Google Sketchup – Okay, this is cool

I’ve been having fun playing with Sketchup, Google’s 3d modelling system. At first I avoided it because there was no native Linux version, even going as far as to get it to run under Wine (a process that… well, didn’t fail completely, but did result in a tool that’s unuseable – invisible menus, etc).
After biting the bullet and installing it on clipper, I set about learning what it could do. The project I had in mind was to model Mosaic’s building site in Berlin, MA, so folks could have a feeling for what it would be like walking
There was certainly a period of mental adjustment. After all, it’s not easy trying to model a 3d object using a 2 dimensional input and display method. But after a while, the keyboard shortcuts began to come naturally, and I found myself enjoying manipulating objects in this non-existent space.
I’m probably halfway through things so far. I’m regularly updating the drawing in 3dWarehouse, Google’s sharing service for Sketchup. If you have the tool, feel free to download the drawing so far…

I’ll let folks know when I’m done. But Google. Please? Make a Linux native version. You’ve already got Windows and Mac. This can’t be that hard.

Dave Shevett

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A wandering geek. Toys, shiny things, pursuits and distractions.

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8 thoughts on “Google Sketchup – Okay, this is cool

  1. The lack of support of Sketchup on Linux is really irritating. Maybe their motto was “Don’t be evil”, but ignoring the Linux users sure doesn’t show that. I would probably buy the commercial version if it ran under Linux. And, since there is a Ruby API, I would probably be writing all sorts of tools. Instead, I just check the website occasionally and sigh.

  2. I’m pretty much in the same boat. I’d be a LOT more enthusiastic about working in the tool if it actually worked on the platform I use. And I’d probably look at the commercial license as well. But as is, no thank you.

  3. Sketchup was developed by a third-party company that Google than bought, so that might be part of why there isn’t a Linux version yet. Google has otherwise been good about supporting Linux; witness Google Earth.

  4. Just to be clear here, Google bought an existing product in SketchUp and made it free and available to the public.
    The coolcoolcool thing about this, is that the story goes that Google approached Cameron Sinclair of Architecture For Humanity and offered to give him grant money for his organization’s awesome work. He looked at who Google is and what their strengths are and asked that they take that grant money, buy this industry-standard 3D Modling app (that ran in the thousands per user for licensing) and make it available free, world-wide, to help people in developing countries in communicating their building needs and designing solutions.
    Architecture for Humanity and Cameron Sinclair are just about as awesome as awesome gets.

  5. Just to be clear here, Google bought an existing product in SketchUp and made it free and available to the public.
    The coolcoolcool thing about this, is that the story goes that Google approached Cameron Sinclair of Architecture For Humanity and offered to give him grant money for his organization’s awesome work. He looked at who Google is and what their strengths are and asked that they take that grant money, buy this industry-standard 3D Modling app (that ran in the thousands per user for licensing) and make it available free, world-wide, to help people in developing countries in communicating their building needs and designing solutions.
    Architecture for Humanity and Cameron Sinclair are just about as awesome as awesome gets.

  6. …and make it available free, world-wide, to help people in developing countries in communicating their building needs and designing solutions
    That is truly awesome, I had not heard that story. I wonder if there’s a cite about that somewhere?

  7. I think I’d settle for sketchup being platinum in WINE. As it stands, I haven’t touched sketchup since I ditched windows, and I miss it– but I’d rather scramble my brain with blender than with microsoft software.
    That’s blender.org, by the way. ….if it was an actual blender, I’d have to take some time to really think about it.

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