Which Software’s do Architects use?

A question that many of us think about is that what software’s do architects use? Many a time we are intrigued and are curious about which software’s architects are using whether it is when we pass them by at a coffee shop or when we see detailed plans being printed at a printer’s shop. So which software’s do they actually use?

The software’s that architects use can be broken down into three categories depending upon their use. The first category is drafting, followed by three dimensional modelling and the last one being rendering. Let us understand them one by one.


Drafting Software’s– Let us first understand what drafting is. Drafting refers to the making the plans, elevations and sections (technical drawings) of any building. This is done to create the basic layout and understand the design and the functionality of any building.

The most popular software for drafting is AutoCad which is a product of the AutoDesk Company. This software is used by all architectural firms and offices throughout the world for the purpose of drafting. It can also be used to create 3D models of buildings. This software is a must for any architect and there are hardly any other software’s available for this purpose.

Three Dimensional Modelling– After the technical drawings of a building are complete, the next step is to create the three dimensional model of the built form. There are a number of software’s available for this, but we shall only cover the most popular ones as used by architects.

Google Sketch Up- This is the most popular software used for 3D modelling. The beauty of this software is that it can be used to create just about anything. It comes in particularly handy when one has to create off beat designs. The simple user interface is also something which adds to the popularity of the software.

Revit- This is yet another popular software for creating 3D models. The software is popular in many an architectural office. The USP of this software is that it can be easily used to create multi-story high 3d models in no time. Though, something to be noted is that the software is relatively hard if one wants to create fluid designs.

Other software’s include the likes of 3D Max (a relatively tougher software to use) and ArchiCad which is yet another powerful and simple software to create detailed and visually appealing models.

Rendering Software– Now once the three dimensional models are ready, the next step is to render or make the models realistic and visually appealing. This is done through the help of a number of software. Some of them are as follows.


Adobe Photoshop is a powerful tool by which one can render the plans, add effects to three dimensional views and much more. Other software’s such as Lumion and V-Ray are also popular in creating great renders as well as walkthroughs of the three dimensional models created. Something to be kept in mind is that many of the 3D software’s that we talked about (Revit, Google Sketch Up…) have provisions to take out renders in the same software itself. The main point of difference between these renders and the renders of proper rendering software’s is the quality achieved between the two.

Thus, these are some of the software’s used by architects to draft, create 3 dimensional models and create great renders for your buildings. So next time when you pass an architect working at a coffee shop don’t be stunned.