SketchUp (formerly Google Sketchup) is a 3D modeling computer program for a wide range of drawing applications such as architectural, interior design, 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 company was independent from 2000 to 2006 and owned by Google from 2006 to 2012.
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.
SketchUp was developed by startup company @Last Software of Boulder, Colorado, co-founded in 1999 by Brad Schell and Joe Esch.
SketchUp debuted in August 2000 as a general-purpose 3D content creation tool, and was envisioned as a software program "that would allow design professionals to draw the way they want by emulating the feel and freedom of working with pen and paper in a simple and elegant interface, that would be fun to use and easy to learn, and that would be used by designers to play with their designs in a way that is not possible with traditional design software. It also has user friendly buttons to make it easier to use."
The program won a Community Choice Award at its first tradeshow in 2000.
On June 8, 2005, Google announced Google SketchUp, a free downloadable version of SketchUp, without some functionality of SketchUp Pro, but including integrated tools for uploading content to Google Earth and to the Google 3D Warehouse. A toolbox enables a viewer to "walk around" and see things from different viewpoints, and supports labels for models, a look-around tool, and an "any polygon" shape tool.
Neither the free version nor the professional version was available in a native format for Linux, or Mac OS earlier than 10.5. SketchUp version 8 use under Wine has been rated "Gold".
Geolocation information is always stored in the KMZ file. The building designs themselves are saved in SKP.
Google acquired @Last Software on March 14, 2006 for an undisclosed sum, attracted by @Last's Software's work developing a plugin for Google Earth.
On January 9, 2007, SketchUp 6 was released, with new tools and a beta version of Google SketchUp LayOut. LayOut includes 2D vector tools and page layout tools allowing presentations to be produced without the need for a separate presentation program.
On November 17, 2008, SketchUp 7 was released, with changes intended to make it easier to use, integration of SketchUp's Component Browser with Google 3D Warehouse, LayOut 2, and dynamic components that respond to scaling. Windows 2000 was no longer supported.
On September 1, 2010, SketchUp 8 was released, with model geolocation with Google Maps and Building Maker integration. Mac OS X Tiger was no longer supported.
Trimble Navigation acquired SketchUp from Google on June 1, 2012 for an undisclosed sum.
In 2013 SketchUp 2013 was released. A new site was provided, Extension Warehouse, hosting plugins and extensions for Sketchup.
White House 3d Model Video
The SketchUp 3D Warehouse is an open source library where anyone using SketchUp can upload and download 3D models to share. The models can be downloaded right into the program without anything having to be saved onto your computers storage. File sizes of the models can be up to 100 MB. Anyone can make, modify, and reupload content to and from the 3D warehouse free of charge.
All versions of SketchUp are proprietary. SketchUp Make (formerly SketchUp for Home and Personal Use), for non-commercial use, is free of charge.
SketchUp Pro provides additional features for professional use and costs $700. Users purchase the program for $700 fee, and thereafter optionally pay a $120 annual license-maintenance fee for continuing support and upgrades. There is special pricing for students and educational users.
SketchUp Pro licenses are valid for a specific platform, Windows or Macintosh.
SketchUp holds U.S. Patent 6,628,279, granted in September 2003, on its "Push/Pull" technology.
Sketchup Make, introduced in May 2013, is a free-of-charge version for home, personal, and educational use.
SketchUp Pro 2013 has an improved LayOut 2013 module, and introduced Extension Warehouse, a source for plug-ins and add-ons.
SketchUp 4 and later support software extensions written in the Ruby programming language, which add specialized functionality. Such extensions may be made available to others on the SketchUp Ruby Forum. SketchUp has a Ruby console, an environment which allows experimentation with Ruby.
Modelur is a parametric urban design extension for Trimble SketchUp, developed by Urbs. It is available free-of-charge while in Pre-beta.
Modelur's primary goal is to help the users quickly create conceptual urban massing. In contrast to common CAD applications, where the user designs buildings with usual dimensions such as width, depth and height, Modelur offers design of built environment through key urban parameters such as number of storeys and gross floor area of a building.
Modelur calculates key urban control parameters on the fly (e.g. floor area ratio or required number of parking lots), delivering important urban design information while the development is still evolving. This way it helps taking well-informed decision during the earliest stages, when design decisions have the highest impact.
Cubits for iPad and iOS is a 3D interactive model viewer/renderer. It can view .kmz files from SketchUp either as attachments through e-mail or via Dropbox.
SketchUp Mobile Viewer
SketchUp Mobile Viewer is an app released by Trimble. It's available on iOS and Android.
Kubity is an online rendering platform for desktop web browsers and mobile devices (iOS and Android).
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