It’s hard to beat SketchUp when it comes to simple 3D design and layout tools. It’s easy to learn, with an intuitive and friendly interface, and there is even a free version if you just want to try it out. Now, Trimble is upping the ante with SketchUp Viewer for Microsoft’s Hololens, so you can explore your designs and worlds in a new way.
For now, it is just a viewer application, instead of a full-fledged version of the SketchUp application. The objects can appear as holograms in the real world, making it easier to consider the implications of design choices. In particular, it is an excellent tool for remodeling and recreating spaces or working to revamp an existing structure.
The first version of SketchUp Viewer for Microsoft Hololens has two different modes. The first is a tabletop mode, which uses a smaller area to display models as if they were a physical model. Models can be resized to fit the area and anchored in place so that other users can walk around them and see different angles.
Immersive mode is the second, and flashier, display mode. As you might imagine, immersive mode takes those digital objects and overlays them on existing physical structures. Hololens’ untethered nature means you can freely explore those augmented reality scenes you created.
As augmented reality solutions like the Hololens become more prevalent, this type of experience is exactly the useful and intuitive type of implementation that will drive more excitement and adoption.
There is more good news. If you already have, or are thinking of buying, a Hololens developer kit, the SketchUp Viewer for Microsoft Hololens is available now from the Windows Store. Trimble has also released a special extension for the SketchUp application that allows users to export their designs into an AR/VR experience for the Hololens.