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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

Trimble announces SketchUp 2013

May 29th, 2013 by Susan Smith

Trimble announced SketchUp 2013, the latest version of their 3D modeling platform. The new release features an Extension Warehouse for add-on tools for professional architectural, construction and design users, as well as rebranding of the software’s free version, to SketchUp Make.

Trimble acquired SketchUp from Google in April of last year, and SketchUp 2013 is the first major update since that acquisition. SketchUp is now part of Trimble Buildings, a group targeting design-build-operate lifecycle of construction.

SketchUp director of Product Management, John Bacus said “when we moved to Trimble we joined the new Trimble Building Group, which has been primarily tasked with building tools for architects, now at Trimble we’re making tools for architects again.” SketchUp is also useful during construction, and to building owners, review designers and for planning. “It provides a horizontal platform to tie together the other professions in the construction piece.”

With SketchUp 2013 the release cycle changes to an annual release, so the releases will be referred to by model year.

SketchUp Pro 2013 offers more powerful tools for modifying and designing in 3D. Users can 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. Included are SketchUp Pro’s 2D documentation capabilities, including enhanced vector drawing tools, faster rendering and zooming, and customizable hatching styles.

Included in SketchUp Pro is Extension Warehouse, that allows users to search, find and install SketchUp extensions. Developers will begin to market and support, and manage their extensions, creating more task-specific tools for users. Third party developers have been using SketchUps’s open and free API to build custom tools with SketchUp since 2004.

According to Bacus, 3D Warehouse is the largest 3D repository of 3D modeling content today,  with more than 1 million models of any object you can imagine in there.

“You can pull the model out of 3D Warehouse, and there are minor cosmetic changes to the way the interface looks,” Bacus said. “The API looks different, with new icon and cursor graphics. Extension Warehouse is where users can find new tools for SketchUp.”

LayOut in SketchUp Pro allows users add model views to pages, choose drawing scales, adjust line weights and add dimensions, callouts and graphics. When changes are made to the model they are reflected automatically in LayOut. Then users can export PDFs, images and CAD files.

An open source project allows SketchUp users to read and write STL files.

SketchUp Make is the new name for Trimble’s free, entry-level 3D drawing tool that remains a favorite of hobbyists and makers.

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Categories: AEC, architecture, BIM, building information modeling, Cloud, construction

2 Responses to “Trimble announces SketchUp 2013”

  1. ahmadrizal bin sameon says:


    • Brandon Rodriguez says:

      All versions of SketchUp are backwards compatible, meaning that SketchUp 2013 is able to open/edit files created in SketchUp 8, 7, 6, and so on.

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