Sketchup Blog - News and Notes from the Sketchup folks

DoubleCAD XT and SketchUp

Having been here for almost seven years, I've concluded that there are as many SketchUp workflows as there are SketchUp users. Trying to recommend a single catch-all combination of tools and methods is like stapling Jell-O to a piece of paper — difficult, messy and ill-advised. When tools like DoubleCAD XT (and DoubleCAD XT Pro) from IMSI/Design come along, things get a little easier to explain.

Most SketchUp modelers who design things for a living spend their time somewhere between the second and third dimensions. Models are 3D, but construction (or fabrication) requires 2D documents. Often, those 2D drawings are too complex to use LayOut in SketchUp Pro to make; LayOut isn't a dedicated drafting tool, after all.

A SketchUp model imported into DoubleCAD XT Pro

DoubleCAD XT is (as its name implies) most certainly a full-featured CAD tool. It's more affordable than AutoCAD LT, and it "holds hands" with SketchUp better than any other CAD system on the market. Among other things, DoubleCAD XT:

  • exports COLLADA files which you can open in SketchUp
  • imports .SKP files natively
  • imports and recognizes SketchUp layers
  • generates viewports from scenes in your models
  • converts components into DoubleCAD blocks automatically

If you're a Windows user who routinely creates 2D documents, you owe it to yourself to give DoubleCAD a whirl. The no-cost version (did I forget to mention that DoubleCAD XT is free?) is extremely capable, and the Pro version adds lots, lots more for US$695.

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stano49 said...

And if you're a Mac user?

Hout'crea-tor - vormgever aan hout - said...

Then you can benefit from DraftSight from Dassault. It's free as well and .... they support OSX. Product still in Beta. What I've seen: impressive. Please have a look at

Kind regards,

Manfred van der Voort
Business Development Manager

micrOcost Me / micrOcost uS - the 3D Design, Publishing & Collaboration Platform in The Cloud

Reinaldo said...

I have found issues with Dassault DraftSight on Windows 7. The drawings dissapear entirelly from sight when performing chamfer or cuts. Paradoxically I experienced the same with ProgeCAD in XP, whic hints that they use the same engine. ANyway, I switched to AXCAD wich perfors stable enough. Drawback is taht it cannot handle dwgs saves in AutoCAD beyond 2007 version.

I will try DoubleCAD to see what does it do.

Thanks everyone.


Alabama Knitter said...

What about Mac?? OS 10.6. Some of us prefer working on a more stable system!

vk said...

I have downloaded the Doublecadxt v.3. It works fine with sketchup, it's a great help, but something needs to be done about the bugs. It crashes frequently with the message"unhandled exception,the program needs to close". It is quite irritating and bothersome.