Sweet Home 3D 1.8 review

If it’s been a while since you gave your home a revamp, and you just don’t know where to start, perhaps Sweet Home 3D can help. Written in Java, this cross-platform, 3D home design tool is an open source application for creating virtual environments. And it’s free – which is a price we always like.

Unusually, Sweet Home 3D launches directly from the application’s website, then installs on your desktop as an application. If you haven’t kept Java up to date you’ll be prompted to upgrade during the installation process.

The app’s easier to use than a mechanical tin opener, with just three panes to contend with in the main document window. On the left is a sidebar full of 3D models ready to drag and drop. Top right is the pan view where you’ll create your floorplans and bottom right is a 3D preview window.

To create a room you draw some walls in the plan view – a process that’s very intuitive. Control-click on walls, or any placed objects, to bring up a context-sensitive menu where you can access a properties dialogue. Once you’ve done this, you can numerically tweak measurements, change colours and upload textures. It’s one of the simplest 3D tools we’ve ever used.

Putting together a floor plan is very quick – our only real disappointment is in the lack of models bundled with the package. Everything can be customised though and there are more models available to download online.

You can also import models in popular formats like 3DS and OBJ. When you’ve created your layout, it can be saved for later tweaking or exported in vector graphics SVG format.

OUR VERDICT

There are several commercial interior design tools available. However, Sweet Home 3D gives you enough control over plans – and output – to make these pretty much redundant.

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