Unlike CAD programs that use simple geometric lines and arcs to define objects, 3D Home Architect Deluxe by Broderbund utilizes SmartParts Technology, an object-oriented methodology that emphasizes actual usage and placement of the objects within a home environment. The technology, for example, means you define all the walls and rooms of your planned home without leaving holes for windows or doors, add the doorways and windows later and finish by adding cabinets, fixtures and furniture, electrical items and labels. No need to be neat as the program aligns and dimensions the plan automatically when ready.
The above feature is but one example of the capabilities of 3D Home Architect Deluxe. Being a Windows application, the software utilizes eight basic types of display: plan, wall elevation, cross section, plan camera (3D view of your plan), full camera (perspective view), overview (bird's-eye view of floor plan), full overview, and materials. A comprehensive toolbar is used via point-and-click interface to plan your home and consists of left-hand tools (set modes), right-hand tools (associated with the modes selected), and a status box.
Some of the mode tools available are wall (standard, railings, hatch wall, break wall, thickness), door (standard, sliding, pocket, bifold, garage), window (standard, bay, box, bow), and cabinet (base, wall, full height, soffit, shelf, rod) oriented. Other tool modes included in the package deal with roof (hip, gable, shed, saltbox, gambrel, gull wing, half-hip, mansard), electrical (outlet, light, switch, connect, place), dimensional, and elevation aspects. Fixtures, furniture, and stairs each have specific design tools as well.
3D Home Architect Deluxe emphasizes the planning process rather than bogging the user down in exacting alignment details by utilizing SmartParts Technology. You can use PlanCheck to conduct room-by-room searches to spot potential problems, print out finished plans for use with actual builders, export your plans to CAD programs in DXF format and use either standard or metric measurements. A library of more than 400 furniture and fixture objects is also included for use during the design phase.
Home plans can be designed from scratch with customization of every aspect from walls to furnishings or you can use the 150 professionally designed floor plans as a starting point. Online tips and related tools and products can be found at the at www.shopmattel.com. ~ Michael L. House, All Game Guide