Open source and 3D

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I’m one of the least artistic people you will ever meet though I like to build things. Through the years I’ve experimented with various applications that promised to allow me to visualise what a room or a building would look like without the time and expense involved with actual construction.

Sweet Home 3D

Thus I read with interest the related blog posts “Sweet Home 3D” and “Sweet Home 3D: Open Source, Cross Platform Design Application” which, not surprisely, talk about the Java-based open source program called Sweet Home 3D. This seems similar to the programs I used on Windows years ago, though it is, as I said Java-based and open source. I’ll definitely give it a try.

In the meanwhile, don’t I really want something like this in Second Life or OpenSim? That is, I want to be able to model something, have my avatar walk through it, and have your avatar stop over for a visit to take a look. While I’m at it, I want some CAD quality modelling tools built in so I can place the electrical outlets to code as well as get a shopping list for raw materials.

Going further, I want to pull down the paint colors from Benjamin Moore and then get an estimate of how much paint I’ll need to make that bathroom just that special shade of lavender. When done, how about helping me generate an order over the web that I can then use to buy the paint. I’m happy to pick it up at the store down the street, by the way.

Ditto for wallpaper and flooring.

For furniture, shouldn’t the major brands provide me drop-in 3D models that I can use at the right scale to show what my furnished room will look like? Again, it could be tied to the ordering process.

This would allow even more possibilities for professional interior designers. I might even get a discount on all that paint, wallpaper, and furniture.

I think you get the idea. Connecting a virtual world with the practical ideas of how we design and build in the real world would be a welcome next step. It can’t be a one-off special environment, however, it has to be something we all want to and can use.


  1. Really cool idea.

    If you have some ideas of funding this vision we would be happy to help you making it real.

    Just drop us a line at if you believe in having a reasonable concept that may be worth further discussion.

  2. That would be a brilliant addition to the virtual world toolset – it’s too time-consuming and costly to rebuild for these environments at the moment for many designers but we’ve developed a unique solution for architects and designers that enables designers to create them to create fully interactive 3D virtual environments from CAD models. Any 3D CAD model – from a building to a yacht, a car to a golf course or holiday resort – is brought to life with ARCHI-ME (, creating a high-quality model to be explored by people using an avatar, with every element customised to your needs. ARCHI-ME can be used as an engaging pedagogical tool as well as a highly cost-effective way to demonstrate designs to clients. An added advantage is that models can be exported as a software application or made available for use on a website, allowing remote users to interact fully.

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