SketchUp is a 3D design program that allows its users to design, create and visualize concepts from small, detailed projects to much larger projects. There are three different packages in the program, including SketchUp, SketchUp Pro, and SketchUp for Schools. The Extention Warehouse feature is an optimization tool that allows users to access a library of custom third-party extensions that offers over 600 extensions to streamline workflow. It acts as a digital extension of the user’s pencil.
Drawings can be uploaded to the program, where users can create full 3D designs that mimic the pencil drawing. This allows users to explore and visualize the 3D version of their design quickly and effortlessly. The SketchUp output complements hand drawing or computer enhancement equally well. Lines can be drawn and connected within the program, which can be converted into 3D surfaces, allowing users to visualize drawings in a realistic way. Drawing surfaces can be manipulated to provide instant feedback on design decisions.
The program is versatile, allowing users to perform simple tasks such as communicating an assembly, or much more complex tasks, such as planning a large project. Whether users are doing a hobby or professionals are planning large construction projects, it is capable of handling the workload. The App takes users from the real world to the envisioned end product. Ideas can be used in SketchUp by exploring design elements using visual information, which allows for better decision making.
The program allows users to maintain precision while keeping in mind the basics of proportion and scale. Spatial relationships can be explored and design visions can be easily shared with other team members. Quick walk-throughs and pre-built presentations can be rendered for others and saved for dynamic viewing. The design program is flexible enough to allow team members to contribute to the design. SketchUp is capable of exporting most vector files, from DWG support to CAD to FVX for filmmakers and pretty much everything in between.
Users can create a polished look by adding retouching by hand. They can also use other software programs to make enhancements on the computer. Models can be sent to CAD for further embellishment. Information can be easily and quickly transferred to design documents. The layout of a design can be thought through in 3D. Dimensions can be included in instructions and forwarded to contractors for viewing.
SketchUp free offers web-based 3D modeling, basic drawing tools, standard materials and styles, organization of models with basic tools such as groups, components, and layers, and basic interoperability by importing STL and exporting to STL and PNG. Sketchup Pro offers everything you’ll find in the free version, including advanced drawing tools, custom drawings and styles, advanced organization of models, and advanced interoperability by importing from and exporting to various files.
The program provides support to users through online training, interactive forums, and online support. SketchUp for Schools is designed for elementary and secondary schools that have signed up for G Suite for Education or Microsoft Education. This version integrates with Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive and can be used on Chromebooks as well as other integrated computers, allowing younger users to perform a variety of tasks, from rendering 3D models for geometry lessons to modeling a cell for science classes.
Students have access to tools on the SketchUp for Schools web browser and 3D modeling tools that are intuitive. These tools promote skills development among young learners. The SketchUp download offers a free 30-day trial for users who want to try it out.