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Three-Dimensional Look at Style Changes : Computer Has Design for Home Buyers

August 24, 1986|Associated Press

HANOVER, N.H. — For the potential home buyer who cannot visualize what a house would look like from regular blueprints, a new computer program offers three-dimensional pictures with immediate feedback on suggested design changes.

The house design system was developed last year by Mark Franklin, of Glastonbury, Conn., when he was a graduate engineering student at Dartmouth College.

Under the system, with a push of a few buttons, the customer can select a standard cape, saltbox or ranch, or start from scratch, and also can add a wing or subtract a window, and change the style or color of the house.

Different Angles

In addition, the home buyer can view design modifications from any angle on the computer screen-- from a worm's eye view under the house to a bird's eye view above-- to points along a 360-degree circumference.

Franklin's computer program was described by his project adviser as "indicative of a trend we soon will be seeing--low-cost, architectural computer-aided design."

The system was created by Franklin as part of his master's thesis project. It was funded with financial support from Northern Energy Homes of Norwich, Vt., which approached the college's Thayer School of Engineering for help in utilizing computers in home design.

The construction firm said the program will help cut down on much of the time and tedium involved in developing home designs and will allow the company to be more flexible in meeting customer needs.

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