Why is SketchUp free? SketchUp was developed by a startup company called @Last Software in Boulder, Colorado. It was co-founded in 1999 by Brad Schell and Joe Esch. Google acquired SketchUp when they purchased @Last software on March 14, 2006.
Google’s thought behind purchasing @Last and SketchUp was to incorporate SketchUp into Google earth. By Giving users a free, easy to use 3-D modeling program users would generate a virtual globe that people could only get by using their product, Google earth.
In April 2012 Google sold SketchUp to Trimble Three GPS software. The two companies will now collaborate on running and further developing SketchUp and it’s 3D Warehouse.
I have found SketchUp to be a wonderful addition to my software repertoire. I use SketchUp when laying out large cityscapes and indoor environments. Being able to create simple shapes like boxes for buildings has really sped up my workflow. Before when I wanted to create a cityscape I would have to lay down three or four vanishing points. Then go back and continue adding more and more lines until I had a city. Now I just create simple shapes inside SketchUp then lay my line work over the top not having to worry about perspective.
Here’s a great article that will show you what I’m talking about. (Click Here) Even companies like Naughty Dog, the creators of the Uncharted video game series, used it for laying out stages in their game Uncharted 2: Among Thieves.