Nov 8, 2016 | By Tess

Trimble, developer of popular 3D modeling program SketchUp, has just released SketchUp Viewer, a new app that can be used with Microsoft’s HoloLens that allows users to not only visualize their 3D models, but to see them within a real-world context and in full scale. The app, geared towards the Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Operations (AECO) industries, has the potential to reduce the need for building physical scale models for visualization purposes and could help streamline overall design processes.

SketchUp Viewer, which was announced on Monday, is for all intents and purposes a viewing app and not a 3D modeling tool, but nonetheless offers some exciting features for designers and makers who are seeking an easy and efficient way to visualize their designs in real space. For instance, the app could be especially useful for visualizing redesigned or remodeled spaces, whether indoor or exterior.

The new 3D viewing app features two different modes: tabletop mode and immersive mode. The former can be used to scale 3D models down for viewing efficiency, essentially resizing them so that users can walk around and see the virtual 3D object from all possible angles. The second, “Immersive mode”, is what has got us really excited, as it allows users to introduce holograms of their 3D models into existing spatial structures. In simple terms, the app overlays the 3D model in the real world space, creating an augmented reality which lets users see their model in its full scale and explore their design in depth.

Trimble’s new app is available for purchase through the Windows Store and can already be used with the Hololens viewing device, released by Microsoft last year. Additionally, Trimble has also launched a special extension for its SketchUp application which allows users to directly export their 3D models to AR/VR for use with the Hololens.

The innovative viewer app also features useful remote collaboration technology, which allows users from anywhere in the world to collaborate on and visualize models in real time. According to SketchUp’s website, the SketchUp Viewer app is being sold for $1,499. The HoloLens itself costs roughly $3,000.

“What truly differentiates SketchUp Viewer from any other product on the market is the ability for users to transition seamlessly to an immersive experience,” said Trimble. “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.”



Posted in 3D Technology



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