Meet the best architectural drafting softwares your drafter should know about.

So you’ve created an amazing project, with all the plans and the different views of the building. Once your client lay eyes on it, you could just see in their face that they didn’t understand what you’ve worked so hard on to visually explain.

The effort and all the expectations put on that creation, that first seemed perfect and clear for your client’s appreciation, are now down the toilet. This could cost you the entire deal. 

Confused you may have even asked what went wrong. Let me explain it to you.

Although your plans and drawings were perfectly detailed, they weren’t visually appealing enough to enchant your client as you expected to.

And that’s why you need a professional draftsman.

Maybe you have already learned that lesson and have hired a drafter  to help you with your project. 

Now it’s time for you to know what architectural drafting softwares are essential for your drafter  to use in your project development.

It makes no difference if you are a contractor, an architect, interior designer, or an engineer.  It’s really important to keep yourself updated when it comes to all the available tools. That can help you create more visually appealing graphics  and easily delight your clients.

Also having this information will help you confirm if that the professional drafter  you are working with has the skills needed to close more deals.

My goal is to make your life easier. Keep reading this article, because here comes a list with the 9 best architectural drafting softwares your drafter  should know about.


Before starting the list let me explain to you that architecture softwares are divided into 5 categories:

  • BIM software
  • 3D modeling software
  • Drafting Software
  • Render engines
  • Graphic enhancement software

The majority of these programs are not only used for architecture related projects but, they are certainly used by professionals in the architecture field as well.

They are suitable to be used by drafters and contractors to create / design a new project and its details in just a short period of time.

9-Rhino 6 For Windows

Rhino 6 For Windows - Architecture Design Software

If you are looking for the right type of architectural drafting software that you should use, here is one of the simplest types of software that is great with both straight and curved lines.

Most CAD applications can only be designed with straight lines and can’t perform highly sophisticated features. This architecture drafting software can easily model the complex intersection of curved roofing or any other part of the construction.


  • It has very powerful modelers and third-party services.
  • Rhino 6 for  Windows is equipped with all types of modern tools that you need to create  the right project.

 8-Sketchup Pro-2018

SketchUp Pro 2018 - Architecture Design Software

This is one of the most commonly used types of architectural drafting software that is suitable for any project. It is an excellent tool for rapidly prototyping a design when it is still at a conceptual stage.

This architecture drafting software will take just a few days to be mastered. This is a user-friendly modeling tool that most designers like to use.


  • It has the entire tool set for creating complex solid geometry.
  • This is a 3D architectural design software as well as 2D.


CATIA - Architecture Design Software

When it comes to listing the best architecture drafting software, no one should leave behind this type of software as its user-friendly modeling software. Its unique features make it capable of estimating the total cost of your project.

Catia can be used in building modeling as well as aircrafts. This type of software design can easily handle complex architectural problems and generate finely detailed models.


  • It has high coordination features to embrace cloud functionality which is not a standard feature among many architecture design software.

6. 3DS Max

3DS Max - Architecture Design Software

This modern architecture drafting software which its value is to create and fly-through animation to promote a project rather than design it from the ground up. The unique thing about this software is that it is very easy to learn, unlike other complex software.

This software contains tools for structural analysis, building performance analysis, steel detailing and vehicle path calculation.


  • 3DS Max is a flexible modeling system with a powerful plug-in.
  • It is also equipped with AutoCAD file support, 3D modeling and animation.

5- AutoCAD Architecture

AutoCAD Architecture - Architecture Design Software

When it comes to architecture design , your drafter should be aiming to master this state of the art software,  as it is the go to software for architecture and construction. This is a fast drafting software that is capable of providing a pre-built objects for doors, windows, and walls. Design can be developed in 2D and 3D.

It also provides some unique features such as a mechanism for creating elevations, sections and plans from model geometry. AutoCAD architecture is suitable for providing both straight and curved lines models.


  • It has a lot of keyboard shortcuts to work faster.
  • It is also equipped with tools from Autodesk.

4- AutoCAD Civil 3D

AutoCAD Civil 3D - Architecture Design Software

This classic and powerful architectural drafting software has all the necessary features; modeling and drawing features that are most needed by contractors  and architects. It also provides extra design and documentation pipeline for building information modeling (BIM) workflows.

Drafters prefer using this type of architectural design software due to its unique features and design. It also can integrate survey images with terrain modeling.


  • It is designed to work with other Autodesk product, such as  AutoCAD, Revit, and 3DS Max.
  • The presence of command line interface makes it the best architecture drafting software.

3-Chief Architect

Chief architect - Architecture Design Software

Here comes another type of modern architectural drafting software that is very easy to use compared to other software. It is suitable to both Windows and Mac operating system which differentiates it from the rest.

With this type of software, you can rapidly construct 3D models of exterior / interior space and then project them into 2D plans and elevations.


  • Chief architect has powerful smart features.
  • It has highly efficient tools than any other type of software for designing a building, bridges and even roads.

2. Bluebeam Revu

Bluebeam Revu - Architecture Design Software

This is one of the various types of  architectural drafting software that is user friendly. It is suitable for reviewing documents, drawings, markups, quantity takes off, presentation and other functions.

This is a unique architecture drafting software that is equipped with easy to access tools and features.


  • It has the best takeoff function of any type of architectural drafting software.
  • Blueprints markup is straight and easy to do.

1. Revit

Revit - Architecture Design Software

This is the preferred architecture drafting software by many drafters, architects and contractors. It can handle all the needs and complexity of  building modeling projects. This is a key feature in any design software. Multiple drafters can use this software working with an object not a vector between two points that allows them to work faster with more confidence.

This architecture drafting software does not only enable to design and modeling of a building, but it allows coordination of multiple engineers collaborating on the same file simultaneously.


  • It has a competitive edge over those that use the traditional drafting application and other features.
  • Revit has a highly effective tool and smart object connectivity.

In conclusion, the article has fully elaborated the best key features that any drafter  needs to understand before choosing any software especially architecture software.

So if you are a drafter, consider using some of these applications in order to make your work easier and more effective. 

And if you are a contractor  or an architect trying to find the best drafter around to help you boost your project, my advice is to take a good look at portfolios and check their proficiency in some of these architectural drafting softwares listed above.

Here at Abeam Studio, a MWBE Drafting company, we prefer using AutoCAD, Revit, Adobe softwares because our clients usually continue using this software in their business and don’t want to change. 

Click here and take a look at some of our drawings  created with some of the softwares listed in this article.

For the last 16 years, we have been using these architectural drafting softwares in collaboration with dozens of architecture studios and contractors from the New York State area.

I really hope this article helped you in some way. If so, please let me know by leaving your comments below.

Post by Daniela Castro

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *