3 Best Vanspace 3D Free Alternatives To Design A Van Layout

Looking for a great alternative to Vanspace?

Designing a van without guidance or software is a painful task. In addition, most 3d design softwares are either paid or requires design skills.

What about absolutely free?

Well, I’ve gone through different RV groups & forums to collect user reviews. That’s not all, I’ve tried all of them and noted similar softwares to Vanspace.

On this page:
SketchUp
Autodesk
Tinkercad

Before that, what do you think about vanlife trend?

Depending on your profession or lifestyle, vanlifers have successfully taken remote living to the next level. RVers not only travelling, but they living for long durations.

Factory-made van doesn’t offer customisation, which is inappropriate for long stays. In addition, owners want to give a personal touch, so they need to check how customisation will look before contacting an affordable van customisation company.

Here, software like Vansapce or SketchUp comes into action.

Vanspace 3D Alternative Software
Vanspace 3D

Vanspace helps you create 3D interiors without any prior design experience. The 3D system permits you to visit your setup before investing in it to make it real, as it can turn out expensive and not worth it.

In my research, the most suitable platform to customise your van is Vanspace. It helps you personalise van design in a few minutes but comes with a price.

So, to help you with your requirements and budget, I’ve arranged a list of free available Vanspace 3D alternatives.

FeaturesVanspaceSketchUpAutodeskTinkercad
FreeNoYesFreemiumYes
LayoutsYesNoNoNo
Ratings3.8/53.2/54.5/53.7/5
Van featuresYesNoNoNo
PlatformsWebWebWeb/AppWeb
InfoGet StartedGet Started  Get Started Get Started

1. SketchUp

sketchup software
SketchUp logo

SketchUp is a free-to-use 3D modelling or visualisation tool. It was founded by Bred Schell and Joe Esch in 1999 and owned by Trimble Inc.

Regarding campervans, it is 2nd most popular software after Vanspace 3D, which offers several extensions & additional tools to design better.

SketchUp provides an easy-to-use canvas for beginners and can be easily downloaded for Windows and Mac operating systems. Besides designing different vehicle layouts, SketchUp is a useful software for mechanical engineers & architects.

I downloaded it on my Windows system and checked the potential of SketchUp in the van customisation market. In addition, is Sketchup has the potential to beat or, should I say, compete with Vanspace?

So, the only & major difference you find is that vanspace offers you pre-customised designs, whereas SketchUp asks you to design from scratch. The web version is free to use. It also offers a personal and professional plan.

SubscriptionDesktop or web-basedCommercial or Personal UseExtensible
StudioDesktop & webCommercialYes
ProDesktop & webCommercialYes
ShopWeb-onlyCommercialNo
FreeWeb-onlyPersonal or hobbyist useNo

Features

  • Offers 2D & 3D visualisation & animations
  • Offers the best presentation
  • Assists extensions and plugin factors
  • In-depth details
  • Structural Management
  • Plugins as Addons – There is a plethora of plugins & extensions
  • Design Data
  • Own customisation

Pros

  • 30 days free trial for commercial purposes, which is not available in Vanspace
  • Free to use for individuals
  • 100+ professionally-developed extensions to use
  • Easy to use
  • Available for both Windows and Mac
  • Allows to check design as a preview
  • Factual measurements
  • Proposes blends of 3D models testifier
  • Easy communication
  • Community feature to share or get new ideas
  • Experience your design in VR

Cons

  • Requires experience in design
  • Doesn’t sync with vehicle design. However, experienced users can make a simple layout
  • Limited themes available
  • No pre-customised designs
  • Limited features in the free version

Beginner’s user guide:

  • To begin, you have to first decide whether to work with the application or on the website. You can download the application or simply start with the website.
  • Now, prepare the workspace by checking out essential tools/factors and begin with the designing process.
  • You can begin with the interior design as there are no pre-made layouts & most users work on interiors only.
  • The next step is to check the geometrical shapes available and get familiar with those to make the best out of them.
  • Use the shapes and tools to customise a design as per your requirements. The first step is to create the van layout and then proceed with the interior.
  • Take your time to get used to the environment, and then you are good to go for planning limitless layouts.

As per what I’ve experienced, it can be difficult for beginners or those who have never worked on any design tool. You have to give some time to understand and work efficiently.

Price

SketchUp is free for individual use (depends on the usage*). However, the professional plan ranges from $119 to 299/year.

2. Autodesk Architecture

Autodesk Architecture software
Autodesk logo

Autodesk Architecture, also known as ACA, is interior design-focused software offered by Autodesk – An American software company specialising in architecture, engineering and other industries.

