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13 Best SketchUp Alternatives Free & Paid (2021)

SketchUp is a popular CAD program used in various industries, and it is well-renowned for its intuitive and user-friendly functionalities. However, it might not fit with all the users, including you, which we assume is why you are searching for a SketchUp alternative. Similar to all the software tools, 3D modeling programs are also evolving at a rapid pace. This formed SketchUp competition, a close and interesting one. So, we thought this is the ideal time to bring you the best alternatives to SketchUp design software; let’s start the article without further ado. 


What Can I Use Instead Of SketchUp?


1) Shapr3D

If you are a mobile user running behind a SketchUp Android alternative for rendering tasks, this is a fantastic solution. Shapr3D is specifically built to help mobile users, and it’s not only Android users have the opportunity to reap the awards as it enables customers to make the most out of their Apple pencils. 

Those who utilized SketchUp programs before should find it very simple to work with Shapr3D as it seems like the developer had tried to fill up the gaps of the SketchUp mobile version when creating this powerful tool. The likable element about Shapr3D is that it is one of the best free SketchUp alternatives going around, which we think is the reason behind its huge popularity among the new users in particular. 

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2) Sweet Home 3D

As you can figure out from the name itself, Sweet Home 3D is a tool built for interior designers to hone their designing skills. It has a comprehensive interface for the architectures to work easily and has tons of drag and drop options to create the desired design within a short period compared to other programs like SketchUp. Since the tool focuses more on the architectural side of things, the home builders are using Sweet Home 3D, and there are over 100 furniture options and over 20 textures in their free version. 

Especially, this is one of the great open-source SketchUp alternatives for beginners to step into the world of 3D designing, but you will have to purchase more tools when you complete the learning curve and plan to move onto the next level. 

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3) SolidWorks

This is a computer-aided SketchUp alternative Windows users must have an eager look. What keeps SolidWorks head and shoulders ahead of other Sketch up software tools is that it allows the users to compare the differences of geometry between two designs using its functions. Moreover, this alternative SketchUp 3d modeling tool offers magnificent analytic options for the users to accomplish the tasks with a 100% accuracy rate. 

SolidWorks is regarded as one of the powerful tools, and you will have to purchase one of their five plans to enjoy the features to the fullest potential. However, it’s somewhat pricey software, and you will have to contact SolidWorks to get a price quotation depending on your requirement. If you are a pro, we have no objection to opting for a product like SolidWorks; for the rookies, it would not be the ideal pick to start the journey.

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4) Autodesk Inventor

Developed by AutoDesk, Inventor is a top-rated SketchUp 3D alternative we recommend to you for 3D design works. It comes with the features and tools for professional-grade 3D mechanical designs, documentation, and product simulation. You can use AutoDesk Inventor with anyone regardless of the CAD software they use, and cloud-based design reviews can be taken to your advantage to collect feedback from your stakeholders wherever they are. 

You often hear AutoDesk Inventor when talking about Google SketchUp alternatives because the program is so easy to use, intuitive, and even comes with a free trial to check the functions before you purchase the real deal. We will rate it 8.5 out of 10 and love to see what you have to say about this tool.

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5) Rhino

Rhino is a hugely popular 3D graphic and CAD software best suited for artists to play with shapes, structures, and designs. Rhino provides a great amount of flexibility to the users to work freely, which helps to ignore the fact that it demands a slightly high learning curve for beginners.

Is Rhino better than AutoCAD?

In terms of 3D designs, the obvious pick for us is Rhino, but when it comes to 2D or architectural stuff, AutoCAD still has the upper hand over most SketchUp online alternatives. 

Is Rhino better than SketchUp?

It depends on the project that you are working on. If you are into industrial 3D-related tasks, Rhino will fit most of your requirements. But, for architectures Sketch Up programs are more straightforward and affordable compared to the counterpart. 

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6) Fusion 360

Fusion 360 is another product of AutoDesk, and it is a cloud-based program that you can use as a CAD Google SketchUp alternative. For those who feel SketchUp lacks advanced features and tools, we are confident that they will get answers with Fusion 360. Further, if you are looking for an alternative tool to Google SketchUp for iPad to view and collaborate on your models, Fusion 360 has one of the best apps like SketchUp.

Is Fusion 360 better than SketchUp?

As said, Fusion 360 has some great features that SketchUp doesn’t have, and you don’t have to find third-party software to print 3D creations as you do with SketchUp. 

What is the difference between Fusion 360 and AutoCAD?

AutoCAD mainly focuses on geometry-based models, whereas Fusion 360 provides freeform models to the users. 

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7) Autodesk Maya

The third AutoDesk product on our list of Google Sketch 3D alternatives says something about this software giant. People worldwide use AutoDesk Maya for 3D animations, but there is no shortage of tools for modeling, rendering, and simulation tasks in this outstanding product. Also, generating realistic effects is easy, and you can use a tool like Bifrost to create spectacular effects with the AutoDesk Maya’s graph editor. 

