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For years, the promise of 3d modeling as an everyday drafting tool has been advertised to architects and designers, but it has never really been practical. Now it seems with software such as Autodesk Revit Architecture, it is now a very real option.

The downside is the usual cost and learning curve of high end software. Another is the additional office time that must be spent on each project to develop a complex 3d model. The advantages, however, are numerous. Every design can be completely developed and rotated in 3d space, with any number of people working on the model at the same time. The design can be refined in a way not possible with 2d cad. All plans, elevations, and sections are generated from the model, thus model development and working drawing development happen at the same time. Best of all, any design changes that are made to the 3d model are automatically reflected in all documents. This keeps the whole project set coordinated and accurate. From a marketing standpoint, the model can be rendered to generate visualizations for brilliant presentations of the design.

The Prairie Style began in Chicago in the 1890's and early 1900's. The style is characterized by shallow pitched, hip roofs that have wide overhangs. The designs emphasize horizontal lines, and often have massive entries or porches. Frank Lloyd Wright was the master of this style although many other architects such as George W. Maher and Thomas E. Tallmadge made important contributions as well. The style seemed to fade in popularity around 1920.