Google SketchUp 7 free 3D software releasedGoogle updates free SketchUp 3D design software

18 November 2008

Google Sketchup logo

Google has announced SketchUp 7, the latest version of its free 3D modelling software to download.

SketchUp offers a realistic 3D modelling environment for designing models of gardens, homes and other objects, according to Google. Free 3D modelling software such as SketchUp 7 is still reliant on powerful graphics on a computer, so check out Which? laptop reviews if your PC is struggling.

Which? technology expert Al Warman said: 'Google SketchUp 7 lets you design many different kinds of objects in 3D, such as interior and garden design. As it's free, you can download it and use it without having to spend hard-earned cash on more expensive 3D software.'

The SketchUp website  has user forums, video tutorials and a help centre, so new users can easily get started.

SketchUp 3D Warehouse has 'everything in the universe'

The new version of SketchUp features new tools including Dynamic Components, which should make it even easier for beginners to grasp, Google said. It gives the example of using the scale tool on a dynamic staircase, which automatically adds or removes steps as you make it bigger or smaller.

One of the most valuable aspects of SketchUp is the 3D Warehouse. Google describes this as 'a collection of 3D models of buildings, bridges, cars, spaceships, futons, dinosaurs and everything else in the universe - completely free ... and getting bigger every day.' This means that once you've designed your dream house, for example, you can download a virtual Audi A4 for your driveway.

You can also export your creations, and place your 3D model in Google Earth. And like Google's other products, Google Docs and Spreadsheets, you can collaborate and share your models with friends, colleagues and family.

SketchUp 7 is compatible with Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OS 10.4 or higher. A Pro version is also available to buy for £264 offering advanced features. You can check out the SketchUp 7 launch video on the official SketchUp blog.

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