30 Best Sketchup Alternative Software – Sketchup is a 3D CAD program, which is mostly used for architectural, interior, furniture, and landscape design. Available for the past 20 years, Sketchup has always been differentiated by its intuitive design tools and its simple workflow, which enable users to quickly take control of the program. This simplicity is complemented by the 3D warehouse, an extensive 3D model library that users can navigate to generate preset objects and work out their scenes quickly.
Though primarily used for architectural rendering, SketchUp can also make robots, sculptures, and 3D printable objects. Perhaps the biggest reason for its popularity is SketchUp’s 3D Warehouse. Their massive library of models ranges from screws and furniture to entire buildings and can be easily imported into any project. Plus, it’ll save you an immeasurable amount of time and hassle.
There are two general versions of SketchUp available, free and paid. The free version is totally web-based and runs in almost any browser. The paid versions, Shop (web-based and for personal projects, $119 per year) and Pro (desktop and web-based for professional projects, $299 per year), run on Windows or Mac with enhanced features and tools. Of course, education and student discounts are also available.
Unique SketchUp Features
There are literally dozens of 3D modeling software tools out there. In order to find a proper alternative for SketchUp, we need to know what sets SketchUp apart from the rest. While we know that its 3D Warehouse is a greatly valued feature of SketchUp, we’ve also considered other core aspects:
- User-friendliness, with intuitive interfaces, tools, and features
- Built-in rendering capabilities
- Plug-ins that provide additional features and functionality
- Cost, with free and paid versions available
30 Best Sketchup Alternative Software
If you are wondering whether you should dive into this program or go for another one, there are alternatives to Sketchup you may also want to consider. Based on what you want to do, other CAD and 3D programs provide similar features and can help you achieve similar results as well. So let’s get started with 3o programs which can be Sketchup alternatives.
Sketchup Alternative : AutoCAD
AutoCAD is a computer-aided design (CAD) software that architects, engineers, and construction professionals rely on to create precise 2D and 3D drawings. You can edit and create drawings in AutoCAD on virtually any device.
- Create, edit and view, drawings on virtually any device
- Helps you to access any DWG file in AutoCAD with Autodesk’s cloud
- Reduce eye strain with contrast improvement
- Allows you to display all nearby measurements in a drawing
- Create, edit, and view CAD drawings
- Remove multiple objects with easy selection and object preview.
Sketchup Alternative : 3Ds Max
3DS Max is a powerful 3D modeling and animation software. It can be used by game developers, visual effects artists, and graphic designers to create high-quality scenes, and engaging VR experiences.
3DS Max Features:
- This tool allows you to create and render striking scenes with integrated Arnold Renderer.
- You can scale your workflow with automated processes.
- You can use vertex, Edge, and face information to make changes in your models.
- Efficiently create organic and parametric objects with a polygon subdivision surface.
- Create sophisticated particle effects such as water, spray, snow, and fire.
Sketchup Alternative : Pcon planner
Pcon planner is a replacement for Sketchup, which allows you to create stunning images. It also provides your customers with a comprehensive overview of your plan.
Pcon planner Features:
- Add CAD models in different formats (DWG, SKP, 3DS, etc.)
- Helps you to become creative
- Allows you to generate stunning images
- Provide your customers with a comprehensive overview of your plan
- Great designs deserve to be seen from every perspective
- Directly access extensive material catalogues through pCon.planner
- Allows you to create high-quality 3D graphics
Sketchup Alternative : Solidworks
SolidWorks is a computer-aided design tool or Software that runs on Microsoft Windows. The tool allows you to implement existing feature attributes and parameters from one feature to another
- This tool allows you to compare what geometry is different between two designs using Geometry comparison, View synchronization or Face synchronization
- You can compare properties between two SolidWorks document
- This tool provides support to select loops, faces, edges, and features based on geometric criteria
- It allows you to locate, manipulate and change features within a model according to their parameters
- Solidworks offers an analysis tool to find thin and thick regions in part documents
- It allows you to streamline parts, assembly documents and create simplified configurations automatically
Sketchup Alternative : Art of Illusion
Art of Illusion is an open-source 3D modeling program with built-in image rendering tools. It was first released in 1999 and has become very popular among the RepRap community. It’s a great option for first-time 3D modelers because of its intuitive user interface and fast learning curve.
Although Art of Illusion uses surface-based modeling tools that are straightforward and easy to work with, the basic package includes more advanced features, like texture creation and animation tools. It’s also good for 3D renderings and has a surprising amount of lighting options.
