GEOG 497
3D Modeling and Virtual Reality

3.2 Installing SketchUp


3.2 Installing SketchUp

SketchUp comes in two versions, Free and Pro. The Free version is now (since 2018) web-based and allows for modeling a variety of objects and offers very decent functionality. The Pro version offers additional functionality and is also more flexible and open for additional plug-ins (e.g., specialized export options or augmented reality).

Some of the tasks that SketchUp Pro will allow you to do are (see also Schreyer 2016):

  • Export into a variety of formats such as pdf, eps, 3ds, ifc, fbx, obj, vrml
  • IFC import/export
  • Component-based report-generation
  • Dynamic component authoring
  • Solid tools for Boolean modeling
  • LayOut software for drawing preparation and presentations
  • BIM classifier

As part of this course, we recommend using the free trial of SketchUp Pro. Most of what you learn will be also available in the Free version but the Lynda course we are using is tailored to the pro version (they, too, demo with the trial version). To download SketchUp, go to SketchUp, click ‘trysketchUp'. On the next page, under "I use SketchUp for...", choose Higher Education and click Create Account to start your 30-day free trial. Please make sure that your computer meets the minimum requirements and keep in mind that using a 3-button/wheel mouse is kind of essential. In other words, if you are a digital nomad like myself, and work everywhere on your laptop, you might want to invest in a wireless mouse. It will make your modeling life drastically easier. After downloading, simply follow the instructions.