I’m spending the next few days in Boulder, Colo., at the Google SketchUp 3D Base Camp. Base Camp is a gathering of 250 expert SketchUp users from around the world. It’s always fun to meet people face to face that you know from the Internet. And after a morning of great hospitality and excellent food, there was the announcement that a new version of SketchUp is now available. I’ll have a full report in the next few weeks on the features woodworkers are interested in. The new release improves things, but it doesn’t make the old release (or our instructional materials) obsolete.
Many of the features integrate Google Earth terrain data directly into SketchUp. The feature that grabbed my attention however, was the addition of solid modeling in SketchUp. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could draw a tenon on the end of a rail, put that rail into a table leg and create a matching mortise with a couple mouse clicks? That sort of time saving is now a part of the Pro Version of SketchUp 8. Until now, I’ve advised most woodworkers to stick with the free version of SketchUp. You can still do everything you need to do for woodworking in the free version, but if you do a significant amount of detailed modeling, SketchUp pro is well worth the cost.
Look for more details next week.
, Robert W. Lang