Designing your Store in 3D

Why a 3D layout saves you times and money

Businesses thrive on their ability to set themselves apart from the competition. And while the services and products which are offered by a store are fundamental to the success of the business, it is also extremely important that the physical location has features which are unique to the branding and building of the business. While the artistic render provides a level of detail in planning these physical features, designing your store in 3D may be more beneficial. Here is why.

Artistic illustrations give limited information

When you look at a 2D illustration there is a level of detail and artistry which can be obtained. However, the ability to create conceptualizations which give the full scope of the store design is rather limited. Either a drafter will need to illustrate multiple elevations and angles for the client, or the client will have to suffer from limited information. 3D renderings from 3D Models allows the viewer to see the store from various vantage points. Additionally, the rendering capacities of software allow for photorealism in the renders. This photorealism conveys the store which will be constructed far better than any 2D illustration could.

Real world integration

Most of the major 3D software rendering programs have the ability to merge real world footage with 3D models. When designing your store in 3D, find an artist that can take pictures of the site and merge the 3D model into space. This will allow you to determine if the vision is appropriate to the reality. For example, if you are building a coffee shop, putting the model into footage of the building site may help you to see egress issues, traffic, and parking issues, or confirm that your design is appropriate for the area.

Other real world integrations for 3D models for your store include daylight GPS calculations. For stores, this is extremely important. GPS lighting will show you the shadows and the way in which the interior of your store will be naturally lit. As stores and storefronts are judged first on the aesthetics and then on the content, this is vital to the success of your design.

Changes in design

As the store and the intention of the store evolves, so will the design needs. Where a simple kiosk may have been the solution for a particular product, one may find that the kiosk needs to be customized to accommodate services, products, location, or regulations for a particular area. If using a 2D methodology for creating your design, this generally means a total re-vamp of the project. Yet, if you have a 3D model, the changes in the design can be as simple as going into a 3D program, pulling up the model, and making the needed adjustments.

If construction of the kiosk or store is needed, it is recommended that you use a model compatible with BIM software. CGTrader architectural models are offered in DWG format as well as .obj format. Other sites may include SketchUp or Revit formats. All of these are acceptable for BIM. BIM allows the user to manipulate the 3D model and then updates the 2D dimension information.

Stocking your store

Apart from the conceptualization of the store, those which design their store in 3D have the ability to stock the store (digitally of course) with their product. This not only gives you a gauge of how well space works for your products or services (meaning that you can determine if you need a small store or small warehouse), but it also allows you to visualize the interior design with ease. Paint, wall paper, display stands, registers, and traffic flow can all be calculated and displayed. The bottom line is that using 3D to design and configure your layout takes the guess work out of the final result.

Marketing and investors

Businesses which need to design their store for investment or marketing purposes are better situated to receive investors when they present 3D renders and calculated costs. Some programs allow for the artist, drafter, or architect to calculate the material cost as well as the labor cost for the project. When this is used alongside the photorealistic rendering of the store, investors can see exactly what their capital will produce. Of course, you will still need to have projected ROI on the product and services as well as market data to present, but at least you will not be stating “imagine this building with this feature”. You can say “take note of this feature”.

While the 2D illustration is a good starting point to build interest in your store design, and should not be abandoned, those seeking to have serious investors should show that they are seriously focused on the development. Photorealistic renders, dimension drawings, and BIM cost analysis sheets are just a few ways to ensure a successful launch.