The Highly Anticipated SketchUp for iPad App is Here

The Highly Anticipated SketchUp for iPad App is Here

Now, more than ever, architects are working outside the office. Whether meeting with a client over Zoom, visiting a job site, or sketching on the train, design professionals aren’t tethered to their desks– and neither should their 3D tools.

SketchUp, one of the most popular 3D modelers in the world, set out to meet this “new normal” for designers by launching a new mobile app: SketchUp for iPad. With a simple UI, intuitive drawing tools, and a direct integration with the cloud collaboration platform, Trimble Connect, SketchUp for iPad empowers designers to work in 3D anywhere. Let’s take a closer look.

If you build it (with customers), they will come

Although SketchUp for iPad was commercially released in late April, the app was launched to a Beta group over a year ago. The SketchUp team collected feedback from thousands of users – inadvertently launching the largest Beta program in SketchUp history – and finetuned the app to meet the rigorous and nuanced needs of AEC professionals. 

SketchUp’s Beta testers quickly applied the app to their professional projects and found immediate efficiency gains. With SketchUp for iPad, users are able to:

  • Communicate more effectively with contractors. To augment 2D plans, design professionals can bring 3D models to the job site and get all stakeholders on the same page.

  • Streamline site surveys. Instead of documenting existing conditions with pen and paper, users can draw in 3D straight from their iPad and leave the site with an accurate 3D model.

  • Speed up design reviews. Using an Apple Pencil, users can write and draw over top 3D models instead of communicating changes on layers of trace paper or in long email threads.

  • Create more engaging client meetings. Whether meeting in-person or virtually, SketchUp for iPad users can walk through designs easily from their iPad, and mark up changes or iterate in 3D on the fly as they receive feedback.

  • Explore early-stage design concepts quickly. With Apple Pencil in hand, designers can sketch in 3D fluidly, focusing more on exploring ideas and less time learning software.

Perkins Eastman Design Principal Omar Calderon Santiago was an early and active Beta tester who found value immediately.

“We’ve been exploring SketchUp for iPad in our workflow, and the possibilities are endless. During the initial conceptual design phase, I use SketchUp for iPad. To unleash your creativity at the start of a concept, you need tools that are easy to use – tools similar to sketching on a piece of paper,  and SketchUp for iPad is precisely this.”

The Highly Anticipated SketchUp for iPad App is Here - Image 11 of 16
Courtesy of SketchUp

New tools purpose-built for iPad

When developing a professional-grade design tool for a device as incredible as the iPad, the SketchUp team recognized the opportunity to do something different. They developed an app that offered all of the core modeling features SketchUp users know and love, but was also built for today’s increasingly mobile, connected workflows.

“Our vision with SketchUp for iPad was two-fold: give users the option to take SketchUp with them wherever they go, and to create an intuitive 3D modeling experience that is as familiar as sketching with pencil and paper,” said SketchUp Senior Product Manager Mike Tadros. “Our goal is to make sure that users are able to capture their design inspiration wherever it strikes– whether that’s on-site, in a meeting, or on the couch.”

SketchUp for iPad is the most versatile 3D modeling app on the market, offering users the option to create in 3D using an Apple Pencil, multi-touch gestures, and/or a mouse & keyboard. With the available integration with Trimble Connect, users can sync files across SketchUp’s web, desktop, and mobile apps – and keep tabs on their projects no matter what device they have on hand.

In addition to versatile modeling inputs and cross-device file syncing, SketchUp for iPad is packed with unique capabilities that enable users to create and collaborate on the go:

Autoshape turns doodles into 3D shapes and parametrically configurable components. If you scribble a door, a 3D door will pop in your model that you can configure per your desired specifications.

Markup mode lets you annotate and draw over top 3D models with different styles, colors, and strokes using Apple Pencil.  Your markups can be saved to discrete Scenes in SketchUp and shared via Trimble Connect, so that project stakeholders can review edits and make design changes faster.

Augmented reality viewing allows you to experience your projects in the context of the real world. With AR mode, you can better understand and communicate vital information about a project before it’s built, cycle through different options in any pre-saved Scenes, or immerse stakeholders in your design at a 1:1 scale.

Real-world tools like Add Photo Texture allow you to take a picture using your iPad camera and apply it to any surface in the model as a texture, so that you can pull in real-world inspiration anytime. Additionally, with Add Location, you can add rich site context to your 3D model by importing satellite imagery and 3D terrain data. 

Get started

SketchUp for iPad is available to anyone with a paid SketchUp subscription. You can also try it out by starting a free seven-day trial directly from the Apple App Store.

Cite: "The Highly Anticipated SketchUp for iPad App is Here" 30 Jun 2022. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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