Umake vs. Sketchup: Which is Better?
uMake vs SketchUp?
With the continuous rapid improvement of technology and computing power, numerous new CADD software has been made.
CADD stands for computer-aided design and drafting.
In this article, we are going to make a comparison between two CAD software, uMake vs SketchUp.
Table of Contents
What is uMake?
uMake is CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software created in 2014.
In the software, you can find all of the necessary tools to create 2D and 3D models of objects or buildings.
Do you want to get creative and create plans for your future house?
Do you simply want to create a 3D model of your future kitchen?
Maybe you are a student with a lot of free time and want to practice additional skills.
uMake can do it all.
It’s suitable for architects, interior designers, students, or just about everyone.
It is relevantly easy to use, and on top of all, it is compelling and on a professional level.
However, there is a little twist; uMake is only available for iPads and iPhones.
What is SketchUp?
SketchUp is CAD software as well.
It was released in 2000 by Trimble.
You can create 2D or 3D models of objects or buildings in the software with the necessary tools provided in the program.
Similarly to uMake, you can create anything your mind can come up with.
Whether it is your future living room or bathroom, SketchUp can help you design it.
On top of that, the software is available on Windows and Mac, and it has a Web version.
For both Android and IOS, there is SketchUp viewer, which might not give you the ability to create any structures or objects, but at least you can review them.
The platform isn’t as easy to use as uMake, but it is easier to use than most other available options.
UI and Optimization
Both uMake and SketchUp are very user-friendly.
The user-friendliness of the programs comes from their easy-to-use interface.
Both uMake and SketchUp are up to date, and the apps are regularly updated.
uMake is a bit easier to use if you have no prior experience with CAD software.
The whole point of the application was to provide iPad users with professional-grade software, which would allow even inexperienced users to fill their empty space at home.
SketchUp is also created to be used with ease, but it is a bit harder to control than uMake.
SketchUp is on a higher level and with this comes a harder-to-use interface.
The point of SketchUp is for professional or even intermediate users to have the ability to share content and to be able to review projects on the go through the mobile viewer.
Both programs are casually updated to provide the best possible experience without sacrificing functionality.
Part of the optimization is the available languages that the two software have.
Both uMake and SketchUp support English, Arabic, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Thai, and Traditional Chinese.
That being said, the two software are greatly optimized for the majority of the world population.
Top Tools on SketchUp
SketchUp comes with plenty of tools for any level of usage.
The steps are simple: you press once to mark spot A, release after pressing, then move to point B and press again to form a figure, line, or just mark.
Going through them would probably bore you so I will put a list below with the top 10 essential for smooth workflow tools.
Line is an essential tool in SketchUp.
Through the line tool, you create surfaces, plans, and almost everything else.
This tool is the basics of the basics, and without it, you will not be able to do anything in SketchUp.
Naturally, with the line tool comes an eraser tool.
If you accidentally create a line that you do not like or want, the eraser tool is there to delete it.
With the simple press of your mouse button, you can fix any mistake, and you don’t have to start your project from the beginning.
With the rectangle function, it is easier to create solid shapes that can be filled with the material after that.
This is very helpful if you want to create a simple floor or wall.
After creating a rectangle object, you can manipulate its own corners.
Orbit, Zoom, and Pan
Orbit, Zoom, and Pan are yet again the necessary tools that you can’t go without.
With this set of tools, you can rotate the planning and review your projects from different perspectives in 3D mode.
The Zoom option allows you to zoom in and out on an object and add fine details.
With the Pan function, you can set the view in a specific zone and position.
Positioning the camera is essential.
It gives you the ability to set the camera on an individual level and review your project as if you were to look at it in real life.
The offset function is another line-creation tool.
With this function, you can take the outer edge of a structure and drag it in or out to clone the object and create advanced details.
Push and Pull function
The Push and Pull function is another excellent tool to ease your work.
The tool is used to expand on an existing object by either pushing or pulling.
You can make your floor longer, thicker, or thinner.
You can also use it to change the depth of an object and to create intricate details.
“Grouping” is an essential tool to consider when working on a large-scale project such as building a house with all of the essentials like a kitchen, bathroom, living room, etc.
If you do not group your projects, then a problem of stickiness occurs.
Stickiness means that your structures are going to stick to each other, and editing them becomes a pain.
Top tools on uMake
uMake does not offer as many tools as SketchUp, but does that matter?
uMake is entirely based on a touchscreen, and using it might be quite different from SketchUp.
Precision Sketching Tool
The precision Sketching tool is specially created to enable users to quickly draw perfectly straight vertical, horizontal, or diagonal lines.
The precision tool can also create perfect circles or arches.
This tool focuses more on the technical aspect of the use.
It is excellent when sketching a house plan since you will need straight walls.
