AutoCAD vs. SketchUp

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
AutoCAD
Score 8.7 out of 10
N/A
AutoCAD is a CAD product from Autodesk. It allows designers to work in 2D and 3D, and is available on Windows and Mac, but with extensive online collaboration tools.
$245
per month
SketchUp
Score 8.6 out of 10
N/A
SketchUp is 3D modeling software with an emphasis on usability. SketchUp is a Trimble product.
$119
per year
Pricing
AutoCADSketchUp
Editions & Modules
Monthly Subscription
$245
per month per user
Yearly Subscription
$1975
per year per user
3-Year Subscription
$5925
3 years per user
Free
$0.00
per year
For Schools (free with G Suite or Microsoft education account)
$0
For Students
$55.00
per year
For Educators
$55.00
per year
Studio for Students / Educators (Desktop version)
$55
per year
Shop
$119.00
per year
Pro
$299.00
per year
Professional
$299.00
per year
Studio (Windows only)
$699
per year
Studio
$1199.00
per year
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
AutoCADSketchUp
Free Trial
YesNo
Free/Freemium Version
NoYes
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
NoNo
Entry-level Setup FeeNo setup feeNo setup fee
Additional Details
More Pricing Information
Community Pulse
AutoCADSketchUp
Considered Both Products
AutoCAD
Chose AutoCAD
I prefer Revit and SketchUp for doing anything 3D, but when it comes to 2D work, AutoCAD is the way to go. I know there are plenty of other CAD programs out there that are used for more specific types of drafting which have their benefits but as far as general drafting goes I …
Chose AutoCAD
AutoCAD works well with Revit and SketchUp. We have attempted to migrate to Revit-only, however, AutoCAD offers certain features that make it more efficient for production. Many experienced users have invested significant amounts of time learning and keeping with AutoCAD, also …
Chose AutoCAD
AutoCAD is a complete program in each of the design and presentation tools required in engineering and architecture projects. Simple design can be made to complex without any problem. In the case of the SketchUp program, it does not have the precision of AutoCAD, it is used for …
Chose AutoCAD
Autocad is better for details but SketchUp is much better for doing 3D models. Other than Autocad there aren't a lot of competitors in the CAD realm. Since this now works on Mac computers as well as this is really the only industry standard application an architecture office …
Chose AutoCAD
AutoCAD has its place as the ultimate design tool when complexity is required. However, for simpler work or getting 3D designs out quickly, I will revert to TurboCAD. For a fast 3D design that does not require overall accuracy or fidelity, I will open SketchUp. For animation, …
Chose AutoCAD
Honestly, we have never used another program, or even evaluated one. we do use SketchUp for quick modeling but have always relied on AutoCAD for design and production.
Chose AutoCAD
AutoCAD is an industry-standard, and there are no alternatives. Revit is used more often for 3D modeling and document set production, Rhino and SketchUp are used more often for conceptual studies. AutoCAD still has a place in our workflow for drawing details, file conversion, …
Chose AutoCAD
We chose AutoCAD because it was the professional software package, we had been using simpler and cheaper solutions but we found that our drawings were suffering because of it and that we had a lack of technical skill in CAD because of the ease of use of the more amateur …
Chose AutoCAD
As we all know that AutoCAD is a basic Drafting software used to drawing all of 2D object so all above softwares mentioned as as used as 2nd one after developing the plan on AutoCAD. So I do prepare plans on AutoCAD and develops them on above software. So basically my first …
Chose AutoCAD
for the developing of 2d drawings AutoCAD is more suitable than other software due to its very easy and understandable user interface. besides that, due to the orientation of the software to 2d drawings, the library of commands is better structured and organized, making the …
Chose AutoCAD
AutoCAD is more complete and offers more resources in general besides the great majority of professionals in the market using it, which facilitates the transfer of files between teams without any problem and the learning of the software that remains very similar in years. It …
Chose AutoCAD
AutoCAD is used more widely which makes collaboration easier. Learning curve for ARCHICAD didn't outweigh cost differences.
Chose AutoCAD
Basically AutoCAD has the highest number of pre-modeled 3D models and library. When we are preparing models of our process diagrams and installations we just assemble them, as compared to the other modeling software where every time you have to make and model for each equipment.
