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sweet home 3d mac review - cover

Sweet Home 3D For Mac Review

If you're looking for a free and easy way to plan a home or office redesign in 2D and 3D on your Mac, Sweet Home 3D is an easy to use app. It's a bit dated and not suitable for creating serious blueprints but it offers both a web and desktop app for offline use.
Free version available
3D views
Available offline in Mac desktop app
Great for sketching ideas for builders, architects etc
Free version offers limited objects and textures
Takes some learning at first
Very dated interface

Sweet Home 3D has been around for almost 20 years and is still going strong as a popular free interior design software for Mac.

In this review, I took a closer look at what the Mac version is like.

Sweet Home 3D is a free home design and floor plan layout tool that’s been around on Windows and Macs since 2006.

Although its looking a bit dated nowadays, it still offers both 2D and 3D design tools and is easy enough to use for beginners.

Best of all, it has a free version too although as I found, it’s quite limited compared to the paid version.

Is Sweet Home 3D For Mac Free?

There is both a free and paid Mac App Store version of Sweet Home 3D for Mac.

The free version works with WebGL in any browser but it is limited to 100 pieces of furniture and 26 textures.

This is still enough to do basic floor plans and interior designs in the free version though.

The paid version on the Mac App Store cost $17.99 (£14.99) and has 1610 pieces of furniture and 423 textures.

Both the web versions and desktop versions work on both Intel and Apple Silicon Macs including the latest versions of macOS.

Web vs Desktop Interface

The interface is a simple user friendly drag-and-drop canvas but definitely looks a bit dated nowadays in both the web and desktop versions.

The desktop version looks like this:

Whereas the web interface looks like this:

The web interface also gives you templates to choose from automatically at the beginning whereas the desktop app just gives you a blank canvas.

To access templates in the desktop version, go to File > New Home From Demo and select a layout to customize.

sweet home 3d mac templates

There are also more templates available on the Sweet Home 3D website if you click on “Find more demos”.

The web version requires you to create an account and login if you want to save designs whereas the desktop version allows you to save them on your desktop.

I also found the desktop version makes it easier to change specific settings such as changing measurements from imperial to metric, snap to grid (called “magnetism”), wall thickness and more.

sweethome 3d for mac settings

However, apart from that, the two version function the same.

You can also create designs in the desktop version and import them into the web version if you wanted to share them with a Windows users for example.

2D & 3D Designs

I really liked the way in Sweet Home 3D that you can plot in 2D in the top window and then see your design develop in 3D in real time in the bottom window.

This is really useful and gives you a realistic idea of how your interiors will look up close without any rendering required.

You can see below how I drew the basic outline of a room using the plotting tool in 2D and watched it take form in 3D.

I also liked the way you can easily stretch and expand anything from furniture to walls proportionally.

The limited number of colors, textures and furnishings in the free version is frustrating but you can’t really complain considering it’s all free.

Although some users report that Sweet Home 3D can be glitchy and crash, I didn’t experience any of these problems in the desktop version at least.

Is It For Beginners?

Sweet Home 3D can easily be used by anyone without interior design or architectural experience.

It’s definitely not designed for serious architectural designs that real life construction blueprints can be based on, but it’s ideal for sketching out ideas to give to developers and builders.

There are also some tutorials I recommend checking out first including some videos from the developer and some instructions on the developer site.

You can also post questions or problems you are having on the Sweet Home 3D forum.

Alternatives to Sweet Home 3D For Mac

There are many Mac compatible floor planners and home design software that can be used instead of Sweet Home 3D.

Our favorite for simple and fast 2D floor plans is SmartDraw.

If you want a 3D desktop app, then Live Home 3D is the best we’ve tried.

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