The next release of everyone’s favourite 3D modeling tool, SketchUp, is here. With a number of performance enhancements to SketchUp 2014 and Layout 2014, there have also been some additional features added to both programs which many users will be happy about. As a regular user of Sketchup, we were delighted with the improvements that have been brought through to the latest release. We think it is safe to say that Sketchup is now a real contender as a CAD & BIM drafting tool. Lets take a look at some of these new updates Trimble have introduced.
What’s new in Sketchup 2014?
New and Improved 3D Warehouse – This has to be one of our favourite new features. Although it is not a direct feature of Sketchup itself, it is a real nice improvement. It is now easier to find pre-built 3D models in the warehouse and to create your own collections. As someone who does a lot of interior modeling, being able to quickly find good quality models and add them to collections is a massive time saver.
WebGL Viewer – WebGL seems to be a bit of a “buzz word” these days in both the 3D modeling and web design community. WebGL allows users to view 3D elements in their web browser. Being able to view 3D models from the 3D warehouse before downloading them is an added bonus as it allows you to see the overall quality of the model so you can make the right decision before downloading.
Increased upload model size -We have only ever uploaded a few models to the warehouse to share so we never really had an issue with file size but we can certainly see where this could be beneficial to some users. As Sketchup tools improve, so do the models users create. The flip side of having a detailed model is they generally get larger in file size, primarily due to their poly count.
Product Catalogues – This is another of our teams favourite new features. Now you can search for 3D models using organised catalogues. More and more manufacturers are designing / uploading their products in Sketchup which means when you download them to your model, you know the exact spec and size are going to be 100% true. As someone who does a lot of interior modelling, again this is a major plus!
Classifiers – This new feature will add important metadata to your models and improve compatibility between other building information modelling (BIM) tools and software. This is something our team look forward to experimenting with.
Ruby 2.0 – One thing our team truly love about Sketchup is the massive library of 3rd party plugins. Thanks to developers around the word, we have access to these great tools which make Sketchup such a great CAD /3D modelling tool. Now that Ruby 2.0 has been made accessible to these developers, we have no doubt there will be a lot more new and improved plugins on the way.
The team at Trimble have also worked hard to improve other key Sketchup tools like the Arc tool, improving shadow rendering on large models and lets not forget the number of new features in Layout 2014 which we will discuss in a separate post.
So is our team happy with the latest updates from the Trimble Sketchup team? Absolutely! We all feel the team have worked really hard to introduce & improve features the Sketchup community have been asking for. For me, the improvements to the 3D Warehouse and the addition of Catalogues is a massive plus and the features our team will be using most on a regular basis.
To find out more about Sketchup 2014 check out their website at www.sketchup.com