Architectural design software

Autodesk software empowers you to bring your architectural designs to life. 

Rendering of the BIM City Westside Hospital data set illustrating a structural view.

What is architectural design?

Architectural design is a discipline that blends technical and creative design to create buildings or structures that are not only safe and durable, but attractive and useful. Architects typically create architectural designs by understanding the space, what it is to be used for, and creating a functional structure for the space. Architectural design encompasses many phases of the design process from schematic design and design development to construction of the structure. Autodesk provides the technology to help with all aspects of the design and collaboration process.

Types of architectural design software

Rendering of a 2D factory layout with an overlay of 3D factory content

2D architectural design software

Create, edit, and annotate 2D architectural drawings (floor plans, landscaping layouts, etc.) more quickly and with greater precision.

Rendering of a house with a city backdrop

3D architectural design software

Visualize your architectural design in 3D and create realistic models with materials, textures, and automated tools.  

Building with experimental, quasi random accumulation of volumes and balconies.

Rendering software

Generate immersive photorealistic renderings to experience how architectural designs will perform in context for project reviews.

3D visualization of a construction project

BIM software

Use an intelligent 3D model-based design process to more efficiently plan, design, construct, and manage buildings.

Design software for architects

Powerful BIM and CAD tools for designers, engineers, and contractors, including Revit, AutoCAD, Civil 3D, Autodesk Forma, and more

2D and 3D CAD tools, with enhanced insights, AI-automations, and collaboration features. Subscription includes AutoCAD on desktop, web, mobile, and seven specialized toolsets.

Plan, design, construct, and manage buildings with powerful tools for Building Information Modeling.

3D modeling, animation, and rendering software for games and design visualization

Reality capture and 3D scanning software and services

BIM 360 is a construction management platform that connects, organizes, and optimizes projects from design to construction.

Explore related architecture topics

Learn more about communicating design intent and improving design quality using Autodesk architecture software.

Architecture building European Spallation Source

Architecture software

Autodesk architecture software solutions support the rapid innovation needed to meet today’s design challenges.

Man viewing a rendering of a health care center on a tablet

Architectural rendering

Help clients visualize your designs with realistic renders.

Rendering of an open office building with a cross section cut out showing the interior.

Architectural drawing

Bring your design ideas to life with technical drawing technology.

Architectural design apps

Discover architecture software apps that keep you connected wherever you are, while helping bring your architectural designs to life on your mobile device.

Architects using AutoCAD in a mobile environment.

AutoCAD mobile app

Extend AutoCAD software beyond the desktop. Easily view, create, edit, and share DWG™ files on your iOS or Android device.

A360 Collaboration for Revit in use

A360 mobile app

Share, view, and comment on 2D and 3D DWG™, DWF, Navisworks, and Revit software files.

Architectural engineer using BIM 360 on a job site

BIM 360

A unified app for the next-generation BIM 360 platform with the ability to access all architecture project documents and execute construction workflows.

Sketch in 3D, anywhere, and design on an iPad with clients, on site, or anywhere inspiration strikes


Conceptualize, analyze, and share early building design concepts digitally, anywhere ideas strike.

View of the cover of “The Benefits of Using the Architecture toolset in AutoCAD” study

Benefits of the AutoCAD Architecture toolset

The Architecture toolset brings dramatically increased productivity and significant time savings to common AutoCAD architecture design tasks.

See how customers are using architectural design software

Lobby of Moxy Osaka Honmachi


Moxy hotel blends fun and interior design with AutoCAD LT

Discover how Tokyo-based Wise Labo blends fun, inspiration, and AutoCAD LT for the design of the Moxy Hotel in Osaka.

Exterior view of the Alea Homes Project


Redefining housing with Cano y Escario Arquitectura

Using BIM method and Autodesk solutions, the Cano y Escario practice has been a key agent in this redefinition of residential architecture.

Interior rendering of the second largest mall in Africa


How to build one of the biggest malls in Africa

Working in a fully integrated BIM environment using Revit, Navisworks & BIM 360 Glue B + P rose to the challenge of delivering the 2nd biggest mall in SA.

Architectural design software resources

Learn how the Autodesk AEC Collection helps make construction sequencing more efficient for streamlined project phasing.

Get information on Revit software development, insider tips and tricks, and industry trends.

Use BIM architectural design software to win more work and retain clients.

Compare Autodesk's best-selling BIM and CAD software, Revit and AutoCAD.

Find third-party technology providers who deliver AEC solutions that complement Autodesk software offerings.

Learn the fundamental concepts and workflows in Revit.

FAQs on architectural design software

Why should you use CAD software for architectural design?

Used worldwide by both commercial and residential architects, CAD has replaced manual drafting. It helps users create designs in either 2D or 3D so they can visualize the construction. CAD enables the development, modification, and optimization of the architectural design process.

Which Autodesk software is used by architects for residential and commercial buildings?

Many architects use AutoCAD as a 2D drawing tool for creating floor plans, elevations, and sections. The architectural design software speeds up the drawing process with pre-built objects like walls, doors, and windows that behave like real-world objects.

Is there a free version of AutoCAD?

Yes. Students and educators can get free one-year educational access to Autodesk products and services, renewable for as long as you remain eligible. Learn more.

What software design tools do architects use?

Autodesk provides a variety of software and solutions for architects, including AutoCADCivil 3DRevit, and more.

What are the differences between Revit and SketchUp?

Autodesk Revit is a professional BIM (Building Information Management) software that provides powerful tools for professionals, allowing them to visualize and coordinate every aspect of an architectural project in a very accurate way. In SketchUp, a 3D shape is just a 3D shape, but in Revit, every form represents a real-world object.

Is architectural design software the same as interior design software?

Architects design buildings using software focused more on exteriors, while interior designers focus on the inside spaces of buildings, and include furniture, fixtures, and other accessories to create a desired look and function.

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