DesignCAD 3D Max 23 Review


PROS / Easy navigation, time-saving tools and customizable features all work together to make DesignCAD a trouble-free work environment.

CONS / Not all files are compatible with DesignCAD 3D Max. It does not support files for 3D printing in STL, DGN and SKP formats.

VERDICT / Overall, DesignCAD 3D Max is one of the best choices for a CAD program due to its reasonable learning curve, long list of versatile features and thousands of free models and symbols.

The very best CAD software has more features than you could possibly name and probably ever use. DesignCAD 3D Max is a great alternative to the best professional CAD software on the market. Not only is DesignCAD 3D Max feature heavy, but it is also powerful and extremely affordable. If you can live without a few professional features, this easy CAD software is the best choice for producing 3D and 2D architectural designs, engineering prototypes and other models. Out of all the competitors on our CAD software list, DesignCAD 3D Max wins the Top Ten Reviews Silver Award for value, an easy interface and a superior lineup of features and tools to save you time and to boost your creative productivity.

DesignCAD 3D Max 23
  1. The number of included models or components with each program.
    More is Better
  2. 2 DesignCAD 3D Max
    600 Number
  3. 190 Number
  4. 450 Number
  5. Category Average
    147.73 Number

Design Tools

Like its name suggests, DesignCAD 3D Max is a heavily design-based 2D and 3D CAD program. Like the best 3D CAD software DesignCAD 3D max has both drawing and modeling tools similar to those found in professional programs like AutoCAD. Helpful features like hatching and texture tools allow you to customize your models for easier creation and more realistic rendering. Photorealistic rendering capabilities can turn your computer generated models into realistic pieces of furniture, prototypes and mockups. Transparency options and lighting effects help you to better visualize your creations before you're able to hold them in your hands.

What makes DesignCAD 3D Max unique is its emphasis on architectural designs. The wall tool takes the work out of constructing each individual wall. There is not, however, a house wizard that creates an entire building blueprint based on your input and dimensions. With over 10,000 symbols to choose from, you can use any to indicate where you'd like to place features. Also, DesignCAD 3D Max comes with 600 complementary models, so if you don’t want to start from scratch, you can add in a patio feature or kitchen sink without creating every detail yourself.

Interface Features

A number of different factors all contribute to the easy-to-use nature of DesignCAD 3D Max, most notably, the customizable features and time-saving tools. Navigating this CAD software is much easier than many of its counterparts due to customizable tool palettes, which make it easier for you to find your favorite tools and commands. A measure command tool is a quick method of measuring each element of your design so all of your creations end up precisely the right size and dimension. If you want to collaborate with associates or partners on designs, DesignCAD will allow you to import existing designs in a number of different file formats. Saving and exporting are simple to do so you can easily share your finished or in-progress designs. If you keep inputting the same commands over and over again, you can use the macros feature to save your work and speed up the progress. A setup wizard is also available so you can create a new project with your individualized parameters from the very beginning instead of setting each factor separately.

Editing Tools

Editing tools are an important part of any CAD program, and DesignCAD 3D Max doesn’t disappoint. All the standard features are included as well as some specialty tools. This 2D CAD software is equipped with snap tools and polar tracking, text and color editing, and a layer manager. You can also use the point marker to number and indicate aspects of your drawing or design. DesignCAD 3D Max also allows you to convert 2D drawings to 3D designs, and from 3D designs to 2D drawings. Not many CAD programs have both features.

Help & Support

DesignCAD 3D Max is a stellar application in and of itself, but its supplementary help and support options make it even more so. The in-program manual is a wonderful resource for training yourself and navigating through the learning curve.

The software’s manufacturer, IMSI Design, provides free, email technical support and toll-free telephone support for sales and installation inquiries. The website hosts a DesignCAD community where you can find additional help and tips through user forums and groups. Although free video tutorials are usually available with CAD packages, DesignCAD requires an additional, training-CD purchase.


DesignCAD supports numerous file types so you can readily import existing designs and export those you’ve created using the CAD software. DesignCAD is compatible with all AutoCAD files and layouts (DWG and DXF files) – welcome news for current AutoCAD users looking to switch to a cheaper CAD software. It also imports HPGL, WMF and XYZ files and exports all those file types as well as RIB, VRML, WPG, DWF and PDF. Finally, DesignCAD supports several image formats such as JPEG, BMP and TIFF. This allows you to easily export any images of your designs including those created through photorealistic rendering. DesignCAD 3D Max does not support STL, DGN or SKP files for 3D printing purposes, so if your primary purpose is 3D printing, you'll need a different, computer-aided, design software for file conversion.


DesignCAD may be saturated with architectural features, but with 2D drawing and 3D modeling capabilities, this CAD drawing software still proves to be a versatile design application suitable for an endless array of designs and projects. This robust functionality, combined with preinstalled models and support options, create a winning combination that makes DesignCAD 3D Max one of the best consumer CAD software applications on the market.

DesignCAD 3D Max 23