What Is the Best Free Render for SketchUp?

When it comes to 3D modeling, SketchUp is one of the most popular tools available. It offers a user-friendly interface and a wide range of features that make it ideal for both beginners and professionals.

However, rendering high-quality images can be a challenge, especially if you are on a tight budget. In this article, we will explore some of the best free render engines for SketchUp that can help you achieve stunning visualizations without breaking the bank.


Lumion is a powerful rendering software that offers a free version with limited features. It is renowned for its ease of use and real-time rendering capabilities.

With Lumion, you can create photorealistic images and videos with just a few clicks. The free version allows you to render up to 720p resolution, which is suitable for most projects.


If you are looking for professional-grade rendering, V-Ray has got you covered. Although it is primarily known as a paid software, Chaos Group offers a free V-Ray trial for SketchUp users.

This trial version includes all the features of the full version but with limited usage time. V-Ray provides unparalleled realism and control over lighting, materials, and textures.

Thea Render

Thea Render is another excellent option for SketchUp users seeking high-quality renders without spending a dime. It offers advanced features like global illumination, caustics, and physically accurate materials. The free version limits the resolution to 800×600 pixels but still produces impressive results.


Kerkythea is an open-source render engine that integrates seamlessly with SketchUp. It may not have all the bells and whistles of paid alternatives, but it is a reliable option for basic rendering tasks. Kerkythea offers a user-friendly interface and supports various rendering techniques such as photon mapping and path tracing.


Choosing the best free render engine for SketchUp depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you prioritize real-time rendering, Lumion is an excellent choice.

For professional-grade quality, V-Ray’s free trial provides unmatched capabilities. Thea Render offers advanced features within its limitations, while Kerkythea is a reliable open-source option. Whichever render engine you choose, these free options prove that you don’t need to spend a fortune to achieve stunning visualizations in SketchUp.