Free Architectural Rendering Software For Mac

  1. Best Free Architectural Rendering Software
  2. Rendering Software For Free
  3. Free Architectural Rendering Software For Mac

For photorealistic rendering of 3D images and videos, 3D rendering software is a must have. Most 3D modeling and animation tools have their own internal renderer. At times the capacity for internal renderers to produce high-quality, photorealistic images and video is limited. In such cases, an external renderer can be used; one that will improve the quality of the render. Here are some of the top 3D rendering tools for the creation of amazing projects.


Oct 09, 2008  If it's rendering software that you want to interface with a modelling program, then Cheetah3D is the best bargain on the Mac ($149). It's a full 3D app (so you can do modelling animations as well), but the rendering engine and render management is superb. I’m an architect and use the Mac OS X and Windows version to build my models. My personal experience shows me that, yes, vray produces brilliant results and is my personal choice. But there is more to architectural visualization than an good rendering engine. For example good textures and advanced skills in. Oct 13, 2018  Top free rendering software for Architect. Looking for a particular rendering possibility or style? Create high-quality renders with this free software. Support me on PATREON: https://www.patreon.

Lumion 3D

Capture your audience’s attention by making great presentations using Lumion 3D. You can create flythrough videos and fantastic images using this tool. Lumion is used by 61 of the top global architectural firms. It has a simple workflow, allowing users to get started within a short period. The render engine is one of the fastest in its caliber.

AutoDesk 3D

This is a design, visualization and rendering tool that is used in the design of motor vehicles, building, and a host of other products. The render tool can be used to bring videos, still images and even abstract designs to life. The real-time render engine allows you to view your project as you proceed, allowing for faster realization of ideas.


For an awesome, accurate and fast realization of your 3D creations, KeyShot is the perfect render engine to use. It has a real-time render workflow that allows you to see your animations and images become real as you create them. The time required to complete projects is reduced by the inbuilt environments and materials, which you can assign with a click of your mouse.

Indigo renderer

This is an unbiased, physically based 3D rendering tool that uses physical calculations of light to give you the best photorealistic renders ever. The tool comes with plugins that can be used by several 3D modeling software, across many platforms. The application of this render engine has produced some of the most breathtaking videos and images ever seen.

3DS Max

3D design, modeling and animation software, used for a wide range of creative projects. Whether you are creating a cartoon or a realistic scene for a commercial, this software gives you the tools to accomplish this with ease. It is also used for the creation of architectural designs and flythroughs.

Blender 3D

This is an open source, free tool that is used for fantastic 3D creations. You can create cartoons and photorealistic images and videos using this tool. It comes with two inbuilt render engines, namely Blender internal and Cycles. The tool also works with several external render engines such as Yafray and LuxRender.

Maxwell Render


Create plains, trees and grass that looks like it was shot with a high-definition camera, using the internal libraries of this versatile 3D rendering software. The render engine works well with other 3D design tools such as Sketchup and Modo. Create fantasy images and breathe life into them with this versatile tool.


Create 3D models and renders by simply drawing. With Sketchup, you only need to draw lines and shapes, and then stretch and pull the surfaces to turn them into 3D designs. You can make anything that your mind can imagine. This is a 3D rendering tool that has been dubbed as one of the easiest to use in the industry.


A 3D rendering tool for Sketchup that uses cloud computing in its workflow. You now have access to unlimited computing power to bring the most resource-intensive creations to life, within a short period. The render engine allows you to buy a full license, or one that you can use as you go, starting from as little as $50.

Other 3D rendering Software for different platforms

Oddly, most of the 3D render tools are designed for Windows and Mac. However, due to the high demand for mobile solutions, there has been an increase in the development of 3D tools for other platforms including iOS, Android, Ubuntu amongst others. Here is a list of these 3D tools.

