Do Architects Use SketchUp? (Solved & Explained)

Modern architecture often includes using modern technology to accomplish projects.

While it isn’t required – humans were designing architecture for centuries before modern 3D modeling – it is a huge help to firms and architects who want to get projects done quickly and efficiently.

Do most architects use SketchUp? Let’s find out!

Here’s An Idea of How Architects Use Modern Programs Like Sketchup:

SketchUp is used by many creative individuals and even some architects. However, as a professional industry software, there are complications with getting more complex modeling or sketches out of it. It is also not compatible with AutoCAD and does not include House Wizard.

How Good is the SketchUp Program for Architects?

SketchUp is very intuitive and easy to get into, making it a great program for hobbyists and designers.

Not only is it used in architecture and landscape design, but it can also be a tool for things like:

  • Video Games
  • 3D Printing
  • Designing Large Items or Objects (like furniture)
  • Interior and Space Design

This program makes 3D modeling, designing, and creating quick sketch ideas of what a project could be that they can be easily viewed as a digital file.

You can have multiple projects and files saved to the program at once, and you can pull them up or store them away with ease.



Furthermore, because the program is so intuitive and user-friendly, it doesn’t take long to learn.

There are plenty of tools and options when using the program, such as storage in the Cloud, offline use, the ability to view projects on both desktop and mobile devices, as well as customer support.

While this program has a free version, professionals would have to upgrade to the “SketchUp Studio” or “SketchUp Pro” versions in order to get all the required tools and accessories that a real architecture firm would require for a project.

Do Architect Schools use SketchUp?

There are plenty of tutorials online for almost anything you can think of, including programs like SketchUp.

However, 3D modeling is usually a required class in almost all architecture courses and majors in academia. Depending on the professor or course that you take, you may or may not use SketchUp in your classes.

There are so many other CAD (Computer-Aided Design) programs out there that Architects use, such as:

  • Revit
  • Rhino
  • AutoCAD
  • ArchiCAD
  • Cedreo
  • CATIA
  • Studio Max

Revit, Rhino, and AutoCAD are among the more popular ones, and SketchUp is rising up to meet them.

Do Architect Studios Typically use SketchUp?

Architect firms and studios will primarily use programs such as Revit, Rhino, AutoCAD, ArchiCAD, and SketchUp.

Preferably they will use programs that work well together or can translate programs across platforms; however, that is not usually the case with most software.

There are some complaints among professional firms that concede that SketchUp can’t work well with other programs like AutoCAD, which is more popular and well-used.

However, SketchUp is great when it comes to creating interior designs, furniture, and other 3D modeling objects as well, so it can be used in the architectural process, even if it isn’t the primary program for designing the home itself.

Do Other Professionals use SketchUp?

Many professionals use SketchUp, and programs like it.

3D modeling and design have a huge market now when it comes to creating a multitude of objects for 3D printing.

Gameboard pieces, plastic toys, small tools or pieces used in construction or scale modeling, and even small joints or hinges for toy and doll design are just the tip of the 3D printing iceberg today.

Furthermore, SketchUp – outside of 3E modeling for printing – is a handy tool for video game character and level design.

Many online professionals will create a design in SketchUp and either sell that design for printing purposes or sell their digital creations as assets to video game developers.

Furthermore, furniture design and interior decorating can be played around with or even sold as professional creations using SketchUp.

What Other Design Software do Architects use Instead?

As we’ve mentioned before, other popular and impressive software tools are used other than SketchUp.

Programs like AutoCAD and Revit are both similar and widely different from SketchUp in the way that they help the user design and then present their creations.

Revit, for example, is widely popular for professionals in the architectural, engineering, and interior design industries. It is very accurate and renders designs quickly.

Autocad, one of the more popular and professional programs out there, is capable of creating 2D and 3D models and create life-like designs.

However, AutoCAD is the more expensive option out there that would make it hard for a freelance architect on their own to afford.

Do Architects Draw or use Computers?

Drawing designs by hand only is an older profession that is slowly dying out with the introduction of modern 3D modeling and computer software technology.

This makes learning CAD programs in school a requirement for most curriculums.

Therefore, it is safe to say that while some architects still do most of their work by hand, it is difficult to find a firm or studio out there that do not implement at least some form of software into the creation of their designs.

That being said, most architects are quite good at drawing and sketching by hand and often will design and redesign multiple ideas by hand before translating it to 3D software.

Is AutoCAD Better than SketchUp?

AutoCAD is much more built to the architecture profession than SketchUp, which is more versatile for other creative projects and professionals.

That being said, AutoCAD is much more expensive and more difficult to learn than programs like SketchUp.

This doesn’t necessarily make it better or worse; however, if you were to ask a professional which they would prefer, AutoCAD is more likely going to be the resounding choice.

Finally, if you are thinking of trying out 3D modeling or are interested in creating your own creations on your own, rather than at work, you might find that SketchUp is a better introductory program to 3D modeling.

References:

Architects: Here’s How Revit, Rhino, and SketchUp Stack Up

What is Sketchup (and How Do I Use It)?

Top 16 of the best 3D modeling software for architecture in 2020

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