In part 1 of this series, I showed you a SOLIDWORKS model of my living room and kitchen. I was using the power of SOLIDWORKS to determine the best position for my TV.

Today, I’m venturing away from SOLIDWORKS, to a product from Dassault Systèmes called HomeByMe. This free design tool is made for my next step in decorating my living room – the furniture placement.

As an engineer, people tell me I don’t have the best “decorating sense.” And I need to Feng Shui more… I just want my couch to face the TV so I can fall asleep to Star Trek reruns.

While SOLIDWORKS was great for modeling the floor plan and mounting cameras EXACTLY where I wanted; I could not devote the time to model every piece of furniture I own (or plan to own). GrabCAD, 3D Content Central, and My.SolidWorks.com are great resources, but those sites are clearly geared towards mechanical products. Each site has a great user content side, but I can’t walk into a furniture store with a 3D model and order that (yet).

Enter, HomeByMe. This free software will let you import a floorplan or start from scratch. Create walls, floors, doors, and windows, and then it will render them in 3D for you! Of course it doesn’t stop there. You can browse their catalog for everything from kitchen cabinets, appliances, to furniture and décor.

HomeByMe

So I started out the same way as I did in SOLIDWORKS. I imported the floor plan and traced the walls. Then I was able to drag and drop the windows and doors. It even lets me dimension the walls and label the rooms.

Floor Plan

Here comes the cool part. When you click the “Furnish” button it instantly brings you into a 3D environment with an avatar that you can drag around. I started furnishing the kitchen as you can see below.

Kitchen

Other than the effortless (and cool) 3D renderings, the best part of this is the library that is built right in. As I mentioned before, you can add all sorts of features, cabinets, countertops, furniture, appliances, even decorations and accents.

So below is what I ended up with. We decided the TV should go on the far wall. The furniture and accents aren’t exactly our style or color scheme, but they give us a much better idea of what our future living room will look like.

Kitchen

If you do find furniture or pieces that you like and want to purchase, you can click the “info” button and it brings up the product info page.

Cymax

There is even a link to go to the manufacturer’s website and order it right from there. Finally, on the “Summary” tab, you can see an itemized list of everything you added to your home. It will give you the area of each room, and all the furniture broken out by vendor. This makes spending money VERY easy!

In all, I was able to create the first floor to my new home and decorate it in about 8 hours. I probably would have been done sooner, but I was watching TV, entertaining the kids, and struggling with furniture design and placement (there’s that Feng Shui thing again) for most of that time.

So in conclusion, I lost the placement battle. We are going to put it on the far wall. In deciding, though, I got to use some really neat features in SOLIDWORKS and I got to learn about HomeByMe. I’m sure I will be using that again in the future.

As always, thanks for reading and happy modeling!


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