Home Design Studio
Punch Home Design Studio artfully straddles both poles, combining architectural drafting tools with 3D-prototyping capabilities. With powerful features such as photo-realistic rendering (on the right machine) and a slew of blueprint creation tools, Home Design Studio has many uses.
You could make the floor plans for a brand new house and create a dream home. You could copy the existing layout of your current quarters for planning home improvements. Home Design Studio gives you the tools, it’s up to you how you apply them.
With such a powerful program you can’t expect to be creating perfect plans out of the box – and we were disappointed to find that the package lacked any interactive tutorials. You do get a nice thick printed manual, though, which takes you through the interface step by step, in simple language, with clear illustrations.
Home Design Studio’s main workspace provides tools for drawing plans in the customary overhead view. To draw an exterior wall, for example, you click on the appropriate icon and draw a straight line on screen. The program does the rest. The dimensions of any object you draw can be tweaked using a context-sensitive palette. There are tabs to add other elements to your plan too, from foundations to plumbing. Interior objects and decorations can be found in a content palette. When it’s done you can hit the LiveView button to see your plan in 3D, using the mouse to move the camera around your new home.
Whether you’re a design professional looking for a prototyping tool or an enthusiastic DIYer with the home-improvement bug, Home Design Studio is worth a viewing.