Design Groovy Floor Plans And 3D Layouts With Dragonfly

Ever wanted to design your dream house, but can’t afford (or understand) expensive architect software? Then Project Dragonfly is the software for you.

Ever wanted to design your dream house but can’t afford (or understand) expensive architect software? There’s always the option to play ‘The Sims’ :) but yeah. Plus, getting all those expansions can tear a hole in your wallet!  The good news is you have another real option. If you have a creative spark or like to build houses on ‘The Sims’ a lot, then you’ll love this free online web app from Autodesk called Project Dragonfly.

Project Dragonfly is an Autodesk tech preview of a web based 2D/3D floor application for all level of designers and home remodelers. The application is ideal for those who need an easy, intuitive floor planning tool to dream, organize, and envision changes in their living space.

Take it for a free test drive and watch your design and decorating visions take shape right before your eyes. Then let us know what you think about this exciting new concept.

project dragonfly screenshot - a house layout designed in 3d

The web app is available at and is completely free to use. There are no files to download, nothing to install. As I said, it’s a Web App that runs “in the cloud,” so to speak. Within just a few minutes on the site, you can be up and running with Autodesk’s premade designs. Or, if you prefer, you can jump straight into the design sandbox and create your house from scratch. I had a lot of fun playing with it.

Design A Layout For A Basic House Room Using Project Dragonfly from Autodesk

1. We’re going to start with a square room floor.  Drag the Square Room icon to the grid on the left.  It should now place a decent-sized floor down.  The room will automatically create walls (thick black lines) for itself surrounding the floor.

project dragonfly screenshot - drag and drop items like floors to the workspace

Note: When you add an object within or adjacent to a wall, you’ll be given exact distance measurements in real-time as you place it.

project dragonfly screenshot - display dimensions in real time

2. Now that we have our basic room placed, let’s start with the layout.  Under Show: select Doors & Windows, then click Doors.

project dragonfly screenshot - doors and windows


3. On the right, you’ll see a list of doors, select a Door you like and then drag and drop it into a Wall. Doors can be rotated to control which direction they open.

project dragonfly screenshot - drag and drop doors onto the wall

Note: To Rotate/Delete/Copy/Modify object Rules, click the object, and then the menu will appear. Alternatively, to delete objects, you can press the Del key on your keyboard.

project dragonfly screenshot - rotate and delete objects

4. Now, let’s shed some light on the subject. Under Show, select Windows, and then drag and drop them onto your walls.

project dragonfly screenshot - place windows

5. Let’s start decorating and adding furniture. Click the Furnish & Decorate button and then select Furniture.

project dragonfly screenshot - furnish and decorate with furniture

6. Let’s add a sofa by drag and drop it onto the floor.

project dragonfly screenshot - add a couch

Note: There are many other furniture items to place in the room; to quickly find what you are looking for, use the Search box. Type in what you are looking for, and it will show all possible results.

project dragonfly screenshot - search for a fire place

7. Continue adding furniture and decorations until you are pretty well content with your design. Once you’ve placed your room out, click View in 3D.

project dragonfly screenshot - design your room, add more furntiure switch to 3d mode

8.   3D view is what makes this application stand out. Not only do you get a visually appealing depiction of your design, but you can also adjust the height of objects attached to your walls, such as windows.

project dragonfly screenshot - 3d mode adjust object height

At this point, you can continue adding rooms and doorways or expand and make one giant room; the possibilities are endless!

Make it Multi-Story

By endless, I mean it. If you want a bigger house and want to create additional floors — go for it. Click the + sign next to the1st Floor. Give your new floor a name and description; you can even clone different levels to keep a steady size consistency between them.

project dragonfly screenshot - add a 2nd story

Save and Share your designs

To keep your designs, you’ll need an Autodesk account. If you don’t have one, you’ll be prompted to create one when you try to Save.

project dragonfly screenshot - create an account to save

Overall, for a free web application, Project Dragonfly is an awe-inspiring little tool. The only downside I found was its performance waned if you make your design too big. Other than that, a solid choice.

If you find yourself running short on ideas at first, you can always check out the AD Project Dragonfly Flickr page for more inspiration with your designs.

project dragonfly screenshot - make a big place

If you create something cool, drop a link in our comments to a picture. I would love to see what you come up with.



  1. Dave Falck

    Thanks so much for the terrific post on Project Dragonfly! We’re very proud of it. If you have more feedback in the future, please feel free to share…we’re all ears.

    Your site, by the way, rocks! I’ve already shared the URL with everyone I know – keep up the great work.

    • shockersh

      You must work there? Great app, really diggin it. Very cool for sure.

  2. shockersh

    Nice article Dex. Really great write-up. And thanks for the FYI – I just wasted about 30 minutes modeling my house LOL…

    Sweet app.

  3. gern

    Wait…you mean AutoDesk is actually giving something away? Do I need to give them a DNA sample or something first?

    • MrGroove

      :) :)

      I wonder what the long term marketing ploy is ehh….?

  4. Jo

    where do u get it from, could not find a link anywhere.

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