I am not asking for a specific product recommendation just for the name of this category of software if it even exists. I'm not looking for any sort of "BIM" complexity and I don't want to sketch in 3D using push-pull etc etc as in products like SketchUp. What I would like to do is enter some data via a dialog to define the object:


stud: 2x4
stud-length: 92"
stud spacing: 16" o.c.
length of wall: 24'

and then have the software generate the wall and display it in 3D. Then perhaps I could drag it where I wanted it to go. The software would "fabricate" the pieces of the building according to the supplied data and then let me drag and drop them where they need to go.

Same with a roof:

Roof-Type: asymmetric gable / saltbox
Ridge-Beam:  2x8
Ridge-Beam Length: 25'
Rafter: 2x6
Rafter Spacing: 24" o.c.
Slope#1: 12/12
Slope#2: 5/12

and then the software would generate the roof in 3D, calculating the angles.

Is there data-driven software that works like this for (DIY) construction framing projects and if so, what is this category of software called?

  • 1
    This needs to be migrated to Software Recommendations
    – FreeMan
    Apr 7 at 12:18
  • I am specifically not asking for a software recommendation but for the name of this category of software. It's not "BIM". It's not "3D modeling". It would have a DIY focus as its intended market, so not a product like Vertex.
    – mr blint
    Apr 7 at 12:22
  • 1
    I think this would be a feature rather than a category. CAD packages already provide object libraries that can be parametrized and configured by the end user. It's just a matter of finding a CAD package and object library that allows you to build the objects with the configurability you're looking for. It might be a third-party "framing" add-on to a CAD package, but not a category.
    – jay613
    Apr 7 at 12:36
  • 1
    Seems highly unlikely - the DIY focus is a market segment that does not yield the income that the professional CAD market does. So it would be hard to make it pay enough for someone to write it and support it.
    – Ecnerwal
    Apr 7 at 12:46
  • 1
    There used t be a cad program that had similar capabilities but was not full on auto cad called auto sketch I used it when I designed my shop. It won’t do truss calculations but you can lay them out, I also used it for several housed that we added rooms to. Except for truss design and any special footings like walls below grade that needed engineering stamps it was great for layout and all my county needed for the plan approval, I did have to have the prints copied to full sized blueprints for the job site and the county once approved but there was a local company that printed my files.
    – Ed Beal
    Apr 7 at 13:32

The type of software is a CAD software.

What you described is "Sketchup" with the "HouseBuilder" Extension added (the extension is free). If you don't want to sketch in 3D, just use the 2D template as a start and create the floorplan layout. Then use the "HouseBuilder" extension to create the framing on the edge of the floorplan.

The software works just as you described for placing walls with studs, top and bottom plates, It also does the roof framing. For a roof, you state the size of lumber, spacing, height, and roof angle. Watch this YouTube video on how it works. It’s about 5 minutes into this youtube video.

I am not an expert in Sketchup and just started learning from examples on Youtube, but was interested in how to quickly do the framing for a house. Doing framing with this extension was very simple. Each of the walls was created with two clicks, begin and endpoint.

enter image description here

The roof was created with 4 clicks, a click at each of the four corners.

enter image description here

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