Chose AutoCAD
AutoCAD is honestly inferior to these products, given their ability to model complex geometries and generate automatic drawings. AutoCAD is the older generation of drafting software, and while still useful, is becoming less and less the go-to software to begin an architectural …
Chose AutoCAD
AutoCAD is the old industry standard that likely will disappear from use someday but somehow manages relevancy in certain isolated use-cases. It is incredibly likely that Revit (BIM) will supplant it entirely in the long run.
Chose AutoCAD
Modeling 2D structures in AutoCAD is more straight forward and easier to start with than other products above, and online tutorials of AutoCAD are everywhere.
Chose AutoCAD
From my experience, AutoCAD is the premier software for CAD services. If you are required to use BIM products in combination with CAD it is easily interfaced with Revit where some of the other software companies do not offer both CAS and BIM. As a CAD software alone it is the …
Chose AutoCAD
AutoCAD allows me to download preset libraries of objects and export as many items as I require to fill out a complete design in a single existing or new drawing, allows me to work in 2D and 3D layout without add ins from third party apps or vendors and works great saving docs …
Chose AutoCAD
We have transitioned to Revit as our primary tool in most of the departments for generating drawings because it gives the designers the freedom necessary to work quickly in a 3D environment, while AutoCAD is still clunky in this environment when it comes to larger files. In …
SketchUp
Chose SketchUp
SketchUp is a good program, free and easy to use, very suitable features to be introduced in the assisted design. Once you've mastered SketchUp, it could be convenient to make the jump to AutoCAD, which will allow you to perform more complex jobs, and the experience gained in …
Chose SketchUp
SketchUp offers a more strings-free set up than its counterparts, such as Vectorworks, Revit, or AutoCAD. These other competing software also tend to be overshadowed by extraneous functions that may end up confusing you and distracting you more than they end up helping you. …
Chose SketchUp
There isn’t a product which accurately compares to SketchUp, and I mean that in the very best way. Nothing combines the power, speed, and organization capable with SketchUp. AutoCAD and Revit have their own specialties, but quick modeling and flexibility in general aren’t …
Chose SketchUp
Main other tool that I looked at is AutoCAD. I think AutoCAD has probably a richer set of features. It's so hard to learn and rather than intuitive controls using the mouse, there are a ton of key commands that there's no way I'm going to remember unless I'm in the software …
Chose SketchUp
We use all three programs in our office, primarily based on client needs and final deliverables, but in general, we'll use MicroStation for highway projects, AutoCAD for water/sewer projects, and SketchUp for environmental projects. MicroStation tends to be more focused on the …
Chose SketchUp
SketchUp, Revit, AutoCAD, and Rhino are COMPLETELY different programs. It's important to know the benefits of each, and how to work between all of them. SketchUp is the best to produce visually appealing graphics, however when it comes to construction documents, it is not going …
Chose SketchUp
Making a model can be bulky in Revit, especially if you are in a design phase where you are still playing around with options. The benefit to Revit is that it is easier to then work those models into CDs. Sketchup is more friendly when you are exploring or using the model as a …
Chose SketchUp
Sketchup serves a very specific function in my office and fits somewhere between Rhino and Revit in our workflow. It is useful for early design studies and clear graphic diagrams for large-scale urban projects. Only up to a certain level of complexity, at which point Rhino or Re…
Chose SketchUp
Revit takes more time to learn and use, and it requires technical skills from the users. The course for leaning Revit is pretty high. However, SketchUp is very easy to learn and use. When working with urgent projects or idea concept projects, SketchUp works better and faster. …
Chose SketchUp
SketchUp has a simple interface that is easy for the staff to get used to. It also is more common in architecture schools, so entry level staff is already well versed in it by the time they start. It also has been really the only product we have used, and are very comfortable …
Chose SketchUp
No other 3d software is as easy to use as SketchUp.
Chose SketchUp
When it comes to easy development of the design and sketches SketchUp is a great tool, but in case you require complex design and more specific details I would like to go for SOLIDWORKS. I used this as my secondary design tool but it solves the purpose of basic prototyping of …
Chose SketchUp
SketchUp can be widely used in different design disciplines while some programs such as Revit and SOLIDWORKS are specifically designed for making 3D or 2D drawings related to structures, mechanical components, and building elements. The interface of SketchUp is intuitive, all …
Chose SketchUp
SketchUp is widely available therefore many of our designers know how to use it avoiding the need to train new staff to use it. On top of that, it offers the ability to make professional quality renderings without the cost of similar modeling and or BIM software. This is the …
Chose SketchUp
SketchUp is far easier to use, has faster modeling, and is more affordable to operate than the aforementioned options.
