Editor’s note: We recently launched an improvement that makes over 60 additional Google services available to Google Apps users. This series showcases what’s new and how your organization can benefit.

Welcome to Google SketchUp & 3D Warehouse
3D can be a great tool for solving all kinds of problems, like redesigning an office space or envisioning the neighborhood around the new office park in Shanghai. However, the software to generate 3D models and images has traditionally been prohibitively expensive or too difficult for non-professionals to learn. Enter: Google SketchUp.

We like to say that SketchUp is “3D for everyone.” By stripping out the technical hurdles that make traditional 3D software difficult to learn in favor of a simple, intuitive interface, most users are up and modeling in less than 10 minutes. We also made SketchUp free and as a result, we’ve found that people are using SketchUp in all sorts of creative ways to solve everyday problems and make their jobs easier.

Store owners are using SketchUp to visualize ways to maximize foot traffic in their stores. Facility managers are using SketchUp to redesign the office space to accommodate more desks. Event planners are using SketchUp to figure out how to set up their booth for their next event.

But building models in SketchUp is just scratching the surface. You can also use Google 3D Warehouse, which is a searchable repository of hundreds of thousands of 3D models, to discover existing 3D elements and share those that you create. Seamless auto-complete integration with your existing contacts in Google Apps makes it effortless to share models and collaborate with colleagues. To give you more control over the content you create, 3D Warehouse also allows you to set sharing permissions so you can manage who has viewing and editing access to your models.

Learn more and get started
The web sharing functionality of Google 3D Warehouse can be enabled by your domain administrator from the Google Apps Control Panel at https://www.google.com/a/[your_domain.com] (replace [your_domain.com] with your actual domain name) and you can get started by downloading the Google SketchUp application. If your organization isn’t using Google Apps yet, you can learn more and sign up today at http://www.google.com/apps/more.

For more answers to specific questions about Google SketchUp and Google 3D Warehouse you can view our Help Center or get the latest news, tips, and tricks on the SketchUp Blog.

Share your story
Have you already started using Google SketchUp or 3D Warehouse at your organization, or plan to now that it’s available? Please share your story and your organization could be featured in the next Gone Google ad campaign!

Note: Google SketchUp & 3D Warehouse may not be available in all areas.