Okay, here are a couple of mine:
  • blender for general 3D, project composition and "3D sketching" (a la sketchup), and also for rendering and animation
  • yafaray and luxrender for more precise rendering and light control
  • gimp for all image work
  • inkscape for page layout & sheet design
  • freecad and qcad for 2D cad
  • a couple of experimental things for form generation, such as structuresynth
  • mypaint for sketching
  • pyBar for simple structural calculations

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cool. i didn't know about the structural designing tools.
what did you mean by 3D "sketching"?

thanks for sharing all those apps. by the way, just to add - there are Windows installers for all of them. so it is easy to try it out for windows users, which i think must be a lot in the field of arch. :)

i read qcad's community edition is open source, and has some limitations compared to the full, commercial version. i couldn't find the link to download the community edition..
anyway there's freecad ;-)

well yorik you are really a motivation! :-)
all the best!
I use Inkscape the most from amongst these. I love this app.
Also I use Gimp, (but do use photoshop too).
I've worked in Blender3D, but now i'm out of touch.. hope to get back into it again..

I'll give the others a try. Thanks for sharing the info :)
I added a blog post here on the topic of open source tools with some additional info on some of the softwares you have mentioned and links to the source. take a look >

http://www.archisage.net/profiles/blogs/the-joys-of-free-amp-open
good blog-post! though sketchup, picassa, etc. aren't open-source, they're useful indeed. i like working in sketchup.
welcome to the group! :) and keep sharing info/experiences.
Qcad has two licenses, open-source and commercial. The main difference between both is that the OS version has no polylines (they are made of single lines). By 3d sketching, I mean quick modeling, without much precision, like you do with sketchup...

I also forgot to mention alchemy, very cool for generatign abstract shapes (exportable to svg, therefore usable in cad)

And this is a very interesting project of a linux distribution specially made for architects: http://www.openarchitect.org/ (only in french I'm afraid)
wow! a linux distribution for architects!!!!!! sounds great!! :-)
by the way, for those interested to check it out, here's the link to alchemy program: http://al.chemy.org/
why does the menu-bar show the ubuntu logo in the screenshots of openarchitecture here: http://www.openarchitect.org/content/visite-en-image

the next question would be how different is it from ubuntu? does it depend on ubuntu's repositories for managing its packages?
I guess it's not too different from ubuntu (it's made from it), maybe just more focused
trying out alchemy now (on win-xp). It's an amazing freehand illustration program, with a neat, simple interface!

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