Online applets can be used to design a home in 3-D.
Drawing up house plans in 3-D is a project you can complete with a number of free programs, including Web applets. These programs have tools that make home design easy for nondesigners, in contrast to the complex toolset found in programs like AutoCAD, which are used primarily by professional architects and other designers. When you begin designing your home, it’s best to browse and learn from several existing plans. Doing this will spark ideas that you can implement in your design, and also help you avoid pitfalls during this implementation.
Design a Home with Small Blue Printer
1. Make a rough sketch, on paper, of the floor plan of each room in your home. Base you sketch on the needs of each person who’ll live in your home. For example, ensure there’s a recreation area, if any of the home’s occupants will be children. Also, sketch young children’s bedrooms near the parents’ master bedroom.
2. Browse to the Small Blue Printer homepage listed in this article’s Resources section, then click the link that reads “Start using smallblueprinter.”
3. Click the “Sample Plan” button, then click one of the four plan options that appear.
4. Click the “Isometric View” to see a 3-D view of the current floor plan. Then click the “Design” tab to begin editing the plan.
5. Conform the floor plan to your step 1 sketch: Click and drag walls, windows and doors to move them. Rotate or resize objects by clicking the rotate or resize tools in the palette at the right of the drawing window.
6. Click the “Isometric Tab” at periodic intervals to see your plan in 3-D.
7. Print your plan by clicking the “Print” tab.
Design a Home with Homestyler
8. Point your browser to the Homestyler home page listed in Resources, then click the “Gallery” tab and browse through the designs. Select, by clicking the “Use This Design” button, a design that closely matches the rough sketch you made in this article’s first section.
9. Click and drag the plan’s objects to reposition them. Rotate objects by dragging the yellow icons displaying curved arrows. Resize objects by hovering the mouse pointer over an edge of the object, then dragging a white arrow.
10. Add new objects as needed by your sketch: Select object categories from the vertically aligned tabs (e.g., “Brands,” “Landscape”) that edge the tool palette to the right of the drawing area. Click the objects themselves, inside the palette. Drag them onto the drawing area.
11. View your plan in 3-D by clicking the “View in 3-D” icon in the right part of the drawing area.
12. Save your plan by clicking the disk icon in the upper left of the drawing area.
Design a Home with Floor Planner
13. Surf to the Floor Planner link listed in Resources, then click the “Demo” link at the top of the home page.
14. Click the “Create Your Own,” then click the “Start with an Empty Room” icon. Click one of the icons in the gallery that appears, then click “Start.”
15. Type the dimensions needed for your house, then click “Start.”
16. Drag items from the “Library” or “Construction” palettes onto your home’s plan. Resize and position walls by dragging the walls. Rotate and size other objects by clicking their square and curved handles.
17.View your plan in 3-D by clicking the “3-D” button at the upper right portion of the screen.
18. Save your plan by clicking the disk icon in the upper left of the screen.