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Advice / help to find suitable software to create basic 3d illustrations for clients

Matthew Ralphs

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Hi all. My first post, so bare with me if I'm asking the wrong forum.

I run my own 'one man band' business designing and installing ropes courses and climbing towers using wood and steel. I'm not a designer or engineer! I liaise with clients then employ structural engineers and specialist fabricators.


Could anyone suggest the most appropriate software to use to create basic 3D illustrations which I can use to illustrate the structure / shape / layout for my clients at the quotation stage. These will have the same basic components but they overall structure will be different for each client, maybe even 2 or 3 different options.


I do not need to detail every nut and bolt or be able to send perfect 'designs' to engineers / fabricators. Just professional looking 3D illustrations for potential clients. As a 'one man band' I need to be able to do quickly and cost effectively each time, whilst running all the other parts of my business.


Don't mind investing in software, but time is at a premium.


Could be PC based, or perhaps ipad app based?

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Hi. Haven't looked at Sketchup. Is it suitable for newbies? There seem to be so many different packages available, and they all seem to be for full time professional desgners. Looking for advice on what to consider as a first timer.

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You do not have to be Frank Lloyd Wright or I.M. Pei to use Sketchup. The website the program is downloaded from has plenty of "getting started" tutorials and if you join the community you'll find tons of helpful users who have "been there, done that" to offer advice.

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Sketchup indeed, would be the most easy to learn. Seem to fit your question. Search sketchup warehouse for climbing object. Bet you will find stuff of hour intrest.


Ps noticing today.. is it 'me' or did Autodesk start placing commercials as banners on CADtutor..? ;-)

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