SketchUp is a 3-D modeling software application from Trimble, which acquired the software from Google in 2012. Used by many in the engineering, construction and product design industries, to name a few, SketchUp is free for non-commercial use (a pro version is available for about $500). And as Popular Woodworking Magazine puts it:
The original developers of SketchUp likely did not have woodworking on their target market list, but SketchUp could not be better suited for woodworking if it had been the only target on their list and the developers were all woodworkers. SketchUp is ideally suited for woodworkers because the 3-D model produces the documentation set we know as shop drawings and cut lists.
With that, Popular Woodworking University, the educational arm of the magazine, has developed an online course in conjunction with Joe Zeh from Swamp Road Wood Works in Massachusetts, to help woodworking hobbyists make the most of SketchUp. The $80 course will consist of videos, quizzes and interactive content, and will be available from Apr 13th to Jun 15th 2016.
There are lots of resources available to learn SketchUp, but Joe’s course is aimed specifically at the woodworking enthusiast. According to the website, the course is divided into three parts:
- Part 1: An introduction to SketchUp.
- Part 2: The Bedside Table—Six segments which, by the end, will result in your having drawn a complete set of shop drawings and a photorealistic image of the crafted piece within the software.
- Part 3: Non-rectilinear Pieces and Complex Curves—Five segments focused on individual furniture pieces that Joe says will make seemingly complex pieces quite simple, once key techniques are explained.
The course registration website has much more detail on the course, broken out by week. Check it out!