Our CAD software at work is getting pretty old and with the cost of a decent upgrade being as much as $7,000 per seat, we thought we'd try out SketchUp as an interim solution to our 3D modelling woes.
Having never even seen this software before, I was surprised at how easy it was to use. After only 1 day I had a working model of a recent house design (shown above). And did I mention that it's FREE.
Note that while SketchUp is currently at version 8, I would recommend downloading version 7.1. You can then install this Plug-In for DWG importing which makes things a lot quicker if you've already drawn the floor plan in CAD or want to import existing 3D components. Unfortunately, the DWG import Plug-in doesn't work with version 8 as DWG importing has now become a "feature" of the $500 Pro version.
With it's unique approach to 3D modelling, this software has really taken me by surprise. I think that SketchUp will become part of my workflow for every new design project.