Low and behold, the newest version of SketchUp has arrived. Come hither you geometry shaping device of delight. Since being acquired from Google by Trimble Navigation last April, the only update has been a stylish new logo. That all changed last week with the launch of SketchUp 2013. The name changes from version number to year number with SketchUp 8 now relegated to the ‘old’ version. They have a new Extension Warehouse to find developer add-ons much easier. Pro Users get some fancy new features for completing the documentation of their models and the free version of SketchUp is now called SketchUp Make.


SketchUp 2013

At the top of the list in SketchUp 2013 is the new Extension Warehouse. This gives you quick, searchable access to all the plugins available to extend SketchUp capabilities from 3D Printing to Scheduling. Best of all, it’s available from within the SketchUp interface, allowing you seamless search and install of each extensions–Very nice addition indeed. This is available in both SketchUp Pro and SketchUp Make.

With the rename of the free version to SketchUp Make, we have a clearer picture of who the free version is intended for. “Hobbyists, kids and backyard spaceship builders” is how the SketchUp Make splash page reads with clarification in the license agreement that the free version is “not licensed for commercial work.”

Besides the Extension Library and the clearer delineation between the Pro version and the free version of SketchUp Make, there are not a whole lot of new modeling features. None in fact. Most of the new features are concentrated into LayOut for SketchUp Pro, the documentation tool that lives outside the SketchUp Pro interface, but provide the ability to dimension and create drawings of your models. Among the LayOut updates, you have Pattern Fills, Copy Arrays and Curved Leader Lines–small, but important features when you need them. For users of both SketchUp Make and SketchUp Pro, you have the additional new feature to export MP4 (H.264), AVI, or WebM of your SketchUp Scene animations.

You cna snag SketchUp for both Mac and PC with SketchUp Pro still available at volume discount rates starting at $495.00 (plus $95.00 subscription) for 1-4 licenses. You can download the new version of SketchUp here which comes with an 8-day usage trial of the SketchUp Pro features. To get started, you’ll also want to check out some new video tutorials they have up on their Youtube channel.

Source: SketchUp blog


Josh is founder and editor at SolidSmack.com, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.