Top Applications Architects Are Using Today to Be More Productive? (Questions/Answers)


Could You Be More Effective by Adopting One of These Top Applications for Architects?

One man once said, “Knowing is half the battle.”

Because you’re so busy running your business, you don’t have time to keep on top of the developments in desktop software and mobile applications for architects. So, we’ve done the work for you! Let’s start with the CAD desktop software.

TurboCAD Deluxe


  • Hatching
  • Light effects
  • 2D & 3D
  • Some file compatibility with the bigger software players
  • Mac & PC
  • Inexpensive
  • Simpler learning curve than other options
  • Unlimited support
  • Customizable toolbars


  • No command tool
  • Doesn’t have some features of more advanced programs
  • Less power than more advanced programs



  • Photorealistic rendering
  • User-Friendly
  • Customizable toolbars
  • File compatibility for export/import
  • Mac or PC
  • 2D & 3D Drawing
  • Annotations on design
  • Cloud functions
  • Hatching
  • Light effects
  • Adjust transparency
  • Unlimited support


  • Subscription-based purchase only
  • Learning curve
  • 3D better in more complex software options
  • SketchUp Pro


  • PC & Mac
  • Mid-range pricing
  • Cloud capable
  • Some file compatibility
  • Simple user interface
  • Customizable toolbars
  • 2D & 3D
  • Photorealistic rendering


  • Support at an extra subscription cost
  • Not compatible with STEP, DGN, or DWF
  • No wall tool
  • No house wizard



  • BIM component
  • Collaborative environment
  • Site topography accuracy
  • Extremely detailed
  • Photorealistic renderings
  • 3D & 2D built simultaneously
  • Conflict feedback
  • 3D rendering is at the top of the market
  • Architectural, Structural, Technical
  • Customizable via API
  • Big library of pre-configured objects
  • Cloud capable and cloud friendly
  • Compatible with most other necessary software


  • Project can’t be narrowed to link to specific elements
  • 3D display limitations
  • Files can’t be migrated to older file versions
  • Takes up a lot of computing space
  • Expensive
  • Not PC compatible
  • Complex – steep learning curve



  • 2D or 3D
  • Compatible with Windows 10 Windows Ink – finger & pen sketching
  • Mouse gestures up to 12
  • Group features into a folder
  • Mirror 3D sketches
  • Wizard that checks for structural design flaws
  • Subscription includes support


  • Requires professional training
  • Hefty subscription payment yearly
  • PC only

Catia V5


  • A big program for serious professionals
  • 2D & 3D
  • More creative options than other software solutions
  • More design options than other software solutions
  • Greater editing control than other software solutions


  • Expensive
  • Steep learning curve
  • Requires professional training

What Areas or Features Should You be Considering When it Comes to Efficiency for Your Office?

  • Support – Look for companies that offer support within their pricing structure. Ideally, they should have email, phone, and instant messaging support.
  • User-Friendly – You’re going to be looking at the program and using it for hours on end. Pick one that has both a pleasing “look and feel” but also one that fits with how you already work.
  • File Compatibility – Make sure that the software is compatible with DGN, DWF, DXF, and DWG at a minimum.
  • Editing & Design Tools – The editing and design tools in your new program should be more expansive than the toolset that you’ve used in the past. This will give you room to grow within the program.
  • Budget-Friendly – Although a serious consideration, buy the best software that you can within the budget that you have. Be aware that some of the options available are subscription-based in their pricing structure and include updates while others are a one-time software purchase that will necessitate the purchase of upgrades in the future.

What About Smartphone and Tablets Applications for Architects?

  • Morpholio Trace (iOS) – Use this app as virtual tracing paper to draw and make notations over images.
  • Concept Idea Calculator (iOS) – Use this app to virtually test a variety of materials for possible use in a project.
  • Graphisoft BIMx (iOS) – Use this app as a virtual walkthrough to help clients and colleagues visualize a project before it has been constructed.
  • Houzz (iOS/Android) – Use this app to get the interior and exterior design inspiration that you need.
  • MagicPlan (iOS/Android) – Use this app to change your camera into a virtual measuring tape, estimator, and floor plan creator when you’re on a job site.
  • Paper (iOS) – Use this app to sketch with a stylus – as if you’re tablet was a paper notebook.
  • Sketchbook (iOS/Android) – Use this app to hand-draw images with a stylus on your tablet and then transfer for desktop use later.
  • iRhino 3D (iOS) – Use this app to check out your 3D models on the go.
  • AutoCAD 360 (iOS/Android) – Use this app to view and mark up your Revit or AutoCAD files from anywhere.

What about the rest of my IT system? Are all these desktop and mobile applications compatible?

Asking about compatibility with your current computers and mobile devices is a good idea. Another question you should be asking is about integration – making the new software “talk” to what you already have, to provide greater efficiency. For answers to these questions, give the Sobo team a call. We’d be happy to help you walk through application choices and the steps you need to take to implement and secure the software you choose.

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