Trimble Launches SketchUp Viewer for
November 7, 2016
new mixed-reality solution allows users to virtually inhabit and
experience their designs to improve quality, communication and
efficiency in the design, construction and operation of buildings.
SketchUp Viewer is the first extensible commercial HoloLens application
available in the Windows Store.
SketchUp is the world's most widely used 3D modeling software for
architects, engineers, design and construction professionals as well as
members of the global maker community.
During the Trimble Dimensions keynote, Trimble, Microsoft and architect
Greg Lynn demonstrated how the SketchUp Viewer solution could improve
design and construction processes. Using HoloLens, architects were able
to experience SketchUp models in mixed reality, as holograms placed in
the real world—enabling them to quickly analyze various "what if" design
scenarios in the context of the physical environment. The demonstration
also illustrated how using Trimble solutions with HoloLens holographic
technology enables remote teams to effectively review and collaborate in
order to resolve constructability issues in real time.
Greg Lynn leveraged Trimble's mixed-reality solution and Microsoft
HoloLens to re-imagine the Packard Plant—a historic, abandoned
automobile factory in Detroit. The architectural project was
commissioned as part of the U.S. Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale
exhibition in Italy.
"Trimble mixed-reality technology and Microsoft HoloLens bring the
design to life and bridge the gap between the digital and physical.
Using this technology I can make decisions at the moment of inception,
shorten the design cycle and improve communication with my clients,"
said Greg Lynn.
The emergence of mixed-reality technology is enabling new workflow
processes for the Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Operations
(AECO) market. Trimble's mixed-reality solution gives users the ability
to understand and communicate complex spatial conditions in one
comprehensive and immersive experience. The combination of SketchUp with
mixed reality ushers in a new paradigm: Experiential Design Review—the
ability to inhabit and experience design and construction projects in
the most natural way possible.
"Empowering people to design and communicate better in 3D is part of our
DNA. Across the SketchUp platform, we are dedicated to the idea that
technology should get out of the way of our users," said Chris Keating,
general manager of Trimble's SketchUp. "With SketchUp Viewer, we are
taking another big step toward delivering the ultimate experience for
designers and their clients—the experience of inhabiting their own
Microsoft HoloLens is the world's first self-contained, holographic
computer that provides a mixed-reality experience for a range of
commercial and consumer applications. HoloLens extends interaction with
3D models beyond the confines of a 2D computer screen, creating new ways
for the many stakeholders of complex, multi-phase construction projects
to visualize, collaborate, share ideas and manage change.
"We are thrilled to work with Trimble to deliver new innovation to
SketchUp, one of the most widely used applications in the architecture,
engineering, construction and operations industry," said Lorraine
Bardeen, general manager of Microsoft HoloLens and Windows Experiences.
"SketchUp Viewer for Microsoft HoloLens can dramatically improve
collaboration, decision making, efficiency, quality, and safety by
giving users the unique ability to bring digital content into the real
world, real-time as part of their current workflow."
With SketchUp Viewer, users can view models that have been published to
their HoloLens device via the newly launched AR|VR Extension for
SketchUp Desktop; they can browse and download models from Trimble's 3D
Warehouse or they can pull project files down from Trimble Connect, a
cloud-based collaboration platform. Users then have the option to place
a model within their physical environment.
In Tabletop mode, models can be scaled as needed to best fit the
available space or specific design review requirements. While the
experience is intended to mimic viewing a physical scale model, it
maintains the flexibility and the dynamic nature of a digital model.
Users can re-scale, move and rotate the model as desired. Models can be
anchored and re-anchored in the physical environment, so designers and
engineers can walk around the project and examine it from any vantage
What truly differentiates SketchUp Viewer from any other product on the
market is the ability for users to transition seamlessly to an immersive
experience. Mixed reality enables unique opportunities to overlay
physical models in real world environments; and as a completely
untethered device, HoloLens allows users to move freely as they inhabit
their digital surrounds.
both Tabletop and Immersive mode, SketchUp Viewer allows users to do
more than just look at the model. The application provides access to the
most critical pieces of information for making vital project decisions
and gaining consensus among project stakeholders. The Entity Info
feature gives users access to important Building Information Modeling
(BIM) data embedded within project components; and with the Tape Measure
functionality, users can pull up dimensional information from the model.
Users can also control the visibility of various aspects of the model by
toggling layers on and off.
Real-time, remote and co-located collaboration are key elements to the
experiential design review process in SketchUp Viewer. With multiple
HoloLens devices, a group of users can load the same model, engaging a
"see what I see" collaboration mode. Remote collaborators can
communicate via real-time audio and use mixed-reality visualization
"sight-guides" to better understand who in the group is looking at what.
SketchUp Viewer for Microsoft HoloLens is available now from the
Microsoft Windows Store. For more information, visit: www.sketchup.com/viewer.
A new AR|VR extension for SketchUp Desktop, which enables users to
publish models directly from their desktop to the Microsoft HoloLens, is
available from SketchUp's Extension Warehouse.