What's the best software to use when designing 2D floor plans for structures?

  • #1

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What's the best software to use when designing 2D floor plans for structures?
 

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  • #2
berkeman
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Is the intention to generate drawings that can be used for construction? You might talk to your local building department to see if they know what most of the architects and structural engineers that they work with use...
 
  • #3
Is the intention to generate drawings that can be used for construction? You might talk to your local building department to see if they know what most of the architects and structural engineers that they work with use...
It's for an engineering project. Think of the structure as a submarine or decompression chamber.

Software for designing a schematic would work as well.
 
  • #4
berkeman
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It sounds like you will want to be making dimensioned engineering drawings, more than just a simple floorplan, right? What mechanical CAD packages have you worked with so far? Have you used AutoCAD, for example?
 
  • #5
It sounds like you will want to be making dimensioned engineering drawings, more than just a simple floorplan, right? What mechanical CAD packages have you worked with so far? Have you used AutoCAD, for example?
I have not. Isn't Fusion 360 part of AutoCAD?
 
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  • #7
There are many software packages that can be used for such a purpose. Inkscape is free and produces SVG output, which can be resized without loss of resolution. Here's a step-by-step outline of how to use inkscape for a floor plan: https://wiki.inkscape.org/wiki/index.php/Drawing_a_Floor_Plan
I'll download and explore Inkscape. Do you know of any other software packages I can use?

Also, what about schematics for life support systems? Could Inkscape be used to create those as well?
 
  • #8
berkeman
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Also, what about schematics for life support systems?
Most likely there will be standards that have to be met for Life Support Systems design, documentation and construction, no? At the very least I would imagine OSHA would be involved at some point, not to mention your insurance company...
 
  • #9
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I'll download and explore Inkscape. Do you know of any other software packages I can use?
Inscape has copious online help, and a strong user base and support community. Also, the html version of this Inkscape guide book is available online for personal use: http://tavmjong.free.fr/INKSCAPE/MANUAL/html/index.html

You might want to look at GeoGebra -- it can make it much easier to get the relative measurments right -- then you can bring the image into inkscape for adding detail. Here's a couple of sample floor plans: https://www.geogebra.org/m/RRx353uQ https://www.geogebra.org/m/tJzX6tmq

You can get Autocad-Architecture free for 3 years if you're a student or educator: https://www.autodesk.com/education/free-software/autocad-architecture

If you search on 'open source drafting' you'll find, among many other options, https://librecad.org/

Sketchup Make 2017 is a version that's free for personal use -- 30-day trial, then agree to the terms, and you can keep using it free -- It has a few more capabilities than Sketchup Free has -- for example, there's a plugin for 'Make' that supports SVG. It's available for download here: https://help.sketchup.com/en/downloading-older-versions
Also, what about schematics for life support systems? Could Inkscape be used to create those as well?
Yes. Inkscape is a full-featured SVG package. You can create and edit SVG files with any text editor, but other than for very simple SVG files, it's much easier to create them in inkscape.
 
  • #10
Most likely there will be standards that have to be met for Life Support Systems design, documentation and construction, no? At the very least I would imagine OSHA would be involved at some point, not to mention your insurance company...
I'm not that far yet. Think of this as a preliminary template or prelude to a more in depth virtual prototype.
 
  • #11
Inscape has copious online help, and a strong user base and support community. Also, the html version of this Inkscape guide book is available online for personal use: http://tavmjong.free.fr/INKSCAPE/MANUAL/html/index.html

You might want to look at GeoGebra -- it can make it much easier to get the relative measurments right -- then you can bring the image into inkscape for adding detail. Here's a couple of sample floor plans: https://www.geogebra.org/m/RRx353uQ https://www.geogebra.org/m/tJzX6tmq

You can get Autocad-Architecture free for 3 years if you're a student or educator: https://www.autodesk.com/education/free-software/autocad-architecture

If you search on 'open source drafting' you'll find, among many other options, https://librecad.org/

Sketchup Make 2017 is a version that's free for personal use -- 30-day trial, then agree to the terms, and you can keep using it free -- It has a few more capabilities than Sketchup Free has -- for example, there's a plugin for 'Make' that supports SVG. It's available for download here: https://help.sketchup.com/en/downloading-older-versions
Yes. Inkscape is a full-featured SVG package. You can create and edit SVG files with any text editor, but other than for very simple SVG files, it's much easier to create them in inkscape.
That open source LibreCAD might be what I need.Thank you for these sources. I will explore them as well.

I don't think I can get it for free. I'm not a student at a college or educator.
 
  • #12
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That open source LibreCAD might be what I need.Thank you for these sources. I will explore them as well.

I don't think I can get it for free. I'm not a student at a college or educator.
The 'student or educator' eligibility remark that I made was regarding the AutoCAD-Architect software -- I didn't see anything in the vendor statements that said college-only.

As for LibreCAD, it's open source, and like other such offerings, is free to use for anyone. Here's the link for the download page: https://librecad.org/#download --

You might also want to look at the LibreOffice (formerly 'Open Office') software -- it has free versions of software that function similarly (albeit less 'insider fast-track' speedily) to MS Office products -- they include a 'Draw' product that's useful for making diagrams -- link: https://www.libreoffice.org/
 

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