Should Interior Designers Learn 3D Modeling?

By Michelle Ecker on October 15, 2019

Should Interior Designers Learn 3D Modeling?

If you’re a professional interior designer, you might be unsure whether or not it’s worth investing in your education to add some modern interior design software skills to your resume. You might not be sure how these tools work or what they can be used for, and therefore are unsure if they would help you advance your existing career. 

How Does 3D Modeling help an Interior Designer?

3D modeling is an interactive, user-friendly software that gives interior designers the ability to take flat, one-dimensional floor plan drawings and bring them to life. 

If you have ever taken a “virtual tour” of an in-progress new construction building, for example, you have probably been able to see a realistic, virtual model of what that space was going to look like once the construction was complete. Every wall, hallway, window, and detail of the layout was in 3D, allowing you to move throughout the space and get a better idea of what it would look like once completed. 

Compared to the less visually demonstrative experience of looking at a flat floor plan, 3D models really give users a lifelike look at designs, something that designers otherwise might struggle to communicate with a flat floor plan sketch. 

Why Is 3D Modeling Helpful?

As an experienced interior designer, you might be able to look at a floor plan drawing and immediately be able to visualize what this will look like once brought to life in a home or commercial space. That’s part of what you’ve been trained to do, and you have years of experience in making these connections and painting these mental pictures.

The same can’t be said for your clients. For many people, looking at a flat floor plan drawing is confusing, and they struggle to properly picture things like size, scale, and proportion. 

Let’s say you’re working on a master bedroom redesign with a new client. You think that removing some bulkier pieces of furniture, rearranging the layout of the bed, adding fresh white paint with an accent wall and installing more visually appealing light fixtures will really breathe some new life into their room. 

With a flat floor plan, you don’t really have to ability to do more than explain these changes to them, urge them to use their imaginations to picture these changes brought to life, and hope that they trust your design visions will look good once executed. For many clients who are wary and hesitant to make big changes to their homes, this is often not sufficient in convincing them that your visions will look right within their space. 

With the help of 3D modeling, you will be able to physically show clients what these changes will look like in a lifelike virtual rendering like the one shown above- a much more compelling visual aid than you’d otherwise be able to provide with a simple sketch. 

Want to Learn More? 

If you’re an ambitious designer looking to add some modern technology to your portfolio, NYIAD’s online 3D Modeling with SketchUp course is a perfect option. The course is offered completely online, meaning you can log in and work your way through the program from anywhere in the world, as long as you have access to the internet. 

NYIAD programs have no deadlines or due dates, meaning you will never be required to finish anything by a certain time, and you can fit your design education into your already busy schedule- on your terms. If this sounds like the right fit for you, get started here or call 1-800-583-1742 for more information on how the program works.