Google Frees SketchUp For Individuals

    April 27, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

The professional version of the 3D modeling program still carries a price tag, but a new version released by Google can be had for free.

A slate of features that make SketchUp Pro 5 an enticing buy for commercial developers won’t appear in the Google SketchUp that has been made available for personal work. But it has quite enough for those who want to try out the package on some smaller scale projects.

Google purchased SketchUp in March 2006 for an undisclosed sum. Both the Pro 5 and free versions work with Google Earth; a plug-in is needed for Pro 5 and can be downloaded from the SketchUp site.

Google and SketchUp are even employing something of a social media model with a presence called 3D Warehouse. ZDNet’s Googling Google blogger Garett Rogers noted Google registered and .net, .org, and .info version of that domain name earlier this week.

The 3D Warehouse offers a place where SketchUp users can find and share models for use on their creations. ” Notice that there aren’t many toasters yet?” SketchUp’s Aidan Chopra asked. “Build one, upload it to the Warehouse, and revel in altruism the next time you see it in someone else’s SketchUp kitchen.”

Chopra also listed a few tricks SketchUp users can try, varying in skill level from beginning to advanced. The intermediate technique resembles the flip-book metaphor for making an object appear to be animated. Users will likely discover and share more; that could be a frightening concept.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.