SketchUp – Free 3-D modeling software for Google Earth

Google acquired SketchUp software and is offering it free for personal use. You will need to have Google Earth installed in order to use SketchUp.
SketchUp is currently being used in schools to:
* enable architecture and other design students to better develop and represent their ideas
* provide film and stage design students with an easy way to conceive of complex spatial arrangements
* allow high school students to participate in community development projects that involve CAD, GIS and other powerful applications
* help students of all levels understand geometric and other mathematical concepts
* teach history to middle school students by allowing them to build and curate virtual history museums filled with images and artifacts
* challenge gifted and advanced students to explore ideas in non-traditional ways
* and many, many more…

Educator Licenses are available for free to educators who would like to use SketchUp Pro as a part of their curriculum. They are valid for the duration of your course (they expire June 30th of every year), and can be renewed as many times as you like. As with all SketchUp for Education licenses, version upgrades are free. Student workbooks are available for purchase. Instructors can request a free PDF copy of the workbook to preview.

Teachers can get more information on how to obtain a free license for SketchUp Pro 5 to use in the lab.

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One Response to SketchUp – Free 3-D modeling software for Google Earth

  1. Paul Tracey says:


    There are a few extras that IMSI have produced of late that either help out specific TurboCAD users, such as furniture makers, or greatly improve other products with IMSI technology.

    One of these is the IDX Renditioner. It is a plug-in for Google SketchUp that provides high-quality photorealistic rendering – fast and easily. Renditioner works directly within SketchUp and lets you control the materials, advanced lighting components, environments, background images. Renditioner is “one button” easy with 3 render options of Preview, Standard and Presentation. It is simple enough for novices and yet powerful enough for professionals. Powerful features are optimized in a jargon free interface. Simplicity paired with speed and working directly in SketchUp, means you can achieve design visualization objectives more quickly. Renditioner offers 16 megapixel renderings for large-scale printing and powerful presentation of your designs.

    It is available for Windows XP or Vista on the PC, and OS/X 10.4 or 10.5 on the Mac and runs on either PowerPC or Intel-based Mac computers. As an extra it obviously requires you to already have SketchUp, but will be fine on the free version as well as the Pro version 6.4x or later. Like all photorealistic rendering, IDX Renditioner uses a system’s RAM and CPU power extensively, and is not recommended on systems with less than 1 GB RAM, with 2 GB recommended. Being fully multithreading, dual core, quad core, or dual quad core machines will each improve system performance dramatically.

    SketchUp is a nice piece of kit, but with the edition of Renditioner it jumps from good to professional, and then you import the SketchUp drawings into TurboCAD to add another dimension.

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