Thursday, May 7th, 2020 Posted by Jim Thacker

Trimble ships SketchUp 2020.1

Originally posted on 4 February 2020. Scroll down for news of the 2020.1 update.

Trimble has released SketchUp 2020, the latest version of its architectural modelling software, adding new options for controlling the visibility of geometry, and ‘grips’ on bounding boxes for positioning objects.

The update also adds more options for controlling the way that models are displayed within LayOut, SketchUp’s companion application for generating documentation.

More intuitive workflow for changing the visibility of geometry
SketchUp 2020 changes the way in which the software handles the visibility of geometry, separating the process of hiding geometry within an object from that of hiding entire objects.

The change makes it possible to toggle the visibility of edges or components within a model without also toggling that of other hidden objects, as shown in this video.

It is also now possible to toggle the visibility of individual model components within the Outliner.

In related news, Trimble now refers to SketchUp’s system for controlling the visibility of objects as ‘Tags’ rather than ‘Layers’ to reduce confusion for users coming from other software.

Grips on bounding boxes help to position objects more precisely
The release also adds ‘grips’ to the corners, midpoint, centre and centroid of the bounding boxes of objects, making it possible to move, scale or rotate from those points.

If the grip selected is hidden by geometry in the current camera view, the object automatically becomes semi-transparent in the viewport, helping to position it more precisely.

Reduced round-tripping between SketchUp and Layout
LayOut, available to users with professional subscriptions or SketchUp Classic perpetual licences, gets changes intended to reduce round-tripping with SketchUp itself.

Changes made to camera angles, line styles and render effects in LayOut are now handled separately, and may be reverted individually to the defaults set up in SketchUp without losing other changes.

It is also now possible to relink a viewport in LayOut to a new SketchUp model, rather than having to delete the viewport and insert a new model.

Mixed initial responses from users
User responses to SketchUp 2020 have been mixed. As with SketchUp 2019, the blog post announcing the release has drawn a lot of negative comments about the pace of development of the software.

Feedback on the release thread on the SketchUp forum has been more positive, with users welcoming the performance improvements and bugfixes in the update.

Updated 6 May 2020: Trimble has released SketchUp 2020.1.

The update makes objects editable even when they are hidden in a scene, and makes it possible to save the visibility state of objects and section planes along with the scene itself.

There are also workflow improvements to the new Grips controls and the Select Tool; plus a new option to create a grouped object or component by right-clicking in the viewport.

Pricing and availability
SketchUp 2020.1 is available for Windows 7+ and macOS 10.13+.

A perpetual SketchUp Classic licence costs $695. Subscriptions cost $119/year for SketchUp Shop, $299/year for SketchUp Pro, and $1,199/year for SketchUp Studio. See a feature comparison here.

There is also a free, feature-limited web-based edition of SketchUp, SketchUp Free.

Read an overview of the new features in SketchUp 2020.1 on Trimble’s blog

Read an overview of the new features in SketchUp 2020 on Trimble’s blog

Read a full list of new features in the online changelog