The program is compatible with a large number of scripts and plug-ins, all made available through its “Plug-in Manager”. If you’re exporting an STL file for 3D printing, be sure to install an appropriate plug-in like “STLTranslator”.
Art of Illusion Features
- Suitable for: 3D modeling beginners
- Modeling techniques: Sculpting and primitive modeling
- Best features: User-friendliness, built-in rendering capabilities, and plug-ins
- Cost: Free
- Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux
Link : http://www.artofillusion.org/index
Sketchup Alternative : BricsCAD
BricsCAD is a modern CAD alternative. It helps you to focus on building a cost-effective CAD tool. It is a highly compatible tool that is available as a perpetual license that you can by once and uses forever.
- Allows you to optimize your 2D drawings and 3D models
- View and modify the distance between two entities without starting a command
- Collaborate with your peers inside your BricsCAD session.
Sketchup Alternative : nanoCAD
NanoCAD is an easy-to-use CAD application that helps you to delivers a great user experience by providing high performance, a classic interface, and native. This engineering design tool has been built to deliver design and project documentation for all industries.
- nanoCAD implements an efficient, and easy to learn, classic-style CAD user interface
- It uses the industry-standard DWG (*.dwg) file format natively
- It includes an extensive set of tools for creating and editing 2D/3D objects
- The nanoCAD scripting engine helps you to automate everyday routine tasks
- The tool also offers plot settings dialog allows you to set multiple plot areas, and create multi-page plots
Sketchup Alternative : FreeCAD
FreeCAD is an open-source parametric 3D modeler. It primarily to design real-life objects of any size. Parametric modeling allows you to modify your design easily.
- Runs as a command line application
- Parametric associative document objects
- Built-in Python console
- Graphical creation of planar geometry.
- Fully customizable/scriptable Graphical User Interface
Sketchup Alternative : shapr3D
Shapr3D runs locally with the same engine as SolidWorks. You can create with unparalleled performance, complete offline functionality, and CAD compatibility.
- Direct modeling with Apple Pencil
- Combine separate bodies efficiently using Subtract, Union, and Intersect
- Develop stronger prototypes efficiently using Shapr3D’s intuitive tools
- Send your work directly to your desktop CAD for granular editing
- Build a highly flexible creative workflow
- Move, rotate, mirror, and scale models with handily visualized guides.
- Work on your designs anywhere
Sketchup Alternative : Solid Edge
Solid Edge uses synchronous technology to help you accelerate product design, helps you to do revisions faster, and improve design data re-use. It supports 2D drafting, best-in-class sheet metal design, flexible part, and assembly modeling, and it offers unmatched mobility.
Solid Edge Features:
- It allows you to combine the speed and simplicity of direct modeling with the flexibility and control of the parametric design.
- Drawing layout, detailing, annotation and dimensioning controls
- Superior assembly performance
- Allows you to build a complete sheet metal design system
- Streamline P&ID workflow process with database-driven access to pipe specifications.
Sketchup Alternative : librecad
LibreCAD is a free computer-aided design application for 2D design. It works on Linux, macOS, Unix, and Windows OS.
- Developed by an experienced team and supported by a friendly community
- LibreCAD started as a project to build CAM capabilities
- It’s available in more than 30 languages
- Ideal for preparing 2D drawings.
Sketchup Alternative : Fusion 360
Fusion 360 is a cloud-based CAD program made by software giant Autodesk. It uses a parametric modeling system with a timeline feature that makes it easy to view previous changes and edit as necessary. All design files are stored within an Autodesk account and can be accessed from any computer.
While the interface may take some getting used to for beginners, Fusion 360 ultimately unlocks more powerful modeling capabilities than SketchUp, including post-modeling features like 3D rendering, animation, simulation, and even CAM tools.
Autodesk recently released a built-in 3D slicer for Fusion 360, which enables 3D design and slicing within the same program.
Fusion 360 Features
- Suitable for: Bulky and precise modeling that can be shared
- Modeling techniques: Parametric modeling and sculpting
- Best feature: Built-in rendering capabilities
- Platforms: Windows and Mac
Link : https://www.autodesk.com/products/fusion-360/
Sketchup Alternative : CorelCAD
CorelCAD seamlessly implement changes to 3D designs using XVL Studio 3D CAD Corel edition, the integral add-on for CorelDRAW® Technical Suite 2019. It also provides critical functionality and benefits not offered with the basic XVL Studio software included with CorelDRAW Technical Suite 2019.
