Autodesk Home Styler

The free online Autodesk Homestyler is currently in beta on http://www.homestyler.com. It works directly inside the browser and requires the Flash Player to be installed. It is simple enough to use directly and, frankly, is faster for a quick and simple modeling of your current room than typical CAD and BIM software. You can drag and drop colors, textures, furniture etc and the dimension features are basic but usable (and you can use metric units too! not bad for a US application).

I just tried to recreate our office room on my Mac, browsing in Safari and had no problems whatsoever.

However, as indicated by the "beta" sign, there are still issues to resolve. So far I had following strange behaviors:
  • inserting a wall extension into a wall that had a window created a strange corner in the wall and it was not properly aligned anymore;
  • the generic table is stretchable (nice) but can not be stretched wide enough for our office tables;
  • placing four sofas around a coffee table was easy, but whenever I was moving the upper lef one, it always rotated back into its original orientation;
  • when turning the orientation of a door, the texture (with the door knob) did not follow and thus the 3D view showed the door knob on the wrong side of the door;
  • trying to align to table next to eachother gave a small gap, as the automatic alignment and overlap detection tried to avoid them laying flat agains eachother;
  • the available collection of objects is limited to a few manufacturers. Should this be made open, the interface will have to cope with larger lists of objects (tip: use a faceted search style interface and ensure pictograms for previews!).
So far, my experience is quite positive.