A Look at 4 Software Programs for 3D Building Mock Up Designs

3D printing has come a long way since it was first introduced. It’s had a massive impact on all kinds of industries and has the potential to do even more as the technology advances. From creating prototypes to printing organs, 3D printing has revolutionized the way we think about building and manufacturing.

If you’re interested in 3D printing, you’re definitely not alone. Many individuals are having fun with 3D printing at home, while others want to make a career out of their enthusiasm for larger-scale applications. Many businesses also need access to modeling software for their product design process. If you want to create 3D building mockups, like those used in the construction industry, consider these 4 powerful software programs. 

Skills Needed for 3D Printing in Construction

In the construction industry, builders need to have knowledge of structural engineering, architecture, materials, and design. These are actual structures that will stand and be used, so they must adhere to the same requirements of traditionally-built structures. Many 3D designers use animation tools and software during the design and mock-up process, including those listed below.

There’s a big learning curve to using many of these tools. Businesses should hire digital artists with a strong background in creating mockups to eliminate the learning curve. Individuals need to be prepared for a lot of practice before they will be able to confidently translate their vision into these programs.


3ds Max (Autodesk)

3ds Max is a high-end modeling and rendering software. You can use it for all kinds of things, including creating mockups of buildings and immersive walkthroughs. Some people use it for expansive world-building in video games!

It’s a great tool for artists who want to work in different mediums and allows for a great deal of control. The possibilities are endless and the interface is intuitive, but the software is costly and best for digital artists with a lot of experience.


Unlike some of the other software options, Sketchup has a free version, making it a great choice for people who want to learn more about animation, modeling, and creating mockups. While their paid plans offer more robust features, it’s an affordable choice either way for 3D modeling.

Moho Pro 13 (Smith Micro)

Although this vector-based software is focused on 2D animation, it can be used to create 3D models as well. It’s a great tool for digital artists who want to create mockups. It’s cheaper than some other software options and boasts many helpful features to support artists. 

Blender (The Blender Foundation)

As an open-source 3D modeling application, Blender is free! You can sculpt, animate, render, and edit. The software offers a full suite of 3D creation tools and allows for complex simulations.

Because it is open-source, the technical support for the software may be less robust. However, there are lots of dedicated people working on the project, with the help of donations. It’s a great choice for individuals and organizations on a budget who want the full functionality of a powerful 3D creation suite.

Areas for Improvements in 3D Printed Buildings

Construction 3D printing still has its drawbacks. The technology still limits how complex a printed building can be. It’s perfect for creating simple structures cheaply but cannot provide many details or amenities in the structures. Additionally, these buildings are often not as sturdy or long-lasting as those made with traditional materials and methods.

With that said, technology is evolving all the time. Civil engineers are hard at work creating more durable materials for printing and technology is catching up to provide simple electrical and plumbing infrastructure.

Getting some practice in building mockups is a great idea if you want to get into the field. 3D printed buildings have the potential to reduce waste, costs, and construction time. It’s a fascinating time to learn more and build your skills in the construction methods of the future!

This article has been written by Abby Thompson from Teaching Alliance. Remember, you can post job opportunities in the AM Industry on 3D ADEPT Media free of charge or look for a job via our job board. Make sure to follow us on our social networks and subscribe to our weekly newsletter : FacebookTwitterLinkedIn & Instagram ! If you want to be featured in the next issue of our digital magazine or if you hear a story that needs to be heard, make sure you send it to contact@3dadept.com