September 17, 2021

Two Patios House | Snaptrude Vs SketchUp

Project description provided by the architects: The house is located on a hillside that faces the Pacific Ocean, to the south, and at the same time turns its back on the direction in which the sun moves. This condition, in which the sense of the views is in a direction contrary to that of the angles of solar exposure, defines the strategy of building two patios, one that clears the gaze towards the sea, and another that projects to the north to capture the natural light that illuminates the most important spaces of the project. This is how the house builds a double front that responds to the idea of ​​ensuring the best conditions in the place where it is located.

The Objective

To compare the design capabilities of Snaptrude and SketchUp by designing “Two Patios House” on both softwares.

Designing on any software is an experiential journey for an architect. There is no such thing as a good or a bad software, everything is subjective. And, the subjectivity is driven by the relevance of a software to the constantly evolving ecosystem and its needs. A design software should enable and empower an architect in achieving their design visions with accuracy and ease. This activity was conducted in order to compare a new and powerful 3D Modeling tool called Snaptrude with a well established legacy software, SketchUp.


The methodology adopted for the comparison project is quite simple and straightforward. An already published design was chosen to be recreated on both Snaptrude and SketchUp. The entire activity was recorded and timed across multiple segments of the workflow i:e – 2D, 2D to 3D (includes Massing), Material Application, Fenestration and Furniture. The project design selected for this activity is “Two Patios House” by Ignacio Correa, originally published on Archdaily.

Plan to Model

Snaptrude: As per its brand promise Snaptrude worked with lightning fast speed from massing to building creation. Modelling a design from the first drawing to the mass model is literally a matter of minutes in Snaptrude, and the entire conversion process happens at the click of a button. Post building creation some minor adjustments and alignments were needed to be done. Some of the highlights of designing in Snaptrude are as follows:

  1. Snaptrude worked 50% faster than SketchUp (SketchUp work is supported by AutoCAD in this project). Since drawing a plan creates a 3D model simultaneously in Snaptrude, and changes are likewise reflected.
  2. 3D Model created in Snaptrude was BIM compatible as Snaptrude creates designs with BIM
  3. Snaptrude designs are parametric
  4. The entire process of designing and modelling is possible on a single platform with Snaptrude
  5. Since Snaptrude is data driven it maintains high level of accuracy, equivalent to any BIM tool

SketchUp: 2D design process in Sketchup was quite time consuming and inaccurate (for drafting). Therefore the architect switched to AutoCAD for 2D work and then imported the plan in SketchUp to create the 3D model. Once imported in SketchUp, each element had to be worked upon manually to create the 3D model which was again quite time consuming.

The SketchUp model was not BIM compatible or data driven as SketchUp does not have BIM support. The overall user experience of the architect during this stage of design can be concluded in one line – “Snaptrude is far more automated than SketchUp, making it 10X easier and faster”.

Video 1: Representation of Massing in Snaptrude for Two Patios House

In the above video (unedited) one can observe how the Massing process works in Snaptrude

Video 2: Representation of Building Creation in Snaptrude for Two Patios House

In the above video (Unedited) one can observe the single click 2D to 3D process in Snaptrude

Material Application

This process was quite similar in both SketchUp and Snaptrude. The time taken was similar too and therefore no software had any particular edge. However, Snaptrude is more than just a 3D modelling software and therefore with the application of various Materials, an automated BoQ can be generated right at the initial stages of design. This helps an architect understand the budgeting requirements very early in the process. To read more on how to create quick ballpark estimates for architects using Snaptrude, click here.

Fenestrations and Furniture Addition

Adding and editing fenestrations was quite simple in Snaptrude. SketchUp boasts of a rich warehouse with ready to use furnitures and fenestrations. Snaptrude too has a ready library of furniture and other interior options in the tool. It allows import of files from SketchUp and other warehouses as well.

The biggest advantage that Snaptrude has over SketchUp is in
terms of time taken for furniture additions and placement. In Snaptrude, the entire house was furnished in twenty minutes which is nearly 70% faster than SketchUp. This is mainly due to the extremely evolved approach Snaptrude has towards furniture handling and placement. Snaptrude is 100% automated and precise, which makes the architect feel in control. Recently, Snaptrude received a patent certificate for its “Automated” Interior design feature.

Working on this project, Architect Sakina was quite pumped up as she has been using SketchUp since her student days whereas she got hooked on to Snaptrude in the last few months. Here is what she said:

“I really enjoyed working on this comparison project. Snaptrude has become my go-to tool for quick, accurate and beautiful designs in the last few months”.

– Sakina Josh, Architect

Some Images for Snaptrude and SketchUp final output:

Birds eye view of Two Patios House done in Snaptrude, originally published in Archdaily

Birds eye view of Two Patios House done in Snaptrude, originally published in Archdaily

Interior view of the project in Snaptrude

Interior view of the project in Snaptrude

Exterior face view of Two Patios House done in SketchUp

Exterior face view of Two Patios House done in SketchUp

Interior view of Two Patios house done in SketchUp

Interior view of Two Patios house done in SketchUp

Disclaimer: No copyright infringement is intended. Please write to smita@snaptrude.comfor any dispute.