Pool design software is any software that allows pools, spas, ponds and other water structures to be designed using a computer. With pool design software, a user can create pool layouts, physical calculations, and cost estimates of a pool design project. Given the usability and capabilities of pool design software, it can be employed by homeowners and professional contractors alike.
Pool design software can help a user design a water structure by providing a library of templates to use or step-by-step instructions for custom designing. Custom designing may allow a user to select every aspect of a pool's features, from water depth to water color and behavior. For example, water behavior can be selected to act as spillovers, negative edges or waterfalls. Interiors, such as rock and waterfall constructions, can also be chosen. Exteriors, like houses, walls, patios, furniture, pool toys and pool equipment can be added to give the design a realistic feel.
An added advantage of using pool design software is the ability to manipulate terrain so that it closely resembles a user's current or desired terrain. In place of plain slopes, users may have the option of creating elevations, multiple slopes and rolling hills. Natural colors and realistic textures can be represented and maintained through the use of these tools. Since terrain is important when designing a pool project, users will find selecting appropriate terrain representations to be an important first step in the pool designing process.
Specific software features may vary depending on the type of pool design software that a user invests in. However, a feature that can be found across many software packages is the ability to turn 2D designs into 3D renderings. Users may also be able to choose how renderings are presented. For instance, users can specify that they prefer to view their 3D visual renderings using sunlight or moonlight. Any one of these renderings can be printed out to use in conjunction with a contractor's advice.
Some pool design software packages may come with multimedia training videos that teach users how to use the software. In addition, some software packages allow users to design landscapes along with pools. Plants, trees and other landscaping may be changed or added to accurately represent a user's desired final product. Many software manufacturers include this benefit for free because of the close relation between landscaping and pool design. Some software manufacturers may even partner with landscape product vendors to provide suggestions on specific products and information on where to obtain them.