Whether you’re in studio or meeting with a client, you never know when you’ll want to review a particular aspect of a project—which is why it’s great to have every tool you need conveniently located on your smartphone. NCARB doesn’t endorse any apps (besides our own—available for Apple and Android), but we did scour the internet for the best-recommended architectural tools. Here are 10 free apps to check out if you’re studying architecture or working in a firm:
iRhino 3D (iOS)
With this app, you can easily access all of your 3-D models whenever and wherever you want. Just download them into your library and view. The easy zoom, rotate, and pan features means you can show off every aspect of your work at a moment’s notice.
AutoCAD 360 and Autodesk FormIt 360 (iOS/Android)
Autodesk’s apps let you access your AutoCAD and Revit files on-the-go for easy drafting, sketching, and modeling on job sites. You can mark up files while you’re with a client or contractor, share, and update when you’re back at your desk.
Forgot your measuring tape? Replace it with MagicPlan. This free app uses your camera to measure rooms, create floor plans, and suggest work estimates, all of which you can easily edit and export.
Whether you’re working on a project or just looking to exercise your creativity, Paper is a simple, beautiful sketching app that lets you treat your iPhone just like your favorite notebook—but better. (Bonus: their pressure-responsive stylus, Pencil, is equally impressive.)
Just like Paper, Sketchbook lets you create quick drawings and images on your mobile device—which you can then save and refine later on your desktop.
Morpholio Trace (iOS)
Created by and for architects, Trace works just like tracing paper: with simple layers and tools, you can sketch and comment on top of images. The free app is perfect for conceptualizing design, making it easy to collaborate, and share ideas with the rest of your team.
Concept Idea Calculator (iOS)
For all those moments when you need a structural engineer on hand, Concept allows you to determine basic dimensions and test the feasibility of using various materials in a project.
Graphisoft BIMx (iOS)
Want to walk through a project before it’s been built? BIMx lets users virtually explore 3-D models and access 2-D construction documents, so you can share your work with contractors and clients on the go.
Need inspiration for a design project? This free app should be your go-to. With millions of photos of interiors and exteriors, Houzz lets you save images, visualize your finished product, and contact other professionals. Plus, if you’re a Certificate holder, you can affiliate with us through our Houzz account.
My AXP (iOS/Android)
Last but not least, NCARB's app! If you’re working on satisfying your experience requirement, this app is a must-have. Easily view, edit, and submit work experience on the go, and then check your dashboard to see your progress.