Computer-aided design systems

Computer-aided design systems

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From idea to execution.

The road from the interior designer’s idea to finishing a project is a long and often very bumpy one 🙂 One could even say it is often covered with broken glass and nails. This raises the fundamental question of why this is the case? Part of the complex answer is illustrated by the long-established saying “paper accepts everything”.

The creative process starts with simple, often handwritten sketches of what one wants to achieve. This is then compared with the expected dimensions, and already at this stage an inattentive designer can make some basic mistakes.

There is a moment when the project ceases to exist on paper and is transferred to a virtual space, generated by a computer. This is the first collision with a computer-aided design tool.

Using a computer program, the designer maps the actual space of the interior and places furniture and other objects, that do not exist yet, in this virtual space. They then give them appropriate textures, colours, etc., so as to adjust the obtained effect to suit their own vision and the customer’s requirements as far as possible.

This part of the process ends in a spatial visualization of the project, which means that the client can see (in virtual space, of course) his future interior, with all the details and decorative items, including lighting.

This is a great solution because the customer can at this point still make changes to the designer’s plan, and introduce suggestions according to their own needs and feelings in an unhindered way. It also makes it possible to significantly reduce the costs of changes, as the furniture does not yet exist and the customer can easily introduce a few small corrections 🙂

An experienced designer at this level will be more or less familiar with the range of investment-related costs. For the less experienced – well, sometimes they might miss a few times. Why is this so? Well, in all this beautiful, colourful and lovely picture, we rarely encounter any construction details, and therefore much of what the designer has planned simply cannot be implemented, or the work will be so difficult that it will generate additional costs, unacceptable for the customer. It often happens that the interior designer does not have sufficient knowledge about the processes of furniture creation, and they mainly rely on their sense of aesthetics, of finesse, etc. This is why there must be someone along the way who can resolve any problems of a constructional nature and ensure that the designed interior is not only beautiful but also fully functional. Such a person is also the guarantee that the structures will not collapse like a card house.

The example below illustrates well the difference in how the world is perceived by a designer and a constructor. The designer sees a piece of furniture as a whole. The constructor can see each component separately, so that they can straight away see to what extent the component is feasible, and what difficulties this might entail.

The constructor modulates each of the elements designed by the designer using, of course, appropriate computer programs supporting the design processes.

At this stage, all the components, even the smallest ones, are selected and it is still possible for the customer to introduce appropriate changes and corrections to the solutions. With the ability to design in real time in a 3D (three-dimensional) environment, no detail or element escapes the designer’s attention. Once all the components have been modelled, a virtual visualization of the design is generated once more, but at this point it is much more realistic than the visualization of the interior designer.

Some other advantages of computer tools based on CAD technology are the possibilities offered by the implementation of systems convergent with BIM systems.


BIM is a concept that has revolutionised the approach to design, investment implementation and project management. BIM, or Building Information Modelling, is about modelling information about the building or, at least, about an element, which enables continuous and immediate access to information about the project, its costs and schedules. It also simplifies the design process itself, by allowing various variants and schemes to be tested in the virtual world, for optimal selection. Test results are consistent and reliable thanks to the increasing reflection of reality through a single digital model. It can be used for making project decisions, preparing coherent design and construction documentation, as well as profitability analyses, and estimating investment costs. By working on a single model, it is possible to significantly increase the efficiency and reduce errors throughout the entire process of creating documentation. Digital design data combined with innovative parametric information from the modelling technology offers significant advantages over traditional design methods.

By simplifying the process considerably, thanks to this technology, we maintain a constant overview of the amount of materials, plates, fittings, paints, etc. used for the project, and thus we have control over the real cost of the project at all times.

In this way, a real project, with all the data needed for its implementation, starts from the constructor. It is thanks to the computer-aided design processes that a real quote for the customer can be generated, so that even before the project is sent to be manufactured, the customer can introduce changes or choose replacement options, significantly reducing investment costs.

Now one just needs to send an order for production, but this is what our next post is going to be about 🙂

Best regards,

Arkadiusz Malinowski – constructor in TOP Design Studio.