One of the biggest decisions to make when setting out alone - either as an independent architect or starting your own firm - is which software to use. It can be tempting to simply choose an industry leader, but you may end up paying over the odds for a product which doesn't suit your style. In this post, originally published on ArchSmarter as "Which architectural software is right for me?" Michael Kilkelly works through the factors that should influence your decision, whether you're making it for the first time or reviewing a choice you made long ago.
Which CAD or BIM software should you use? Well, that depends. What functionality to you need? What are your priorities with regard to cost, comparability, interoperability? Are you using a Mac or a PC?
Determining which software to use can be a tricky process. There are a lot of choices our there and the marketing material doesn’t always help you understand your full options. Not to mention, software is an expensive tool that is essential to your work. You need the right tool for the work you do but you also don’t want to spend money on features you’re not going to use.
I put together the above flowchart to help you select the best software based on several criteria. The criteria listed are based solely on my opinion either using the software or through my own research. I’ve included a list of all the applications and their websites below. If I missed any programs, please let me know in the comments on ArchSmarter and I’ll update the flowchart accordingly.
Find out more about the software packages featured in the flowchart via the links below:
- Chief Architect
- ProgeCAD Architecture
- TurboCAD Pro Platinum