For professionals and amateurs alike, Google SketchUp has two great things going for it…it’s FREE and it’s supported online by Google. So if you want to build a model in 3D, reconfigure workstations, or even create your own version of the Freedom Tower, this tool can do it all.
From the Web site:
Google SketchUp (free) is an easy-to-learn 3D modeling program whose few simple tools enable you to create 3D models of houses, sheds, decks, home additions, woodworking projects —even space ships. You can add details, textures and glass to your models, design with dimensional accuracy, and place your finished models in Google Earth, share them with others by posting them to the 3D Warehouse, or print hard copies. Google SketchUp (free) is a great way to discover if 3D modeling is right for you.
Google SketchUp is free for personal use. No registration is required.
Unfortunately, there is not yet a Mac based version of the product, but Google is working on that too.
Google Blogosphere adds the following:
Also, Google now allows you to place your finished models on their Google Earth satellite tool – maybe Google Maps one day, too? – and share creations on the new 3D Warehouse site (which, surprisingly enough, has no Beta sign). Right now, there’s already around 5,356 models online – everything from the Taj Mahal to the White House to a dining suite. There’s even starship “Google Enterprise”…
Pretty cool, hm?