AutoCAD vs SketchUp, Which One is the Best? – For civil engineers, architects, machine engineers, interior designers, and other software use to make design or building drawings is a very important thing. To do this, there are some software that you can use, two of which are Sketchup and AutoCAD. Which software is best for you to use? AutoCAD or Sketchup?
AutoCAD vs SketchUp, Which One is the Best?
Firstly let’s talk about each software separately. That should give you a clear vision of the software’s capabilities. Then, we will move on to comparing both. Knowing your project, you should also understand what tools you require for it. Do you need a blueprint or an amazing render? Get to know SketchUp and AutoCAD and choose the best one for you!
3D modeling software: SketchUp
SketchUp is a 3D design software with a wide range of options. It is well known in the industry for being user-friendly and very easy to operate. This 3D modeling software allows for designing products, architectural models, and high-quality renders, but also stands out for the ability to create animations and simulations.
SketchUp is used a lot for architecture applications. Designers can create models very easily, but at the same time precisely. They can be rendered, and adjusted, for example, for shadows depending on the time of the day. Thanks to the accuracy of the software, it can also be used for product design.
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A free version of SketchUp is available to be used online. In the latest software update, the SketchUp team released new subscription plans, which are more customized for their clients.
CAD software: AutoCAD
AutoCAD is a Computer Aided Design software from Autodesk. This 3D software is reliable and very popular among architects, engineers and construction professionals. What makes Auto CAD so well known in those industries?
This 3D software is based on 2D drafting to create 3D models. Auto CAD is very precise and accurate, the drawings will always be based on mathematical measurements. Its main application is to create blueprints and floor plans. Autodesk offers specialized tool packages for different industries such as architecture, engineering, construction, and mechanical or electrical engineering.
Key Differences between AutoCAD vs SketchUp
Both AutoCAD vs SketchUp are popular choices in the market; let us discuss some significant Difference Between AutoCAD vs SketchUp :
- AutoCAD is a tool which is primarily used to draft and design 2D designs and print those designs on paper for use on the field, whereas SketchUp is a 3D modeling tool which helps you design models based on how they would look in the real life.
- AutoCAD has many features and plugins available so that you may customize the designs precisely as per your needs. These makes learning AutoCAD a time-taking task. On the other hand, SketchUp has a simpler interface and can be learned relatively fast.
- AutoCAD does not import many file types for editing and integration, while SketchUp is less adamant about it. AutoCAD can only import .dwg files, while SketchUp can also load 3DS files, which is a popular format.
- AutoCAD is comparatively better than SketchUp when it comes to rendering the details. Models in AutoCAD can effectively replicate shadows under various lighting conditions. Designs in SketchUp are not as detailed compared to AutoCAD and one can tell looking at the design it is software work.
- AutoCAD has developed twelve extensions for discipline-specific applications. SketchUp does not offer a different vertical for different applications.
- AutoCAD monthly subscription plans start from INR 10,000. Sketchup is available as a free software with two paid plans; one plan with INR 8500 per month. SketchUp can also be purchased for a lifetime license for approx. INR 50,000.
- Auto CAD has no official library to which different users can upload and share their designs. SketchUp has a huge library under the name of 3D Warehouse which involves thousands of users who regularly upload and download different designs directly from the portal.
- Auto CAD does not allow importing files from the internet directly. It must be first downloaded on to your system before loading it into the software. SketchUp can directly fetch designs up to 50 MB large and load them directly into the software which you can download later.
- Auto CAD is also available in a student version which comes at a smaller price while SketchUp does not offer a student concession.
- Auto CAD can support many APIs such as AutoLISP, Visual LISP, VBA etc. so that you may customize and/or automate your tasks to some extent. SketchUp does not support many APIs and features a native integration for LayOut API.
- While Auto CAD has its own large set of plug-ins available for integration, it does not support and third-party plugins. All plug-ins must be installed from the Autodesk App Store. SketchUp can integrate third-party plug-ins which can be added from the Extension Warehouse, a site hosted for the same purpose.
- Auto CAD is available in more than 10 different languages and documentation can be done in additional languages too. On the other hand, Sketchup is only available in 9 languages at the moment.
Since Auto CAD has a lot of tools to choose from, the UI may appear cluttered at times. SketchUp has a comparatively simpler UI and can get the user acquainted quickly.
SketchUp vs AutoCAD: which one should you choose?
Both AutoCAD and SketchUp can be used in architecture and for product design. Both are also based on precise 2D drawings and have a great set of tools to make blueprints. What are the differences then?
AutoCAD is professional software that companies invest in. It is very useful for architects, engineers, mechanical and construction engineers, and electricians. It is not cheap but comes with a great set of personalized tools giving you a great number of options to choose from to create your projects.
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SketchUp is known for being user-friendly and easy to learn. It will also manage architectural projects well. However, other 3D modeling creations are also possible with this software. This 3D modeling software is capable of beautiful renders and animations which will highly improve your portfolio and project.
The decision might not be easy but should be based on the aim of your project. If you would like to start a big construction project, designing accurate blueprints will be easier in Auto CAD, however, for amazing renders to visualize the building or its interiors, you might choose SketchUp instead of AutoCAD.
Conclusion – AutoCAD vs SketchUp
To conclude, AutoCAD vs Sketchup are both great software to create and publish designs for different things in a professional manner. While Auto CAD is great for 2D and 3D designs which revolve around civil, mechanical engineering and architecture, SketchUp can help you design 3D objects and render them on the world map as well. Your choice of software depends upon the needs of your clients as well as the nature of your work.
If you are an engineer or an architect, who needs to design floor plans and/or big designs on the whole, then AutoCAD would be your software of choice. On the other hand, if you happen to be a filmmaker or a graphic designer, or a production engineer who needs to design 3D models of parts, then SketchUp would be your pick. Financially, AutoCAD is comparatively expensive than SketchUp. At the same time, Auto CAD offers much more customization options as compared to SketchUp.
Both AutoCAD vs SketchUp platforms are great and work very well. Both AutoCAD vs SketchUp can be learned quickly and don’t take much time to get used to. In the end, it all depends upon your preference and requirements which one you find more suited to your needs.
So the information we can convey, hopefully useful about AutoCAD vs SketchUp, Which One is the Best above.