The original 3D sketch modeller
“In my experience, nothing comes close for sketching up a new idea in 3D,” Nigel. Varley, CEO, CAD International
SketchUp was created right from the start to be a 3D modeling program that was powerful, and easy to use. They nailed it!
But it wasn’t Google that created SketchUp as many people think. It was created by @last Software, a tech company founded in 1999. SketchUp was originally for Architects, designers, and filmmakers and since that time has spread into all design fields.
In SketchUp the user draws the edges of the design and then extrudes the automatically filled in space inside the edges into 3D space. Edges can be manipulated and divided with extreme ease. Practically the entire design premise works on this basic principal, and it’s because of this simplistic approach that so many people have fallen in love with this great product.
Today we recommend this product to many of our clients, depending on their needs, either as a stand-alone software or as a companion tool to other design programs.
Stand-alone or as a Companion
Whether you’re a seasoned designer or a novice tinkering with a few ideas, SketchUp is a tool that will satisfy your needs over and over again. You can use SketchUp as your only design software or you can combine it with more tailored products or plugins to give you the outcome and productivity you desire.
“I use SketchUp pretty much every day. We combine it with other CAD software to make a living from design. Just about every other program can read SketchUp files too.”
You’re in a creative mood and your ideas are flowing fast and furious, SketchUp should be your ‘go to’ product. You’ll be sketching outlines and extruding in 3D space in the blink of an eye. Once you’ve disciplined yourself to group and layer your objects you’ll be building 3D models without the distraction of thinking too much about the way the software works…. and that’s the beauty of SketchUp for most people, it’s simple and intuitive once you’ve learned the way it works.
Use SketchUp for all kinds of modelling, especially for architecture, interior design, town planning, landscape and anywhere that ‘true’ curves, arcs and circles are not required. This is why it’s so good for conceptual modelling in these disciplines, because you don’t need to be restrictively accurate.
Whilst you can use SketchUp for fully documented architectural plans (by using its 2D Layout features in the Pro version), most professionals will use dedicated purpose-built CAD software for this task and use SketchUp for conceptual design, or for the creation of components to use in other CAD software. SketchUp makes the perfect complimentary tool for landscape and architectural software in particular.
World wide warehouse
Just about everyone everywhere who wants to try out 3D design has used SketchUp – Many of those have taken the opportunity to upload their models to the 3D-Warehouse where other users can download those models directly into other their own copy of SketchUp or into most other 3D CAD software. It’s a 3D library on tap.
“Practically all our landscape and architecture clients use the 3D-Warehouse, Who wouldn’t, its free!”
RealCAD, ARCHLineXP, LANDWorksCAD, ArborCAD and practically every 3D CAD software includes a way to open, browse and download 3D files from the Trimble 3D Warehouse. Models include those uploaded by student at high school to manufacturers wanting designers to specify their products. Its a great go-to place for anyone to embellish their models with an entourage of objects, from trees to kettles.
Push / Pull
The action of pushing and pulling a surface in 3D space, and have it behave how you would expect is strangely satisfying. SketchUp has mastered the art of grabbing and manipulation to give total control.
Every surface in SketchUp is a series of triangles, even a rectangle is actually 2 triangles. This simple principle applies to everything so the user never has to deal with a myriad of different entity types.
Cut and Create
Draw a line and when it passes over or connects to another it instantly knows to divide at the intersection and be ready for another rapid 3D action without the user needing to even think about it.
When you think of SketchUp you think of simplicity, but that doesn’t make it any less powerful, just easier to master. Learn how to move, then copy, stretch and transform are a natural progression.
Since acquiring Sketchup from Google Trimble have worked to provide powerful documentation tools that reposition SketchUp as a viable competitor to traditional CAD
The latest version of SketchUp Pro for desktop and mobile
Links your 3D models in Layout to generate professional 2D drawings
Create your own sketchy edge style from lines you’ve drawn, either on paper or digitally
Access to the place to share and download hundreds of thousands of SketchUp models
Enhance your design research with this new web-based tool that provides insights into sustainable design for your project location
Take clients on a virtual tour of a project using the SketchUp Viewer (mobile/tablet) & Trimble Mixed Reality devices
SketchUp 2021 System Requirements
Windows 10, Windows 8+ and Windows 7
8GB RAM (more preferred)
700MB Hard Drive (SSD preferred)
Mouse with scroll wheel
Dedicated graphics card with 1GB+ supporting OpenGL 3.0 or later
Mac OSX 10.16 (Big Sur), 10.15 (Catalina) and 10.14 (Mojave)
8GB RAM (more preferred)
700MB Hard Drive (SSD preferred)
Mouse with scroll wheel (not Magic Mouse)
Graphics Card with 1GB+ supporting OpenGL 3.0 or later
Looking for a new computer? To be certain you are getting the right machine, you can purchase our CAD-tuned laptops directly from us.
What license options are available?
What is SketchUp Pro + 'Live' Bundle?
This option let’s SketchUp users showcase designs in a realistic, realtime manner with lighting, materials and animation. It is a bundle of two programs, SketchUp Pro, plus ARCHLine ‘Live’. Easily produce amazing architectural visuals and animations in seconds. Support is also included.
It is worth noting that a fast Windows PC with plenty of graphics power will make a significant difference to how fast and how smooth your navigation experience will be when using ‘Live’. It will help when modelling in SketchUp too. Best sure to check out CAD Laptops.
SketchUp Pro vs SketchUp Pro PLUS
What do I get with Support Subscription?
It’s a bit like having a guru at the end of the phone or email to help you reach your goals. If online material exists that show you how to we will point you in that direction too. The service is live between 8:30am and 5:30 pm AEST on NSW business days (and sometimes after hours too)
How long do I have to wait to receive my license?
SketchUp Pro Only
$440 / year
SketchUp Pro PLUS
SketchUp Pro + Local Support + Upgrades
$795 / year
SketchUp Pro + ‘Live’ Bundle
Everything in SketchUp Pro PLUS + ARCHLine ‘Live’ (Windows Only)
$2,390 / year
Prices shown in AUD. Australian buyers add 10% GST