10 Popular Online Collaboration Tools for Architectural Projects
10 Popular Online Collaboration Tools for Architectural Projects

No architectural project can come to fruition without the collaboration between the different parties involved in its execution. This is primarily obvious in the beginning stages of the project where everyone gets to pitch their ideas and come up with the most creative design.

If you want your project to be of high quality, finished quickly, and as cost-efficient as possible, focus on collaboration between all professionals before the construction phase of the project.

As a 3D designer, you know how important other’s input is, and you know how often clients tend to change their minds. This is why open communication and good cooperation is essential, it can mean the difference between a successful project and a failure.

It might have been more difficult to collaborate well in the past, but nowadays you have access to many online collaboration tools that will make your life and your architectural project easier to deal with.


Converting your 3D design into a 2D image just so you can share it with your coworkers and clients is a thing of the past. Not only is it a bad representation of your work, but it can also be difficult explaining all the aspects of your design. There are plenty of software tools out there that can present your 3D models, but not everyone can access the design.

Modelo was created as a solution for this. Because it utilizes WebGL, a JavaScript API that allows you to show 3D designs in any web browser without the need for additional software, your models can be accessed from any device, any time.

This makes collaboration between architects, designers, and clients much easier. Modelo also uses a customized rendering engine and compression algorithm which makes the file size of your 3D models much smaller and easier to share.


Vectary is one of the easiest 3D design tools out there. It is suitable for both beginners and designers with years of experience under their belts, and it has countless fun features.  

One of the most important innovations that came with the newest version, Vectary 2.0, might be its collaborative feature. Now, up to 3 designers can simultaneously work on a single 3D scene.

Collaboration is as simple as a click of the mouse. All that the user needs to do is click the “Invite” button and share the generated URL, and it’s done. In this regard, it’s kind of like Google Docs.

It has many other useful features like real-time rendering, drag-and-drop design, and more. You can get this tool for free, but there’s also a premium version available. With the premium version, you get to import and export 2D and 3D files and work on 100 personal projects.


SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD software is a tool that will allow you to be more efficient and finish your project in record time. There are 3 editions available at different price points, and those include Standard, Professional, and Premium packages.

All the packages have 3D design capabilities, however, Professional and Premium editions are better for collaboration with powerful design features.

You can very easily add notes or markups by writing directly on the screen of your touch device. Everything will be visible to the other members of your design team, regardless of which workstation they’re using.

Some of its other features include file management tools, advanced photorealistic rendering, reverse engineering, wire and pipe routing functionality, and more.


Another very useful tool for 3D designers is AutoCAD. You can design anything you want in AutoCAD, your only limit is your imagination. It offers some of the most popular 3D designs, services, and software that are available today.

It also has specialized toolsets for different industries, including AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD Electrical, AutoCAD Mechanical, and more.

You can easily design every detail, and all of your files are very accessible. Even if you’re working on the go, you can access your files through the AutoCAD mobile app.

Collaboration through desktop, cloud, and mobile and all of its additional features will make your project much easier to work on.

AutoCAD offers a 30-day free trial period, so it’s recommended that you give it a try.


IronCAD has great modeling and rendering capabilities, and it’s a favorite tool of many designers. It offers you the ability to use a single tool to manage your entire design process from start to finish, meeting all of your 3D modeling, drafting, and rendering needs.

Its intuitive platform mirrors the interaction with the physical world, and designers are free to explore their design ideas without needing to plan everything out in advance.

3D models are easily available to marketing and sales teams, coworkers and clients, and all the 3D models require just one file, it doesn’t matter how simple or complex it is. This makes your designs more easily shareable, encouraging collaboration and increased productivity.

This software ensures that everyone involved can have a say in the design before it moves on to the next stage.

Fusion 360

Fusion 360 is a cloud-based platform that works on both Macs and PCs, allowing you to connect the whole product development process in a single platform.

Fusion 360 has a great set of tools for pretty much everything. Of course, it has all the standard modeling tools, and it offers environments for creating surfaces and sheet metal parts, you can create animations, photorealistic renderings, and drawings. Nearly every aspect of your design can be finished through this single platform.

Your models can be easily tested as well. You can test fit and motion, perform simulations with features such as static stress or thermal analysis.

Since Fusion 360 is a cloud-based platform, anyone can access your files from anywhere, allowing for a simpler collaboration no matter where you are.


Onshape is one of the first cloud-based 3D CAD systems and the only full-cloud one. Everyone on your design team can work together on any device, PCs, phones, or tablets, using any web browser. Everyone gets secure and simultaneous access to the master file, making cooperation a piece of cake and your design team more productive and efficient.

You can keep all your files, including PDFs, Word Documents, Excell Sheets, etc. in a single Onshape document, which can save you precious time and keep you organized.

Onshape software is regularly updated, ensuring you’re always on track with the latest advancements and software development.

They offer Standard, Professional, and Enterprise packages, so you can choose the one that fits your needs best.


BricsCAD is one of the most reliable and affordable tools for your project, with great prices for each of their editions (Classic, Pro, and Platinum). It has the familiar .dwg CAD features, making it easy to use with a minimal learning curve, saving you time and money.

The application is open to 3rd party developers, making it excellent for those who want to scale past the AutoCAD horizon. Collaboration is once again made easier thanks to cloud computing technology, which allows you to freely share your BIM designs.

Among its more important features are the intelligent quad cursor, drawing explorer, web map services, settings manager, dockable panels, dynamic arrays, and more.

BricsCAD offers a 30-day free trial, so designers can see whether this tool suits them.

Solid Edge  

Siemens’ Solid Edge was designed with small and medium-sized businesses in mind and boasts affordable prices with great features. The combination of its history-based modeling and Synchronous Technology makes this tool one of the designers’ favorites.

Some of its key features include easy revision, data management, fast and flexible 3D modeling using modeling tools that are not limited by the constraints of the traditional CAD software.

You have the ability to work offline, and you can also share your designs and collaborate with coworkers and clients using cloud-based file sharing software.

With a free trial, you can check out everything that Solid Edge has to offer.

SketchUp Pro

SketchUp Pro is one of the easiest CAD programs to use and it offers some fantastic features. Suitable for novice 3D designers and experienced professionals, everyone finds this tool satisfying and useful. Customizable toolbar and large icons allow even the slowest of learners to grasp this program.

SketchUp Pro is very interoperable and you can combine it with other tools in your toolbox. With virtual and augmented reality devices, you can present your project to anyone, and if you want to work on the project simultaneously with your team members, you can get the Trimble Connect extension.

Prices for this tool vary depending on the edition you’d like to try, but it’s still one of the more affordable options for designers.

Without proper tools and software, a collaboration between teams, designers, architects, and clients would be next to impossible. With more opportunities to work with overseas clients, people of different cultures and backgrounds, focusing on collaboration is more important than ever.

Online collaboration tools like SketchUp, Modelo, SolidWorks, Vectary, and others can make your work much easier and allow you to share creative ideas, cut costs, and be more productive.