You don’t want your house to fall, do you?
The Pen Tool
The Pen tool allows users to create shapes and lines freely.
It has corrective adaptability, which would smooth out the sketch and make it pleasing to the eye.
You can draw a circle, and the software will automatically correct it and smoothen it out.
Freestyle Sketching tool
The Freestyle Sketching tool gives the ability to sketch.
You can sketch with it, and there will be no corrections.
It would be like drawing on paper, except that it is a screen.
The Laso tool is well known for being able to select multiple objects at the same time.
The principle here is the same.
You can select multiple structures or lines at the same time and group them or move them or change their measurements.
You can select a solid block and make it longer, or shorter, or change its height.
The Snapping tools are another handy set of tools.
With these tools, you can snap objects on the grid for better organization.
The object will snap right at its center, and it will stay there until moved.
uMake also supports some of the tools that SketchUp does, but not all of them.
Eraser is available since it is an essential command, and the apple pen performs it.
However, mind that in uMake it is called “delete” and not “eraser”.
Orbit, Zoom, and Pan
These functions are performed by your fingers but perform similarly to SketchUp
Push and Pull
The push-and-pull option here, in my opinion, is a bit better.
The Apple Pen performs it, but the accuracy is top-notch.
Grouping is available, although it is not as crucial as in SketchUp.
uMake has dealt with stickiness in a way that just doesn’t happen.
These available tools are almost the same as in SketchUp with the difference that here you mainly control them through your fingers or the Apple Pen.
All in all, the Apple Pen is your daily driver if you want to use this software.
Now, let’s talk about the versatility of uMake vs SketchUp.
The two apps differ in versatility based on your needs.
Since uMake is only available on iPad and iPhone, to use it correctly, you will have to buy one of the two devices, which are not especially cheap.
If you own either one of the devices, then you can enjoy this application anywhere at any time since iPads and iPhones are generally small and easy to carry around.
On the other hand, SketchUp is available on all platforms.
You can use SketchUp on a PC or laptop.
There are a lot of great laptops that cost less than an iPad.
You can significantly benefit from a laptop’s screen as it is more prominent.
You can still carry your laptop around and work on projects.
Besides, you get to enjoy the precision of a mouse and keyboard when imputing values in SketchUp.
When it comes to external support, SketchUp has the upper hand.
SketchUp supports both VR and AR.
VR and AR are rapidly growing topics in today’s world, and a lot of people find real applications for them.
SketchUp has taken advantage of VR and AR and has incorporated them into the software, taking CAD to the next level.
After creating an object, you can review it in AR mode through your smartphone or the Holo lens, or you can review it in VR mode through the supported WMR, Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, HTC Vive, and SteamVR.
In comparison, uMake does not natively support VR, but it does support AR.
It is not surprising since the software is only available for iPad and iPhones.
However, both devices are more than capable of AR.
In fact, the new iPad Pro has a special upgrade that takes the AR game to the highest level.
In my opinion, uMake might have one of the best ARs for the daily consumer.
How about multi-application communication of uMake vs SketchUp?
Do note that in-between app support is essential when working on large-scale projects.
Both uMake and SketchUp support multiple formats and can share files between other platforms.
Due to the limitations in uMake, the developers are currently developing a beta that allows export from uMake to SketchUp.
Since the two applications are slightly different, this might take a while until it works smoothly, but it works for now.
Other than that, uMake supports export formats that are supported by apps such as AutoCAD.
SketchUp also supports in-between app support.
SketchUp can export native CAD files, PDF format, and even HD animation.
Since SketchUp is a full-fledged desktop application, this is not surprising.
SketchUp once more takes the upper hand.
3D Modeling Capabilities and Precision
uMake vs SketchUp?
Both applications so far look great on paper and perform well in the real world.
However, both applications have their strengths and weaknesses.
We will first start with the strengths, and then in the next point, we will move on to the weaknesses.
The Strengths of uMake Compared to SketchUp
- Easier to use
- Fewer tools = less complication
- Optimized Apple Pen
Since uMake is available only on iPads and iPhones, it makes the software better optimized and lightweight.
The app is somewhere around 450Mb, with all of its tools and options.
It is easier to use since it has fewer tools, and this makes it less complicated for beginners.
With its optimization for Apple Pen, you are to expect the smoothest experience possible.
The Strengths of SketchUp Compared to uMake
- More professional
- Support collaborative work
- Supports VR
- More tools = more control
- Available on more platforms
SketchUp is a bit more professional.
The software is easier to learn than other available options.
The app supports collaborative work, making it easier for anyone on the platform to help you with your creations.
SketchUp supports AR, but it also supports VR through various VR headsets on the market.
With the vast options of tools offered by the software, you are ensured to get the best out of it.
