Living under a rock? Google and Sketchup

Posted by trevor Mon, 29 May 2006 01:16:40 GMT

A few years back, while I was building my house, I downloaded a demo copy of Sketchup to help visualize how everything would look. It’s a fantastic tool for 3D design, one of those rare pieces of software that just makes sense.

Unfortunately it’s also software that costs about $500 USD and as much as I wanted to, I simply couldn’t justify the expense. My love affair with Sketchup was doomed to be just a few short weeks as the demo period quickly slipped away.

Sketchup did leave me with a legacy though: Ruby. It ships with a ruby interpreter and has hooks to extend the software with Ruby scripts. Had I not seen the Ruby/Sketchup integration I probably wouldn’t have given Rails a second look when I stumbled across it a year and a half (gosh!) ago.

Okay, that’s enough nostalgia. The real point here isn’t whether I owe a debt of gratitude to a 3D modeling program for more than a year of fun, full-time work with Rails…

The real point here is that Google bought Sketchup and they are releasing cut-down free versions. I think that’s pretty big news and I have absolutely no idea how I missed it.

They’ve already released the free version for PC and apparently a free version for OS X is in the works as well.

I am so chuffed about this. It’s going to make designing my kids’ backyard playstructure a breeze.

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