL.

  • Features: Understand the core and unique features of specific 3D architecture software products before making your choice. The tool you choose should not only help you conceptualize ideas but also facilitate photorealistic rendering and presenting models.

  • Management cost: It is important to test and upgrade your software throughout its lifecycle. However, adding elements and features to your 3D architecture software can incur extra costs. Be sure to consider long-term management costs when initially investing in a tool.

Note: The application selected in this guide is an example to show a feature in context and is not intended as an endorsement or recommendation. It has been taken from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.