Wings 3D

This is a free 3D rendering tool for Windows with advanced sub-division modeling for the creations of lifelike images and videos. It comes with a built-in AutoUV mapping tool for easy assignment of the most complex textures. It exports to the most common 3D formats. NOTE: you cannot animate the models in this tool. is a free 3D rendering software that can be used on an Android system. The tool runs on a web browser and unleashes some powerful tools to help you realize your 3D creations. The material library is vast and allows for photo-realistic texture application. The tool is quite fast and great for the creation of quick visualizations and animations.

Autodesk 123D

This is a free 3D rendering software for Mac OSX, among other operating systems. The various tools allow you to design, create and render 3D models with power and speed. The program supports 3D printing and you can bring your creations out of your computer and into your real world environment. There are thousands of free models that you can use for your projects.

Houdini Apprentice

The free version of the professional Houdini FX, used on Linux. It is great for hobbyists, Students and Artists to create their designs, before moving on to the commercial version. You get watermarks on your renderings and there is a limited render size. Otherwise comes with a lot of powerful features built-in for your creative projects.

LuxRender – The best 3D rendering software for 2016

This is an unbiased, physically based 3D rendering engine. It comes with advanced, state-of-the-art algorithms that calculate light flow based on physical equations. These calculations allow for the most photorealistic renders that you have ever seen. It will be hard to believe that the image or video that you are watching was not created using a real-life camera.

What is 3D rendering Software?

These are tools that are used to bring 3D models to life. Whether you are creating cartoons or realistic scenes, you can achieve all these using these versatile tools. They read the texture characteristics, and the lighting to create the images and videos that you want. Some 3D rendering tools are free while others are commercial; some come inbuilt into the modeling software, while others are external. The choice of your 3d rendering tools should be dictated by the project that you have. Some scenes are simple and do not use a lot of system resources, making it ideal to use the inbuilt render engines. Other complex scenes may require the use of external, cloud-based, 3D rendering engines.

How to install 3D rendering software

Some of the 3D render engines come pre-built into the modeling and animation software. By simply clicking the installer, you not only install the modeling tool but the render engine too. However, in the case of external render engines, you may have to install plugins, which will allow them to work within your modeling tool. If you want to export to a format that can be used by the render engine, then you can do so, directly from the modeling tool, or look for export plugins. In some cases, you may have to go through a complex installation process where you change file paths in your system tools, but these cases are few.
Basically, 3D rendering tools are ideal for people who want to impress their audience through imagery. Just like the musician uses instruments to enthrall their listeners, 3D modeling artists depend on the render tools to bring their creations to life. What good would a 3D modeling and animation tool be, if it could not render the designs into captivating images and videos? The tools have several features and you should go through each carefully before deciding on which render engine to use.

Related Posts

Professional architecture software makes the processes of design and information management very efficient and fast. Thus, it helps architects increase output and improve productivity considerably.

Depending on the complexity of a software product and the number of features included in its toolkit, it may be pricy. However, some instruments are still available in the market at no charge. Here, we’ve collected a list of free architecture software that could be a great alternative to expensive 3D design, CAD and modeling software tools.

1. actiTIME

Many architects – both solo and small teams – charge clients on an hourly basis. Therefore, they need to make sure that the working time is utilized as productively and efficiently as possible, and actiTIME is meant to help architects with that.

With the assistance of this simple-to-use time tracker, you can see how many hours are spent on projects and tasks and easily analyze individual and team productivity trends. Additionally, actiTIME streamlines client billing and allows for generating detailed invoices in just several clicks. In this way, it saves a ton of time while fostering an immense productivity boost.

actiTIME is very robust, integrated well into your business process, and most important, helps you focus on your business instead of monkeying around with technology. actiTIME has reduced our payroll processing from 4-6 hours per week to 45 minutes per week.

2. Blender

Blender is a free and open-source 3D-modeling solution. It supports all the steps of the model creation process: modeling, rigging, animation, rendering, motion tracking, and also includes video editing and game creation features. This is a flexible tool that should work well for both bigger design firms and self-employed professionals and students. It is highly customizable and can be enhanced with a variety of free community-developed extensions.

