How can you get free architectural software?


Quick Answer

As of November 2015, several freeware architectural software packages are available for download from their respective websites, including Sweet Home 3D by eTeks, SketchUp by Trimble, and DesignWorkshop Lite by Artifice. Those who seek a free, Web-based option so that they don't have to download files to their computers can use Autodesk Homestyler.

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Full Answer

In addition to programs that are completely free, the developers of a number of commercial products allow users to access their software without charge in certain circumstances. Acca Software offers its Edificius architectural program under the unusual pricing scheme of making the software free to use but charging for any printouts made. Students and educators can take advantage of a free, three-year license offered by Autodesk for its AutoCAD Architecture product. Students and teachers also have the option of receiving a no-charge, one-year license for ARCHICAD from GRAPHISOFT, but all physical printouts made with the educational version of this software contain watermarks.

ProgeCAD USA offers a 30-day free trial of its progeCAD software, as does Chief Architect with its eponymous architecture program. Envisioneer Construction Suite by Cadsoft contains four architecture-related programs that users can try for 30 days without paying anything; however, there are limitations on printing, exporting and other specific features of the software package.

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