- Extensive 3D CAD file support
- Intuitive 3D CAD to illustration
- Advanced animation tools
- Output and share visualizations in 3D and 2D
- Intuitive 3D CAD to illustration
Sketchup Alternative : MicroStation
MicroStation offers advanced parametric 3D modeling capabilities. It allows infrastructure to deliver data-driven, BIM-ready models.
- Design with true 3D parametric modeling
- Helps you to ensure the proper application of organizational and project-specific standards and content
- Create precise drawings using a comprehensive set of a drafting tool
- You can view and work with design information from others in real time
- Confidently work in the right context for each project with the required settings and standards automatically applied
Sketchup Alternative : Vectorworks
Vectorworks Architect offers capabilities such as 2D drawing, 3D modeling, and Building Information Modeling (BIM). This tool is designed to help architects.
- Allows you to sketch, draw, and model in a fully integrated BIM workflow.
- It allows building 3D construction site models, drawing site blueprints, and designing digital walk-through presentations.
- All-in-one solution for landscape design and planning.
- It helps you to create and document any design according to your imagination.
Sketchup Alternative : ZW3D
ZW3Dis CAD/CAM solution, which is integrated designed for the whole process of product development, features the fastest kernel for Solid-Surface Hybrid Modelling, non-solid mold parting, and smart CNC machining strategies.
- ZW3D supports translating non-native CAD data of different 3D modeling systems.
- Innovative Solid-Surface Hybrid Modelling to Maximize Design Flexibility
- Specified Application Functions to Fit Different Industries
- Offers robust parametric modelling and direct editing
Sketchup Alternative : planner5d
Planner 5D is another important 3D alternative tool that enables you to create realistic interior and exterior designs in 2D/ 3D modes.
- It allows you to use the Snapshots feature to capture your design as a realistic image
- Both 2D and 3D views as you design from various angles
- The intuitive and user-focused interface which offers an easy design process without any tutorials or instructions
- Apply custom colors, patterns, and materials to furniture
- Be a part of a growing community. Upload and customize projects
Sketchup Alternative : Tinkercad
Tinkercad is a browser-based program specifically designed for 3D printing and CAD beginners. It was founded in 2010 by a former Google engineer, with the goal of making 3D design more accessible to “less technical” users. The company was acquired by Autodesk in 2013, and since then, it’s grown in popularity among 3D printing enthusiasts.
With a drag-and-drop interface and many tutorials to get started, it’s one the best ways for a beginner to get their feet wet in the 3D CAD world. Tinkercad works by reshaping and adding primitive shapes (such as cubes, spheres, and pyramids) to build more complex objects.
It also has a public repository, the Gallery of Things, with thousands of user-created models available for use. We also have several articles on Tinkercad, including the coolest projects.
- Suitable for: Simple model creation or as an introduction to CAD modeling
- Modeling technique: Primitive modeling
- Best features: User-friendliness and public 3D model repository
- Cost: Free
- Platform: Web-based
Link : https://www.tinkercad.com/
Sketchup Alternative : ConceptDraw
Concept draw is a new way to create and manage to go from idea to implementation. It is a 3D editing business diagramming, idea management, and project management platform.
- The next generation of ConceptDraw Software
- Building plans designer.
- Drawing and diagramming solutions.
- Rapid flowchart technology.
- Drawing tools.
- Live objects technology.
- Communication & presentation facilities
Sketchup Alternative : Chief Architect
Chief Architect software brings home design projects to life. Automated building tools for home design and interior design, & bath design make it easy to create construction drawings, CAD details, and 3D models.
Chief Architect Features:
- Chief Architect is the leading design tool for architects, builders, and remodels
- Offers custom backdrops
- Smart roof technology solves complicated roof systems.
- Perspective and orthographic 3D camera tools.
- Export 360° spherical views.
Sketchup Alternative : ProgeCAD
ProgeCAD is a cost-effective 2D drafting and 3D Modeling CAD software that supports industry popular DWG & DXF file formats. The tool offers the best performance 32bit and 64bit operating systems.
- Improved support of PointCloud with ReCap
- 3D prints on curved solid parts printing in hidden visual style.
- Publish the redesigned user interface, new features in the print settings
- Table cells can contain formulas that help you to do calculations related to the values in other table cells
- Monitoring of a list of with notifications sent when some variable on the list is modified.