3. FreeCAD

This multiplatform open-source solution is a parametric 3D modeler built for creating models of real-life objects. The tool allows you to make 2D sketches and use them to create 3D objects, and vice versa – create 2D drawings based on existing 3D models. It supports various file formats (STEP, IGES, STL, SVG, DXF, OBJ, IFC, DAE and more) so that users can process exported files in other software. FreeCAD is a great tool for both professionals and hobbyists, and can be used in design, architecture, construction, mechanical engineering, and other fields.

4. LibreCAD

LibreCAD is a free 2D-CAD multiplatform solution for Windows, Mac and Linux. It is essentially a community version of QCAD. It allows users to make different types of technical drawings, such as building and room plans, interior design schemes, mechanical part schematics, and diagrams. The main supported file format is DXF, but the tool also allows users to export files to SVG and PDF. LibreCAD should work well for professionals, students, hobbyists and enthusiasts.

5. OpenSCAD

OpenSCAD is an open-source solution for creating solid 3D CAD models and is available for Windows, Unix, and Mac. What makes it different from most 3D modeling applications is the fact that it does not focus on the artistic side of 3D modeling, but instead on the CAD aspects. It’s not an interactive modeling tool, and instead works more like a 3D compiler that renders 3D model based on the description of their properties in a script file, which gives the user full control over the modeling process.

6. My Virtual Home

My Virtual Home is a 3D home design app that was inspired by base-building video games: it includes a set of standard blocks and modifications that you can use to plan the space of your home, office or any other location.

It’s a simple app that is geared more towards beginners and people who are not very proficient in visual design. It’s easy to learn (getting the basics won’t take longer than 10 minutes) and allows users to create a full design in an hour or less. The tool also provides an accurate lighting model, where you can set up your latitude, longitude and season, to add realistic lighting effects to your virtual environment.

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7. SmartDraw

SmartDraw is an architectural design app with a strong focus on making the process as quick and simple as possible. It offers dozens of templates that you can modify and customize with the help of thousands of ready-made symbols, so you can easily make multiple design variations and pick the ones that meet your needs.

The app is available as both a cloud solution and a downloadable package for Windows. It supports integration with many popular tools like Trello and Jira, so you can optimize your workflow even further, and allows you to export your drawings and plans in different formats, so you can print them out or import them in other apps.

8. Sweet Home 3D

A simple and convenient open-source tool for beginners that’s great for designing interiors and drawing home or office plans that you can later review in 3D. You can create photorealistic images and videos based on your plans, and use different light sources to simulate how the environment would look in specific conditions.

The software allows you to import additional 3D models from other sources, and export your plans in various popular formats.


One of the oldest modeling applications that has been in active development for over 30 years. It’s an open-source cross-platform system designed for constructive solid geometry design (CSG). It allows you to create, analyze, and edit 3D models that you can later use in other tools and systems.

The tool supports interactive geometry editing, high-performance ray-tracing, a benchmark suite, and geometry libraries for application developers.

Best Free Architectural Rendering Software

10. Sculptris

Sculptris is a simple and easy to learn tool available for Windows and Mac that is perfect for people who are trying to get into the 3D modeling world. It features a very straightforward interface that even someone with no experience in modeling can get started with relatively quickly, but its features are robust enough to build base models that can later be refined in more advanced applications.


11. Meshmixer

Meshmixer is a powerful tool with a strong emphasis on the mechanical functionality of 3D design. It is primarily used to prepare meshes for 3D printing, allowing users to design 3D objects, or clean up their existing 3D scans.

Despite being a free tool, it offers some truly powerful features and techniques usually found in more sophisticated industrial grade software: mass optimization, hollowing, scaling and mesh simplification, making it an invaluable tool if you work with 3D printing. It’s best suited for more advanced users and is available for Windows and Mac.

Rendering Software For Free


Free Architectural Rendering Software For Mac

Handling architecture, design, and modeling tasks quickly and professionally doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. If you’re on a tight budget, there are plenty of free architecture software out there that can download and try right now.