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SketchUp vs Autocad: A comparison

SketchUp was created by @Last Software in 2000 to serve as an easy-to-use 3D modeling software accessible for everyone. It was later acquired by Google and finally purchased by Trimble. Since then, the software has evolved a lot since then, with new and more complex tools.

Autocad is a 2D and 3D drafting software from Autodesk released in 1982. Since then, new features has been added with every new release.

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Now let us jump into the comparisons:

? Definition

o SketchUp is essentially a 3D modeling based computer application.

o CAD as the name suggests, it is a computer-aided design based computer application.


o SketchUp is mainly used by architects, interior designers, film-makers, 3D modelers etc.

o AutoCAD is used by civil engineers, architects, town planning companies, graphic designers etc.

? Features

o SketchUp is able to create 3D models with highly realistic rendering.

o AutoCAD supports a large number of APIs and allows conversion of files into other formats.

? File formats supported

o SketchUp supports DWG, DFX, JPG, PNG, STL, OBJ, 3DS and FBX

o AutoCAD supports DWG, DXF, PDF, JPG, PNG, STEP, 3DM, 3DS, IPT, FBX

? User Interface

o SketchUp only works with shortcut keys or by pressing the tool icons.

o AutoCAD is comparatively a more complex product. It requires a more experienced level and lots of practice to be able to operate it smoothly.

? Learning curve

o SketchUp is a 3D software that anyone can use within just a few hours of practice. One just needs to start and get exposed to the numerous tools present. It can be said Sketch Up has a relatively easier learning curve.

o AutoCAD is relatively more complex to learn. It has a steeper learning curve as it requires a lot of practice to master it.

? Libraries

o Sketchup has a user-based library where users can download and upload their designs to share.

o AutoCAD has a large repository of plugins available on the Autodesk Exchange Apps store.

SketchUp vs Autocad: A comparison