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Know of any floor-plan design software? for free??  RSS feed

 
Posts: 343
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I've often felt that some of people's ideas here on Permies would come across better if they were "sketched" rather than simply described verbally.  And I could develop some of my own ideas better if I knew of some free software to make floor plans with.

Anybody know of anything that's decent?  If so, what can you tell me about using it, and the outcome?  Thanks.
 
pollinator
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When you say "floor plan" do you mean like for designing for a house?

Sweet Home 3D is a free interior design application that helps you draw the plan of your house, arrange furniture on it and visit the results in 3D. It may run under Windows, Mac OS X 10.4 to 10.12, Linux and Solaris.
The free version of Sweet Home 3D application, the Furniture Library Editor and Textures Library Editor applications, as well as Sweet Home 3D JS library are distributed under the GNU General Public License; you can use them, copy them, redistribute them and/or modify them under the terms of that license as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.


http://sweethome3d.com/
SweetHome3D_GNU_software_by_Emmanuel_Puybaret_WikiMedia.org.png
[Thumbnail for SweetHome3D_GNU_software_by_Emmanuel_Puybaret_WikiMedia.org.png]
SweetHome3D GNU free / libre open source software by Emmanuel Puybaret, WikiMedia.org
 
pollinator
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Another option is Sketchup https://www.sketchup.com/ which has a massive use created "Warehouse" of designs and furniture etc... Including several woffati designs and Rockmass heaters.

Here is an example of a floor plan I worked up in Sketchup


It doesn't have to be a simple floor plan though, it can also be a 3D model, you can save it in layers as well and you can make it see through and so much more. One of the good things about Sketchup is it is highly used, so there are a lot of instructional tutorials on how to use it, as well as people creating stuff and sharing it for free. While Sketchup is maybe not the simplest program, it is fairly intuitive, and as you work with it you discover more and more functions and this expands what you can do. I keep restarting my designs as I learn more how to use Sketchup and realize I could do better than I had.
 
pollinator
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I simply use Excel. If you set the column widths to 3 and leave the rows at 18 it looks like 1/4 inch squares. To this old duffer it looks like the old 1/4 inch graph paper that we used to have and so I can draw scale drawings with that. It is very limited, but I use paid for programs for drawing buildings, blueprints and houses. But a quick drawing to post on Permies or for my own quick reference...I use Excel.

Create in Excel
Screen Capture
Paste to Paint
Convert to a JPEG
Post

This is a quick overview of my proposed sheep barn, the different colors representing phases of build, manure storage etc. I can scroll right down and look at the smallest 4 x 6 foot sheep pen, or way out like this and get a few acres into view. The second photo is the same Excel spreadsheet zoomed in. Then I can change spreadsheet pages and work up the numbers on what it would cost to build. I like that! The third photo shows those drawings worked up into material lists. In my case I use my own lumber so all these numbers crunch down into the yellow highlighted numbers: to build this barn I need 276 logs 12 feet long, and 12 logs 14 feet long. Excel really helps me find the critical information I need to build something. A slashed line may not look fancy, but it does not need to be, I know it is a gate. A light blue rectangle is where my stock tanks will go, etc.

Anyway that is how I use Excel to build things...







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2017-11-11-(2).jpg
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2017-11-11-(3).jpg
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Joel Bercardin
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Loxley Clovis wrote:When you say "floor plan" do you mean like for designing for a house?

Sweet Home 3D is a free interior design application that helps you draw the plan of your house, arrange furniture on it and visit the results in 3D. It may run under Windows, Mac OS X 10.4 to 10.12, Linux and Solaris.
The free version of Sweet Home 3D application, the Furniture Library Editor and Textures Library Editor applications, as well as Sweet Home 3D JS library are distributed under the GNU General Public License; you can use them, copy them, redistribute them and/or modify them under the terms of that license as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.


Thanks, Loxley.  Well, I'm thinking of a combo shop—a sort of modest-scale garage/general-homestead shop.  Something affordable and fairly simple to construct.  That program sounds like it could work for me.
 
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I am using Blender, combined with pencil, paper, ruler and compass.
Paper is just much faster, while blender allows photorealistic rendering (so you can even check how the light distributes!).
 
Joel Bercardin
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Thanks everybody.  I'll probably try several of these.
 
Sebastian Köln
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I forgot another very good tool: Inkscape

snapshot1.png
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Example of Blender
snapshot2.png
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Example of Inkscape
 
gardener
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I found SweetHome 3D to be the quickest one to learn and easiest to use. It has a few limitations but can be great for getting a rough feel of the space you are working with. We used it to design our home.
 
pollinator
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You know what the simplest thing for a layman is? sketching (tracing) paper, the very cheap one that comes in a big roll and some ballpoint. It is far easier to develop ideas if you manually draw than if yuo sit in front of a screen. You can always scan it later for sharing.
 
Shawn Klassen-Koop
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Angelika Maier wrote:You know what the simplest thing for a layman is? sketching (tracing) paper, the very cheap one that comes in a big roll and some ballpoint. It is far easier to develop ideas if you manually draw than if yuo sit in front of a screen. You can always scan it later for sharing.



I can see how for some people this would be a good fit. For us it was really helpful to have an electronic copy and then be able to make small tweaks and then save another version. By the time we were satisfied we had been through 30 different versions. Drawing them all out from scratch would have taken us a long time and likely discourage us from innovation. Still, power to you if you wish to use paper.
 
Posts: 550
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Pencil and graph or tracing paper is by far the best.
I have used everything and always go back to paper and pencil.
After its a house, not a nuclear submarine.
Just look at rooms of the size you want, measure them and then whip out the notebook [paper version] and takes notes.
I have found room sizing is where most people get tangled up with.
So start at room sizes first and work from there.
Think about number of rooms or joint spaces and it should fall into place.
Anymore than 4 attempts at a design are unnecessary in my mind
 
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