Home improvement and renovation industries have been booming lately. The latest achievements and advancement in modern technology have made a lot of previously unimaginable things possible. It’s possible to reimagine any outdoor and indoor living space if you find the right contractor or use the right tool to do it.
The reason why we say “the right contractor” is because any landscape project, no matter how simple or complex, requires thorough planning. The homeowner and the contractor must work together to come up with a solution that will fit both parties.
If a contractor is still clinging to the “pen and pencil” traditional ways, that might do it, but you can achieve so much more if you choose a contractor that harnesses the power and potential of the most advanced landscape design software.
These tech tools are specifically designed to help contractors take homeowners’ ideas and make them come to life. Instead of making plans by hand, contractors and professional landscape artists can use landscape design software tools to do amazing things in terms of communicating ideas between their clients and them.
With that in mind, let’s see what the best free rendering software for 3D visualization landscape design are, their features, pros, and cons.
If you’re a landscaping contractor or just a DIY homeowner looking for the most effective home improvement solutions, you can benefit from using landscape design software in two significant ways:
So, let’s say that you’re planning on renovating your outdoor or indoor living space. You can be a contractor, designer, professional landscape architect or just a do-it-yourself homeowner, it doesn’t matter, an excellent landscape design software tool allows you to make the most out of what you have.
Moreover, you can use this modern tech to digitize plans, predict costs, save time, improve efficiency and so on. Most importantly, a proper landscape design software tool is easy to integrate with other free BIM or CAD software. But here’s the deal – the majority of these tools are quite expensive.
Unless you’re doing landscape design for a living, you’ll probably find these price tags a bit too much to handle, regardless of how beneficial a tool can be. Fortunately for you, there are free software tools to count on. Just keep in mind that free landscape design tools do include certain limitations when it comes to features and functionality.
So, let’s see what the best free tools for landscape design are.
SketchUp is an exceptional tool that provides all necessary features engineers, builders, designers, and architects need to render, model, and draft their ideas. The free version includes the web-based edition of SketchUp Pro that allows any user to draw in 3D on a web browser they prefer.
This free tool is compatible with CAD project management tool Trimble Connect, one of the most used tools for project collaboration and management in construction. The free version gives you access to the web-based modeling tool that you can download via the G Suite Education platform.
● 3D modeling
● Support for Trimble Connect
● Support for the majority of operating systems and web browsers
● Free version
● Easily accessible
● Shareable resource
● Low-entry skill requirement
● High skill ceiling
● No warehouse option available
● Low rendering quality unless you have the best performing computer
● Glitchy shadow effects
In case that you’re an architect or a landscaper in need of the most effective customer proposal drafting tools, 3D and CAD rendering, and photo imaging, PRO Landscape Home provides all that and more. It’s one of the best free tools for fulfilling all necessary requirements for landscape design projects.
This Home edition is a PRO version, specially developed and custom-designed for homeowners and their landscape projects. In addition, this tool is a mobile app that can be used on all Amazon, Android, and Apple devices.
What’s really great about this free tool is the fact that it offers almost the same set of features as the paid version, PRO Landscape Companion. However, it doesn’t include the create 3D files, create customer proposals, and edit hardscapes features.
● Creation of CAD and photo imaging designs
● Object image library
● Plant database
● “Find a Professional” lookup feature
● Fast rendering
● Greater efficiency in design work and collaboration
● All accessories easily available
● Too simple in comparison to other software tools
This an open-source rendering software that allows you to access a full staging application for architects to render architectural illustrations and models. Kekythea was originally designed as a plug-in for SketchUp that was meant to add more rendering power to the original software.
It’s an excellent free 3D visualization landscape design tool that can be used by both educational institutes and architectural professionals. To use this tool, you won’t have to spend any money as this tool works perfectly without any software licensing. It’s completely free to download.
● Singular rendering interface
● Rendering engine for global illumination
● Library of environment, plants, and materials images
● Great rendering and visualization
● High-level compatibility
● Integration with other free tools like Blender or SketchUp
● Slow rendering time
If you need a great combination of a blog where you can find out all about design layouts and tips, and real estate MLS marketplace, Showoff.com is a perfect choice. This site offers all necessary consultation and tips you need to design your dream indoor and outdoor living space.
Moreover, it also provides the Visualizer, an online service that actually allows you to turn your vision into reality. The site also includes a community where you can learn a lot about landscape design of all sorts. On top of all that, the Visualizer is a downloadable free software application that you can easily use on your Windows OS.
● Database of materials, setups, photos, and elements
● Community forum
● Easy to use
● Instant visualization of the proposed design
● Low level of photorealism for some materials
Lands Design is a free software tool that gets updated every three months. Each new beta version includes error fixes and new, more advanced features. The developer considers all the feedback to develop a new version with fixed bugs and updated features.
If you ever used the 3D modeling tool Rhino, Lands Design will fit in your workflow really nicely as it’s a landscaping design plug-in that’s designed to enhance Rhino’s rendering performance.
You can use Lands Design to do anything from drawing on large libraries of urban furniture, trees, and plants to taking clients on virtual tours to showcase the final landscape design or simply create photorealistic 3D renders of images.
● Plant database
● Free-form landscape modeling
● Virtual tour creator
● Editing tool
● AutoCAD file support
● New beta version every three months
● Fixed errors
● Updated features
● Compatible with Rhino
● Slow in multitasking
If you’re running a service-based business and need a comprehensive solution that will allow you to improve and enhance your business management, job scheduling, and customer management, Arborgold might be your best option.
Their latest innovation in the field of landscape design is a free online landscaping tool that allows you to create 2D images of landscape design for the purpose of showcasing to clients. Both homeowners and professionals can use this simple but powerful free tool to create and save design ideas.
Professionals can also use this free tool to integrate 2D drawings with itemized landscape client proposals.
● Job site illustrations
● Library of hardscape, lighting, and plants
● Import of geo-satellite images and photos
● Freehand drawing
● Simple user interface
● Ease of use
● Powerful features
● Free software version includes certain limitations
Free 3D visualization landscape design solutions that actually offer a plethora of useful features to homeowners and professional landscape designers are really rare these days. We’re not talking about free demos and trials here; no, we’re talking about completely free versions of the software.
If you’re looking for a free landscape design tool, these six software tools are your best options to choose from. It all depends on what you need but these tools offer a wide range of great features with tips and consultations on how to use them.
Study all of them carefully to find out which one meets your needs. Since there’s no room for mistakes in landscape design, you need to choose your tools very carefully.