SoftPlan Features in Detail - SoftPlan Architectural Design Software - Cadbuild

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SoftPlan Features in Detail

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Drawing Tools

Walls, Beams and Decking Beams
SoftPlan is supplied with a comprehensive list of walls and beams. This list comprises of internal, external, load and non load bearing walls, typically used in construction. There are also speciality walls eg, glass, firewalls and retaining walls. Additional walls can be created as required.

Beams and Decking Beams, like the wall list there is a variety of beams that can be applied to drawings. Beams can be edited for size, material and new beams can be created for use in future drawings.

Wall and Beam list
SoftPlan Walls

A large library of generic style and size of openings is included along with brand named libraries. Opening styles include, arch, internal and external doors, niche, vent and window. The window library includes, sliding, awning, casement, corner, double hung, louver, side light and speciality styles.
Brand named libraries include A&L, Stegbar, G James, Hanlon, Hume, Trend and Wideline.
SoftPlan Openings


SoftPlan includes many different dimensioning tools and formats.
Simple dimensioning between two points to auto dimensioning of plans.
Dimension to the edges or to centre of items, eg posts.
Associated dimensions ensure items like walls match the dimension, so if the item changes size, so does the dimension and visa versa.
Here are a few of the specific dimensionsing tools.
Dimension Point -  dimensions between any two points.
Diagonal Square - useful for slab diagonals.
Set Distance Between - a temporary edit and set dimension tool.
Dimension Angle - measures angle between two objects.

Floor System
Floor System is a mode where flooring components are added to the drawing. Tools include, slab - both structural with footings and non structural for verandahs and patios.
Timber flooring tools allow for the design of joists, bearers and sheet flooring.
Multiple floor systems and levels can be added to each floor as required, using manual or autotrace.
SoftPlan Floor System

Ceiling mode provides the tools to add ceiling joists and a variety of ceiling lining materials, eg, plaster, plywood, firecheck, ceiling tiles and villaboard etc. Ceilings can be applied flat or raked using manual or autotrace.
SoftPlan Ceiling Tools

SoftPlan's roofing tools are the easiest and most comprehensive in the industry. Using AutoRoof, the majority of buildings are instantly roofed. You have total control over all parameters like overhang, pitch, rafter size, fascia height and gutter design etc.
Initally Auto Roof will apply a hip roof, then simple edit each edge to the style required, eg, gable, dutch gable, double hip or profile. Profile allows you to draw the shape required and apply the shape to the roof panel. Profile is used to apply bull nose verandah style roofing.
Skillion or flat roofs are easily applied by having a hip on the lowest edge and gables on the other edges.
SoftPlan Roof Tools

Site mode is used to enter the property shape either by sketching or entering surveyor coordinates. This property will display in 3D according to heights entered. Shot points and height values will provide the information to generate contour lines.
Site objects like roads, foot paths, garden beds and fences will display in 3D. Service information like power, phone, plumbing all can be added using the included tools.

Site Tools

The post library consists of stuctural, decorative and fence. All these posts can be edited for size and appearance in 3D. Posts placed under a beam will follow the beam if it is moved.
Post Library

Simple to use decking tools, just trace the shape and a deck will be drawn including joists and decking boards. A library of editable railing designs along with different decking surfaces can be applied.
Decking provides options to set overhang, board width and thickness along with spacing and square or chamfer profiles.
A solid surface for tiles can also be used.
Decking Tools

Framing Mode provides the tools to modify framing components
like adding, removing or moving of studs, adding lintels and setting
wall junction styles. By adding wall IDs when the panel diagrams are
generated they will be labelled.
Additional dimensions can be placed before printing to produce
workshop drawings.
Wall Framing

Stairs can be added to drawings by selecting from the predefined library or sketching width and length then editing, rise, run and number of treads etc. You have total control of design for tread nosing, stringer number and placement along with railing design and offset.
Stair types available include straight, Angles, Curved, Flared and Fold Back. Different stair types can be combined and latched to landings to form units that can be moved and edited as a single item.
Stair Styles
SoftPlan Stair Tools

A large library of electrical symbols for power points, switches, tv outlets, ceiling fans and lights with the majority being displayed in 3D. Light symbols have lighting values to control lighting effect in 3D.
Electrical Lighting

Over 5000 symbols are provided. These symbols range from bathroom and kitchen to play equipment, through to cars and industrial equipment. Symbols can be edited for size and texture (color) in 3D. If on the rare occasion an addtional symbol is required there is an import Wizard that guides you through the import process.
There are many pre drawn detail symbols for construction connections, wall and footings details as well as bracket diagrams.
Details can be saved for future use.  
Furniture Symbols


Notes can be entered directly to drawings by typing, copying & pasted from text programs or using Speed Notes. Speed notes are previously saved notes that can be selected and placed on drawings.
Libraries of notes are supplied that can be customised as required.

Key Note

Key Notes are a method to assign a number to a note, then create a table matching the number to the note.

