This is a collection of 5 top free and premium software tools for interior designers. It includes both free floor planning software and free 3D design software tools.
Do you want to become a good interior designer? I know that if you are reading this article then your answer must be YES!!
Now think about a swimmer without proper swimming gears… would you be able to compete with the best swimmers?
You may say yes, but 95 out of 100 competitors will fail to achieve.
To achieve a flawless design you must ensure that your work is done with precision. You cannot rely on simple paper and pencil to achieve precise work.
That’s Crazy !!
Today, even an entry-level designer is expected to be aware of more than one computer-aided design (CAD) tool to design and plan interiors.
Hand drawn designs are out of fashion and literally, no one prefers them, especially if you are doing a job in interior design firms.
To help them, I have collected some of the best software for interior designers.
Many of these softwares are only available as a premium purchase, but I also found an excellent free software for 3D design for interior designers and a free floor plan software for interior designers
Best Free and Premium Software for Interior Designers
Here is a list of some free and premium 3D design softwares and free floor plan softwares that can be super helpful for budding as well as experienced interior designers…
1. SketchUp – Free / $695
This is the free 3D design software that I was talking about. It also comes with a premium purchase option which is discussed below.
It was previously under the ownership of Google from 2006 to 2012.
I know this information is not that relevant, but as it was previously associated with Google, you can guess its reputation within the interior design industry.
SketchUp is considered to be one of the best 3D design software available in the market. You can use it for professional purpose as well as for the purpose of educating your students.
This popular 3D modeling computer program is one of the most basic interior design software to begin with.
Known for its easy to use and learn interface, SketchUp is available in three versions,
- SketchUp Make (free version),
- SketchUp Pro (Purchase for $695), and
- SketchUp for School (With Student or Educator Licence)
However, because of its basic nature, extensively professional interior designers may find it hard while using it.
They may find it difficult while modeling complex surfaces and visualize complex 3D models using SketchUp.
Therefore, SketchUp introduced an online open source library of free model assemblies called 3D Warehouse, which supports third-party plugins.
This was mainly done in order to improve the functionality of the software and extend its usability to a long range of works.
2. 3Ds Max – $1505 / year
Moving on with 3D interior design software tools, 3Ds Max from Autodesk is another popular one under the category.
This one is pretty simple in functionality and easy to learn. It is most widely used by interior design students as well as professional interior designers.
Autodesk’s 3Ds Max provides excellent tools for rendering, simulating and visualizing interiors. It comes in 3 mostly taken subscription plans:
- $190 Monthly Subscription Plan
- $1505 One Year Subscription Plan
- $4063.50 Three Year Subscription Plan (Save 10%)
Though the software is pretty easy, to begin with, and getting used to, it includes a ton of functionalities and also offers a flexible architecture plugin to support many third-party applications.
Study material and tutorial videos are abundantly available on the internet making 3Ds Max more easy to learn.
3. AutoCAD – $1575 / year
Moving up the ladder, Autodesk AutoCAD is one of the most essential but difficult software tools used in interior design.
Regardless of its complexity, AutoCAD is the most popular software that is used in almost all architectural and interior design firms, making it a must learn software tool for interior designers.
Known for its super-realistic details and high productivity tools, AutoCAD is one of the Autodesk’s most popular product ever in the history.
This 3D premium interior design software tool comes in three most popular Subscription plans:
- $195 Monthly Subscription Plan
- $1575 One Year Subscription Plan
- $4252.50 Three Year Subscription Plan (Save 10%)
AutoCAD offers excellent tools for 3D animation and visualization of interiors to realize hyper-realistic and detailed visions of any proposed design plan.
4. Revit BIM – $2250 / year
Now, this Autodesk product is also a leading interior design software tool in the industry. The devil’s name is Revit BIM.
Unlike the above mentioned 3D design software, Revit BIM is an exclusive product for architects and interior designers.
Revit BIM software includes features for architectural design, MEP and structural engineering, and construction. Revit also supports a multidiscipline, collaborative design process.
Highly technical in nature, Autodesk Revit is a building design and construction software that enables professionals to digitally construct buildings and models with a consistent and coordinated model-based approach.
Unlike other 3D design software, Revit BIM is rated a bit higher in terms of pricing. Still, I will suggest the 3rd plan as the best among the following:
- $280 Monthly Subscription Plan
- $2250 One Year Subscription Plan
- $2755 All in One Subscription Plan (Includes Revit + AutoCAD + more and Saves up to 50%)
Specifically built for Building Information Modeling (BIM), Revit BIM allows to create plans, elevations, and sections in a quick manner.
To be a successful interior designer, creativity alone won’t suffice. You have to master over highly technical software tools like Revit BIM as well.
5. Planner 5D – Free
Planner 5D is the most extensive free 2D and 3D design software/application for interior designers on the market.
It is a free floor plan software unless you want to expand particular functions, such as HD rendering and full catalog access, etc.
It’s easy to design rooms down to the smallest architectural details, including windows, stairs, and partitions.
Don’t stop at interiors; it also lets you do landscaping and pools, all with stunning 3D graphics.
This application can be used for free, except for some premium features. This 3D design cum free floor planning software is available in the following two versions:
- Planner 5D Freeware
- Planner 5D Premium (up to $50 per premium feature)
It works on every single device, be it DeskTop, Mobile or a Tab. It simply gives an extra edge to your interior design skills.
With its Virtual Reality feature on, this application can extend its boundary beyond any conventional 3D design or free floor plan software tool.
Compared to the traditional method of hand-drawn designs and renderings, it is a lot easier to design and redesign using these software tools as they enable innumerable iterations.
In addition, the output is simply better and hyper-realistic when compared to the former, thus making it easy for interior designers to visualize and express their ideas better.