Is Trimble SketchUp BIM? The $590 question …


What’s new on SketchUp 2013!


Trimble, the company that acquired SketchUp last year from Google, just made available for download the newest SketchUp update, several changes were introduced to the platform, which now goes by the name of SketchUp 2013. Here are some of the main news.

Full article at:

Changes in naming
SketchUp is still offered in two versions, free and paid, but the names have been changed: numbered versions are out (no SketchUp 9 for you), and in comes the year, but unlike most other software companies, Trimble chose to use the actual year of release as a reference, not the next year. Thus we have SketchUp Make 2013 (free version) and  SketchUp Pro 2013 (the paid version).

Differences between the free and paid versions
The differences between the free and paid versions remain the same: the paid version allows  import and export of several formats, it includes SketchUp LayOut and Style Builder, as well as tools for creating Dynamic Components, advanced solid operations, among other features.

Change in pricing policy
SketchUp Pro 2013 now costs $590 for a license. The previous value was $495. This difference, according to Trimble, allows for the 2014 update. For $95 current users get updates within one year of the purchase, ensuring the update to the version to be launched in 2014.

3D Warehouse
A new page entry was created, but after typing the desired search term, the next pages  looked like the old site. Work in progress?

Extension Warehouse
This is a major change introduced. SketchUp now has its own app store (actually for plug-ins, now known as add-ons), the Extension Warehouse. It became much easier to search for new tools, download and install them. The installation takes place automatically and managing them improved considerably.

SketchUp Viewer
I has always existed, but few people knew. SketchUp Viewer allows one to open SketchUp models (no editing). In the new site it appears listed prominently along the other SketchUp versions.

Inside SketchUp Pro 2013
A list of the major changes observed, as time passes we will update this section.
– New icons for the tools (that was easy to understand)
– Change in the Toolbar menu: you now have more options to join, edit and even create new toolbars.
– The Building Maker tool for modeling objects for Google Earth disappeared (by the way was not being missed).
– The Solar North tool disappeared from the interface and became an extension that can be installed separately.
– A plug-in (or add-on) called Advanced Camera Tools now comes installed with the program (but you can pretend you did not see it, if you want).
– New Video export formats: Yay! Now you don’t need your friend’s Mac to export .mp4, H264 or other decent codec. Another cool thing is the ability to export the images separately for editing in a program like Premiere or Final Cut.

And SketchUp LayOut 2013?
Many changes were made in SketchUp LayOut 2013. It seems that the Trimble intends to improve the LayOut tools to make technical documentation increasingly easy and professional (will it compete with AutoCAD?). Here we go:
– Fill hatches, finally!
– Improvements on arrows/arrowheads.
– Now you can use dashed dimensions.
– Multiple copies (arrays). Fantastic!
– Pages always have numbers, even if you name them differently. Very good.


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