If you poke around SketchUp.com today, you’ll notice a few things are different. For one, a new version of SketchUp is available for download in ten languages. You’ll also find that we’ve completely rebuilt 3D Warehouse, our online repository for the millions of models shared by Sketchup users worldwide. SketchUp 2014 is here, and there’s quite a bit to explore.
A new look for 3D Warehouse: Every day, 7,000 people search for a “sofa” on 3D Warehouse, and then find around 10,000 sofa models to choose from. That is an incredible amount of choice - probably the most you’ll find on the web. Today, we’re giving the millions of models in 3D Warehouse a facelift at 3dwarehouse.sketchup.com. As you poke around the new 3D Warehouse, you may notice that you can now navigate 3D models on the web as you do in SketchUp (using a WebGL enabled browser).
Bringing a SketchUp viewer to the web is a big deal to us. We spent a lot of time tuning our WebGL Viewer so that your models operate smoothly and retain their SketchUp feel. We’re also thrilled that SketchUp users can now share orbitable 3D projects (in full screen, if you like) on their own webpages using the 3D Warehouse embed gadget.
As you read this, our 3D Warehouse render robots are churning through tens of thousands of models a day, converting raw .skp files into a 3D streaming format dialed for SketchUp models. In the meantime, any newly uploaded models published to 3D Warehouse will render after just a few minutes, so you can start orbiting your new models pronto.
While this new Viewer turns any webpage into a 3D stage, we also wanted to point a spotlight on the most useful models in 3D Warehouse. So, working with product manufacturers, we’ve started curating the highest quality collections of real world models into their own category: Product Catalogs. Now, when you need a particular faucet, sliding door, window arrangement, or office chair, 3D Warehouse helps you choose a component that can actually be specified.
There’s quite a bit more to discover in the new 3D Warehouse -- new upload options, increased file size limits, a refreshed UI -- you can learn more about it all here.
A closer look at information modeling: In a world of ever-evolving CAD acronyms, people often ask “Is SketchUp Pro BIM?”
BIM is short for building information modeling, and the fact is, we’ve always considered SketchUp Pro to be a highly capable and inclusive information modeler. But what does that mean?
As we see it, the foundation of information modeling is an association between information of any kind and the graphical geometry in a model. And SketchUp’s core tools -- groups, components, the Ruby API -- have always enabled users to make this association and use the data embedded in models. BIM professionals may use information models for clash detection and quantity takeoffs; woodworkers may use them for joinery design and cut lists. In fact, a quick scan of Extension Warehouse shows that SketchUp users have been modeling, specifying, scheduling, analyzing, and reporting with information for some time now.
Building on this open and flexible information modeling capability, SketchUp Pro 2014 includes a feature called Classifier that lets you tag objects with standard classifications or types. We’ve preloaded this release with IFC 2x3 classifications (a standard for building information modelers), but you’re free to use any classification system you want. If you’re wondering if this tool is for you, we’d encourage you to learn more about it here.