Compare Sketchup and TurboCad


I am a long-time user of TurboCad (since before Version 14), and I
find it (Version 21 Pro) powerful but very often features I need
are elusive. It has taken me much effort on occasion to get the
needed clarification by emails. Recently Sketchup Pro has been
brought to my attention by others doing work like I need to do, i.e
3D mechanical drawing. Thus I went searching for definitive
comparisons in case I can work more efficiently with Sketchup. As
you would be aware it takes considerable learning to become
sufficiently adept with a new software system before one can be
confident of its efficiency.

Any assistance you can give me in comparing the two, i.e. TurboCad
21 and Sketchup Professional, for 3D mechanical drawings would be
very welcome. I do quite a lot of lofting, filleting, stretching,
tracing, curve warping.


Sorry, but they cannot be directly compared. It is easier to say what is different between them.

SketchUp, was purposely designed to be not like CAD programs. So it will not in the slightest even look or feel like any CAD clone.

SketchUp uses single key accelerators, not multi-key commands. (It does not have a command console, but does embed Ruby as a scripting language, which has a shell console.)

SketchUp is a surface based modeler. (Basically everything is made of edges and faces. There are not true curves, nor nurbs in SketchUp. Circles, curves and arcs are approximated with segmented poly-edges.)

SketchUp is a model space interface. The Pro version has Layout which is a paper space interface.

SketchUp uses layers only for display control. Layers do not prevent geometry interaction. Instead, SketchUp uses entities collection contexts to prevent interaction. (The model has a global entities collection, and groups and components have their entities collections.)
SketchUp layers cannot yet be locked nor frozen. (But this has been requested.)

The concept of a frozen entity does not yet exist in SketchUp, but any drawing entity can be individually locked.

The best thing to do is d/l Make, which will run in Pro mode for 30 days. Play a week with SketchUp modeling, then spend the next 3 weeks exploring Layout to do documentation for a model, before the demo runs out. Then you can go back to learning SketchUp modeling in depth.

You’ll need Pro anyway for commercial work, or to import & export with other CAD file formats (3ds, dwg, dxf, obj, fbx, etc.)


Thanks very much for your careful explanations. VERY helpful. Clearly I
need to put in much learning to comprehend properly what you tell.