Sketchup Alternative : coohom
Coohom helps you to create 3D models and apply them in cutting Edge AR, VR, floor planning, and high-quality rendering solutions. It enables your customers to visualize their products.
- Cost-effective, high quality, at scale
- Enable your customers to visualize their product
- Drag and drop models that help to generate 2D and 3D room settings.
- It helps you to replace traditional photography
- Products are made up of many textures and components.
Sketchup Alternative : Lumion
Lumion is 3D rendering software made for architects and designers. It can help you quickly bring it to life and show it in its local context. You can dress a model with materials.
- You can spend on design, less on the process of rendering.
- Get stunning results ideal for client presentation meetings, design development, architectural marketing, and more.
- 3D model in the context of the real world with thousands of high-quality objects and compelling materials.
- You can learn to create animations, images, and without any training.
Sketchup Alternative : BRL-CAD
BRL-CAD is a powerful open-source, cross-platform modeling system. This 3D auto-cad Software offers interactive geometry editing, high-performance for rendering and geometric analysis, and a system performance analysis.
Read : What’s New in SketchUp 2020?
Help you to make better CAD system.
100% FREE with people all over the world
Constructive solid geometry
Offers graphical display window
Sketchup Alternative : ActCAD 2020 Professional
ActCAD 2020 professional tool is very simple and easy to uses. It offers native support for all DWG, DXF files. It also provides block Library with over 5000 standard symbols.
ActCAD 2020 Professional Features:
- Easy to use interface and commands
- Use the latest IntelliCAD 9.2 Engine
- In-built PDF to DXF Converter
- Block library with over 5000 standard symbols
- Perpetual licenses
- Self license transfer
- USB dongle and network license options available
- Artisan professional 3D renderer
- Ribbon and classic menu style interfaces available
Sketchup Alternative : ArCADia
ArCADia 3D automation tool provides complete control and security at all stages of design while streaming and accelerating implementation.
- The system supports and coordinates all participants throughout the design process
- It offers security and control at all stages of design while and accelerating implementation.
- ArCADia applications have IFC format support, which helps the user to collaborate with other programs such as Allplan, Archicad, or Revit.
Sketchup Alternative : Inventor
Inventor is another CAD program made by Autodesk, similar to Fusion 360 but aimed more towards professionals. It’s been on the market for over 20 years and is still the biggest competitor to SolidWorks.
Its feature-rich system is built for handling enormous projects in an efficient manner and is suitable for most industrial applications. It has both 2D and 3D mechanical design software with plenty of post-modeling tools for rendering, documentation, and simulation.
While Inventor does require a certain amount of training and some engineering knowledge, we’ve included it on this list for people looking for professional CAD modeling software and who are willing to invest some time for a good payoff.
- Suitable for: Users looking to take their 3D modeling skills up a notch
- Modeling techniques: Parametric, direct, and free-form modeling
- Best features: Professional software with various unique capabilities
- Platform: Windows
Link : https://www.autodesk.com/products/inventor/
Sketchup Alternative : cove.tool
Cove.tool is a software product that grew from tools and processes developed. It helps you to manage energy in real time.
- Get an accurate energy model
- Manage energy reporting in real time
- Update your existing 3D model
- Import geometry to get a rapid feedback as the design progresses
- Best suited for specific building location
Sketchup Alternative : CityEngine
CityEngine is an advanced 3D modeling software. It is used for creating interactive and immersive urban environments in less time than traditional modeling techniques.
- Build entire 3D cities
- Helps you to design urban environments
- Master 3D content creation
- CityEngine is a stand-alone desktop application which can import any geospatial vector data
Sketchup Alternative : Turbocad
TurboCAD Deluxe is 2D drafting, 3D modeling, and rendering software. Easily adjust the interface to access hundreds of drawings, modification, dimensioning, and annotation tools. It helps you to render designs for powerful presentation, share with AutoCAD and more
- Customizable ribbon configuration
- Named view enhancements
- Flange sheet unbend tool improvement
- Ribbon UI theme support and other ribbon enhancements
- RedSDK to lightworks converter improvements
As you may have noticed by now, the alternative to Sketchup that will tie into your needs best depends on how you conceive 3D design. The programs we went over each have their own approach and design tools. So when choosing among them, it all comes down to the degree of complexity you expect to face, as well as the nature of the project you need to address.
Note that regardless of your final choice, either of these sketchup alternative programs works very well for 3D Printing applications.
So the information we can convey, hopefully useful about 30 Best Sketchup Alternative Software above