SketchUp is a 3D modeling application that in its versatility is able to appeal to a wide variety of 3D designers, from mechanical engineers to artists and moviemakers. Many users do their homework in selecting a 3D design app, and choose SketchUp because it allows flexibility to work in so many different capacities, as well as being user-friendly enough to appeal to young students, while still fulfilling design needs for experienced and discerning 3D designers.
SketchUp heavily markets this product as one that is easy to use — and the majority of users seem to agree, with a number of reviews stating that it can be figured out in a couple of hours for general projects. The program allows you to create models of anything you like — and now, you can do that with greater ease and function due to this year’s second update: SketchUp 2015.
SketchUp is owned by Trimble Navigation, best known for their GPS products. They purchased what was formerly Google SketchUp from Google in 2012, and since then have dedicated efforts to ensuring the much-relied-upon SketchUp software continues to reign as a top choice for architects, engineers, building developers, interior decorators, moviemakers — and those just looking to have plain old fun with design technology.
“For the second release of SketchUp this year, we set out to make enhancements to the platform that might seem simple, but go a long way toward making SketchUp more enjoyable and impactful for our user community,” said John Bacus, Product Management Director at SketchUp. “For example, as interoperability continues to be the cornerstone of collaboration among architecture, engineering, and construction professionals, the IFC file import is an important addition because it opens up the options for professionals to participate in the information modeling process, sharing files with ease, regardless of the software program.”
Often it is the small tweaks that make a huge difference — but this release has a long list of new features and capabilities, so for designers who weren’t sold before, it’s time to take another look at all SketchUp can provide. Along with easier platform-independent licensing, SketchUp now offers a 30-day free trial for SketchUp Pro, which is a big increase from the previous 8-hour free trial.
- 64-bit support is at the top of the list. Allowing for more bandwidth between SketchUp and your computer’s active memory, SketchUp will now run as a 64-bit application on both PC and Mac operating systems — while a 32-bit version is still offered.
- FaceFinder has been improved, and while this is described as a very ‘under-the-hood’ feature, it’s expected you will notice the enhancements due to sharpened code for whenever SketchUp automatically creates a face from coplanar edges. According to the folks at SketchUp, they ‘found big performance improvements in operations like Explode and Intersect.’
- The 3 Point Arc Tool now allows four different ways to produce arced edges.
- The Rotated Rectangle Tool has been enhanced to encourage popularity, as it is meant to be a very useful tool in allowing you to draw non-90 degree rectangles on the ground, and now also lets you draw off-axis rectangles at any angle (and not necessarily on the ground).
- For SketchUp Pro IFC Import, an IFC importer was created for the exchange of information between SketchUp and other ‘BIM’ applications in both directions.
- The Classifier Tool has also been enhanced, allowing more efficient erasing of classification types and the ability to export additional types.
- Ruby API improvements have been made, as SketchUp 2015 now gives developers greater accessibility and manipulation of modeling classifications, with new API features.
- Trimble Connect presents a shared workspace for design-build stakeholders. Trimble Connect is a downloadable extension allowing you access to an online collaboration platform where you can share building projects with team members, affording the opportunity for sharing and reviewing.
There is also a very long list of bug fixes and other enhancements. For the complete list, click here for release notes. Discuss the latest enhancements to SketchUp with us in the SketchUp 2015 forum at 3DPB.com.