We Put SketchUp and AutoCAD Head to Head!

This is a debate that never seems to end.  Maybe it’s because SketchUp and AutoCAD users are equally passionate about their choice of software.  Either way, we have noticed a theme over the last few years when it comes to the never ending SketchUp vs AutoCAD debate, and it usually ends with the opinion that SketchUp is sub-standard in comparison to AutoCAD, when creating technical floor plans.

This blog post IS NOT an AutoCAD bashing article!  We have personally used AutoCAD in the past for the creation of technical drawings, and therefore we have (limited) knowledge of what it is capable of.  We acknowledge that AutoCAD produces high quality, professional standard, technical drawings.

But this doesn’t mean that by default, SketchUp produces sub-standard, unprofessional technical drawings.

This is why we’ve decided to put SketchUp and AutoCAD head to head in a floor plan challenge!  We’ve created two technical drawings, using both CAD software applications and we want YOU to choose which one was created using AutoCAD.  

If we listen to a lot of the SketchUp bashing debates in the Architectural and Interior Design communities, you should be able to identify SUPER QUICK, which floor plan was created by AutoCAD, because SketchUp (apparently), will look like it was created by a 7 year old, right?!


The SketchUp bashers will obviously be secretly hoping and praying that floor plans created using SketchUp will bear some resemblance to the floor plan above, but we regret to inform you that this will NOT be happening.  Because, contrary to (unfounded) opinion in some Design circles, SketchUp is actually VERY capable of producing technical drawings that are accurate and professional in appearance.

It’s unfortunate, but we have (and still do) witness a certain level of snobbery in the Architectural and Interior Design industries when it comes to SketchUp.  We’re not sure where this originates but we would love to see this ignorance stamped out once and for all.  We think that perhaps the more engaging, uplifting and user-friendly interface of SketchUp has somehow contributed to the judgement that it isn’t as credible as AutoCAD.

REALLY?!  You could argue that with its welcoming interface, SketchUp is actually very successful at pushing down barriers for both young and old, when it comes to professional and personal development.  It’s important that a software application places accessibility high on its list of priorities, right?  And in our humble opinion, SketchUp should be applauded for doing so.

The interfaces of AutoCAD and SketchUp couldn’t be more different but the more engaging characteristics of SketchUp shouldn’t be used to question its value.

AutoCAD doesn’t have to ‘lose’, in order for SketchUp to be accepted as an effective and valuable CAD application.  Isn’t there enough room for BOTH to be respected for their contribution to the Design industry?

And remember guys, do you really think the end consumer i.e. YOUR client will look at your technical floor plan and question its validity based on whether it was produced using AutoCAD or SketchUp?  No, he or she most definitely WON’T!

Ok, let’s get this SketchUp and AutoCAD head to head challenge underway!

Take a look at the technical drawings below and pick which one you think was created using AutoCAD.


On a side note, you should be noticing right about now, how similar these two floor plans appear!  AND you should be finding it increasingly difficult to decide which one was created using AutoCAD.

If you’d like to view both plans more closely, download the original PDFs.



I will update this blog post in a few days to reveal which floor plan was created using AutoCAD.


19 responses on "We Put SketchUp and AutoCAD Head to Head!"

  1. its really hard to know, I agree. MY guess is plan B is sketchup. Curious to see the truth 🙂

  2. I think B is AutoCAD.

  3. Really not sure as I don’t have Auto Cad experience only Sketch Up. I would guess at a being Auto Cad?!?!?

  4. I can’t see any difference at all apart from a slight fade on the top one.
    Can’t wait to find out!

  5. Hi Anita .. it’s really hard to tell but I can guess that A is AutoCAD and B is sketchUp ..

  6. Impossible for me to tell, I’d be just guessing! 😉

  7. B is autocad I think. Just because it seems to have greater control over the line weights on then furniture and fine detail on the keyboards!

  8. I cannot see a difference. So it’s just a pure guess – B is SketchUp.

  9. I haven’t used either yet so really hard to tell! I have had to zoom in to look closely but all I can see is one is slightly darker in colour/print?I would hazard a guess that A is auto cad and b is sketch up? Just a guess though!

  10. Amazing. I thought B is autocad.

  11. Did you draw the floor plan in Sketchup or in layout? what was done where and how? any tutorials?


    • Hi There! The floor plan was created in SketchUp and was then exported to LayOut, where the scale was set and the title block was added. We sell online SketchUp courses on how to create floor plans and elevations, check out our courses page for more info!

  12. Robin Zimpfer McDonnell6th December 2020 at 10:01 pmReply

    I don’t know why but I think A is SketchUp

  13. I think A is autocad because of the patterns in the key are a bit heavier and autocad does that with smaller scales.

    • Hi Lindsay! You’re right; floor plan A was created using AutoCAD. I find the patterns easier to read in floor plan B, though! I hope you found this blog useful, especially in terms of the high quality plans that can be created using SketchUp 🙂

  14. Both very similar but I think B is sketchup

  15. I think B bc it has different line weights which I know u can do in sketch up ?

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