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Battle of Software: Revit vs SketchUp


Both Sketchup and Revit are architecture purposes software. However, they differ in the tools they offer contrasting final results. Which one will you choose to 3D model your project? Get ready for our next battle of software: Revit vs Sketchup!

To understand which 3D modeling program will match your needs better, we should start by explaining the basics. Today, we will tell you what BIM and CAD software are and what advantages they offer. Then we will move onto our Revit vs Sketchup comparison, and we’ll explain how can you benefit from each design software dedicated to architecture. Hopefully, by the end of this blog post, you will pick the right 3D program for your project!

What is the difference between BIM and CAD software?

Revit belongs to the family of BIM software. Sketchup, however, is a CAD software. Talking about 3D software categories, we should also mention a third group, which is 3D modeling. You can learn more about the differences between CAD and 3D modeling software with our previous blog post.

BIM is short for Building Information Modeling. It is a process of creating a 2D sketch and then transforming it into a 3D model. A lifecycle of a project made with BIM software is to plan, design, build, operate, and maintain. BIM software is used for design, infrastructure design, and documentation. Thanks to BIM software, you can visualize how your project will look like in real life, test different design solutions, and generate construction documentation.

CAD stands for Computer-Aided Design. CAD software might seem to work like BIM. A 2D sketch is created and can be transformed into a 3D model. However, we can already point out a difference at the level of the sketch. When you design a wall with CAD software, the sketch will be made of just lines. BIM software, on the other hand, will recognize elements. A wall will be understood by BIM software as a wall, not as two lines. 

Why use CAD software then? Many of them will still offer a wide range of useful tools, such as animation. If your project is less technical, and your goal is to create an amazing 3D visualization of your ideas with photorealistic renders, CAD software would probably suit your needs better. Sketchup will also allow you to gather construction documentation.

Revit vs Sketchup: the differences

Now you should have an idea of the main difference: Revit and Sketchup are different systems and have different sets of tools. Overall, Revit is aimed at more complex projects of whole infrastructuresSketchup would handle such a project too, but it’s much better fitted for interior design thanks to 3D visualization tools.

Sketchup is reasonably easy to learn, and you can start learning it with our tutorials. It is also possible to find many Sketchup alternatives on the market. It is powerful and has many great tools to make your virtual model look as realistic as a picture. Revit offers a different design process, much more technical commands, for example, fabrication show, drafting studio, or machine and CNC controlled tools.

Therefore, if you would like to make 3D visualization and maybe documentation for a project, we suggest Sketchup will do the job. However, if you’re planning to bring your project to life and build it, Revit is the more suitable 3D software for you.

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*You can also subscribe to the educational version

**Autodesk also offers Revit Light for prices: 1 month: 78€, 1 year: 618€, 3 years: 1 668€

If so it happens that neither Revit nor Sketchup seems to be the software for your projects, have a look at Top 10 architecture software.

Take your models to the next level


Last but not least, either Revit model or Sketchup model can be used for 3D printing. Incorporating Additive Manufacturing into your workflow can be highly beneficial and help your clients understand your project. Thanks to Additive Manufacturing, your project can be brought from a computer to a scaled, physical model in no time. Your clients and investors will have a chance to see your plans, and you will be able to explain to them exactly your design solutions. Learn more about 3D printing architectural models and their benefits for your business.

Does 3D printing your models sound fascinating? If you have any questions about this or other 3D printing projects, contact our experts, who will advise you on your next steps. Do you already have a 3D model? Simply upload it to our online 3D printing service!

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