sketchIt’s always nice when a software company is predictable with its updates. Technology changes so quickly that, without regular improvements and new features, a company and its customers quickly fall behind. Trimble is one company that makes sure to keep up to date. The technology company behind the 3D modeling software SketchUp has released their latest software update, SketchUp 2016, which promises to improve on its predecessors with several new features for simplifying workflow and improving efficiency for its users–just about a year after releasing SketchUp 2015. The major enhancement that SketchUp 2016 offers, however, is the new, directly integrated version of Trimble Connect.

Trimble Connect is a cloud-based file sharing platform that allows for easy communication and collaboration between industry professionals and team members. It was previously available as a downloadable extension for SketchUp users, but now it’s been directly integrated into the software, enabling easier access; all you need to do is sign up for a free account if you don’t already have one.Screen Shot_MovePerpendicular

“We’ve placed great emphasis on enhancing SketchUp for improved workflow capabilities and usability, paying careful attention to even the smallest details around drawing, the fluidity of 3D navigation and the hand-off between tools in the overall design and BIM process,” said Chris Keating, general manager for Trimble’s Architecture and Design Division. “We’ve also worked on making it easier for the SketchUp community to share models and collaborate with others. The direct integration with Trimble Connect is one more step toward breaking down barriers and fostering collaboration—something we believe to be critically important for enabling open BIM and successful building and construction projects.”

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Additional improvements that SketchUp and SketchUp Pro 2016 include are:

  • The ability to reload 3D Warehouse Models. This feature is pretty self-explanatory; once a model is downloaded from 3D Warehouse, it can be reloaded after every change; allowing it to serve as a reference object in any project.
  • Generate Report 2.0. The existing Generate Report tool has been reworked to give users more control over what information SketchUp Pro exports from models, and how that information is organized.
  • LayOut Cloud References make your LayOut projects web friendly, meaning that they can easily reference and update files that are stored and synced within services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Trimble Connect Sync.
  • New LayOut API is the first step toward an extension ecosystem for LayOut. Developers can now create and customize files .layout files from SketchUp models.
  • Enhanced Inferencing
  • Customizable Utility Trays on Windows
  • Refreshed Textures
  • Small Dimensions are new LayOut leaders that allow users to work more easily with confined spaces
  • New and Improved LayOut Layers

SketchUp 2016 is available for dowbload and includes a free 30-day trial of SketchUp 2016 Pro features. Click here for a detailed list of all new features, enhancements and bug fixes.  Have you used this latest software?  Let’s hear your thoughts in the SketchUp 2016 forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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