How to Find & Import Models to Your Chief Architect Premier, Interiors & Home Designer Pro Projects

In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to find and import models into your Chief projects. I’m showing you in Premier, Interiors and Home Designer Pro. While you can build some things, especially architectural elements like moldings in Chief, it’s really not meant for modeling more complicated items like upholstery or plumbing fixtures.  So, we need to use models made elsewhere for this. 

Where do we find them? 

What do we do them when we find them? 

Let me show you, it’s actually so super easy. And, once you get started, you’ll be building your own library of models to pull from for future projects.

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Where to Find Models

ChiefArchitect.com – 3d Library

  • Free with SSA
  • Low cost if paid

3dWarehouse.com

  • Free

Manufacturer’s Websites

  • Free
  • Product Page
  • Downloads Page
  • Spec Sheets – Build your own

CGtrader.com

  • Paid and Free

3dSky.org

  • Paid and Free

TurboSquid.com

  • Paid and Free

Build Your Own Models

If you cannot find what you need through one of the resources above, you can always build it yourself using Sketchup.  You can do a lot with the free version, but the paid versions will give you more options. (See my post about Which Software Should I Use)

If you’re new, and would like to learn to model, please take a look at Sarah Durnez’ course:  https://edesigntribe.kartra.com/page/40e27

Hire a Certified Modeler

Don’t have the time or desire to build it yourself?  There are professionals who specialize in model building.  They have all taken Sarah Durnez’ courses, and are Certified Modelers.

https://edesigntribe.com/certified-product-modelers/

What File Types Can I Use?

File Types: DWG, DXF, OBJ, 3DS, STL, SKP, DAE

How Do I Import Models?

Use The Import Function

  • Import Symbol Settings
    • Choose Category – Helpful for creating schedules
    • Add to Library – If you want to use it in other projects without re-importing
    • Advanced Options
  • Drag & Drop

Can I Modify the Models After They Are Imported?

Yes and no. 

You can resize the model, but it is not parametric.  This means it will just stretch or squeeze the whole thing, it won’t resize the elements proportionally.

You can change the materials within Chief.

You cannot add or remove pieces from the model or manipulate the geometry.  So, if it’s a grouping, for example, you’ll need to open the model in another program (typically Sketchup) to add or delete items, or fix or change any geometry.

Updating Object Settings

You can open the Object Dialog box at any time and update the item information, category and parameters.

Pro Tips:

Add the models that you use regularly to your User Library in Chief so that you can use them again in future projects

Keep an organized file on your computer with your models so that you can use them again and again.

This lesson is part of my Chief Architect training course for beginners.
You can find all of my training, mentoring and courses here: http://designerannilee.com/training
Annilee B Waterman is a Certified Professional Building Designer and Registered Interior Designer with over 30 years of computer aided design and graphics experience.
How To Import Models in Chief Architect Premier, Interiors and Home Designer Pro