The technology revolution is changing the way most industries operate and has had a particularly immense impact on the design industry — from interior design to architecture and graphic design.
With the popularity of smart phones and tablets, mundane tasks have become less time-consuming as advancing software continues to speed up the production of drawings, computation and site analysis. Apps can also help architects and designers with other job fundamentals as well, like creating colour combinations and drafting floor plans.
While looking at the latest advancements in design technology, MEA has come across a number of mobile apps that are being lauded by architects and designers alike, and rounded up the top five from this year.
ARKi is a real-time augmented reality visualisation service for architectural models. Producing architectural visualisation in-house, the app provides bespoke AP apps that are unique for each project. By incorporating AR technology within the architectural design process, ARki is able to visualise 3D models for both design and presentation purposes, helping to create an immersive visualisation technique with multiple layers of interactivity.
The app can be used on any iOS or android device, and allows the user to explore 3D data with an added level of navigational freedom. ARki is also able to visualise models in any environment without the need for printed markers or floorplans.
Self-proclaimed ‘the future of professional design’, Concepts combines paper and pencil with powerful vector manipulation. Architects can make quick sketches, illustrations or precise drawings with ease. The app offers infinite canvas and layers, flexible multi-touch shape guides, vector manipulation with advanced transforms, and the ability to export sketched to standardised formats like CAD. Its precision tools include multi-touch shape guides, automatic measurements and snap-to- sketching.
Founded by four architects who wanted smarter mobile tools for all phases of the design process, Morpholio’s app, Trace, is a drawing app for architects and designers that uses analog tools of trace paper, technical pens, rulers, triangles and stencils. The app has also recently incorporated augmented reality, letting users uncover virtual perspective grids to scale.
Not a particularly new software, AutoCAD nonetheless remains one of the most popular apps for architects. Its mobile app tool is designed especially for CAD users on-site, enabling them to create, view, edit and share CAD drawings at anytime from anywhere. Available for iOS, android and windows, the AutoCAD mobile app allows users of any device to present their projects to clients, enabling real collaboration between stakeholders through simple access. Moreover, some of its features are still accessible even when offline.
An easy-to-use application, PadCAD is designed for small to medium sized projects, such as home additions, remodelling projects, cabinetry work and site surveys. With PadCAD, architects can produce clean and clear CAD drawings at faster rates. Not a full blown CAD application, PadCAD still allows users to export their drawings into popular formats like PDF. Some of its main features include intuitive finger-based drawing and editing, fine-tune controls for precision, unlimited undo and redo, and the integration of your device’s built-in camera.