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Trimble’s SketchUp is an extremely powerful, easy to use 3D modeling program that provides a solid, and well supported base for the CabWriter environment. For those who have never heard of SketchUp, it is a 3-dimensional modeling, and documentation tool used widely in the architectural engineering, construction, product design and marketing industries. SketchUp also has an extensive 3D Warehouse where you can download previously-drawn objects, such as appliances or accessories, to make your kitchen look even more realistic.

The original developers of SketchUp likely did not have woodworking on their target market list. But SketchUp could not be better suited for woodworking and cabinetmaking if it had been the only customer target on their list and the developers were all woodworkers!

Our own Joe Zeh is a nationally recognized SketchUp expert and has written a book, produced DVD’s and online training classes, and teaches all around the country.  Click here to learn more about Joe’s training resources that you can use to help you get up to speed on the SketchUp environment. Joe has also written a number of plugins besides CabWriter that you can get for free that will help you draw more quickly and efficiently.  Click here to get more information and download the plugins.

SketchUp Make vs. SketchUp Pro

SketchUp Make is the free version of the program whereas SketchUp Pro must be purchased, but it contains more functionality than the free version.  In particular, SketchUp Pro has advanced drawing features that aren’t necessarily relevant to CabWriter, but may be valuable to you for other drawing tasks.  SketchUp Pro also comes bundled with a program called LayOut which is what allows you to produce professional shop drawings.

While CabWriter itself will work perfectly well with both SketchUp Make and SketchUp Pro, except for the shop drawing aspect, one thing to keep in mind is that if you are going to use Sketchup, and by extension CabWriter, in your business or any commercial enterprise, Trimble requires that you purchase a SketchUp Pro license and use that product for your drawings.  Below are the relevant portions of the SketchUp license agreement:

2.2.1. SketchUp Make

SketchUp Make Software is licensed only for non-commercial use for your internal business purposes. Non-commercial use means that you may not sell, rent, lease or lend the output of the Software. Any other use requires the purchase of a SketchUp Pro license. For example, if you are a for-profit organization of any kind, or an employee of a for-profit organization using the Software in that capacity, you are engaged in commercial activity; therefore, in order to use the Software, you must purchase a SketchUp Pro license. Government agencies are considered to be commercial users and must purchase a SketchUp Pro license.

2.2.2. SketchUp Pro, SketchUp Viewer

SketchUp Pro and SketchUp Viewer Software may be used for commercial purposes in accordance with the terms of this Agreement.