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red stair case with words sketch up next to it

SketchUp is a 3D modeling software that has several uses ranging from architectural design, interior design, civil and mechanical engineering, and video game design. There is a free web-based version available, SketchUp Free. For powerful computers, SketchUp offers trial versions of their software, SketchUp Pro.

What can it do?

  • Export a 2D image of the object you’ve created
  • Various templates for different applications (engineering, architecture, carpentry, etc)
  • Color and texture tools
  • Library of free 3D models to speed up work
interface of sketchup free
SketchUp Free’s Web Interface

Uses in a Course

  • Create 3D representations of real or imaginary objects.
  • An artist can model a piece they might like to create.
  • Engineering and architectural representations of objects.
  • Students can re-create a venue or building from the past for understand historical architecture and society.

Things to Consider Before Using SketchUp

  • There is a significant learning curb to learn how to draw in 3D
  • It can get confusing for beginners which plain you are on (X,YZ axis)
  • Web-browser version isn’t as secure software as it can change at anytime


Additional Help

  • Student Technology Assistants are available to help at the Digital Media Bar in Andrews Library in the CoRE.
  • Educational Technology can support and train in SketchUp.
  • SketchUp has official documentation and video tutorials.
  • SketchUp has a user forum to interact with other users.
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