2D drawing software is hard enough to use; usually when you think of 3D the word “impossible” comes to mind. But SketchUp, now available from Google in both a commercial and powerful free version, is different. It’s easy enough for non-illustrators to use for creating accurate DIY designs with dimensions, whether you’re working on DIY hardware or just planning a remodel to your studio.

Eoin Rossney has been working on designs for a new live performance music controller, and has put together some first sketches in SketchUp. It’s the first time he’s used the program; it really is that easy. Hopefully these sketches will inspire you not only to try out SketchUp but start to populate Google’s public 3D library with models useful for music DIYers:

Here are the pics of my first attempt at a Live controller design. This was really just done to familiarise myself with Sketchup and try out a few ideas. I’ll probably try a few more concepts before reality sets in and I have to start designing according to the real-life proportions of the components.

Thanks for pointing me to Sketchup – it’s working out great! I don’t think people realise quite how easy it is to design this stuff now, I certainly didn’t!

I had a look earlier around the 3D Warehouse which is a place where you can share Sketchup designs. There’s not a huge amount up there in terms of musical stuff but I did find a model of one of the Faderfox units, which looks like a photo mapped to a wireframe model. I can’t send it to you at the minute but a quick search should turn it up.

It’d be cool if people started posting up their designs on the Warehouse. Apart from full models you can share individual components which would be really handy for the likes of midi DIN/USB sockets etc. I’d like to do stuff like that but maybe sticking to the specs from catalogues so that the dimensions help in judging how much space you need.

Thanks, Eoin! So, how about it? Can we fill the 3D Warehouse with useful DIY models? (More images after the break.)