Anyone know of a good SketchUp alternative?

Continuing the discussion from Sketchup 2015 crashing when I try to print:

Breaking this question out into it’s own discussion.

(I renamed the old topic to reflect the technical printing issue of the OP.)

[quote=“Kenny”] in Sketchup 2015 crashing when I try to print, post:4, said:

A lot of free CAD programs such as IMSI Doublecad will now read SketchUp files but you shouldn’t need to.

And IMSI has now retired DoubleCAD. You can still download the last version,… but they are trying to move all it’s users over to TurboCAD.

So IMSI’s foray into free 2D CAD didn’t really last all that long.

I have been playing a little with Rhinoceros. It’s interface is somewhat less direct and intuitive than SketchUp,and it costs 1.5…2 times as much, but it has a more advanced nurbs-based geometry.


So it violates (1) “cheap to free”.
Does it at least (2) “read SketchUp files” ?

My eyes skipped the (1) condition… (2) I think yes. The reason I have been looking into it is that curved objects created in SketchUp do not fare well when translated into a couple of applications I need to get them into, with all the facets and their edges becoming visible.


  1. formZ 8 free version from AutodesSys

2 can import sketchup files

just started using…/.

Not .skp files but you can export your model from SU as a .dwg type into Rhino. From there you can export it back as a .kmz /.dae / .obj / file type and the list of others you may want to scan over…Peace…

this may be helpfull
I had an issue with delivering STP files to a fabricator who uses Solidworks and Rhino.

I looked into Rhino, they have a 90 day free trial

Rhino will open and import my SKP files and export as STP, and many other file types.

My best results came from exporting as.3ds file out of SU,
opening the .3ds files in Rhino,
and then export or save as .STP (or Rhino file .3dm which provided them all options.)

Even better in my case was that they could use the exports from Rhino, which look and function well FOR THEM,
and generate their own STP files for mold making.
FYI I could never have gotten there without the SU CleanUp3 extension which dealt with my old files, and my learning curves!
priceless before converting to other file types.

As for free…I still have most of the 90 day free use of the full version I downloaded.
Rhino5 is very versatile, and was part of a good formula to get to STP for me but I will stick with my SU2017
That’s my offering…though not a perm. solution.
Cheers Roto

which obviously does a file format conversion but not a geometric conversion… SU is a polygon modeler whereas Rhino is a NURBS surface modeler… converting facetted meshes to the STEP format won’t help much in this context… besides being enabled to import something typically less suitable in a NURBS modeler… resp. requires a conversion to NURBS… if avail.

I appreciate the clarity…I will find out how less suitable.
Although I CAN send them SketchUp 8 files which they can feed to the rhino…and watch their STEP.