Today the folks over at Google released Sketchup 7.1. If you are familiar with most software releases, usually when a software is updated just a "tenth" more then the last one, its usually just for bug fixes, and other boring things. This update is certainly far more then a "tenth" useful.
There is a myriad of new features that have been added. In particular, there a few key features that us kitchen designers will find quite useful.
First, large model support. Many said that Sketchup should be reworked from the ground up to offer multi core support, and other advanced rendering techniques. Rather then re-invent the wheel, the Sketchup team has stuck to their motto: "3D for everyone" That means it should run well on any computer, not just high end ones. They got under the hood, tweaked and tuned every last thing they could, and the result is brilliant. Models that were slow to pan and zoom now are fast and fluid. Most importantly, Sketchup can still run on just about any computer! I liken it to the following video, they took the usefulness of a minivan, and tuned it up so well that it can beat the pants off of sports cars!
Dimensions, Dimensions, Dimensions!!
That's right, Sketchup has always had dimensions, but now LayOut has dimensions! Anyone who's used AutoCAD knows that you draw your model in "model space" and you do all your notation and dimensioning in "paper space".
Up until the addition of the dimension tool in Layout, as brilliant as it was, it was really limited to presentations for kitchen design.
Now that you can dimension all those kitchens, you can truly have a one stop document for all the information on your project. From presentation, to construction documents. you can now derive all that inf information from you Sketchup model!
Stay tuned in the coming weeks as I will be posting examples, tutorials, and some videos on how you can leverage this new feature on your next project. For now, here is an introduction on LayOut from the Google team.