FreeCAD vs SketchUp
Many software is available for designing works as these are used by architects, product designers, civil engineers, etc. but as the technology grows, people from different fields also want to use CAD software. These softwares are very expensive and not everyone can afford these so developers build free-to-use software with all the capabilities which are available in paid software. Two such software are FreeCAD and SketchUp, so let’s have a look at their features.
What is FreeCAD?
FreeCAD is a python-based CAD software that is used for parametric 3D designing and BIM modeling. Being an open-source and free software it is widely popular among students as well as among professionals. It has nearly all the advanced tools which are used for product designing, simulations, game development, mechanical drawings, etc.
Advantages of FreeCAD
- It has the support of free libraries like Yeggi, CAD blocks, and Trace Parts. etc.
- Installation and configuration can be done easily using the instructions from the manual.
- Projects created in FreeCAD can be easily exported to multiple file formats supported by other CAD software like Inventor, Wavefront, Collada, etc.
- It consumes a small space on the user’s hard disk.
Disadvantages of FreeCAD
- It is still in the development phase so updates are needed to use any new feature.
- It has some bugs like the import feature did not work according to users’ expectations.
- Freezing problem is common while working with large files.
What is SketchUp?
SketchUp is an advanced 3D designing software that fulfills the needs of animators, architects, hobbyists, educators, etc. It has inbuilt tools that help in easing interior designing and model designing. It was launched in 2000 by Trimble Incorporation as a 3D content creation tool. It can be used only on Mac and Windows systems.
Advantages of SketchUp
- The surfaces of models can be rendered separately for fast processing.
- Using the google earth extension, buildings can be placed at the actual sites for better understanding.
- Custom features can be added through third-party plugins.
- Pre-built components are available for reuse.
Disadvantages of SketchUp
- Rendered photos have low quality as compared to other image editor photos.
- It lacks in automating tasks due to which everything needs to be done manually.
Following is a table of differences between FreeCAD and SketchUp:
|Definition||FreeCAD is a multi-purpose computer application for performing CAD and BIM-related tasks.||SketchUp is a 3D graphic designing software used for different purposes like modeling, drafting architectural works, etc.|
|Founder(s)||It was founded by Jurgen Riegel, Werner Mayer, and Yorik van Havre.||It was originally founded by Brad Schell and Joe Esch.|
|Open source||FreeCAD is open-source software.||SketchUp is not open-source.|
|Interpreter||It has an interpreter for running python scripts.||Scripts cannot be executed as it does not have an interpreter.|
|License||FreeCAD has an LGPL-2.0-or-later license.||It has subscription-based licensing.|
|Integrations||It has only a handful of integrations like BoltsEtAl and MeshCAM.||It has many integrations like Skatter, MAJ column, TrueBend, etc.|
|User interface||It has a complex user interface which takes some time to become friendly.||It has a simple interface which makes it easy for beginners.|
|Type||It is 3D modeling and CAD software.||It is a 3D computer graphics software.|
On detailed comparison, it is clear that FreeCAD is the first choice for individuals and small organizations due to its free and open source qualities. Moreover, tutorials are easily available and community support is strong. While SketchUp is a paid software with industry standards and must be used by professionals.
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