Google SketchUp Make, a Simple to Use 3D Modeling CAD Package
There are several 3D CAD software applications available for high end and used for house rendering, detailed design in the area of engineering and architecture. High powered software comes with a corresponding price tag which can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Examples of 3D CAD software are AutoCAD, Solid Works, and Solid Edge. Google SketchUp Make is a free software package which can be upgraded to the pro version (SketchUp Pro) for about $600. The free version is useful for simple 3D design of images, diagrams, and graphics for websites and can be used free of charge for home, personal and educational use.
While Google bought the company @Last Software which originally developed Sketchup, the application is currently owned by Trimble Navigation.
CAD: Computer Aided Design. The use of computers and software to create a virtual design. The design could be as simple as a schematic drawing of an electrical circuit or PCB layout or a more sophisticated 3D model of a building or animated model of a machine. A CAD design can be easily modified compared to a traditional pencil or pen and ink drawing, or real world 3D prototype
3D Modeling: The process of creating a virtual 3 dimensional object within a software package.
Rendering: Adding colors and textures to the surface faces of a 3D object
Wire Frame: A technique for creating and displaying 3D objects using frameworks of lines. Wire frame images display quicker than rendered images which was important before the days of fast computer systems and graphics cards
Ray Tracing: Creating photo realistic images by simulating the effects of interactions of light rays with objects in a virtual scene
Designing a Switch – Start With 2D and Extrude
In the video below, I draw a rocker switch. Design involves drawing primitive 2D shapes initially, and then “pushing” and “pulling” to extrude the shape into a 3D solid. Once the shape is created, it can be exported to a JPG file.
Where Can I Download Google SketchUp?
You can download it at this link http://www.sketchup.com/download