Architects are spending more and more time on their devices each day, it’s no wonder considering the rapid creation of mobile applications built to to help users conceptualise and ideate their designs.
To help you navigate though which design and architectural apps are on our radar, here is a list of our favourite apps for architects or designers. Even if only used occasionally they’re sure to make your working life easier and more productive.
With the boom in the application designing industry and the competition amongst them, the quality has improved greatly over the past couple of years. We have scoured through hundreds of apps and collections to compile this list.
– Morpholio trace (iOS)
The iPad app carries tracing paper, an essential yet stubbornly analog creative tool, into the digital realm. Trace allows users to draw on top of imported images or background templates and layer comments or ideas to generate easily sharable drawings.
– Autocad 360 (Free IOS And Android)
Autocad 360 is the official Autocad mobile app which lets you upload, open and edit DWG files anytime, anywhere. This app allows you to view and edit 2D or 3D drawings and, with an AutoCAD 360 subscription, allows files to work seamlessly between a whole range of devices and platforms.
– Autodesk Formit (iOS and Android)
The application was recently updated with the real-world site information and the location-aware Shadow Study tool with which you just shouldn’t feel afraid to explore. You can even import the site image from the satellite. If you are not satisfied with the quality of your models made in a mobile device, you can export them later and edit them on your computer to improve them. And how can I forget you can back it up on cloud and share it with others just with a tap.
– MagicPlan (iOS/Android)
MagicPlan is, well, magic. It takes advantage of the devices camera and augmented reality to create floor plans of rooms. All you have to do is stand and point your device and it does the rest of the work. You can then export these drawings as a PDF, JPG, or DXF. It takes a bit of getting used to at first but, once mastered, is quite accurate.
– SketchUp Mobile Viewer for ios/Android.
The viewing app is used for 3D SketchUp models. It provides measurement tools, dimensions, as well as, section and plans views. It can be used to download 3D models from SketchUp’s Warehouse to the smartphone.
Autodesk sells its popular Sketchbook app as “an intuitive painting and drawing application designed for people of all skill levels who love to draw.” This focus on a universal audience by no means counts it out as a great professional tool for architects, though.
– Sunseeker (iOS/Android)
An invaluable tool for identifying the ideal orientation for new structures while out on site, ozPDA’s intelligent solar path system enables users to find the correct sun position and path for their current location using GPS and magnetometer.
– Graphisoft BIMx (iOS)
Introducing Hyper-models – Graphisoft’s term for describing BIM on mobile devices – has the potential to make BIM even more popular. As an app that can be used by every member of a project’s design and construction teams, it’s worth checking out.
– iRhino 3D (iOS only)
This app will provide you the opportunity to view any Rhino 3DM file on your mobile device. It is useful to showcase your models when you do not have your laptop easy-to-hand.
– iHandy Level Free (iOS/Android)
A free digital tool that allows you to check the level of surfaces using only your cell phone thanks to the built-in accelerometer. This pocket leveler features a traditional bubble level interface and also a digital display of the current angle, measured in degrees from the horizontal.
– My measures (iOS & Android)
Powerful application for storing and sharing object dimensions. All you have to do is take a photo of an object and add dimensions: arrows, angles, photos of details and equip them with text comments for easier understanding.
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