How to convert a 2D floor plan to a 3D walk through model

Alam Sanctuary Angklung Ground FloorOn the left is a 2D floor plan of a house.

From the floor plan we can easily spot the living room, the dining room, the dry and wet kitchen, a bedroom, a bathroom, a utility room and a washing area.

Most housing developers would create a plastic model of the house for buyers to look at from an aerial view.

Another advanced method would be to create a 3D model which allows the buyer to look into the house from a first person perspective.

This sort of view is as close as being in an actual show house without physically being there.

A friend once asked if I know of any free software which could help him convert a 2D floor plan into a 3D walk through model.

He basically wanted the ability to plan and furnish his new home via the software.

Since the house will be empty to begin with, the software will help by allowing him to place the furnitures according to the actual layout of his home.

I tried to search for such a tool and found this one called Sweet Home 3D – a free interior design tool which helps you place furniture on a 2D house floor plan, with a 3D preview.

I gave the application a try according the the floor plan above, and this is the outcome of it.

3D View of the Dry Kitchen
Angklung 3D dry kitchen

3D View of the Living Room
Angklung 3D living

The above images are just some static screenshots. The best feature of the tool is its allows you to use your mouse and arrow keys to navigate / walk through the entire house as if you’re walking and looking around in the house.

Please pardon my interior design skills as I simply put this up in within an hour.

To begin using the application, you will first need to upload a 2D floor plan just like what you see above.

Once uploaded, you will be required to define the scale of your floor plan.

This setting will ensure that your 3D model scales according to the actual width and length of the house.

Once done, you should see the Sweet Home 3D user interface.

Sweet Home 3D user interface

Notice that I have already placed in some furnitures. The left folders are a list of furnitures and household items which you can simply drag and drop into the floor plan.

At the bottom of the tool, you’ll to see a 3D live preview just like the 3D screenshots above.

In order to see the 3D preview, you’ll first need to draw the walls along the lines of the 2D floor plan.

This Sweet Home 3D tutorial video shows you how to do it. I had to refer to it a couple of times to learn how to set up the walls and the rooms, after which adding and placing furnitures was really simple.

If at anytime, you need additional designs of a furniture, you can always click on the Import Furniture link to import new designs into the application.

View all importable furnitures

Sweet Home 3D is an open source SourceForge.net project distributed under GNU General Public License.

The software is available in 2 versions. A download version (Windows, Mac, Linux) and an online version (require JavaScript and Java).

For more info, check out Sweet Home 3D today!

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