Last week I was busy talking about SketchUp at the ABX 2015 conference in Boston, so I didn’t get a chance to write this post until now. Therefore, let me at this point announce (with a slight delay) that SketchUp 2016 is out!!! Yay! The Trimble folks released it across all languages and both Make and Pro users are encouraged to update their versions.
As always there are a bunch of new features as well as bug fixes. You can get a complete list on the release notes page. Let me point a few of these out to you here, though:
The most visible changes are the introduction of Lisanne as the scale model and the new trays. With the tray system (you can see it on the right in the image above), the formerly free-floating tool windows are now bundled together into a clean arrangement that SketchUp Pro users already know from LayOut. You can even create new trays and arrange the windows to your liking on those.
On the modeling front, you will notice a bunch of useful improvements to SketchUp’s already excellent 3D inferencing engine. Those are nicely described in the video included below:
Pro SketchUppers that use it for estimating, inventory lists, schedules, etc. should be very happy about the new Generate Report 2.0, which makes it now much easier to customize reports of SketchUp components. In this tool’s dialog reported fields can be chosen, rearranged, and formatted. Those customized reports can then even be saved as templates for future projects.
The purchase of Gehry Technologies gave Trimble the very useful cloud-based collaboration platform that now is Trimble Connect. With 2016, this platform is much tighter integrated into SketchUp. Models can be uploaded or downloaded and live-linked into SketchUp models. This is tremendously useful for when you need reference drawings and other content in your models.
Overall, cloud resources have been integrated much tighter into SketchUp. With 2016, it is for example possible to swap any component out directly from the 3D Warehouse.
There were also many behind-the scenes improvements, which can be seen in the new Extensions Loading Policy. This system gives the user some certainty that a particular extension comes from a reputable source. In the 2016 version, this system has been implemented at the lowest setting (“Unrestricted”), but you can always increase that, especially after developers had some time to update their extensions and get them certified by Trimble.
There’s of course much more (especially for LayOut like the new C API that will allow for LayOut extensions) and I encourage you to read some of the following blog posts about the release:
- Dig a bit deeper with SketchUp 2016
- Enhanced inferencing in SketchUp 2016
- Layers and dimensions: A smarter LayOut for 2016
- The ABC’s of LayOut’s C API
- SketchUp 2016 Release Notes
Whenever I come across a review of SketchUp 2016, I’ll post it here: