Sketchup is basically a 3D sketchpad that is as easy to use as a block of modelling clay and just as fun.

This follows the commendable pattern of Google to buy something cool and then adapt it into a free, public release.  It did this with a company called Keyhole that got turned into the vertigo-inducing Google Earth. A nice tie-in is that you can place your models of buildings and landmarks in your own Google Earth. 

This, along with anything else you create, can be stashed in the 3D warehouse to share with the world.  I uploaded a birdtable.

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