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Best Design Software For Construction

One of the most significant hurdles for home design professionals in the construction industry is figuring out which software is the right choice for their projects. For compatibility, there are Microsoft and Mac software programs to choose from. These can range from basic, open-source design tools to advanced programs with add-ons and plugins. Then there is the cost to consider, which can be free to tens of thousands of dollars. 

Another issue is that many of these computer-aided design software tools are designed to simulate different things. They work in different phases of the construction process, meaning you need to know how each phase evolves when making the best choice for your workflow. Either way, once you understand the general CAD software principles, it is easier to understand and pick up new CAD software.

There are many different types of construction design software, and they are generally categorized by which profession they are made for.

Top Software

Software for a civil engineer won’t work the same way when the chief architect uses it. You also need to understand building information modeling (BIM), which is the general category that most construction CAD software falls into. However, your choice for architectural design, interior design, and building design software in the industry will always start with your specific situation.



Software for reliable 2D and 3D drafting

While not specifically built for construction, AutoCAD is the grandfather of professional CAD software. Over the years, it has set the trends in this industry and paved the way for other user-friendly programs such as SketchUp. It has toolkits for many industries, but its architecture toolset is notably quite advanced. With this tool, you can design 2D and 3D models. You can also do things like compare drawings and count objects. AutoCAD also makes it easy to do 2D floor plans, 3D floor plans, elevations, and 3D designs. It gives you all the tools you need to create a useful 3D model that represents what you are trying to create.



An affordable entry-level CAD system 

Rhino is used by architects and engineers to design, model, present, and analyze various projects. It has multiple editing modes, meaning you can utilize NURBS or traditional geometric tools to create blueprints. It also meshes with a whole host of CAM, engineering, and rendering suites. The best thing about this program is how affordable it is compared to its competition. It even has integration with various digital fabrication tools. For example, it can be utilized with 3D printing equipment.


Autodesk Navisworks Manage

Coordination software that includes clash detection and advanced collaboration

Autodesk Navisworks Manage is an industry leader in advanced collaboration and clash detection. It allows users to combine all design and construction data (architectural, civil, MEP, etc.) into a single model without the dreaded lag common with other programs. This function offers exploration of aggregate models in real-time for advanced visualization and clash detection—a tool that identifies and reports any cross-discipline interferences (clashes). Many users report these features being invaluable both in the early and finishing stages of the design process.


Autodesk Construction Cloud

A construction software bundle for budget-friendly collaboration

Autodesk Construction Cloud is a series of software that supercharges projects with cloud-based collaboration. This different software saves designers time and money by streamlining the entire construction from bid to build—gone are the days of manually tracking changes and managing model updates.

  • Get your project off to the right start with Autodesk Takeoff to create competitive bids and do in-depth material cost analysis.
  • Then, once your project is underway, manage construction and field execution with Autodesk Build.
  • Additionally, the Autodesk Construction Cloud solutions also offer Autodesk Assemble to query and connect BIM data to key workflows. Autodesk Construction Cloud solution is ideal for both large and small businesses—keeping all team members up-to-date throughout the project lifecycle.



The industry standard for BIM software

Revit is one of the most commonly used tools in the industry. It specifically offers BIM functionality that can be used by construction professionals, civil engineers, and architects. There are many tutorials and walkthroughs available that make it easy to learn, but there is a bit of a learning curve for people just getting started. However, this is mainly because this tool has everything a professional could ever need—meaning it will take many years to master.

There are also plenty of tools for collaboration, meaning you no longer need to be in the same place to work with other engineers and architects on design projects. Additionally, it offers the same simulation and building management functionality you would expect from traditional parametric CAD modelers. If you could only choose one tool to get, this would be the one needed to manage everything in the building lifecycle.


Autodesk BIM Collaborate Pro 

Cloud-based collaboration between AEC teams across Autodesk products

Autodesk BIM Collaborate Pro focuses on connecting architectural, engineering, and construction teams. This cloud-based platform makes it easier for AEC teams to connect, collaborate, and create high-quality models in real time on a single platform. The main benefit of this software is that team members can implement changes at any time and from any place in AutoCAD Plant 3D, Civil 3D, Revit, and more. 



