SketchUp is a complete design 3D software originally released in 2000 by the startup company @Last Software. In 2006 the tech giant Google acquired the license of the software after a successful collaboration made it possible for users to insert 3D models in Google Earth. Finally, in 2012, SketchUp became part of the development company Trimble. Throughout the years, SketchUp has evolved thanks to all the improvements provided by these companies.
The reason it’s such a powerful software is that it was originally created for the Architecture, Design, and Filmmaking industries. However, its main purpose has always been to make 3D modeling accessible to everyone. This explains why the program is so intuitive and has such an easy learning curve.
Sketchup has its own native tools, which are the essence of its simplicity. They allow you to navigate, create, and edit a 3D model, but it also has additional plugins and extensions. These plugins can help us execute a specific task that native tools are less capable of.
Let’s start by listing the most important native SketchUp tools first, the ones that make SketchUp so unique.
The Navigation Tools allow you to move all around the SketchUp viewport. As you can imagine, you’ll be using them constantly. You can control them only with the mouse buttons or by using the key shortcuts we provide here:
Drafting Tools are the ones that allow you to create something from scratch. These 3 we list below are the more basic, but also the most important:
SketchUp has a lot of editing tools and each one of them are indispensable resources when you are trying to achieve certain results. Here we list the most relevant:
SketchUp also has some native extensions you can activate from the Toolbars which you can access through the View menu.
Plugins are another essential part of SketchUp. That’s because they allow you to access to more powerful tools that simplify your work and make it faster. There’s a bunch of them in the Extension Warehouse, and most of them are completely free. The 3 plugins we mention here are just an example of what you can expect from this tools:
SketchUp is one of the easiest 3D modeling software to learn. The main reason for that is the pretty simple user interface and the clear Sketchup tools it has, which are capable to grow along with the user’s skills.
The tools and plugins listed above are only the ones we believe are the most important or interesting to know for any user who wants to get started. However, SketchUp has many other useful native tools. This software can become even more powerful by installing multiple plugins and SketchUp tools which are developed by the SketchUp User’s Community, which is growing daily.
One thing is for sure: For whatever project you have in mind, there’s a SketchUp tool that can solve it in a highly efficient way.
Feature image source: geniusdv.com
License: The text of "17 Great SketchUp Tools You Should Know" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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