Chose SketchUp
I selected SketchUp because it's cheaper and more user-friendly than other software I've used in the past.

Even though SketchUp isn't as complicated as the others- there's no limit to what you can do once you play around with the program.
Chose SketchUp
I've spent very little time in other applications and programs, but for the cost, flexibility, and documentation style, SketchUp was the clear winner. I do not need a BIM-capable program or photorealistic rendering capabilities, but I do need a quick, effective, and …
Chose SketchUp
Sketchup is simply not a BIM platform, so if that is truly what you need, then it's not a good choice. Sketchup can provide energy studies, cost estimates, material take-offs, just as well as any other software. We had to look at our practice to analyze how frequently we were …
Chose SketchUp
It is a super friendly and very easy to use software that saves many hours of learning about how to use professional 3D rendering and design programs. There's a lot of information about it because it's from Google and it has excellent technical support. It is excellent to …
Chose SketchUp
Revit is more of a BIM application but has 3D components. Definitely different in many ways but for creating 3D models SketchUp is great for simple designs where Revit is really for more advanced applications and actual construction documents etc.
Chose SketchUp
SketchUp meets the intermediate to advanced business needs, setting the right assessment you can take advantage using the latest add in to fit the pro needs of a singular segment in the project or just to get the most from using one tool, instead of the other apps SkecthUp has …
Chose SketchUp
Sketchup is a great tool to both create quick models that can be rendering in a sketchy manner in color and sent to the client for project visualization and understanding. Sketchup is great for working through design changes and problem solving on the elevations of massing. …
Top Pros
Top Cons
Best Alternatives
AutoCADSketchUp
Small Businesses
Rhino
Rhino
Score 9.1 out of 10
Autodesk Maya
Autodesk Maya
Score 7.9 out of 10
Medium-sized Companies
Rhino
Rhino
Score 9.1 out of 10
Rhino
Rhino
Score 9.1 out of 10
Enterprises
Rhino
Rhino
Score 9.1 out of 10
Rhino
Rhino
Score 9.1 out of 10
All AlternativesView all alternativesView all alternatives
User Ratings
AutoCADSketchUp
Likelihood to Recommend
9.3
(82 ratings)
7.8
(46 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
8.0
(3 ratings)
9.0
(1 ratings)
Usability
8.0
(3 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Support Rating
7.2
(14 ratings)
8.5
(14 ratings)
Implementation Rating
8.0
(2 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
User Testimonials
AutoCADSketchUp
Likelihood to Recommend
Autodesk
I think AutoCAD is great for creating precise site plans that show the layout of buildings, roads, parking lots, and other features on a piece of land. you can use it for designing roads and highways, including lane configurations, intersections, signage, and pavement markings, as well as for designing utility systems like water, sewer, and stormwater drainage. Engineers can create detailed layouts and profiles for these systems. However, I think it is less appropriate for advanced 3D modelling tasks compared to dedicated 3D modelling software, BIM (Building Information Modelling), advanced geospatial analysis.
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Trimble
Real estate is not really the most likely use for Sketchup, since it has so many choices and possibilities. But, it is an innovative way to differentiate yourself from the competition. The program is very well-suited to the myopic seller or buyer who can't visualize future changes and their effect on value.
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Pros
Autodesk
  • The tools are easy to use and the learning curve is fairly minimal to be able to create blueprints.
  • The 3D application is very fun to use and it is nice to be able to see your product instead of having to imagine what it will look like.
  • The speed and accuracy in which students can create plans is a huge bonus. Students can plan their industrial art projects out and use their own set of plans to build them.
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Trimble
  • Quickly exploring solutions in 3D: We get a lot of "what if" and "what would that look like" questions. While hand-sketching and hand-drafting can be fairly quick, SketchUp allows me to quickly create 3D and 2D views of a detail or solution, change dimensions and materials in a flash, and show a client or installer the plan in minutes.
