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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 SketchUp 2014 released

March 11th, 2014 by Susan Smith

John Bacus, director of SketchUp product management, spoke about Trimble’s recent release of Trimble SketchUp 2014, the popular 3D modeling platform for architects, engineers, design and construction professionals. SketchUp 2014 features major enhancements to SketchUp’s 3D Warehouse—a world recognized large repository of free, high-quality, 3D content—as well as new tools that improve the classification of design objects, have more interoperability with other products used in BIM workflows, and make professional documentation more efficient.

Bacus said the most important thing about this release is they are introducing the concept of “classification in a bottle.” “Most people using SketchUp for years have been using it as a sketching and design visualization kind of tool where you work out the design idea early in the project,” said Bacus. “We recognize that what the thing looks like is only part of the story of what the thing is. We entered the notion of classifying the object in your SketchUp according to some fixed schema or system of classification, and how we’re telling that story is around IFCs.”

Bacus said SketchUp is different than other BIM tools as it provides lower level drawing tools and geometry modeling tools, and creates edges and bases rather than floors and doors. “We provide atoms and our users can create molecules, rather than providing high level molecules that users have to learn how to use. It is different from other strategies.”

Users can work within the IFC schema or outside it, or do parts of their model inside it. They can also work with BuildingSmart and other schemas.

3D Warehouse has been moved from Google infrastructure to a new infrastructure at Trimble, with these features:

  • The new 3D Warehouse now features an integrated WebGL viewer, enabling users to preview and orbit models in full 3D before downloading them into their own projects.
  • Users can now upload 3D models directly from their Web browsers, without first opening them in SketchUp, while the maximum size of uploadable models has been increased from 10 to 50 megabytes.
  • The new Product Catalogs feature speeds the task of finding specific manufacturers’ products—from windows to washing machines—letting users start their models with the exact items they intend to use.

There are about 2 ½ million models in 3D Warehouse today and they come from all different kinds of sources, and from representations of building products and manufacturer products.

To coordinate with BIM workflows, Trimble has expanded SketchUp Pro’s interoperability with other commonly used tools and data. The new release ensures that users’ objects and models—and the data connected to them—remain consistently identifiable throughout the BIM workflow.

SketchUp Pro 2014 contains three new features that are specific to information modeling:

  • IFC Export ­ since the information embedded in information models is often used by other software programs, SketchUp Pro 2014 now includes another important industry standard to its roster of supported exports—the IFC 2×3 file type.
  • Classifier ­ this feature allows users to classify objects with the pre-loaded IFC classification, use alternate classification types, or create a customized system for their specific needs.
  • Component Options ­ provides editable options relevant to an object’s classified type, allowing pertinent data about each object to be managed throughout the information modeling process.
  • The new Product Catalogs feature speeds the task of finding specific manufacturers’ products—from windows to washing machines—letting users start their models with the exact items they intend to use.

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Categories: AEC, architecture, BIM, building information modeling, construction, engineering, infrastructure

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