Trimble introduced SketchUp 2013, the latest version of the popular 3D modeling platform used by millions around the world, including architects, engineers, building and design professionals and members of the fast-growing maker community. Featuring new capabilities for professional users, an Extension Warehouse for add-on tools and a rebranding of the software’s free version as SketchUp Make, the new release marks the first major update since Trimble’s acquisition of SketchUp from Google in April 2012. The enhancements underscore SketchUp’s strategic value as part of Trimble Buildings, a group formed in 2012 to offer hardware, software and service offerings for streamlined communication throughout the Design-Build-Operate (DBO) lifecycle of construction.
“Trimble has always recognized that one of the biggest challenges facing the construction industry today is ensuring effective, clear and consistent collaboration between professionals involved in all phases of a construction project,” said Chris Keating, director of Trimble Buildings’ Architecture Division. “SketchUp is an important tool to address this industry need. That’s why Trimble has already implemented several SketchUp integrations with Trimble’s data modeling and project management tools. SketchUp 2013 marks the first step in a continuous technology investment that will benefit SketchUp’s existing user community and other Trimble customers across the construction industry.”
3D for Professionals and Hobbyists
SketchUp Pro 2013 provides professional users with more powerful tools to easily explore, modify and share design ideas in 3D. As in previous versions, users can quickly design and visualize in 3D, import CAD plans, photos, aerial imagery, and then use SketchUp Pro’s documentation tools to develop communication and planning deliverables. For example, architects can quickly evolve design ideas and document modeling work to reflect changing project requirements. SketchUp Pro also enables engineers, general contractors and building owners to drive design discussions and generate commercial deliverables such as conceptual estimates, construction drawings, RFI’s and full-screen digital presentations.
The new release includes several improvements to SketchUp Pro’s 2D documentation capabilities, including enhanced vector drawing tools, faster rendering and zooming, and customizable hatching styles. These updates make SketchUp Pro more powerful, precise and customizable for detailing, dimensioning and organizing models in professional documents.
In addition to serving the commercial market with SketchUp Pro, Trimble will continue to provide a free, entry-level, 3D drawing tool—now named SketchUp Make—enabling makers and hobbyists of all kinds to bring their ideas to life.
New Extension Warehouse Provides Easy Access to Customized SketchUp Tools
Since 2004, third-party developers have been using SketchUp’s open and free API to build custom tools for SketchUp users. This plugin ecosystem grew throughout SketchUp’s years at Google and now—in Trimble’s first update—dedicated developers and their valuable modeling tools finally have a home within SketchUp. The Extension Warehouse makes it easier than ever for users to search, find and install SketchUp extensions. As developers begin using the Extension Warehouse to manage, market and support their extensions, SketchUp users can expect to have easy access to more and more task-specific tools.
“We may have changed companies, but our commitment to delivering smart and efficient design tools is stronger than ever,” said John Bacus, director of SketchUp product management at Trimble. “We noticed that a big percentage of our professional users were using plugins, so part of making SketchUp more efficient is making it easier for them to find the tools they need, when they need them. We often say that SketchUp is better off because of the work done by our developer community—now, SketchUp users are better off too.”
SketchUp Pro and SketchUp Make are available now. Additional information and downloads are available here.