Three-dimensional (3D) floor plans are virtual models of physical spaces, typically houses, apartments, and commercial spaces. These plans can be used in a variety of ways, including for sales and redecorating. Some companies specialize in creating this type of floor plan, but it is also possible to construct a floor plan in various 3D modeling programs. While 3D floor plans are useful for many purposes, some people also enjoy making these plans as a hobby, much like decorating dollhouses.
One common use of 3D floor plans is in sales, where potential homeowners or renters can view this type of plan to get a feel for what the space actually looks like. This is usually considered a more appealing type of representation for potential clients because many people cannot visualize 2D floor plans with much accuracy. In 3D, it is possible to place models of furniture or people in the room as well, which can give viewers a better sense of how big the space is. 3D tours can also be animated using this type of floor plan.
For decorating or furnishing a space, 3D floor plans primarily help decorators understand how items will fit together and what the space will look like when finished. Some people like to have a 3D floor plan with them on their phones or portable computers when shopping for furniture. While a 3D representation of a room is not a perfect representation, it is accurate in terms of the height, width, and length of items, so it can be very valuable when purchasing furniture or large artwork.
Many companies specialize in producing 3D floor plans, but it is usually possible to make these floor plans without professional assistance. Online programs that allow users to create 3D models of spaces are often free and may be simplified for use by novice designers. In these programs, it may be possible to input information about the layout of the space in two dimensions and then extract a 3D design from that information. This is usually straightforward as long as the walls are straight and the ceiling is flat. Curved walls, while more difficult, can also be represented in 3D accurately with careful measurements.
People often include details in 3D floor plans other than the mere dimensions of the floor. Wall colors can be changed in these representations, and furniture of many types can be added. For this reason, these plans can also be useful for interior designers who are trying out new looks. Hobbyist designers may find that the ability to experiment prior to making any choices about a space is reassuring as well.