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Google SketchUp

Mar 22 '12 Software Comments Off

Google SketchUp is a software we newly added this year to the list of TRIO Quest resources. It is a 3D modeling software, which can be used to design small objects, buildings, and even entire cities. 3D modeling softwares tend to be intimidating to learn because they are so extensive, but we have returned from CUE with a selection cool tips and tricks to share with you that we hope will encourage you and your students to explore the possibilities of creating with Google SketchUp.


Google SketchUp: Free
Google SketchUp Pro: $495 or Free

There are two versions of the software: Google SketchUp and Google SketchUp Pro. Google SketchUp is free, but nonetheless powerful and feature-packed enough for students to learn a lot from. Google SketchUp Pro, a version with more advanced options such as exporting models to other softwares, normally cost $495. However, through SketchUp Pro K-12 Statewide Grant, educators from most of the states in the US are able to get the Pro version for free. Be sure to check their website to learn more.

Google 3D Warehouse

Google 3D Warehouse is a library that contains models users have submitted that can be downloaded and used in your own Google SketchUp project. Notable ones include famous architectures like the Eiffel Tower or the Colosseum. You can also find more generic models of buildings, people, and others.

How to use it:
File > 3D Warehouse > Get Models > Select a model you would like to place into your project > Click on Download Model


Scenes is a function to create and save different views of your Google SketchUp model. A tab will appear underneath the top tools panel automatically for each scene you create, so you can quickly look at your models from many angles and perspectives by clicking on these tabs.

How to use it:
Window > Scenes > Set your camera where you want it and click on the plus (+) button to create a new scene.

Augmented Reality Plugin

Augmented Reality Plugin lets you to visualize and present your Google SketchUp project by displaying your models on a real physical plane. Please watch the following video for a demonstration:

Waybe Plugin

Waybe Plugin breaks down each elements of Google SketchUp models into paper prototypes. You can use this tool to to challenge your students to create paper models out of their Google SketchUp projects.


Please check out the Google SketchUp Video tutorials for an in depth walkthrough of the software. You can also keep up to date through the Google SketchUp blog.

Special thanks to Mark Hammond for sharing these wonderful tips at CUE.

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