Geo Week News

March 5, 2014

BIM workflow gets boost with SketchUp 2014


Trimble’s 3D modeling platform expands 3D warehouse

Trimble Navigation Ltd. released the latest version of its 3D modeling platform for architects, engineers, design and construction professionals with new tools to make professional documentation for Building Information Modeling (BIM) workflows.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company said the new SketchUp 2014 – the second major update to SketchUp software in the past 10 months – improves the classification of design objects and makes it more interoperable with other products. SketchUp had more than 30 million unique activations in the past year, Trimble said, making it the world’s most widely used 3D modeling software.

“BIM workflows are often complex and rigid processes, and we believe they don’t need to be,” said John Bacus, director of SketchUp product management. “With this new release, we are enabling users to participate more effectively at any point in the information modeling process.”

New 3D Warehouse
The updated version also rebuilt SketchUp’s 3D Warehouse, dubbed the world’s largest repository of free, high-quality, 3D content, to make it easier for users to find the models they need, create and organize model collections, and share them. The new warehouse now has an integrated WebGL viewer to let users preview and orbit models in full 3D before downloading them into their own projects.

Users can now upload 3D models directly from their browsers without first opening them in SketchUp, and the maximum size of uploadable models has been increased from 10 to 50 megabytes.

SketchUp Pro boosts BIM
Calling BIM an “increasingly important process” for AEC professionals, Trimble said it expanded SketchUp Pro’s interoperability with other commonly used tools and data and made it easier for users to collaborate on 2D drawings and 3D models.

Trimble said it also made it easier for users to participate in the information modeling process by ensuring that their objects and models – and the data connected to them – remain “consistently identifiable” throughout the BIM workflow.

Trimble also enhanced SketchUp Pro’s 2D documentation capabilities such as auto tags to improve accuracy and reduce repetitive work, smart labels with pre-populated relevant text, and significant improvements in speed for vector-rendered model views.

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.

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