Did you know that 3DVia has a free 3D modeling creator of it’s own? 3DVia Shape 2.0 has been released and just got revamped with some new features that take on the ever-so popular Google SketchUp.

The similarities in commands and concept of each are obvious, but what’s even more incredible are the differences. Free is good, but 3DVia is doing it’s part to enhance the Social 3D sphere and remove the grasp Google has on it.

Just a Clone
Some might think it’s a clone. Granted it came out after Sketchup, but it would be better to state that, yeah, it’s definitly a competitor. However, with new features like Remix to find, load and modify other models and better publishing options that get’s your 3D creation out to the public, 3DVia stands out. The interface is much nicer that the previous version and way more intuitive than the SketchUp interface. It’s even been improved to ease moving around in and setting up orientations. And, if you’re use to working with dimensions, you’ll appreciate the feedback that Shape2.0 give you when creating your geometry.

Some items it still needs are basic tools that many 3D modelers would typically use. A wider array of editing tools, better inferencing of points and options for exporting to CAD programs would set it apart from SketchUp bigtime and even start to tread in the territory of a program that can create production ready geometry.

3DVia Shape 2.0
comparison of google sketchup and 3dvia Shape

Google SketchUp 6
comparison of google sketchup and 3dvia Shape

So far, neither have the capabilities of a program like Moment of Inspiration (MoI) that may as well be free (only $195 US) but then MoiI doesn’t have the build-your-own-house -and-put-it-on-a-map or the social interaction features that the others do. Is that important? Can’t we have both… for free?


Josh is founder and editor at SolidSmack.com, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.