Fusion 360 vs Sketchup — Which is the Better Online Software for Woodworking?

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Fusion 360 and Sketchup are famous online woodworking software that are easy to learn. Although both have the tools and training materials to help you create amazing drawings and sketches, you might get the software that is not compatible for your needs. 

As such, our experts will review in detail Fusion 360 vs Sketchup to see which is the better woodworking online software for your requirements.

Best for 3D Modeling Capability
Fusion 360
Best for User-Friendliness
Fusion 360
Fusion 360 is notable for creating 3D models of woodworking plans and diagrams that can be 3D printed. It has real learning curves that aid in creating realistic images.
SketchUp has a professional, yet smooth and simple interface that’s user-friendly. The navigations and buttons are straightforward to use.
Best for 3D Modeling Capability
Fusion 360
Fusion 360
Fusion 360 is notable for creating 3D models of woodworking plans and diagrams that can be 3D printed. It has real learning curves that aid in creating realistic images.
Best for User-Friendliness
SketchUp has a professional, yet smooth and simple interface that’s user-friendly. The navigations and buttons are straightforward to use.

Features of Fusion 360 and Sketchup


Our experts find the interface of both Fusion 360 and Sketchup intuitive and user-friendly. 

Sketchup looks relatively outdated because it’s quite older than Fusion 360 and not regularly updated as Fusion 360. Nevertheless, Sketchup has a straightforward user interface that a beginner won’t have any issue navigating. 

On the other hand, Fusion’s interface is packed with a variety of modern navigations and functions that may confuse and complicate the user’s projects. This could make designing extensive projects complicated. 

Once you start drawing more complex 3D models, Fusion 360 can get sluggish and will no longer be fluid[1].

Winner: Sketchup

Learning Curve: Fusion 360 and Sketchup

Fusion 360 is a curves-based software, unlike Sketchup that’s polygonal. 

Sketchup makes use of lines and edges, connected to form vertices and surfaces. Since it has no real curves but line segments, creating sphere or curve designs won’t be easy. Even if you successfully create curve designs, it will lack realism.

Autodesk Fusion 360

Fusion 360 has a superb learning curve. You can create curvy designs with numerous tools at your disposal. Although it offers more design realism than Sketchup due to the learning curves, it takes lots of CPU power, complicating the user interface. This could take a toll on the hardware too, and could result in your CPU overheating. And when your CPU overheats, it damages the circuits or in extreme cases, causes a fire.

Winner: Fusion 360

Training Materials

You can find several training materials on using Fusion 360 and Sketchup on the both the software’s website. The training materials include several videos, materials, and tools to help a beginner get acquainted with navigations, layout, buttons, and commands on the interface.

The training materials are well-detailed, comprehensive, and packaged to help the user make the software’s best use.

Apart from the website training materials, there are hundreds of videos on YouTube about creating designs with the software.

Fusion 360 and Sketchup Modeling

One of the reasons people switch from Sketchup to Fusion 360 is that Sketchup isn’t a solid modeler. This means that creating extensive 3D modeling designs is limited.

Sketchup is suitable for creating basic modeling designs, and you can visualize or experiment on some woodworking models. This woodworking software is for starters or people who are inexperienced with modeling.

Fusion 360 user interface

Fusion 360 offers a more advanced approach in creating 3D designs for 3D printing. Plus, it’s versatile. You can create 3D diagrams from 2D shapes with the tools and buttons on the layout.

Because Sketchup isn’t a solid modeler, you’ll likely encounter more exporting errors for 3D printing than Fusion 360.

Winner: Fusion 360

3D Printing

As mentioned earlier in this Sketchup vs. Fusion 360 comparison, Sketchup is not specifically optimized for 3D printing. However, it doesn’t mean you cannot utilize this woodworking software with a 3D printer.

You can use both software with 3D printing. However, 3D printers read file types that are STL. The exporter isn’t available in the free version of Sketchup, making reading the file a challenge.

editing with Fusion 360

 Sketchup doesn’t have in-built abilities to generate G-code. G-code is a language that STL files are converted to for the 3D printer to read them. The good news is you can download the free extensions and extra plug-ins to help you export the files and generate G-code. Also, you can use SketchUp with some CutList optimizers for an added function, to get accurate layouts.

Fusion 360 can export STL files conveniently to 3D printers because it has the STL exporter and can translate G-code. Plus, it’s a solid modeler, a significant criterion if you want to print the STL file.

You can download some plug-ins for Sketchup to read the files. Even if it isn’t a solid modeler, STL files are difficult to set up and time-consuming.

If you are looking for software that allows you to drop shapes for your deck and add functional features, you can check our top pick of deck design software here. Read next! 

Winner: Fusion 360

Customer Support

Sketchup and Fusion 360 have an excellent customer support team, ready to solve any software issues. You can reach Fusion 360 customer support and Sketchup via their social media handles, email, and telephone number.

For more options, you can also check the top furniture design software here

Fusion 360 and Sketchup Pricing

Both Fusion 360 and Sketchup offer free trial usage. However, Sketchup free trials are for 30 days only, after which you’ll have to pay for full use or settle with the abridged version or the cloud-based Sketchup.

Autodesk Fusion 360

Fusion 360 is free to use if you fulfill certain conditions. For instance, if you’re a hobbyist, student, or just starting, you are free to use Fusion 360 for between one to three years. After your subscription’s expiration, you can choose to renew or start the free subscription all over again.


Can Fusion 360 import Sketchup files?

Yes, Fusion 360 can import Sketchup files. However, Sketchup files are not in STL format since the files aren’t solids. It will only import as mesh data, meaning you’ll have to use Fusion 360 to remodel the designs or convert them to STL files.

Overall Winner: Fusion 360

Fusion360 logo

Our experts have decided that Autodesk’s Fusion 360 is the better online software for woodworking, considering its outstanding features and qualities.

This Fusion 360 vs Sketchup comparison has proven that Fusion 360 has a better 3D modeling capability, allowing users to create impressive and extensive 3D designs. Also, it has a superb learning curve that allows the drawing of realistic objects.

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson
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