Simple alternative to Sketchup


Can anyone recommend a simple design/sketching software similar to Google Sketchup?

I don't mind either a Linux install or a web based solution.
I am looking for SIMPLE to use software for a non-technical user such as myself!

Thank you,


Would FreeCad fit the bill?

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For whatever reason, when I tried to install this, it never appears on my menu.
The screenshots and website certainly show a very powerful piece of software, but I fear it may be too complex for me!

Good idea! I will take a look.
I think I will be working from a 2D perspective, but if I can convert these to 3D views at some stage then that would be nice.

Freecad has a large collection of what they call work benches. Each of them is a different way of doing drawings. They range from very simple 2D drawing functions up to very complex 3D modeling. You can start with a simple drawing work bench and later as you get comfortable with the software you can move up to more complex methods of drawing. Don't let it intimidate you. Just start out slow.


Looking to get better with CAD stuff; been fumbling around FreeCAD (horribly). What would you suggest for a complete beginner like myself, like guides / tutorials? Got a 3D printer a couple years ago - got it very well tuned.. just can't make models lol I feel like I'm trying to paint the Sistine Chapel with MS Paint :rofl: I've used 3D builder in Windows but, doesn't seem to be installable for Wine - at least I couldn't find anything for it. But, I'd rather get more acclimated with something like FreeCAD, since it's free and all :smirk: And any big differences between FreeCAD and Libre CAD? Saw that one too.

I use OpenSCAD... it's not so much for artistic CAD, it's more for making (and animating) machine parts and such.

It uses a programming language to create the 3D object, but it's pretty easy to learn. I can't use regular CAD programs, my mind doesn't think in spatial terms and I couldn't draw a straight line to save my life, but I can program, so OpenSCAD works for me. I like that I can tweak the parameters of the object to get exactly the right size.

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Now THAT is cool! But, I suck at programming too :rofl: And I just realized that LibreCAD is for 2D, no 3D - go figure.

I may still check that out though, try it at least once or twice. Figured FreeCAD would probably be the best route for learn-ding - see a lot of suggestions for using it, just can't get it right now - me dumb :woozy_face: lol

As I posted before there are several work benches in FreeCad you can use. The one I have found easiest for me to use is the Part bench. Not the Part Design bench. In the part bench you have a collection of objects. You can select an object and then adjust all the parameters of that object as to diminsions and placement. You can then select another object and do the same and then either subtract or add the second object to the first one. For instance if you want a flat disc with a hole in it you could select a cylinder and adjust the diminsions until you have a disc with the diameter and thickness you want. Now if you want a hole in it you select another cylinder and make it thicker than you flat disc and make the diameter of the second cylinder the same as the hole size you want. You adjust the parameters for position of your second cylinder until it is in the center of you flat disc. Then you subtract the second cylinder from the flat disc and now you have a hole in the middle of your flat disc.

Here is a video link that explains how to do this:

I also have attached a picture of an object I made and showing the menu options I used. My menu is arranged differently from the video because I am using a later version of FreeCad. I also have added a Gear Bench for making gears. There are other modules or benches you can add for different purposes.

I hope this helps some.

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Yep! Pretty much what I need - thanks!! :+1: That video is much better than some others ones I've watched.

I did this with Sweet Home 3D.

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Looks good! I do envy those that can work software like that; I was always into the circuitry and soldering / electronics.. should have payed more attention to using these kinds of software :smirk:

Shouldn't be too much of an issue now, heading into winter (motivation) haha Plenty of indoor activities! More motivation comes more screen time :wink: within reason of course! And much appreciated!

Once it 'clicks' like with the physical printing side, I'm sure it'll start taking off. I do have a habit of taking stuff way to the edges of umpteenth lol sometimes.. The guides / tutorials definitely help, depends on how they're done though; found some that were good, but way beyond my levels lol just navigating is fun, so far :rofl:

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