Monday, February 14, 2011

Google SketchUp

Everyone knows Google and most people are familiar with Gmail and Google Earth, but not everyone has heard of Google SketchUp. I was introduced to this program about a year and a half ago and I love it! Like many Google products, the basic version is free and very impressive. SketchUp is basically a 3D drawing software. It is used by both professionals and amateurs alike. In my opinion, it is fast and easy to learn.

With SketchUp I can turn visualizations in my head in to 3D drawings. I can then share them with my fellow geophysicists. All I have to do is email the the file and they can view it in 3D on their own computer, after installing the software. One of my more exciting drawings is an underwater munitions detection towfish. I may soon have a chance to build it in full scale. I have already used my drawing to construct a 1/5 scale model and am currently refining the design.

For a free program I am continually amazed with Google SketchUp. I recently realized that you can print drawings at any specified scale; this was very handy when I was constructing the model. Here is a sample of my SketchUp drawings.
Underwater camera and sonar

Pole mounted scanning sonar

One of our survey vessels showing my idea for role stabilizers drawn in yellow
Underwater munition detection towfish

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