KBB - June/July 2009 - (Page 50)

Education Get Real Bring your designs to life It’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words. In the case of the kitchen and bath designer, truer words may never be spoken. For many clients, the hardest aspect of a project is trying to visualize a designer’s plans. That’s where design software comes in. With photorealistic renderings and 3D walk-throughs, there will be absolutely no surprises. But with so many options to choose from, selecting the right software can be overwhelming. That’s why K+BB has selected a handful of programs to give you an idea of what’s out there and what they can do. Autokitchen. A stand-alone, true 3D design application that caters to the kitchen and bath professional, autokitchen by Microcad Software includes the AutoCAD engine, a feature of convenience for those already working on (or with an architect or builder using) the platform. “This makes the communication of projects and ideas among professionals easy, convenient and fast,” explained Miguel Merida, partner at Microcad Software. Also, in addition to its common and widespread file format (DWG), the software contains three universal catalogs that contain more than 5,000 cabinets and 150 door styles, as well as hundreds of appliances and accessories (manufacturer catalogs are also available). Other helpful features include quote and project list generation; a video clip feature that allows for “walk-through” presentations; and the ability to create a variety of photorealistic renderings. “We believe the appearance and the presentation of a kitchen or bath project should not be overlooked or watered down,” said Merida. “The use of a computer should enhance a project, not take away from it.” Price: $2,795 (autokitchen PRO version 8.5) Chief Architect Interiors. A new program that’s specific to kitchen and bath design, Chief Architect Interiors provides 2D and 3D automated building and design tools, automated materials lists and schedules for pricing and cost estimating, and access to catalogs containing thousands of customizable name-brand and generic products. Designers can also upload and save items in a variety of 3D formats to personal libraries, eliminating the need to start each design from scratch. Additional features include Material Painter and Color Chooser tools that can set exact colors, materials and textures in a design, and users can toggle between a variety of views, as well as 3D renderings in photorealistic and artistic styles. “Customers have told us that the renderings look too realistic, so we’ve implemented these filters so designers can use the Photorealistic renderings can be a helpful tool when presenting to clients. What they see is what they’ll get. Photo courtesy of Chief Architect. style that works for them,” explained Scott Harris, VP of sales and marketing at Chief Architect. The software also includes 3D camera tools for walk-throughs, can create blueprints per NKBA standards and is, according to Harris, fast and flexible. He said, “The whole concept is to help designers sell the job and get the project started.” Price: $1,495 Google SketchUp. Available in basic and professional versions, Google SketchUp is “a 3D modeling and visualization program that has roots in the traditional architectural, engineering and construction world,” said John Bacus, product manager for Google SketchUp. In addition to its ease of use, the program allows designers to quickly create, modify and share 3D models, switch from 2D to 3D environments and work in true scale. Not to be forgotten is SketchUp’s companion product, the 3D Warehouse, an enormous web-based repository of shared (generic and brand-name) 3D models. Other noteworthy features include a Shadow Engine for accurate shade studies, the ability to create and configure custom Dynamic Components, interactive Sections that let users cut away parts of their models to look inside, first-person navigation tools and the capability to read and write multiple file formats (depending on version), including DXF and DWG for easy transfer of plans, sections, elevations or entire models into a CAD program. The Pro version also includes a series of documentation and presentation tools. As Bacus said, “The more you can iterate through the design, the better. The speed and facility of the modeler lets designers quickly try many variations of their design idea and rapidly zero in on the one that’s going to be the best.” Price: Free (basic); $495 (Pro) Continued on page 52 50 + K BB June/July 2009 / www.kbbonline.com / The Official Sponsor of K/BIS www.kbis.com Jully2004 http://www.kbbonline.com http://www.kbis.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of KBB - June/July 2009

KBB - June/July 2009
Contents
Online Contents
Online News
Editorial
Focus
Trends
Products
Profile
Options
Design
Diplomatic Function
Grand Master
Green
Access
Practice
Education
Opinion
Editorial Index
Ad Index
Favorites

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