For those of you who haven’t yet tried SketchUP, it is a very popular 3D modeling software based on an edges-and-faces approach, where faces are 2D objects formed by edges, which are lines or boundaries. Two-dimensional outlines can be push-pulled by a mouse into 3D models. The program is free but there is also a Pro version available for $495.00. SketchUp Pro adds AutoCAD and 3ds Max support.
Here are the Highlights:
(1) Improved rendering engine for better support of large models
(2) Dimensioning. LayOut 2.1, part of SketchUp Pro 7.1, now includes a simple tool for adding dimensions to models.
(3) Sharing and collaboration. SketchUp now supports import and export support for COLLADA and KMZ files.
(4) Photo textures. You get direct access to Google Maps Street View imagery from inside SketchUp.