RUG/Pennsylvania/State College/Software/CAD/google sketchup
SketchUp, previously known as Google SketchUp, is a computer-aided design (CAD) program. It is not only used by engineers, but also by architects, designers, builders, and artists. It allows to easy and simple designs to be made and viewed in three dimensions. The tools are simple and the basics can be learned in a matter of minutes. It is advertised as an alternative to difficult, expensive CAD software.
SketchUp Pro, the paid ($590) version of SketchUp, is primarily useful to 3D printing because of it's easy STL saving capabilities. If you look in the Links below, there are other (possibly outdated) methods for turning files in the free version of SketchUp into STL.
SketchUp is sometimes taught in EDSGN 100, the first-year Engineering Design course at Penn State University.
Convert Sketchup SKP files to DXF or STL - A plugin to convert SketchUp files (version 6, 7, or 8) into STL (plugin posted in 2008).
SketchUp STL Importer - Another plugin, posted from a SketchUp-focused blog
Delete Coplanar Edges - Plugin to delete coplanar edges, which will reduce the file size
SketchUp Tutorial (1) - A simple tutorial for brand new users of SketchUp written by Christian Noveral for EDSGN 100
1/18/12 - Used the first plugin in the list to successfully export STL files. The showed up weird in repsnapper, but it was very manageable. I am using sketchup 8 which many plugins are incompatible with. they are in .rb files, I need them to be in .rbz. Jfo5039