Presenting SketchUp 3D modeling software in a nutshell

Presenting SketchUp 3D modeling software in a nutshell

SketchUp is a three-dimensional modeling software used for a broad variety of sketching applications in interior designing, architectural designing, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, video game designing, woodworking, product designing, film editing etc. A number of ready-made objects can be imported into the sketch for design purposes or the user can also create one of his own on the SketchUp software. SketchUp is pretty easy to grasp and is seemingly one of the best software available in the market to get into 3D designing before moving on to more complex software such as Blender and CAD professional software. Let's go through the basic attributes of SketchUp in more details.

 

Introduction

SketchUp was formerly known as Google SketchUp. It's a three-dimensional modeling software which allows the user to create various models of buildings, objects etc. in 3 dimensions. SketchUp is available in two versions, “SketchUp Make” (a freeware edition) and “SketchUp Pro” (a paid edition having additional functionality). The software is available here for download. After it's downloaded and installed, the user is allowed to use the entire “Pro” edition for 8 hours. After that, it changes back to the “Make” (free) version.  For further use of the full edition (Pro), the user has to purchase a license which can be purchased from here.

A SketchUp model car

Image courtesy - https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/73/Sketchupexample.png/800px-Sketchupexample.png

Currently, SketchUp is owned by the Trimble Navigation company. It's a surveying, mapping and navigating equipment company. An online library called 3D Warehouse is also available where users may upload or download models from. This library is open-sourced.

Patent

Sketch-up has a U.S. Patent of 6,628,279. It was granted in 2003 on the “Push/Pull” technology.

SketchUp- Getting started

After you start the software, you can pick any template from its Welcome screen. The differences between the SketchUp templates are certain units of measurement used for your drawing that are mainly in meters or in inches. Another difference is the beginning point of view of your drawing which can be from the side or from the top. This short video will be able to explain the simplest way to get yourself started with SketchUp applying only navigation to create a 3D object, say for example a house.

You'll notice in the video above that all the actions revolve around a middle point on that screen. That middle point is considered a reference point that's used to place as well as size the objects. You'll also be able to see how the various toolbar cum menu options are particularly clear, thereby making them easy to follow as well.

The stand-out tool should definitely be its push/pull tool which allows the user to sketch a simple flat rectangle on the platform and turn it instantly into a 3D object by just dragging the mouse pointer vertically or horizontally.

These are some videos on some simple projects that can be done using SketchUp like drawing a small table or a roof. A number of SketchUp tutorials involving more complicated structures are also available on the internet.

3D Warehouse

SketchUp three-dimensional Warehouse is a library that is open-sourced where anyone working on this software can upload as well as download three dimensional models from. The user can download a 3D model right into SketchUp's platform without storing the model into the computer's memory. File size of each model can have a maximum value of 100MB. Anyone can modify, make and re-upload models to and from this 3D Warehouse. This process is absolutely free of cost. 3D Warehouse is considered the largest free library of 3D models available on the internet.

Screenshot of 3D Warehouse

Image courtesy - https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/3/30/SketchUp_3D_Warehouse_screen_shot.png/450px-SketchUp_3D_Warehouse_screen_shot.png

Extra Information

It's already discussed above that there are two available versions of SketchUp- Make (free edition) and Pro (paid edition). The free version should be enough for the starters considering the functionality provided by SketchUp Make to get someone started with 3D designing. SketchUp Pro is generally reserved for the professionals. If you want to delve deeper into this subject, you should go for it.

SketchUp is definitely straightforward enough to get yourself started with 3D designing. The experience is fun and also very gratifying. 3D model creation can also turn out to be a lucrative career due to the demands in this field and SketchUp is one of the best platforms available on the internet to get yourself accustomed to the wonders of 3D designing. After all, 3D designing and printing will be the future of the manufacturing industries.

FUTURITE

Futurite aims to bring high quality STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education to school students in India. Our mission is to use cutting-edge technologies such as Robotics and 3D Printing to impart a thorough grounding in STEM subjects and concepts to school students while making their learning experience fun, engaging and hands-on. Futurite has been operating in Dubai successfully (as Premier Genie) since a number of years, working with over 25 of the top international schools and teaching 1000+ students. Futurite has been founded by alumni from IIT, IIM, JU and HEC Paris.

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