Trimble's Sketchup Viewer combined with Microsoft HoloLens brings your designs to life

POSTED 3 years ago

Table top 3D model viewed through Microsoft HoloLens with SketchUp Viewer.

The end of 2016 saw an interesting development tech wise on innovative products and services targeted to the architecture and interior design industry with the release of the Canvas iPad app paired with the Structure sensor by Occipital (read about it here). Now another interesting service has been introduced to allow you to bring your designs to life and allow you to be immersed in your design.

Trimble, the company behind the popular SketchUp 3D design and layout tools recently released SketchUp Viewer for the Microsoft HoloLens on Windows Store. The app basically allows those working in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (but we're pretty sure interior designers will benefit as well) fields to view and interact with holographic scale 3D models of building projects in mixed reality.

Two modes are available through SketchUp Viewer, the first being a table top mode which utilizes a smaller space to display a 3D scale model of the design. The second mode, is a true immersive experience from within a digital building model. This effectively removes the need to build scale models based on initial designs while at the same time provide greater understanding of the design choices and tradeoffs from the early stages of the design process while improving communication and collaboration across project stakeholders.

While the technology will definitely greatly impact design work and its efficiency, the Microsoft HoloLens and SketchUp Viewer come with a hefty price tag and may be more viable at this time for companies that do a great deal more architecture and building design work. At USD3,000 for the Microsoft HoloLens (view here) and USD1,499 for the SketchUp Viewer (view here), the initial investment required definitely gives one reason to pause. However if the use of this helps architecture firms cut down on turnaround times and foster greater design appreciation for their clients, then cost is definitely on worth exploring.