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Google Offers SketchUp For Free


logo_SU.gifYou might recall when BlenderNation posted about Google's purchase of SketchUp, we mentioned that after Google purchased the for-money "Earth Viewer" it then released Google Earth for free (with a for-money version available). And you may also recall that we speculated that Google might do the same with its SketchUp acquisition. I am happy to announce that this has indeed happened! ---Download it now!

I should also mention, since I've been trying it out, that it can import several file types (3ds and dxf are two that catch my eye), though export is limited to Google Earth files and image files.

About the Author


Just a guy really into 3D, especially where Blender is concerned.


  1. The only only thing missing from the new free version of SketchUp is that it has no support for 3d export. Otherwise it is an excellent tool for preparing architectural models for use in Blender- much easier to model to scale and quickly, then import via OBJ or 3DS if you are using the Pro version. It might just be possible to use one of the export scripts to bring work into Blender-worth investigating...

  2. Hi,

    well, nice tool, surely good to concept.... well, possibly some genious guy creates an import-script for blender - that would be really nice

    ...... thx for the hint, i surely would have forgotten that SketchUp comes free....

  3. waycool...not bad!
    now THATS a "lets get used to 3d" for newbies ;-)
    i like the simplicity, and the 3 built-in tutorials are really nifty.
    the whole thing gives me a kind of cartoony impression. you could EASILY make power puff girls cartoons with this ;-)
    wonder how complex the pro version is.

    dont like the interface much tho. after beating my head on my desk for a few months and seeing black spots in front of my eyes, and the panic attacks stopping i LOVE the blender interface.
    but as said, to get to know 3d, and tinker around with it to get a feeling, sketchup is perfect.
    my 2 cents ;-)

  4. In terms of modelling tools, the pro version doesn't have an awful lot more. Remember that this is designed for architectural concept modelling- SKETCHing, and as such is a pretty useful,useable toolset for that market. Not as flexible or powerful as blender, but pretty intuitive and quick, especially if you are new to 3d.

  5. Vassilios Boucer on

    I install....i play a little and....i Uninstall SketchUp!...not usefull for me!
    Not Exporters!...obj....3ds....e.t.c
    so i cannot use in Combination with Blender!
    And to buy the Full Version....not have Money!
    but Interesting Programm!

  6. The program it's surely interesting (it was interesting also a lot before the Google arrival), but the power of Google it's always bigger, maybe too big, IMHO. Without any exporter for 3D, this free version it's absolutely unuseful for any purpose. It's only a great exploit for make a subtile and massive wolrd marketing at a very low cost.

    And it's not an Opensource software, a pity.

  7. Reported on the french Zoo-Blender: here's the link for an export script of Google Earth and SketchUp's 'open KML' format:

    " is a python script for blender that supports meshes and diffuse lighting. Not much, I know, but KML doesn't support much 3d. This is really a quick-release, rough cut, leaves much to be desired release - but it gets the job done."

    Perhaps B@rt could you update your news ?

    Cheers, all!

  8. I really think google is going to be the leader of the computer world in a few years. And when do think they'll decide to inconvience themselves from a game of golf to go buy microsoft?

    But I have one concern about google making everything free. If they ever got some high dollar apps like lightwave or something and everything goes free, what incentive do the developers have to develop the programs further? I guess google could hire them eh?

  9. If anyone's interested, the .kmz files that SketchUp exports are zipped .kml files which can be opened and examined in winRAR (or other archivers, I'd imagine) and are just .xml files. Maybe we can get an importer for blender soon, eh?

  10. Nice interface...It's very EASY to make things!...Like another guy said, I also hope for someone to create importer for Blender...*Still do not have money to buy things*...But of course, still, Blender's the best...

  11. I haven't got the free version but when I do I'll try to code a program to convert SktechUp files into things like Blender Scenes or .3DS files. :)

  12. A beautifull tool who can impress a lot at firsty view with the simplicity of using. I made a complete old castle for my first using, very intuitive. But when I try to realise something serious, ( like a mechanism / complex architecture / etc..) it's became hard ... Normal ! I am at the start of using. But I think I will keep blender, even when I "sketch " my 3D shape in front of a client.
    Anyway : Horrray Google !

  13. theblenderboy on

    very cool. i've been playing around with Google Earth but knew nothing of this.

    very easy to learn, too. im going to go build my house!


    ps - blender is still so much better. im not a traitor! :-)

  14. according to the license agreement - you agree to not use the free version of sketchup 'for commercial work' so using it for anything but non commercial is against the agreement.


  15. Actually, when you know well how to use Blender in editmode, you get almost the same ease and functionality as Sketchup... The great thing of sketchup is that lovely hand-drawn look... All architects are mad for it... But look: Once there was plain, stupid, bare 3ds Max. Then people began to get mad about using external renderers (what we have now with blender). The next step, external renderers began to make "non-realistic" rendering, and make renderings that look like hand-drawn pictures (brazil or finalrender for example). My guess is that we won't wait long to see that happening with Blender...

  16. Interesting... did u figureted out how models will be incorporeted to google Earth later on? Individually? Groups?

  17. YORIK: Actually, when you know well how to use Blender in editmode, you get almost the same ease and functionality as Sketchup…

    oh for the push pull function. blender is good, but no where near as easy to use a sketchup.

  18. Blender could learn a great deal from SketchUp when it comes to accessibility. Nothing else comes close (have you tried getting started with Rhino or Maya?). Of course, SketchUp is sacrificing power for ease of use, but by providing a good way of achieving accuracy whilst drawing with excellent import/export capability it has made itself very popular in the engineering field. Having said that SketchUp is sacrificing power, it is worth remembering how difficult it is in Blender to draw a cube, draw a circle on one face, then extrude that circle inwards to create a tube (for example). Worth thinking about, certainly. It isn't all about that "Sketchy" look, Yorik ;-)

  19. why would google buy microsoft? what would they do with microsoft's disturbed, brainwashed, mentally damaged, criminally insane staff? Retrain them, reprogram them? Google would have to pay for their psychiatric care, many would have to be sent back to jail or secure mental health units to protect the public - presumably that's where microsoft recruited them. Then the marketing staff - they'd be a danger to the public too and would have to be giving menial tasks under some kind of supervision. No, for humanitarian reasons these creatures are probably best left where they are! Let's just hope that Google roll out an alternative operating system!

    Actually, SketchUp reminds me of Form-Z - another modeller with an architectural background - not quite as simple but in many ways similar - making certain tasks just as simple and easy.

    Also - someone with a Pro version of Sketchup should set up a simple www-based conversion service - for a small fee you could have your models converted from sketchup into dxf obj and other formats!

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