Ideal tool for architectural design, presentation, and problem-solving
April 24, 2020

Ideal tool for architectural design, presentation, and problem-solving

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with SketchUp

We use SketchUp for design studies and renderings primarily. The flexible modelling system, easy navigation, and customizable views make SketchUp easy to teach and troubleshoot. We have used Vray and Enscape plugins with SketchUp for renderings, lately favoring Enscape for the speed and high quality. We design residential, office, and cultural projects, and SketchUp allows us to quickly get feedback from clients as well as make quick adjustments based on the feedback. We use Revit for design documentation, and the two tools are fairly compatible. Revit can be easily exported to SketchUp, although there are limitations.
  • 3D modeling.
  • Rendering.
  • Walkthrough/Animation.
  • Design review.
  • View styles.
  • Complex geometry.
  • Parametric modelling (ex. adjustable profile extrusions).
  • Additional views within the modeling window.
  • Grouping views.
  • Collaborative/simultaneous modeling.
  • Time-saving.
  • Decision-making.
  • High quality rendering output.
  • Easy to teach and troubleshoot.
SketchUp is much easier to teach and troubleshoot than alternative 3D modeling programs like Rhino and Revit. SketchUp and Rhino are used for similar purposes in architecture, firms tend to prefer one or the other based on the types of geometry being created (rectilinear vs complex) and the general culture of the studio. Rhino tends to be regarded as more professional because of its extra complexity, although I think it is overkill for most architecture applications and can be used in conjunction with SketchUp when necessary. Both can be used for rendering, as well as Revit, although again SketchUp is the most flexible and fastest to adjust in my experience. Revit has 3D modeling functionality, but it is much slower and technical, best to use after the many design reviews and approvals that are required in a project. Revit does include necessary documentation/organization, so we use it primarily for that function and SketchUp for design.
Continued improvement over time. Simple program with few technical issues. Massive community support, including plugins for out-of-the-box limitations, that can be downloaded through an integrated extension warehouse.

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SketchUp is best used to solve difficult 3D design problems. It is the best tool to quickly model solutions, move around freely to review, and try alternative solutions. Once options are set, SketchUp plugins allow quick and flexible rendering production. SketchUp is very friendly to non-technical users and works well at client meetings to give a better sense of what traditional drawings represent.

In most cases, a separate documentation tool is required. We use Revit for a number of reasons, mainly to automate updates to drawings as the design progresses. Revit and SketchUp can work together, especially exporting geometry from Revit to SketchUp. In this case, you can freely move around the exported geometry in SketchUp and make adjustments for approval before returning to Revit for slower technical modeling/drawing.