Google SketchUp Beta ia a free 3D drawing tool and modelling program that blends vector-based 3D drawing and CAD-like control to become a simple but powerful tool for quickly and easily creating, viewing and modifying your 3D ideas.

Google SketchUp

According to Google SketchUp website which is developed by @Last Software, a company that Google bought in mid-March, with Google SketchUp, you can:

  • Click on a shape and push or pull it to create your desired 3D geometry.
  • Experiment with color and texture directly on your model.
  • Real-time shadow casting lets you see exactly where the sun falls as you model.
  • Select from thousands of pre-drawn components to save time drawing.

Once the three-dimensional models have been created, the images can be added and placed in Google Earth satellite maps. The 3-D models can be stored, put on public view or shared at an online locker Google SketchUp 3D Warehouse. Or it can be printed out as hard copies.

PC Magazine after using the Google SketchUp concluded that if you’ve ever used a 3D or CAD application, SketchUp is remarkably easy to pick up. There are familiar-looking draw and extrude tools though, as with virtually all the tools in this app, they have simpler names.

“I’m impressed with SketchUp beta. It’s incredibly robust for a free tool, but here’s a word of caution. The more you dig, the trickier SketchUp is to use. It has loads of hidden features, and deep inside it shows a sometimes intimidating CAD lineage. Download it, stick with the basics and see if you can build your home and neighborhood. SketchUp stands to become a serious time-waster but in a good way.”

Update: Google SketchUp 6 RTM

Full Review (link dead)