The fact that 3D technology is here to stay is not a scoop to anyone. The fact that it has reached architectural companies isn´t one either. The question that lingers on is whether it can or can´t replace all the other methods that architects, designers and engineers have been using for decades. Read on as we go deeper into the role that 3D rendering might play on most future architectural projects.

3D rendering and the present architecture

When asked about the title question, many architects in the world will answer with a negative. How is it that they answer with a negative when 3D rendering is the benchmark presentation method for almost all current architectural building projects? That is exactly why: 3D rendering is not at all the future of architectural projects, but the very present. Where the tricky part lays at is at the design moment. Architectures have been designing and “building” in paper for the last three to four decades at the very least. So, how does it all come together in the end?

Proportion and scale

With the use of 3D rendering technology, architects can create an image of their design that is so close to the final result that it is possible to measure proportions and scales in the 3D-modelling intuitively. This is such a step forward for architects that may of the old ways of doing it are not only  left aside for being outdated, but also because they need more time, calculation and craft than 3D modeling programs require. In short, proportion and scale are more easily measurable with 3D modeling programs than without them for architects.

Lighting, ventilation and acoustics

Through the use of close-to-reality models, architects, engineers, and constructors can visualize some future properties of the building like lighting, acoustic and ventilations. Most 3D rendering programs can provide a very accurate simulation of how these phenomenon will occur inside the new building. In old days, architects had to design, draw in two dimensions and then make tons of measurements to better predict how will ventilation, lighting and sound affect those working or living in a building. In present times in which natural lighting has become more precious to home owners and commercial-buildings users, the position of windows and doors can be crucial decisions to keep a client satisfied and happy. With the new 3D technology, it is possible to simulate it and avoid committing any mistakes.

3D rendering software today

The history of 3D rendering goes back to the year 1960 and it is something to thank the airplane industry for. The prestigious company that came up with the concept was Boeing with William Fetter as the main responsible. He came up with a computer graphic that resembled the human form which he named “computer graphic”. The task was to better distribute the ergonomics of a human within the cockpit of airplanes so that they could use the autopilot at its best and take a full nap in between point A and point B.

What Mr. Fetter didn´t know is that he was creating a whole new industry that would shape the world in the next century. Nowadays, the amount of software for 3D design, development and creation is huge. Most big architectural-software companies have either adapted their programs or joined other companies to have a piece of what´s coming next.

Some companies are also delivering free software to do it, such is the case of Google with their SketchUp. Others are specializing in very precise, high-end technology like Maya, Rhinoceros and VRAY.

Architectural applications

3D renders provide a very powerful tool for architects who want to test their designs in real life spending little money. With this first approximation to the final building, they can test design strengths and flaws and have a better, more flowing feedback from the clients.

One of the latest incarnations of this way to see the finalized projects is to create what is now known as “architectural scenes”. This new trend is a way to picture the inside of a building completely with textures, interior furnishing and more. These scenes are pictures of everyday actions being carried out at common places in the buildings.

Conclusion

The present time of architectural design is largely based on 3D rendering and the trend doesn´t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. In the past are several other methods like blueprints, 2D rendering and many more. in the future what can be seen is virtual reality taking over the scene and providing yet another plateau for the customer experience when attempting to purchase or build a house. It is already being implemented but at a shorter scale than 3D rendering is at right now. Keep an eye on virtual reality and get over the 3D rendering boat before it is too late.

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