There are essentially two kinds of complaints about Sketchup. Distill these complaints down to their purest form and they are basically:

  1. “Sketchup isn’t SolidWorks/ArchiCAD/Seimens NX”
    Yes, you’re right, Sketchup doesn’t have a function for everything. If it did, it would take you a year to learn it thoroughly and cost a lot more than it currently does.
  2. “Sketchup isn’t MS Paint”
    No, its not. It’ll take you more than 30 seconds to understand how to use it well

My point is that Sketchup is good at being Sketchup. A straight forward, easy to use, fast 3D design package that, for the sake of easier user adaptation, doesn’t have every bell and whistle under the sun but has the basic tools to get almost every function complete if you’re careful, thoughtful and persistent.

This mentality is reflected in Sketchup’s ongoing development – they don’t try to emulate the big CAD packages yet they don’t allow Sketchup to be a dinky toy. Sketchup fills a niche between the high level CAD packages and….whatever you were doing before.

In New Zealand industry, this covers a lot of bases;

  • You don’t need a high level CAD package to design and execute great kitset buildings.
  • You don’t need all the bells and whistles to design and install grunty truck wash systems.
  • And you don’t need to make guesses based on a cigarette pack sketch to build great furniture for your home (details to come in another post).

Sketchup makes this all possible. So while discussion continues¬†about what should and shouldn’t be developed in Sketchup we salute the development team’s concerted efforts to keep Sketchup filling it’s special niche.

Download Sketchup 2016 here, get the release notes here