My intent here is to see if I can stir up some discussion. Obviously I chose to use Rhino rather than Sketchup after rigorously testing out both programs and I feel like Rhino wouldn’t have to flex very hard to exceed the results in any of the categories mentioned. But none the less these are examples of where I’m seeing Sketchup is achieve better results than Rhino.
Four examples of such include:
- Fully documented projects,
- plugin development,
- architecture (in general),
- and the availability of content.
Item 1: I’ve used Layout a bit and didn’t like it. I like layouts/viewports in AutoCAD/Rhino. There’s no denying that people have created some amazing work with it. Google “Sketchup Layout Architecture” and you’ll see some cool stuff. Rhino has it’s own iconic style for visuals but fully documented projects are quite rare.
Item 2: Not to dis any of the talented plugin creators. It’s just worth mentioning that there are some pretty amazing plugins available for Sketchup. I think a key factor in success with Sketchup is choosing the right plugins.
One subjective reason why I think Rhino lags behind here is that many developers are basically one man bands. Not a lot of developers collaborate and many have different goals. Many of the short comings with out layouts and project documentation could be solved quite easily with plugins, but creating these would be torturous for . Of course the popularity of Sketchup means more incentive for people to develop plugins; Rhino is a much smaller community.
I’ve dabbled in the .NET API and overall found it better than AutoCAD’s. But… the documentation left me hanging at times; I wasn’t able to find the help I needed and spent hours on relatively small things. Some of the examples need to be translated from Python into C# which I find silly. It might be worth improving the documentation but maybe the barrier to entry is by design?
Item 3: Not much to say here other than I think Rhino should be the program of choice when it comes to general architecture. I’m talking about everything; the whole big picture, including the boring little jobs that actually bring in the revenue. For a while it felt like Rhino was gaining ground in this area. But I don’t see many ‘everyday’ firms using Rhino.
Item 4: Sketchup Warehouse is much like thrifting (shopping at a thrift store); you have to search through a bunch of junk and you might find something good. Fixing Sketchup models also takes time (but I’ve had to spend time on Rhino models too, and ones I’ve paid for). But… the amount of content available is undeniable and many Rhino users have a Sketchup account for the sole purpose of accessing the warehouse.
Rhino should have a better library of models. It’s way quicker to model something even mildly complex in Rhino compared to Sketchup. And you actually sometimes even need to purchase plugins to do tasks in Sketchup that we take for granted in Rhino. I’m trying to find ways to make people more motivated to upload their models to Food4Rhino (I’m a bit of a hypocrite here as I don’t even upload anything). If anyone’s interested in collaborating it might be worth getting some sort of project together.