These are the latest updates in SketchUp Pro. The goal of this latest release is to improve the consistency of modeling from tool to tool, increase workflow efficiency, and build on the learnability of SketchUp.
The most explicit change is that more tool modifiers behave as toggles that can be turned on and off by tapping a key. This means fewer press-and-hold modifier interactions for tools and more predictable modeling outcomes. For any tool, you can identify what modifiers are available in the Status Bar (at the bottom of the screen) and confirm the current modified state of the tool by examining the cursor or on-screen modeling behavior. With more modifiers behaving as toggles, we think it’s easier to switch the tool state before you complete a given operation.
We’re now persisting modifier tool states across multiple operations. This means being able to make multiple copies of objects with Move or being able to hide edges with Eraser across view changes using Orbit.
As you may already know, many SketchUp tools feature the ability to ‘pre-lock’ an inference direction or drawing plane. In this release, we are starting to apply this pattern to other tools. You’re now able to pre-lock an inference direction before the first click with the Line, Tape Measure, and Move tools.
Alongside improvements to Push/Pull noted above, we are also making a change to the front-face orientation when modeling in SketchUp. Now, SketchUp will always orient newly drawn faces with the front side facing up, when drawing on the ground plane, and with the front face ‘facing’ the camera in other cases. For example, if a face is drawn over the top of an existing face, the new face will still inherit the orientation of the face that it is drawn on. Push/Pull and Follow Me operations behave more predictably with these changes, resulting in correctly oriented faces.
Some SketchUp extensions are designed to create or manipulate large amounts of geometry. Once you get meshes above 20,000 polygons, the improvement in SketchUp 2021.1 is especially noticeable. If you’re eager to explore this new API, check out extensions such as Artisan, SubD, Bezier Surface, and Skimp.
Updates to the Extensions menu
Going forward, the Extensions menu heading will always be visible, regardless of whether extensions have been installed there or not. We’ve also relocated extension management and developer tools to this menu. We aren’t forcing developers to put extension commands in the Extension menu, but it is best practice. Speaking of best practices, we recently published our Extension UX Guidelines. We want to help developers make extensions that function predictably in SketchUp.
Unit translation for Live Components
Live Components continue to evolve in SketchUp Labs to make them more useful. Specifically, Live Component parameters now display in the same unit format that you are using in your SketchUp model. So, when you are lining up a measurement with the Tape Measure tool, it’s a lot quicker to type that measurement into a Live Component parameter.
2021.1 also includes an improvement in the draw time of Live Component editing.
If you haven’t explored Live Components yet, you can check them all out in 3D Warehouse.
IFC 4 Classification and Export
In addition to support for the IFC 2x3 schema and file format, SketchUp Pro now includes an IFC 4 classification set and the ability to export IFC 4 files. Learn more about how to use IFC types with SketchUp’s Classifier tool.
SketchUp 2021.1, is introducing a faster way to set the scale of a viewport. Now, you can simply type in the desired scale in the Camera tab of the SketchUp model panel. This new type-to-input will neatly parse a number of inputs: 1:50, 1” = 50”, 1/50, .02, 2%, or even 6” = 25’ will all quickly apply a 1:50 scale to a viewport.
Also, in January an update was released that included a performance improvement to LayOut’s ability to inference SketchUp viewports. SketchUp strives to provide a better 3D modeling experience.