Complete kitchen design is easily accomplished, cabinets can be added one at a time or using AutoCabinet where a line is traced and cabinets will be placed to fill the space, avoiding windows and allowing for white goods like fridges and dishwashers.
Libraries of predefined cabinet sizes and designs are supplied as well as custom sizes.
Custom designs created from various styles like open, draws, single or double doors are easily created and saved for future use.
Select from 8 door styles, 5 construction methods and 20 user defined finish colours. Accessories like light valence and top cornice moulding along with under lights are a simple selection.
Kitchen Cabinets

Line draw shapes like box, triangle, circles, arcs and polygons etc are all available and can be draw to any size or direction. These line shapes are commonly used for construction details, border sheet design and additional detail to elevation and section drawings.

Shape Drawing Tools

A library of editable solids that are displayed in 3D. Shapes include cones, cubes, polygons, pyramid, spheres, wedges and cylinders.  
Solid Tools

En extensive library of architectural line draw paint fill patterns along with many fill styles for roof, cladding, brick and tile etc. Manufacturer libraries for stacked stone and various paving designs.
Image texture can also be added to drawings, this enables true to product representation to be displayed.
Painting Tools
3Dimensional Imaging

Generated panorama files can be exported via SoftPlan reView for viewing on PC or for a better display use SoftPlan+ for viewing on phone or tablet device. When panorama are viewed on devices the gyroscope will move the image as the device is moved, like looking through a port hole into the room.

IPad Panorams

Presentation Views
At any time of the design process of the floor plan an automatic presentation view can be generated. This presentation is displayed as a downwards view of the building with the roof and ceiling materials removed, giving a true feeling of space.

Presentation View

3D Modes
The 3D model of the building can be displayed in various styles, wire frame, visible line, shaded, sketched, illustrated, clay model, water colour, textured and rendered. Also see modes of Interior 3D

All modes are independantly adjustable for lighting, background image, face options, fog and other effects.
Rendered mode is the highest quality and will produce photo real images with reflections, shadowing, indirect lighting and other graphical options. All easy to use and will produce a very good quality image without changing any settings.

SoftPlan 3D Modes

Creating video animations is remarkably easy, position the camera in 3D, with the mouse, add the image by clicking the plus sign on the time line, move the camera and add it to the time line, continue adding and when finished SoftPlan will join all the images filling in the movement between images to produce a smooth continious movie that can be viewed on any PC.


Lighting is one of the most important aspects to producing realistic 3D images. Lighting and resulting shadows give depth to images. Lighting can be applied in a few ways in SoftPlan, false lighting, lighting from light fixtures and ambient light. Light from light fittings is the most realistic where brightness, colour and decay can be controlled as well as direction and shadows.
On the right is the same image the left half has no lighting while the right side has. Where there is no lighting image appears washed out and over exposed. SoftPlan is supplied with settings that will produce very respectable images, these settings can be altered as required.   
Bathroom Lighting


SoftPlan is supplied with thousands of textures that can be applied to surfaces. You have complete control of the appearance of the texture regards brightness, reflectivity, size and many other settings.

Many manufacturers libraries are supplied for bricks, roof tiles, metal roofing material, shade cloth, carpets and wall paper to mention a few.

Additional textures can be added, gathered from digital cameras, the Internet or scanned from brochures etc. Simply place the file in the texture library and it will be available from within SoftPlan.   
SoftPlan Textures

Room Mode

Although Room Mode is not a 3D mode it greatly enhances 3D internal images by adding finishing materials to the model. A single click will add skirting, cornice, floor coverings, wall and ceiling paint, ceiling material and depending on room, chair rails. The room is coloured and design size added to the plan.

A schedule of materials is generated showing material, type and size, other information can be selected to be included in the table.

Room Mode is one the most appropriate ways of displaying floor plans for sales brochures as it can be coloured and enhanced with furniture symbols, leaving out much of the construction type information.

Materials added to the plan by Room Mode are also counted by SoftList in the material list report.
Finishing Schedule
Room Mode
Material List Tools

SoftList - Material Lists
There are several presetup material list formats, being Summary and Detailed. Apart for the usual description, quantity, price and total columns that the Summary Report has, the Detailed Report also has markup and labour fields and many materials are counted in units rather than totals.
Material calculation as well as report style can be customised as required. Additional materials can be added to the list and counted in the way you require.

SoftList Materials

Edit Item - Quick List
When editing an item on the floor plan a quick material list for the items can be generated. This can be useful when requiring material quantities for a single wall.

SoftList Quick List

Material Take Off
SoftList Mode is a method to trace over imported line drawings, eg, DWG / DXF to calculate areas, lengths, heights and count items. The Lighting Load report uses areas to reference wattage per m2 to calculate allowable electrical loading.