On top of all, SketchUp is available on more platforms than merely the iPad and iPhone.
It supports PC (the primary device for the program), androids, IOS, etc.
Cons of uMake vs SketchUp
Neither of the software is perfect.
Both of the applications have weaknesses.
The Weaknesses of uMake Compared to SketchUp
- No VR support
- Tools limitation
- Less Availability
As mentioned in “external support”, uMake does not support VR.
This is not surprising because the Ipad does not support VR in general.
The limitation of the tools is also worth mentioning as even the developers are developing export options to SketchUp or other well-known CAD software.
Finally, as already mentioned a dozen times, uMake is only available on iPad and iPhone.
Imagine the limitless possibilities if a desktop version was released.
The Weaknesses of SketchUp Compared to uMake
- More demanding
- Harder to learn
- Annoying stickiness
SketchUp is primarily a desktop application, and it is not surprising that 3D rendering is quite staggering.
As far as the other tasks like planning go, even an old machine should work just fine.
It is worth mentioning that SketchUp is harder to learn than uMake.
This is no surprise as the software offers a lot more tools and settings to choose from.
Finally, the infamous stickiness.
As mentioned above, stickiness occurs when you forget to group your objects and stick to each other.
Once they stick, if the undo option is no longer available, it becomes a real struggle to fix it.
Plans and Prices
So, how about the plans and prices of uMake vs SketchUp?
Both uMake and SketchUp have multiple plans at different prices.
Let’s start with SketchUp.
SketchUp has four different categories for Personal use, Professional, Higher education, and for Primary and Secondary.
Personal Use SketchUp
Let’s take a look at the plans for Personal use.
The first plan that SketchUp offers is the free plan.
In the free plan, you get the Web version of the software, 10GB of cloud storage, and access to the community.
It offers standard viewing for Android and IOS as well.
The second price plan is called “Shop”.
This price plan offers the Web version of SketchUp.
However, it gives you unlimited cloud storage and supports through email and community.
This option also has included AR viewing for Android and IOS.
Also, it offers basic Custom Styles, Custom Materials, and Outliner functions in the Web application.
The annual subscription for the “Shop” plan is 119 US dollars.
The final price plan is called “Pro”.
The pro plan offers not only a Web version but an offline version that can be downloaded via the official website.
You get unlimited cloud storage and support through the community, email, and even phone calls.
The pro version offers VR headset support and Mixed Reality support.
Unlike the other two price plans for Personal, the pro version offers 2D outlining.
The price plan offers Core Ruby API & Extension Warehouse.
It also offers Style builder, and the price plan for Pro is 299 US dollars a year.
Professional Use SketchUp
Moving on to the Professional section.
In this section, you will see that there is an additional price plan called “Studio”.
The studio plan has all of the features that you can find in the pro plan, but it also has Sefari performance-based design.
Sefari provides features such as Real-time energy analysis, Daylight visualization, and HVAC sizing.
This is especially useful as it allows professional users to see where the sunlight will hit during a specific hour or day of the month.
However, to benefit from all of the available features of SketchUp, you will have to pay 1199 US dollars a year.
Higher Education SketchUp
The Higher Education section offers two plans.
The first plan is for students, and the second is for educators.
Both plans offer all of the features listed in the pro plan for the price of 55 US dollars.
Although the plans are incredibly cheap, you will not be able to get one unless you belong to a higher education institution.
Primary and Secondary SketchUp
The last section is the Primary and Secondary
In this section, there are two plans.
The first plan is “SketchUp for Schools”.
SketchUp for schools offers the web version with limited features, but this plan exists for the sole purpose of teaching basis.
The second plan is “SketchUp Pro” for schools.
This plan supports all pro features, but for a school to gain access to it, it must obtain a “state grant”.
uMake Price Plans
uMake has significantly fewer pricing plans.
The software offers all of its features within each of its pricing plans.
The first pricing plan is for one month, and the price is 15.99 US dollars.
The second plan is for three months, and the price is 38.99 US dollars.
This is a 10 US dollars discount compared to the first option if you are into numbers.
The third plan is for 12 months and the price is 95.99 US dollars.
This has a discount of 1.6 US dollars a month or a discount of 64 US dollars.
Then there is also a one-time purchase for the price of 299 US dollars.
If you are a professional and need a quick sketch on the go, this option is for you.
There are two additional price plans for iPhones.
The first plan is 7.99 US dollars a month.
The second plan is 59.99 US dollars a year.
uMake vs Sketchup?
Have you made up your mind?
I guess, the best way to approach this issue is to know:
- How tech-savvy you are
- Your budget
- Time needed for project completion
- CAD features useful to you
To put it simply, the best CAD for you is the one that meets your requirements.
We hope that this article has helped you in choosing the best CAD for your use.
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