2D and 3D home design tools for remodeling and building 

Cad Pro provides high-quality drawing tools for remodeling and building. You can even evaluate your designs quickly using built-in tools. This home design software is made for traditional homeowners looking for a powerful CAD solution to help them build or improve their current homes. It offers features that make drawing, visualizing, and collaborating easy. It is the perfect bridge between a powerful professional system and one that doesn’t have the features needed to do anything useful. Finally, it is also an excellent tool for creating landscapes, patios, and other outdoor designs. 


Autodesk AEC Collection

A diverse collection of top AEC software

The Autodesk AEC Collection is designed to tackle all design aspects of projects—from design to construction. It bundles the top programs to ensure that designers, engineers, and construction professionals have cloud-based BIM and CAD tools at their fingertips. This collection includes Revit, AutoCAD, Civil 3D, Navisworks Manage, InfraWorks, and more. Beyond the cloud-based capabilities and robust tool set, a considerable benefit of this collection is that it saves you thousands of dollars compared to buying the included programs separately. 



There are plenty of CAD modeling tools and software for design and construction. However, note that there is generally no need to have them all—a few should be enough for most projects. The key is to determine your needs as a designer and the needs of your project. 

If you are looking for the best of the best, you won’t go wrong with Autodesk Revit. Then there is AutoCAD, which is excellent for working with everything from basic 2D designs to 3D renderings. However, beginners may find more value in the budget-friendly Rhino3D. Need to enhance collaboration ease? The Autodesk AEC Collection or Autodesk BIM Collaborate Pro are good choices. 

With the diverse software available, there is truly an option for every design situation. Do you have any questions?  Contact us.

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FARO Acquires Mobile Scanning Market Leader GeoSLAM

Lake Mary, Fl, September 1, 2022FARO® Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: FARO), a global leader in 4D digital reality solutions, today announced the acquisition of UK-based GeoSLAM, a leading provider of mobile scanning solutions with proprietary high-productivity simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) software to create 3D models for use in Digital Twin applications. Founded in 2012, the addition of GeoSLAM is expected to significantly expand and accelerate FARO’s market growth opportunity in the mobile scanning space.

Microsol Resources is an authorized partner of UK-based GeoSLAM, used for surveying and data capture into a 3D model or 2D drawing, so you can start your design with accurate dimensions and integrate clear and comprehensive data and real-time processing. GeoSLAM gives designers the power to collect geospatial data from some of the most difficult environments, whether they are indoors, outdoors, underground – everywhere.

“We are thrilled to add GeoSLAM’s handheld 3D scanning technology to our portfolio of cutting-edge data capture solutions,” said Michael Burger, FARO President and CEO. “FARO now offers the industry’s broadest set of 4D data capture solutions, including 360° camera-based images, mobile scanning and stationary high-accuracy laser scanning, allowing customers to balance the need for accuracy, speed and detail depending on their requirements. These capture technologies provide the foundation for our 4D digital reality-based SaaS offering that will allow customers to access multiple 4D data sources for visualization and analysis through a single user experience. We welcome the GeoSLAM team to our FARO family.”

“Joining with FARO represents the next step in the growth of GeoSLAM and the establishment of mobile mapping as a driver for growth in the way businesses map and understand their spaces,” added Andy Parr, GeoSLAM CEO. “Both companies share a vision of the importance of mobile scanning in the burgeoning digital reality capture market.”

FARO serves the AEC, O&M (Facility Operations & Maintenance), 3D Metrology, and Public Safety Analytics markets. For over 40 years, FARO has provided industry-leading technology solutions that enable customers to digitize their world and use that data to make smarter decisions faster. FARO continues to be a pioneer in bridging the digital and physical worlds through data-driven accuracy, precision, and immediacy.


Interested in surveying and data capture into a 3D model or 2D drawing, so you can start your design with accurate dimensions?


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Smart Construction Progress Tracking using GeoSLAM

Construction Progress is a smart monitoring solution to track the progress of large construction projects using mobile LiDAR and automated analytics.

