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From Grand Designs comes "3D Bathroom & Kitchen," a software package that's designed to allow the user to plan and develop their own perfect kitchen and bathroom.
The software features design templates, a database of objects, a three dimensional walk through, and the ability to convert 2D plans into 3D models with a single click. While it may sound ideal for its intended market, in reality the software is overly complex, very time consuming, and of little real use.
As with most software these days, the installation was quick, rather unremarkable and required little effort. However actually using the software, and becoming custom to the rather old fashioned interface and various toolbars does take some time to get used too. This isn't the type of program you can just get going with from the moment it loads, and you must be prepared to spend some time learning various things before you can achieve anything. It's not the most consumer friendly product and a knowledge of CAD and measurement systems would be an advantage. The problem is the time it takes to understand the software, get using it, and create an actuate plan of what you want to achieve, you could have simply explained to the builder or plumber what you wanted, or even better many larger DIY stores offer this design service to you.
Like most other software from Grand Designs this is a single user license. I'll always maintain that this is a failing as it prevents the package being installed on two different computers, which means that any projects can't be worked with on the road, or took and edited on another computer.
Another obvious problem is that the software and its database of objects doesn't provide information on where to purchase the items. So you can spend a wealth of time picking out different work surfaces, fixtures, and accessories and in reality there may be no retailer within your reach that stock that exact item. The bottom lines seems to be that you spend all this time and effort and end up have to change certain elements based upon the availability of products which in turn renders all of your time and effort a waste.
Many processes in the program are too long winded, and the video tutorials that are included aren't a great help. The graphics in the 3D models don't really give you a fair representation of what something would look like in real life and are closer to "The Sims" in quality than anything else.
Other similar architect software from Grand Designs has one major advantage, which is that in many cases the plans you create can be used in place of an Architects, ideal for submitting your own building or planning applications while also saving you money on fees. "Bathroom & Kitchen" however doesn't give anywhere near the level of detail required for this purpose, and seems to be aimed at people who simply want a rough idea of how or what a room can look like (again the time issue comes in.)
Finally the software has crashed on me several times to date. I can't offer any explanations to why, I also run the larger, more complex, and more demanding software from Grand Designs (Renovation & Interiors) without any problems, but in the case of this software I would recommend frequent saving as a safe guard.
The database of objects, and textures is also rather limited when compared to other software, meaning that there is a chance you won't find what you're looking for.
While it's useful software for anyone considering remodelling or who wants to created the virtual representation of their dream home just for fun, the sheer time and effort required to do so makes it seem like a bit of a waste.
"Bathroom & Kitchen" isn't as impressive nor as comprehensive as other Grand Design packages like "Renovation & Interiors," which is a disappointment.
(I'm a reviewer on Amazon, and some my reviews are copied from there to dooyoo. Please feel free to check out my Amazon profile under my real name of Mr Andrew M Kerr.)