This software comprises architectural compositions and great visualisation to imagine camper conversion before it goes to final change.

Like SketchUp, you might need to give time to learn the basics before designing your dream vehicle. Once familiar, you can start from scratch and design an attractive layout.

ACA offers a variety of designs as pre-designed formats, which can help you customise fast with ease. This software offers a 30-day free trial period with a money-back guarantee with a month, annual or 3-year subscription.

Features

  • 2D drawing accessible
  • 3D modelling functional
  • Great visualisation
  • Helps in manufacturing setup
  • BIM modelling
  • Display system
  • 8,000+ architectural components
  • Different toolsets

Pros

  • Allows the user to draw to scale
  • Precise drawing and measurements
  • Easy to change errors
  • Data is easily stored and transferred
  • Easy layout & dimensions
  • Provides clear view angles
  • It permits you to work together with teammates

Cons

  • Lacks the 3D feature
  • 3D drawings are a bit hard
  • Rendering feature absent
  • There are soo many commands followed as input. It did not feel easy as a beginner RVer

Beginner’s user guide:

  • ACA is super easy to use on all devices. You can start with the mobile app or web app as per convenience.
  • Open a new canvas & start creating your designs with the help of toolsets and architectural components.
  • View the design and correct all the errors.
  • You can also secure your data and easily export your designs.
  • 1,000+ third-party apps and industry-specific tools are also accessible.

Price

ACA comes with a bundle of $235 monthly, $1865 annually or $5,315 for 3 years.

3. Tinkercad

Tinkercad software
Tinkercad logo

Tinkercad 3D modelling is one of the vastly used software after Vanspace 3D. The software was found by Kai Beckman and Mikko Mononen. It is free of charge and can be run on the web browser.

Earlier, Tinkercad had basic 3D features, but after being acquired by Autodesk, special features like custom code, AI, electronics & AR were added. On a practical note, I think special features such as electronics are useful as they can help in wireframing van or bus electronics.

Features

  • Like SketchUp, transformation/scaling of objects is easy
  • Secured environment
  • Endless shapes improvement
  • Object transformation
  • Proper alignment
  • Creates duplicates
  • Excellent camera controls
  • Offers shapes & object modification
  • 2d & 3d import

Pros

  • Allows to share project
  • Free of cost
  • Friendly interface
  • Cordial with 3D printing
  • Must-have tools available
  • Trusted by millions of users worldwide
  • Excellent customer support

Cons

  • Requires tool awareness before you start designing
  • Being a cloud-based platform, the internet speed matters
  • Difficult to follow commands sometimes

Price

Thinkercad is free of cost for personal and professional use.

Beginner’s user guide:

  • Visit the website
  • Plan your basic design and check if you’ve all the required shapes and tools.
  • If the shapes available are not as per your requirement, then you can arrange or design them.
  • Modify the shapes accordingly using the scale for the measurement.
  • Once done, combine all your layouts/shapes to make one complete design.

FAQs

Which is better among SketchUp, Tinkercad or Vanspace 3D?

SketchUp & Tinkercad are free-to-use softwares but don’t match the offers provided by the Vanspace app. Vanspace is easy to use and offers pre-build templates for customising van or skoolie. Summing it all, Vansapce offers all requirements at a small cost, and beginners prefer it without a doubt.

Is there any discount on Vanspace 3D software?

Nope, except for free guides & books, Vanspace doesn’t offer any offers or discounts on purchases.

What are the applications of Vanspace software?

You can design camper vans, buses, skoolie layouts, including interiors & exteriors.

Conclusion

As you have gone through different free-to-use softwares, you must have this question in mind: Which software should you choose and why?

Well, I’ve responded to both queries.

SketchUp, Autodesk and Tinkercad offer similar functionalities with different canvas and additional features. Seeing your requirements, all 3 apps work perfectly fine, except you might need to learn.

Another hand, because of ease & custom van features, Vanspace 3D is preferred over other free softwares. I suggest considering other platforms if you can’t afford Vanspace 3D premium services.

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by Shailesh Thakran

Hi, I am a Marketing professional. I help Organizations/Startups in Structural, Design and Content Marketing to become online entities. I love blogging, mainly about automobiles, travel trailers & everything related to wheels. With the help of Thorttlebias, I want to educate and share in-depth articles/tips for other RVers. Outside of work, I love to read & play with my Rottweiler. Guess what! We can be friends, below are my social profiles.
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