  • Creating professional design documents in LayOut: Projects of any scale need good documentation. Using a combination of SketchUp and LayOut, I can create a Design Intent Set, plans for permitting, a set for mechanical trades to mark-up, etc. Having clear, appropriately-scaled drawings with dimensions or notations is a must, and we don't always have the time or budget to get an architect involved!
  • Using live files to guide discussions: Not all clients are "visual" people, so opening their model and orbiting around their space in real time has been extremely helpful. Clients and trades enjoy the perspective views so much that we often include them in the full-sized drawing sets to give a good "overall" view of the project intent. For complex or tight spaces, sometimes un-rendered plans and elevations just aren't enough!
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Cons
Autodesk
  • It needs more help in 3D world, eventually some parametric support
  • Better connection with Revit or Inventor
  • Dynamic blocks could get some updates
  • Parameters can be more developed; excel capabilities could be added
  • Sheet set could be more evolved to support a workflow involving data management
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Trimble
  • Ability to import Revit files and libraries.
  • Ability to export true curved vector linework. There are some workarounds, needs to be refined.
  • Create an OPEN MAPS connection. Since the split from Google, the source for high-quality aerials is limited.
  • Ability to dock all menus to the master window on a Mac
  • Ability to develop dockable menu trays on a Mac
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Likelihood to Renew
Autodesk
Because rarely we [would] rather wait for a whole year to update, sometimes the new updates don't bring many new features and we are still ok with the current version. Also the change of interface is always something that takes time for every partner in the company to get comfortable with. So those are the main reasons we may want to keep the same version.
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Trimble
We typically wait a few years in between renewing, as even older versions are powerful tools for modeling, and we make sure the amount of feature changes are worth the re-investment.
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Usability
Autodesk
Is an extremely usefull and accurate software , yo certainly can do almost every task requiered to document a project drawings and specifications , the only is that to be confortable with it you need a little of practice and to be familiarized with the commands and the core functioning to get expected results.
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Trimble
No answers on this topic
Support Rating
Autodesk
AutoCAD has the issue of crashing or slowing down the design procedure once a heavy design that includes several disciplines or multiple families/blocks is involved. Customer services gets the feedback from the crash reports but this issue seems like it has never been addressed in the software updates past several years.
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Trimble
Sketchup is so intuitive; I can't recall ever looking for official support. However, there are many user forums online that can answer more questions. The usefulness of the online forums is, however, tempered by the fact that there have been many versions of the software under different ownership and support regimes, and thus finding the right information for the right version of the software can be a challenge.
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Implementation Rating
Autodesk
the implementation was realy easy , to set up our workstation we pay for the licenses we are about to use , there was a little bit of delay to get the payment processed to receive the serial but after that the install runs without any problem , so you can fell secure there will be not issue with the implementation.
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Trimble
No answers on this topic
Alternatives Considered
Autodesk
I have experience with Autodesk Maya, and am familiar with their user interface with creating 3D objects. AutoCAD while from the same family, requires a steeper learning curve and more in-depth knowledge of the software.
I have experience with this software because it is the industry standard in the jobs that I applied to, and was required to the company that I interviewed for. Part of the interview process was a proof-of-work test to create a mock solution for a client, which would demonstrate knowledge and skill with using AutoCAD.
I have little experience with CorelCAD, but I found AutoCAD to be more in-depth with your options and what you could create.
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Trimble
It's great to give the customer an overview of how a project will look, but it will never replace the information that a blueprint or engineering drawing can convey. SketchUp is great for the casual user or someone who is just getting started in design work. Other high powered software, such as Solidworks or Inventor is more suited for 3D modeling on a regular basis
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Return on Investment
Autodesk
  • AutoCAD has helped our smaller firm produce lots of finished products matching that of a much larger size firm. With its many features, we have been able to do so much more and meet deadlines that much faster.
  • Since we do use AutoCAD, we're able to work with many other engineering firms to collaborate together to complete various building projects.
  • We have many clients now who expect us to provide for them at the end of a project not just printed construction drawings but also the digital AutoCAD drawing so they can in turn use it for future modifications themselves.
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Trimble
  • SketchUp has definitely had a positive impact on the customer experience with our company. The model can be generated to give the owner a good idea of the final product before actually committing the resources to complete the project.
  • Having simple models created before the work gets started in the field means that issues with elevations or odd angles can be ironed out beforehand and solved with the design team. This has greatly reduced the rework on our more complex self-perform concrete structures!
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