The New SketchUp 2014 - Its Tools and Features

Natasha Sikdar - Content Editor

The latest version of SketchUp, SketchUp 2014 includes various updated tools and features. The launch includes updates to SketchUp, LayOut, the 3D Warehouse and many more upgrades that affect Extensions, plugins/ruby scripts.

With SketchUp 2014, it is much easier to find and use the various types of models. The 3D Warehouse is much more improved and includes a completely interactive model previews, an entirely new UI, etc. The new 3D Warehouse is user friendly and is very organized. Users can avail model of anything they require, create their own collections for organizing content and can effortlessly share their work with the world.

On this new 3D Warehouse, each model works with the integrated WebGL viewer which enables viewers to preview models in full 3D before downloading them into their project. They can also embed 3D models on other web pages to allow visitors to explore projects using SketchUp’s standard navigation tools or the users own pre-set scenes.

Users can also upload 3D models directly from their web browser. They do not need to open the models in SketchUp first. Besides, SketchUp 2014 also has an increased uploaded model size limit. The maximum size of models that users can upload and store on the 3D Warehouse has been increased by a factor of five, from 10 to 50 megabytes. Apart from these enhancements the 3D Warehouse has new product catalogs that help in finding items that are specifically required. Users do not need to approximate fixtures any more as they can now model with exact components that will be used.

SketchUp Pro 2014 simplifies the addition of BIM elements to any model. Features for classifying objects and exporting files according to some of the industry’s regular BIM standards have been added. With classifier models can be enriched with significant metadata and its compatibility with other BIM tools can be enhanced.

The New SketchUp 2014 - Its Tools and Features

The latest Classifier tool tags geometry with industry-standard object types like walls, roofs, slabs, etc. Users can work with the existing classification systems, or can also open a fresh TXT and create their own.

After the classification of the objects in their models, users can export an Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) file, completing their project to be used in another BIM application. Apart from model geometry, users can also access to all the important metadata added by them in SketchUp Pro.

Ruby 2.0 is another addition to the SketchUp Pro 2014. The Ruby programming language is the syntax that enables various SketchUp extensions. With this new version the API has been brought up to Ruby 2.0 standards that offers developers a great platform to create new SketchUp tools. The API now provides enhanced support for non-English characters, text and dimensions tools, section plane plugins, etc.

SketchUp Pro 2014 comes with time saving tools for documentation as while designing things that users do not build themselves, documentation become necessary. The LayOut in SketchUp Pro 2014 helps in organizing and managing dates, page numbers, and repetitive texts which help users to focus on developing better drawings. Users can employ Auto-Text tags in their documents that enhance accuracy and saves time by preventing repetitious work. The LayOut can insert text using rules like "Project Title", "Today's Date" and "Page Number" automatically. Users can also opt from a wide list of preset tags, and customize these tags for their own purposes, or can create their own from beginning.

The New SketchUp 2014 - Its Tools and Features

The smart labels in SketchUp 2014 that are added in LayOut are automatically pre-populated with relevant text. When a group or a component is labeled, its name appears and when a face is labeled, its area is displayed. Similarly, labeling a point shows its coordinates and labeling an edge provides its length.

Ho hum is another enhanced version of LayOut. It is another 15x improvement in speed for the vector-rendered model views. As per requirement of the drawing, vector rendering gives accurate linework and improved performance when the user is working with big viewports. LayOut in SketchUp Pro 2014 helps in quicker performance unlike the older version. Long-document functionality is much improved now.

In SketchUp 2014 shadows in big models are supercharged and the vector rendering in LayOut is more than ten times quicker. It is easier and much faster to cast shadows in complex and bid models. The new Arc tools helps in drawing arcs by using any of following three methods:

  • The default 2-Point Arc tool allows the user to pick two end points and then a third that defines the “bulge”.
  • User can pick the center point of their arc and then pick two points on the edge, defining their arc by its angle.
  • Though the Pie Arc tool works the same way yet it produces a wedge-shaped face.

The New SketchUp 2014 - Its Tools and Features