Autodesk as a company is well known for producing some of the best 3D design and architecture software in the world including AutoCAD, Revit, 3DS Max and Maya. Now they are eyeing the home consumer market with the launch of DragonFly – a web based do-it-yourself home design and interior decoration tool.
DragonFly, in simply English, is like an online version of Google Sketchup that’s free, intuitive and very powerful. Anyone with a web browser (DragonFly is written in Adobe Flex so you need the Flash player) can draw floor plans and impressive house designs in minutes.
Step 1: You start with a blank drawing canvas, build the basic structure in 2D space (using walls, doors, windows, etc.) and then do the interior design by dragging furniture, floor decor, lights, etc. on to the canvas.
Step 2: Once the basic drawing (or plan) is ready, click the 3D button to view your drawing in perspective. A professional architect and an interior designer may charge a few thousand bucks for a similar service but here you are free to design (and discard) as many virtual plans as you like until you get the look you have in mind.
Step 3: You can export the completed drawing in the DWG (a universal format accepted by most architectural software) or in RVT so that your architect can open your drawing inside Revit.
Alternatively, you may print the design in either 2D or as a 3D realistic image along with exact dimensions (feet or meters) of each and every object used in the floor plan.
Autodesk DragonFly provides a vast library of 3D objects and textures similar to SketchUp’s 3D warehouse. Kitchen appliances, Bath fitting, light fixtures, appliances, doors, windows, paintings, flooring patters.. name a thing and you are likely to find that in the online gallery. All these items are resizable so everything on the drawing stays in proportion.
Whether you are looking to remodel & refurnish your existing home or building a new house from scratch, DragonFly is a perfect design tool for visualizing your ideas in realistic 3D images. The only missing component are walk-through videos that help you take a fly-around tour of the home from inside as well outside. I think the pro version of Google Sketchup can do that.