I want to make an exhibition display for my client something like this:


I am new to the design world and don't know where to start from.

Now, I have tried a few software today like Sweet Home 3D, Sketchup, PanaormicStudio3D. But they do not tick all boxes. I am not sure if I need AutoCad 2017 for this - two reasons, it sounds complicated and it's expensive.

I will really appreciate if someone can guide me which tool could be best for me to achieve what's there on that image.


2 Answers 2


It's possible with Sketchup, which has many custom displays in the user library. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles like internal lighting, vector graphics and textures, but you can model your example with little training and make a reasonable presentation of your plans. This is by far the easiest drafting program to learn.

A Google image search for "Sketchup Tradeshow Display" will show you many examples.

Aside from the above mentioned AutoCad and 3D Studio Max there is also Solid Works. It is equally expensive and complex but capable of great results. 2D exports from any of these programs can be further rendered with textures and shadows with a program called Key Frame.

I recommend you look in the Sketchup 3D warehouse where users have submitted models for sharing. Not only are there complete tradeshow displays, there are also collections of pre-made modular parts. Use the parts to assemble your booth and be sure that it can be easily fabricated with the pieces used. Some types of modular display systems are Gem and Octanorm. Build your model with standard pieces of these systems and then you can build the real booth with the standard pieces.

Also provided in the 3D warehouse are a full assortment of tradeshow decorating furniture: tables, chairs, clip lights, monitors, stands, signs etc.

Applying your demonstration graphics and lights is not too tricky in Sketchup, and there are many video tutorials available.

  • Thanks @webstarian. I will try out these features of Sketchup. Hopefully, I will get what I am looking for.
    – Jay
    Feb 24, 2017 at 2:47

In addition to SketchUp you need a rendering program. One free and pretty good one is Kerkythea, but it's been a while since I used them so not sure if the last version of Sketchup works well with Kerky.

If not try Blender which has an integrated rendering module and there are a lot of tutorials online.

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