Great for rough drafting, not so much for real precision layout
February 10, 2020

Great for rough drafting, not so much for real precision layout

Nathan Bowman | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with SketchUp

We use SketchUp internally to generate mockups or quick graphic representations when we don't have time to build an entire 3D model. I'll use it especially for landscape architecture demos, or anytime I need to put together a demo for a client or for marketing. It's not used by the engineers, it's really just over here in Environmental that we get more use out of it.


  • Speedy modeling of simple shapes - You can very quickly get an idea sketched out.
  • Rendering basic shapes to then export and use in other programs - If I need a specific background to pull into a photoshop drawing.


  • SketchUp is very difficult to maneuver in - It can take ages to position objects correctly.
  • It can also be tough to teach - l am working with engineers that are building models in MicroStation and AutoCAD and they can't understand how to build objects.
  • Some of our clients really appreciated that we could quickly make adjustments to proposed projects or mockups.
  • That being said, I've definitely spent a lot of time getting lost in the weeds making very small changes because they saw that it was possible, and then we're spending hours we might not have on the job.
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 calculations and handling large projects with huge amounts of data, while AutoCAD is very good at churning out nice looking plans - I wouldn't dare try to do either of those things in SketchUp, but I also wouldn't try to draw something out quickly in MicroStation or AutoCAD, laying out a project takes much longer in either of those suites.
I've never had to use their official support - just the forums and online materials, but those have been of middling help. Frequently I'm stymied by either a lack of functionality or the requirement to use 3rd party plugins to do what I want if I want to try to do something fancy or complicated with SketchUp - and the attitude from their support seems to be "yeah, that's how it is." I also have tried to reach out when something broke - like when the model warehouse was removed from our version, and I did not hear back. I think you have to be relatively self-sufficient if you need something more than the basics from SketchUp.

Do you think SketchUp delivers good value for the price?


Are you happy with SketchUp's feature set?


Did SketchUp live up to sales and marketing promises?

I wasn't involved with the selection/purchase process

Did implementation of SketchUp go as expected?


Would you buy SketchUp again?


SketchUp's compatibility is very dependent on your use case. If someone said, "Hey, do you know a software suite for rendering highway transportation plans?" I wouldn't suggest SketchUp - as much as I've used it, I've not seen that it's not good for precise measurements or for laying out clear plans - but it's great for rough planning or drawing up quick ideas.


More Reviews of SketchUp