Enhanced inferencing in SketchUp 2016

Moving a component along an inferenced parallel: it’s time to fall in love with inference locking all over again!

Inferencing is at the core of what makes SketchUp... SketchUp. It helps you orient yourself, your tools, and your geometry in the vastness of 3D space. Basically, it’s what separates you from an endless, free-floating, three-dimensional purgatory. It makes SketchUp kind of fun, too.

For our new release, we made some significant improvements to SketchUp’s inference engine. Like all of inferencing, the new functionality is always handy, but never in your way. We hope you take the time to learn some of these new techniques: we think you’ll get quicker and more creative in SketchUp. See for yourself:

As long as we’ve got your attention, we’d like to point out a few key differences to watch out for:

  1. We’ve improved parallel and perpendicular inference display, along with the ability to force the last referenced edge or plane with the down arrow key. We think you’re really going to like this.
  2. Holding the Shift key will lock any inference that is available for a tool, including parallel and perpendicular.
  3. Arrow key locking now works with more tools. Each time you press an arrow key, you toggle on or off an axis lock. A quick refresher on arrow key locking:
    1. Right Arrow = Lock to red axis
    2. Left Arrow = Lock to green axis
    3. Up Arrow = Lock to blue axis
    4. Down Arrow = Lock Magenta (The first press is parallel to the referenced axis, the second press will be perpendicular).

The logic above has greatly expanded the options for inferencing within tools like Circle and Rotate. One big upside here is that you shouldn’t have to create as much reference or construction geometry. For example, prior to SketchUp 2016, it was often necessary to use guides or edges to position the center of the protractor for the rotate tool. In 2016, it’s possible to lock the protractor orientation to a surface orientation with the Down Arrow key, then find the intersection of two edges for placing the protractor center.

Whoa: how’d you do that!? New SketchUp 2016 inferencing, of course.

As you might imagine, we’ve been testing this functionality for a while. Now, we’re really excited (and yes, a bit nervous) to see how these new methods might become part of digital sketching. Please don’t be shy: tell us and show us how you are using SketchUp’s updated inferencing. We will be listening for your feedback on this blog post, and also here on the SketchUp Community Forum.

Happy sketching (as always),

The SketchUp Team