Further, its built-in 3D graphs tremendously save the users’ time, and the tool called Arnold helps superb GPU and CPU rendering. It also wins the fight against SketchUp in terms of compatibility as AutoDesk Maya is a program that is available for Mac and Linux. This is one of the best SketchUp alternatives for Linux we have in our armory. 

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8) FreeCAD

Called a 3D parametric modeler, FreeCAD is an excellent SketchUp open-source alternative. The featured parametric modeling tool is tailor-made for modeling. You have the luxury of editing designs by changing the parameters from the history model; SketchUp users don’t get this chance. Also, it must be mentioned that FreeCAD supports more file formats than SketchUp, and you can use the Python commands using the Python console. 

Which is better: FreeCAD vs. LibreCAD?

FreeCAD is a tool that you can use for all 3D and 2D designs. In contrast, LibreCAD helps users design multiple 2D models with cross-platform support. The decision is upon you to choose which one is the best SketchUp alternative open source program.

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9) Tinkercad

This is another cool tool for those looking for SketchUp alternatives free of charge. Tinkercad is ideal for beginners to get the feel of a CAD program, and it is a browser-based simple tool that is an ideal place to start the journey. If you are a newbie, the world of CAD can be an intimidating place for you, and Tinkercad eliminates most of the problematic parts of handling advanced tools yet provides outstanding and eye-catching graphics and rendering features. 

If you are using the Sketch Up app for iPad, we urge you to try the Tinkercad app at least once to feel the difference as it has over 4.6 five-star ratings out of five from its previous users. You can build 3D designs, view designs, import STL files, export files, and do much more stuff comfortably using this SketchUp alternative iPhone app from Tinkercad. As you most probably would know, finding an app like SketchUp free of cost isn’t the most straightforward job in the world.

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10) nanoCAD

nanoCAD is an easy CAD program that helps users get an excellent level of performance through a comprehensive interface, and you can use it as an alternative to SketchUp Google 3D modeling software. This tool combines multiple other nano programs, including nanoCAD Pro, nanoCAD Plus, and nanoCAD 3dScan. Altogether, it is a user-friendly tool, and the command set and reusable blocks of nanoCAD make it easy for beginners to work without much of a fuss. 

The exciting part is that nanoCAD primary software comes to you free of charge with more features than SketchUp’s free plan. That said, you will have to pay for the additional features like nanoCAD 3dScan, nanoCAD Construction, nanoCAD Mechanica, NanoCAD Pro, and nanoCAD plus separately; cumulatively, the overall cost can be a little expensive for this tool.

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11) Blender

This is for those who are searching for an alternative to Google SketchUp for Android tablets. It is an understatement. A blender is a free tool that you can use to form any 3D design. Moreover, it provides you with the opportunity for animations, composition, rendering, and motion tracking. 

Is Blender better than SketchUp?

Blender can be a little confusing if you are using it for the first time, but once you get used to it, Blender can do wonders for you. On the other hand, SketchUp is easy to use and suits individuals, startups, medium, and even large companies.

Is Blender better than Rhino?

It depends on your purpose. For eye-catching animations and 3D designs, Blender would be an excellent choice. If you are into something that requires precision, Rhino should be your go-to option. Also, Blender has a pretty attractive app that you can use instead of the Google SketchUp Android app.

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12) BricsCAD

When it comes to new SketchUp alternatives Mac users have, you often hear the name of BricsCAD, and it is an affordable CAD program. BricsCAD is considered a highly compatible tool, and you can use it forever once you purchase the perpetual license. Moreover, you should not feel any delays while working with BricsCAD even though you are working with millions of lines in one file; it’s fast and stable. 

Further, they have additional programs like BricsCAD Shape, BricsCAD Mechanical, Communicator for BricsCAD, BricsCAD BIM, and more to help you with all your CAD requirements. You can wander around their blog to learn more about the features, and we recommend BricsCAD as a great SketchUp alternative for Linux as well. 

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13) TurboCAD

2D drafting and 3D modeling are what this tool does for you, which means TurboCAD is working fine with newbies and professionals. The interface is highly customizable and has loads of features and options to work with. It’s one of the best SketchUp alternatives for Android, and also, we have no second thoughts in recommending TurboCAD as one of the high-end SketchUp alternatives for iPad.

There are few plans available in TurboCAD; TurboCAD Platinum, TurboCAD Deluxe Bundle, TurboCAD Professional Annual, TurboCAD Platinum Annual, and several others. However, the downside of this tool is that it comes with a hefty price tag but has tons of reliable features and ideal for all 3D modeling works. 

Which is the best software for rendering?

Unity, 3D Max Design, Maya, Blender, Lumion, Spapr3D, and KeyShot can be labeled as a few of the best software for 3D rendering tasks.

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Summary

The world of CAD is evolving fast, and the SketchUp alternatives that we provided you are doing well in the industry as of now. Most of them are pretty expensive for beginners to work on; luckily, there are free and open-source tools available for you to explore. We have mentioned a few in this article; please take a second and do comment below if you know more. Have a great day!


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