Black Friday

It's SketchUp versus Fusion 360, time to go head-to-head

There is a wide array of 3D modeling software available today. Fusion 360 and SketchUp might not seem like traditional options, but they have a lot of traction. A parametric, direct, and surface modeling tool can all be found together in Fusion 360, a cloud-based CAD tool. Beginners, as well as professionals, love Fusion's versatility.

SketchUp, on the other hand, simplifies 3D modeling. Users of other CAD programs will benefit from the clean user interface and intuitive toolset. Although SketchUp is easy to use, it doesn't sacrifice functionality, as third-party extensions and plug-ins add new features for advanced modeling or enhanced usability. Interior designers and architects like the program.

We will compare Fusion 360 only on the overlapping capabilities of the two programs, as Fusion 360 provides a wide range of different functionalities and modules. Drawing, modeling, and rendering are all related to design.

SketchUp

Rendering

SketchUp does not include a rendering tool, but there is a wide range of plug-ins and extensions, such as photorealistic engines like V-Ray and Lumion. Various free rendering extensions with different capabilities are also available.

2D Drawing

The layout is a separate program for all 2D drafting in SketchUp Pro and Studio. SketchUp itself is 3D-only. Almost any change in a 3D model can be immediately applied to 2D drawings using both software tools.

Plugin

You can get a massive number of SketchUp plug-ins from a variety of sites. Trimble's Extension Warehouse is the official repository of plug-ins. However, SketchUcation is also extremely popular among Trimble users.

Model Repository

Trimble also maintains the 3D Warehouse, a colossal repository of 3D models, in addition to its plug-in repository. Users can access 3D versions of brands' products as well as user-generated content, such as furniture, decorations, and finishes.

Cloud Storage

Trimble Connect requires every project to be uploaded manually. Otherwise, they are only stored locally on each user's PC. SketchUp's web-based application is available across various devices, including mobile devices, allowing users to work on cloud-stored projects.

Fusion 360

Rendering

The powerful tools offered by Fusion 360 can produce incredible photorealistic renderings. A dedicated workspace is available for this feature, which includes cloud rendering for quickly and painlessly processing multiple images in the background.

2D Drawing

The drafting workspace in Fusion 360 provides several tools for drafting parts, components, and assemblies with a focus on documentation and manufacturing. The DXF, DWG, and PDF formats are available for exporting drawings.

Plugin

Several Autodesk's Fusion 360 plug-ins are available in the company's Fusion 360 app store.

Various extensions are available, including 3D design tools, interface plug-ins, and even applications for 3D printing. Some plug-ins cannot function without a license, although most are free.

Collaboration

Collaboration is a key component of Fusion 360. Fusion 360's file management is easy and its version control is thorough, so virtual teams can share and collaborate on projects online.

Cloud Storage

The cloud automatically stores all projects. The offline versions of Fusion 360 are stored locally, however. You can access all projects directly from a web browser for viewing, sharing, and managing.

User Interface & Layout

SketchUp

The SketchUp layout is much more straightforward than that of Fusion 360. The top toolbar contains all the buttons, with the most popular tools displayed in larger icons. When selected, some tools launch floating windows with additional settings and options. A dropdown menu at the top provides access to all tools, windows, and modes. Other than customizing the toolbar, the user cannot alter the UI or layout in any way. SketchUp is very user-friendly due to its simplicity and straightforwardness.

Fusion 360

Fusion 360 has a 3D CAD-style user interface with a grid system, modes of view, and multiple tabs for managing the design history, parts lists, and toolbars.

Solid, Surface, Sheet Metal, and Tools are the tabs that contain the design workspace tools. Due to each tab holding a toolbar with specific features, it is possible to use large icons without compromising screen space. The right-click menu for the design background provides access to a few basic tools, recently used features and your favorite tools.

To learn more, watch the following video tutorial.

Video Source: Make or Break Shop

Application Use

SketchUp

Architects, engineers, and contractors (AEC) use the program primarily. Like 3D Warehouse, many tools and features support professionals like these. Especially woodworkers, artists, and makers appreciate its user-friendliness.

Fusion 360

Fusion is suitable for many different applications, thanks to its versatility. Small businesses, freelancers, and makers can make their products quickly and easily using it since it is a tool that focuses on machines and small batches.

Wrapping it Up

A full-featured CAD program, Fusion 360 goes beyond just 3D modeling. This software provides the tools and documentation for precise 3D design. With Autodesk providing most of the necessary support for challenging projects, the program fosters ambitious projects.

For example, SketchUp offers easy-to-use design tools for 3D modeling novices and an intuitive interface, not for CAD users. This product supports major architectural, interior design, and landscaping projects despite its shallow learning curve. It has a variety of additional features besides 3D design, like manufacturing software, rendering, simulation, and 2D drawing. End-user preferences and their experience level with 3D modeling may make the decision between Fusion 360 and SketchUp.

It's SketchUp versus Fusion 360, time to go head-to-head