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2021: A 3D modeler’s year in review

SketchUp Pro 2021.1

Well, that’s a wrap, folks! With a sentimental nod, let’s look back at the highlights of 2021. For starters, we launched our very first public beta, SketchUp for iPad. From the initial feedback we’ve received, designing on the go with iPad will be a game-changer for many of our users' workflows. SketchUp Studio bulked up with real-time and photorealistic rendering capabilities (V-Ray) and the ability to import point cloud data into your modeling environment (Scan Essentials). We also did an extreme makeover on SketchUp Campus, SketchUp tools (can we get three cheers for standardization!), 3D Warehouse (hello, dark mode), enhanced account management, and a lot more! All year, the SketchUp team worked hard to fulfill our goal of delivering intuitive, robust software that makes your heart twang with joy, or at least jives with your design workflow. 

Sit back, process all the highs of 2021, and get stoked for 2022. 

A robust SketchUp Studio 

SketchUp model of a train station

We evolved the Studio offering to make it even more of an asset to Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) professionals — V-Ray and Scan Essentials are part of the package! Have you created a stunning rendering with V-Ray or a model based on a point cloud import? Tag us on Instagram #sketchup3D and follow @sketchup_official for a chance to get your work featured. 

Studio in the classroom

SketchUp model of a classroom

SketchUp Studio went to its first year at college with a jubilant welcome from the education team. SketchUp Studio for Higher Education provides a design program that is both creative for students and powerful enough for administrators and professors. The offering delivers ease of deployment and management with A+ changes to the account management portal, convenient tiered pricing, and broader access to SketchUp’s core suite of products. 

SketchUp for every grade level

SketchUp for Schools

In 2021, we created fresh content for K-12 teachers to use in their classrooms (as we do every year). Other SketchUp for Schools updates included personalized shortcuts and custom trackpad controls — all the features students need to ace their 3D modeling classes! 

Stroll around Campus

SketchUp model of a desk with a computer on it

Our training platform, SketchUp Campus, got a new look in 2021. Our goal was to expand the scope and availability of learning materials, and offer an easy way to track your course progress. Ready to master new 3D modeling tricks in the new year? Head over to the sleek new site for the courses and training you need to make your designs sparkle that bit more.

3D Warehouse is easier on the eyes

3D Warehouse

SketchUp introduced a new way of viewing 3D Warehouse models — dark mode! The high contrast look will make your 3D assets pop on screen and reduce eye strain. If you haven’t already gone over to the dark side, give it a whirl

Spring cleaning for SketchUp tools

Spring cleaning for SketchUp tools

With this release, we improved the consistency of how modeling works from tool to tool within the SketchUp ecosystem, increased workflow efficiency, and made SketchUp’s more nuanced functionality more accessible. Hip, hip, hooray!

Fancy-pants account management

Fancy-pants account management

SketchUp is famed for its user-friendly interface and ability to help you to capture complex design ideas simply. We recognize that for every architect and engineer using SketchUp, behind-the-scenes administrators are deploying and managing the software. The 2021 updates to the Trimble account management portal help software and IT managers get their work done faster and easier. 

SketchUp for iPad (beta) 

SketchUp for iPad (beta) 

We couldn’t be more excited about the beta start of a glorious union between SketchUp & iPad! With support for Apple Pencil, multi-touch, and mouse and keyboard, you can harness the power of 3D by drawing, swiping, and clicking your way to a fabulous model. A massive round of applause to our beta users, whose feedback has helped shape the future of this tool. If you are participating in the beta, make sure to show off your work using the hashtag #SketchUp4iPad on Instagram for a chance to get featured.

Extensions on fleek

Extensions on fleek

Have you ever dreamed of creating your own SketchUp extension? If so, there’s not a better time for you to join our community of developers. We released a list of best practices to help you create valuable, sharp-looking extensions as well as a sharp-looking, Trimble UI style guide.

For your viewing and listening pleasure

SketchUp provides software, but we are so much more than that. We, and our community, are passionate about seeing you succeed; just check our forums and see! We are dedicated to fostering a forward-thinking design community where professionals and hobbyists can come together around the shared experience of 3D modeling. Take in all of 2021’s top-notch, on-demand learning content delivered by ourselves and more importantly your peers — interior designers, architects, and engineers. 

  1. The Fireside Chat series; pick from season two episodes

  2. [Webinar] Architectural design: evolve your workflow

  3. [Webinar] Designing highly-sustainable buildings

  4. [Webinar] Delivering great interiors

Hopefully, some of this content inspires you and makes you chuckle – or chortle. Though, we can almost guarantee a full-out belly laugh at the punny jokes Aaron and Matt make on the new podcast, Donuts, Debate & Design. You can listen to it here if you missed any episodes. 

Don’t have SketchUp yet? 

Start 2022 off right with a SketchUp subscription, and get access to the latest and greatest functionality in our ecosystem. You’ll be producing marvelous models in no time. Not sure which offering is the best fit for your needs? Try our whole suite of tools* in our free trial.

About the Author

We’re the folks who work on SketchUp, so we spend most of our time thinking about how to make drawing in 3D better. We also enjoy nerf gun wars, disc golf, board games, coffee, beer, donuts, and looking at mountains. A few of us eat quinoa.

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