Material Take Off
Special Reports

Lighting Load
Utilising SoftList Mode to define areas and Electrical Mode to add lighting symbols and apply a wattage to each light, SoftList can then calculate wattage to habitable, balcony and garage areas and report if values are exceeded. The report table can be included on floor plan drawings.

Lighting Load Calculations

Site Coverage
Using information from the site drawing for property, building footprint, drive and other hard surface areas, SoftPlan can generate a site coverage report calculating percentage of permeable area.
If the maximum coverage is exceeded the exceeded value will be displayed you adjustments can be made to comply.

Allowable Site Coverage
Site Coverage

Site Details

This Report picks up the values from the Site plan and displays them with the relevent values for length width and volume where applicable.

'Site Details
Other Features

Annotated Drawings

Annotated drawings provides the ability to add lines, notes and symbols to live elevations, sections and interior elevations. These live drawings can be added to Plan Sets for printing.
As these drawings are live linked, changes to any view updates all other views.
Using annotated drawings combined with Building Options will provide fast production of drawing sets that have various layout options.

Layers are a method to hide or display items on the plan. Layers also allow for different colours for groups of items. The layer menu provides control for locking, fade, line style and print pen to be used.
Layers operate on a drawing by drawing basis and only control visibility on 2D drawings.
SoftPlan Layers

Building Options
Building Option are similar to Layers but are far more useful. With Building Options various building designs can be incorperated on a single plan, eg, different sunroom designs can be placed on the same house plan and by selecting the appropriate Building Option different sunrooms are displayed. This control of display follows through to 3D and material list.
When used in conjunction with Plan Sets, Building Options allow different designs to be displayed on a single print sheet.
Building Options are on a folder by folder basis, this means all drawings in a project will have the same set of Building Options.

Building Options
Building Options Groups

Plan Sets
Plan Sets are a simple to use "Drag and Drop" drawing assembly method. With auto scaling, auto drawing name and scale text. Drawings can be cropped and multiple instances of the same plan in differnt modes can be displayed. eg, Floor Plan in Roof Mode, Framing Mode and Floor System Mode without the need to have separate drawings.

Plan Sets

Import / Export
SoftPlan can import and Export DWG / DXF files as well as create Mitek exchange files as used by Mitek frame fabricators.
There are two DWG import functions, one will perform a simple import, reading the file and importing the data.
The second import is called DWG Convert where layers can be selected for import and can be converted to SoftPlan walls, openings and symbols. This process builds up a SoftPlan object drawing from a flat simple line drawing. See AutoCAD® Convert - Import below.

AutoCAD® Round Trip - Export
When a SoftPlan drawing is exported as a DWG file to the likes of an engineer or surveyor for work then returned, when imported any SoftPlan objects are returned allowing elevations, cross sections and 3D to be created.  
DXF / DWG Import Export

AutoCAD® Convert - Import

The second import feature is called DWG Convert where layers can be selected for import and converted to SoftPlan walls, openings and symbols. This process builds up a SoftPlan object drawing from a flat simple line drawing.

When designing multi story buildings it is usually necessary to view the location of load bearing items being on the floor above or below. Overlay displays another (floor) drawing as dashed lines. Stairs are one of the most common items requiring this view of the other floor.
Overlay Drawing

SoftPlan+ Cloud
The SoftPlan+ Cloud has several features. Drawings can be shared with other SoftPlan users, additional symbols, textures and option to upload animation (movies) directly to YouTube®
Latitude and Logtitude site data can be exported then the building can be viewed in Google Earth®, showing its real world location and surrounding.
SoftPlan+ Project Share

Viewer for iOS and Android
As part of SoftPlan+ drawings and panarama can be sent to non SoftPlan users and viewed on phones and tablets. Utilising the gyroscope in the device panarama will appears as if you are in the room.
Panorama can be viewed on  iOS (Apple) and Android devices as well as PCs.
Google Play Logo Download for Android phones and tablets.

App Store Logo Download for Apple phones and tablets.

SP PC reView Logo Download for Windows® based computers.

SoftPlan+ Web3D

We've added a new feature exclusive to  SoftPlan+. This feature allows you to publish 3D models directly to the  web to be viewed by anyone you wish. Once published, we create a link to  your web3d page which is hosted on SoftPlan’s site. Anyone you share  this link with can view and explore your project without needing to  download and install any additional software. SoftPlan web3d models can  be viewed and navigated on PC, phone, or tablet.

Easily to use tools to view inside, outside, rotate and zoom.

Nesting Drawings and Regions

Nested Drawings & Regions Nested Regions provide a simple and convenient way to insert reference drawings and drawing regions into floor plans that often repeat layouts and other design elements, such as apartment building plans. Once created and inserted into a drawing, nested regions can then be moved, rotated, and modified to seamlessly join with existing elements on the drawing. Nested Regions also have the option to automatically sync to their sources so that they will update as changes are made to the original drawing. With only a few clicks of the mouse to create and insert Nested Regions, this new feature saves time while providing the precision needed to design complete, accurate plans.

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