Google bought SketchUp a few months ago. Today they have released a free, but limited, version of SketchUp (Mac OS X & Windows):
Pro version is as before with, I think, one or two minor additions.
SketchUp is so easy to use that I managed to create a 3D model for a project whilst learning how to use SketchUp and got it done well before the 8hr evaluation period ran out (Pro version). Search this site for "3ds2rad" for how to convert from 3DS to Radiance format.
Here's the catch: only the Pro version exports SU models to formats such as 3DS etc. So I'm afraid that the offer of a free version of SU is not terribly useful for Radiance users. Where it may count is to have it sitting there as a freebie which you can toy with every now and then and perhaps learn how to use as a 'background' task. Then when you really do need to use SU to make a Radiance model, you could either buy the Pro version or see how much you could get done during the 8hr demo period. I don't know if you could run the Free and Pro versions alongside each other; that would be a sneaky way of getting a lot out of the 8hr trial period. I never said that.
Well worth a look -- but not quite the gift (for Radiance users) that it might have been.
Dr. John Mardaljevic
Senior Research Fellow
Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development
De Montfort University
LE1 9BH, UK
+44 (0) 116 257 7972
+44 (0) 116 257 7981 (fax)