SketchUp (formerly Google Sketchup) is a 3D modeling computer program for a wide range of drawing applications such as architectural, interior design, landscape architecture, civil and mechanical engineering, film, and video game design—and available in a freeware version, SketchUp Make, and a paid version with additional functionality, SketchUp Pro.
SketchUp is currently owned by Trimble Navigation, a mapping, surveying, and navigation equipment company. The program’s authors describe it as easy to use.There is an online open source library of free model assemblies (e.g. windows, doors, automobiles), 3D Warehouse, to which users may contribute models.
The program includes drawing layout functionality, allows surface rendering in variable “styles”, supports third-party “plug-in” programs hosted on a site called Extension Warehouse to provide other capabilities (e.g. near photo-realistic rendering), and enables placement of its models within Google Earth.
Many woodworkers consider Sketchup as the tool of choice when planning and drawing their projects.
If you’re brand new to Sketchup, or have tried it before and are thinking about giving it a second shot, the following video should get you on the right track. You will be introduced to the basic drawing tools and navigation tools so that by the end of the video you should be able to make your first model in Sketchup on your own.
You will be introduced to the Select tool, Move/Copy tool, Rectangle Tool, Line Tool, Move Tool, Orbit and Zoom, the Tape measure tool and the Push/Pull tool.