jump to example.com

Stuey writes: “Sketchup is a basic 3D layout program.  It doesn’t pretend to be CAD; it’s for ‘simple’ 3D sketches and drawings.  It can be used for modeling anything from a dowel to a bookcase to entire buildings.  Best of all, it’s been free ever since Google bought it up.  If you’re reading this, you’ve got a PC of some sort, so what are you waiting for?  If worst comes to worst, try it out and then leave it alone until you need it, or uninstall it after giving it a try.

“Check out some of the examples people have submitted in Google’s ‘3D warehouse.'”

I feel foolish as we’ve used SketchUp a bit here in the Toolmonger offices, but for some reason I never posted it.  Stuey’s right.  It’s a reasonably competent little app that lets you model things in 3D.  One thing he doesn’t mention, however, is that not only is SketchUp free, it’s also incredibly easy to use.  Even if you’ve never spent any time working with 3D apps, you’ll find that you can “sketch up” objects pretty quickly.

It’s worth a look.

SketchUp [Google]


9 Responses to SketchUp: Free 3D Modeling Software

  1. eschoendorff says:

    I just downloaded this and it looks like I’ll be fiddling with it for a long time. So far, I can make circles and crappy houses, lol!

  2. Nick Carter says:

    The only reason I’m not excited is that the free version, as far as I can tell, uses a proprietary file format, you have to pay money to get some useful output for CNC or other uses.

    Then again, I sometimes make money off of my 3D modelling and CNC work, so the cost of software isn’t as big a deal (to my wife especially).

    If you are currently in school, take a look at Rhino (what I use), the educational licence is cheap (and eternal) and the software is amazing.

  3. Brian D says:

    I prefer Art of Illusion to Sketchup after using both. AoI is tougher to use as it is a standerd type 3D modeler but it has several BIG advantages
    1: written in Java -runs on anything.
    2: not really CAD oriented but you are able to manipulate in terms of unspecified “units” which can be feet or mm depending on your needs.
    3: supports lathing, nurbs, booleans and so on, thus better curved surfaces as well as simplifing the creation of complex objects.
    4: works with standard formats (some of them).
    5: better support for surfaces, color, transparency, etc.
    6: Open Source! therefore free!! (beer and speech) and has a community offering support and writing pluggins for things like creating gears and spirals and has a nice set of getting started tutorials.

    I recomend it to anyone interested in trying 3D.

  4. Stuart says:

    I can say this program is amazing – yes I have struggled through various forms of CAD for years but this one just works the way you expect. If you can sit through the included tutorial movies, you will quickly be doing things with accuracy. (Did I mention this is the FUN version of CAD?)


  5. Perry Jones says:

    I’ve worked with AutoCAD, SolidEdge, and the freeware SketchUp. SketchUp doesn’t have the power and features of a lot of other packages, and that makes it easy for beginners and light users to work with.

    I use it when I’m going to be building a piece of furniture and I want to check my layout and dimensions. I’ve also used it to plan out a bathroom before remodeling and to help plan a rerouting of a section of fencing.

    I keep catching myself drafting ridiculous things (like impossibly contoured countertops) just b/c it’s so easy in Sketchup.

    It’s also one of the few programs I’ve used where the included tutorials are actually helpful.

  6. Michael W. says:

    For people that don’t want to spend too much time learning a CAD type program Sketch-Up is great.

    I use it to fine tune furniture designs for customers by email. I’ll whip up a design, export a jpeg, email it as an attachment.

    When/if the customer wants revisions, it’s incredibly easy to go back and do so.

  7. Bowen says:

    Apart from using it to plan my new workroom/computer room (an actual proper worktable – whoooooo!) I’ve used it to plan out 3d terrain models for wargaming, make isometrics to use in rpg plotting and even to demonstrate to my wife why we need a flatscreen tv.

  8. cowboyonahorse says:

    I’ll fiddle with it, and then use it as a project for the kids I teach. But mainly, I’m going to fiddle with it.

  9. joi says:

    has provied with auto cad

Leave a Reply to joi Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.