GeoSLAM’s Construction Progress combines hardware, advanced SLAM ((Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping), and analytics to deliver crucial site information to your teams quickly and easily. Automatically generate clear progress reports with visualizations that show you the build progress made on site.

It’s used by construction companies to track and record progress against a 3D model or a previous scan to improve efficiency, save money, create unbiased progress reports and provide valuable data to help resolve any disputes that may arise.


How does it work?

1. It starts with SLAM
SLAM (Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping) creates a digital model of a site, by using a handheld mobile scanner. The SLAM technology used inside

GeoSLAM’s product portfolio was developed by some of the smartest people on our planet. As you walk around your construction site, 43,000 invisible laser beams are emitted per second, and this is what forms a digital map.

2. Capture
Using GeoSLAM’s mobile mapping system, capture regular scans by walking around the site. Within one hour, it will tell you what’s changed – automatically. No guessing, no maths, just the press of a button (and some very clever algorithms). You can compare each scan against the previous scan, or to a CAD model.

3. Process
Plug your ZEB scanner into a computer, and we’ll automatically process the data using our smart data platform, GeoSLAM Connect. We can set the file to be automatically saved to a network folder of your choice, each time a scan is completed.

4. View
View your 3D data, see notes, voice notes, or photos located where they were made. Save your photographs and notes for reference or team collaboration. See what’s changed against a previous scan, or 3D model.

You’ll have an easy-to-understand PDF report automatically generated and emailed to you, or saved in a file location of your choice. The PDF report will show the percentage of work complete or incomplete (compared to the 3D model) and simple visualization of the site highlighting 3D change. A digital record of site progress over time can now be captured, reported, and stored for the life of the project.

6. Where next?
You choose to sync the results of your project to collaboration tools such as Autodesk BIM 360, Dalux, Viewpoint 4projects. You can also export the data to CAD packages or your CDE (common data environment).

GeoSLAM Construction Progress workflow

What are the benefits of using GeoSLAM for construction progress?

  • Automated project progress with transparent, easy to understand, shareable PDF reports
  • See your construction progress through the life cycle of a project, helping to report, avoiding disputes, and delay penalties
  • Automated file storage compatible with industry collaboration platforms so the full project team and stakeholders can access progress reports anytime
  • In-sourced data collection no waiting for external contractors, collect data when you need it
  • Quickly and easily share project progress updates ensuring full transparency
  • Move beyond whiteboards and WhatsApp with easy to implement, digital construction progress
  • GeoSLAM is a trusted technology provider for some of the Worlds largest companies
Construction Progress with GeoSLAM site prep
Identify percentage complete or incomplete.

“We have been trialling the ZEB Go on numerous construction sites. It is extremely easy to use and has been adopted by various colleagues throughout the site. The speed of capture has resulted in us being able to capture a full site in a fifth of the time compared to our existing scanner.”

GeoSLAM Construction Progress in action

Which scanner is best for tracking construction progress?

Each one of the following GeoSLAM laser scanners collects data with high speed and precision, and pairs with GeoSLAM’s Draw BIM software.

Check out the differences to fit the scanner for your own project needs.



If you’re looking for a reliable way to map and understand spaces, check out the ZEB Go. Whether it’s the first time you’ve looked at digital surveying, or you want each of your sites equipped with the smartest SLAM, the ZEB Go is the place to start.


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Zeb-Revo RT

ZEB Revo RT is a unique, lightweight revolving laser-scanner that allows you to scan and process simultaneously, as you walk. Handheld, pole-mounted, or attached to your chosen mobile platform such as a vehicle or UAV and pass through your target survey environment to record more than 40,000 measurement points/second.


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GEOSlam Zeb Horizon

With a range of 100m, the ZEB Horizon 3D mobile scanner is great for outdoor use, yet its lightweight and compact design also makes it perfect for indoor surveys.


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Automatically generate clear progress reports with visualizations that show you the build progress made on site. It’s used by construction companies to track and record progress against a 3D model or a previous scan to improve efficiency, save money, create unbiased progress reports and provide valuable data to help resolve any disputes that may arise.

If you have additional questions on how to get started, feel free to contact us at

Interested in surveying and data capture into a 3D model or 2D drawing, so you can start your design with accurate dimensions?



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