Image from Google SketchUp
This is just great program that I came across recently. It is a free 3-D modeling program through Google. Here is what they say about it:
Google SketchUp (free) is an easy-to-learn 3D modeling program that enables you to explore the world in 3D. With just a few simple tools, you can create 3D models of houses, sheds, decks, home additions, woodworking projects – even space ships. And once you’ve built your models, you can place them in Google Earth, post them to the 3D Warehouse, or print hard copies.
It is very simple to use, but you could spend hours just playing with it. I want to use this more with my students because it opens up a whole world of design and architecture that I don’t think is available to them in this format. It can be downloaded here.