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I need a software that simulates a 3d building environment such that i can show components to be installed inside the building, for a presentation

I would prefer something that runs on windows, and is free, though paid choices are also welcome.

  • Do you need to build within it or do you need it to take something existing and convert it? Like would sketchup be a viable option? – Raystafarian Apr 3 '14 at 15:18
  • I need to append images, (like draw cameras and monitors in the model) or if that is not possible, at least mark points where this hardware will be installed. SKetchUp seems good – Eric Apr 4 '14 at 8:31
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    After using sketch up for a while I realized It does not offer the freedom I needed,such that to be able to properly view the inside of a building you have to cut out one wall. I found another program though (Sweet Home 3d.) which has the capability of staging virtual visit as well as drawing on predrawn picture layouts. – Eric Apr 11 '14 at 10:47
  • Thanks for the update, glad you found something that works for you! – Raystafarian Apr 11 '14 at 12:33
  • @Eric Please add that as an answer so everyone can benefit more - comments are not necessarily permanent. – Nick Dickinson-Wilde Jun 18 '14 at 14:09
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After using sketch up for a while I realized It does not offer the freedom I needed,such that to be able to properly view the inside of a building you have to cut out one wall. I found another program though, Sweet Home 3d which has the capability of staging virtual visit as well as drawing on predrawn picture layouts.

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I would recommend Graphisoft Archicad. It has a free 30-day trial and for students (ie with enrollment at a highschool->post secondary level with any accredited institution anywhere in the world) it has a renewable one year free educational license. Otherwise it is quite expensive. It is the gold-standard of building design/rendering (though there are competing products that could probably be argued are as good). You can do photo-realist rendering (though I haven't advanced to that point - since I haven't needed that feature so I haven't bothered to learn it yet)

It has a large library of built in BIM Objects (ie bookcase, tables, chairs, plants, people etc) and there are a lots available for download elsewhere as well - for example BIMObject.

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Check this out http://smartreality.co/

Its an Augmented Reality app that you can use with a tablet to visualise a 3d building over a blueprint. The coolest part is that they are also looking at implementing Oculus Rift and Leap Motion support so you can actually walk through a building and interact with stuff inside it like doors and windows.

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  • When answering and recommending software I believe you should include 1) Personal experiences. You should also recommend an app/program etc.... that you have used yourself. – Izumi-reiLuLu Jun 19 '14 at 23:40
  • @アズーサ Oh I'm sorry. I saw a demo of their software and recommended it on that basis. Should I delete the answer? – AragornStack Jun 20 '14 at 2:18
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In Sketchup you can access the inside of a building in a few ways:

  1. mark a wall as hidden geometry and view only unhidden geometry, it allows "click through"
  2. make section planes (a bit advanced functionality but doable)
  3. use the 'mark spot' in - and/or 'step through' a building functionality
  4. zoom in onto a wall, and you'll go "through" it, but I would not recommend that feature, because it is a non reproducible function. Option 4 might deliver different results every time you do it. You also could end up 'in' a wall instead of going through it.

Sketchup allows rendering of images over geometry too.

A feature of Sketchup is that you can record a series of transformations of so called 'scenes' (into a video). Your tour through a closed building can be made upfront and re-run at will.

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