Free Google SketchUp on the Way

Google announced on the company blog on Thursday that it is releasing a free version of SketchUp for Mac and Windows users. Google SketchUp is intended for casual and hobby users that want to create 3D models, but donit need the full feature set that SketchUp Pro 5 offers. Objects created with Google SketchUp can be added to Google Earth, and shared through the 3D Warehouse Web site.

SketchUp Pro 5 offers several features the free version does not, including the ability to print and export images at high resolution, the ability to export to MOV, AVI, DWG, DXF, 3DS, OBJ, XSI, VRML and FBX formats, Sandbox Tools and Film & Stage Tools, and access to the Pro Usersi Forum. It is priced at US$495.

The Windows version of Google SketchUp is available now, and the Mac version is due to be released soon.