The Best 3D Design Software for Architect and Civil Engineer

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The following list of programs does not have an order of relevance or importance according to the places we have established since we consider that all the programs are of equal importance for the area of ​​architecture and civil engineering.


This software is considered by many users as the easiest to use and with the best results, having a more pleasant interface and not as complex as others, it uses the Vray rendering engine to create real photos.

It is a 3D three-dimensional modeling and graphic design program for architectural, civil engineering, industrial design, stage design, GIS, video game, or film environments.

It was developed by @Last Software, a company acquired by Google in 2006 and finally sold to Trimble in 2012, which is why it was once known as Google Sketchup. Offering a free and a paid version.   


It is currently developed and marketed by Autodesk, it is computer-aided design software used for 2D drawing and 3D modeling. The AutoCAD name arises from the creation of the Autodesk company, where Auto refers to the company and CAD, Computer Assisted Design.

AutoCAD includes basic geometry for drawing in two dimensions (lines, arcs, curves, prisms), it also creates 3D representations of drawings using different perspective and orthogonal views including basic rendering operations. 

It is the most used program in the industry and academy for the production of drawings or plans by computer. This software could cost about $1500, and that is somewhat is high for many professionals. Thus, you could seek some free AutoCAD alternatives. There are plenty of design software available that offer quite the same facilities as AutoCAD does.


We have to make the observation that Lumion is an architectural visualization software that transforms our designs into 3D renders and provides us with results instantly, it is very easy to learn to use it and in a few minutes we will have virtual 3D tours with a real orientation of our projects.

In terms of visual presentation, it is one of the best ways to engage a customer.

You can create surfaces with moss, add weather effects, transparencies, lighting in specific areas, or light beams. Transform any model into a completely realistic image, for better integration.  


This is construction information modeling software, you can do 3D modeling and parametric drawing. You can carry out the work in 3D and 2D by hand, saving time in the elaboration of cuts and elevations since when having the modeling these come out automatically as in Rhinoceros and Revit. It is the great rival of Revit.

You can download Archicad for free in the trial version for 30 days from the official Archicad website and obtain the educational license of the software for one year following the requirements that you are asked to, you can renew this license every year. Developed by the Hungarian company Graphisoft, it is a Building Information Modeling (BIM) CAD software available for Macintosh and Windows operating systems.

In 1984 the first version of ArchiCAD was released, under the name Radar CH, whose version was sold in two parts, its 2D and 3D module; and was released only for Apple Lisa computers. This program allows users to create "virtual buildings" with virtual construction elements such as walls, ceilings, doors, windows, and furniture; A wide variety of pre-designs and customizable objects come with the program.

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