SketchUp Architects using the xuver viewerIf there’s one 3D modeling and sketching program that unites all kinds of different 3D designers, it would be SketchUp. With one of the biggest and most active communities of architects out there, this program is truly a one of a kind. But why is SketchUp so popular? Let’s have a look at it from up close.

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SketchUp in a nutshell

SketchUp was first launched in the year 2000, and it immediately established itself as a low-key 3D modelling/designing program with an easy interface. A great part of the popularity of SketchUp comes from the fact that this program is so easy to use and can be learned fairly quickly, especially in comparison with other 3D CAD programs. In the years that followed, many architects started using SketchUp, although this versatile program is also used to make robots, sculptures and 3D objects in all shapes and sizes. 

More than ‘just’ for architects

SketchUp is a very versatile program that is definitely not only used by architects. This program is being used by a very wide arrange of professionals and hobbyists within the broad spectrum of 3D designing and 3D modeling. Its wide range of applications includes architectural, landscape designing, interior designing and even video game development. Where other modeling programs are often specialized and serve one or at most a few different professions, SketchUp stands out in its versatility, which has undoubtedly contributed to its popularity among architects and other designers from all around the globe. 

Easy to acquire 

SketchUp also stands out for the fact that this CAD program is easy to acquire and has several versions. One of the versions is SketchUp Free, a completely online version that runs in almost every browser. The SketchUp Pro version isn’t very expensive for a lifetime user and runs on both Windows and Mac, with added features and tools. Many SketchUp users learned the ropes of this CAD program by using the Free version while moving towards the Pro version later. 

The different versions of SketchUp are: 

  • Sketchup Free: 
    This is a freeware version that you can download after signing up for a free account. Make is free and intended to be used for home, personal and educational use and it begins with a free 30-day trial of SketchUp Pro.
  • SketchUp Pro:
    At $695, it is the premium version. It contains added functionality like the ability to import and export different file formats, access to a 2D documentation software, layout tools, and a Style Builder that lets you create custom edge styles for models.

A vibrant community of architects, designers and enthusiasts alike

Another very important factor to SketchUp’s success is the fact that this program has perhaps the biggest and most active online community. In SketchUp’s 3D Warehouse, one can browse through a massive library of models, ranging from furniture to screws to entire buildings. All these can be easily imported into any project to save you the hassle of drawing them yourself. 

Added software and plugins 

In this community, also a great variety of tips, tricks and handy plugins and software programs is being shared by SketchUp users online, in the Extension Warehouse. Besides the fact that SketchUp is a much-used, easy to learn CAD program, these plugins make it easily customizable according to your personal wishes. This creates extra versatility for the user. Xuver is such a SketchUp extension which is being used by many SketchUp users worldwide.

Bring your designs to life with Xuver for SketchUp

So what does Xuver have to offer for architects, SketchUp users and 3D designers? With Xuver for SketchUp, you can bring your 3D file to life in an online viewer. Within seconds, you convert your .skp file and make it available online, after which you can invite others (clients, interested parties, fellow designers), simply by sending them the browser link to your model.

XUVER for SketchUp architects

Visualizing your SketchUp design only takes a few moments and will enable you to explain your designs perfectly to your clients or to anyone in the SketchUp community who wishes to see your creations. You are able to walk around inside your SketchUp designs with anyone who likes to see it, simply by sharing the web link to your design. Everyone inside the design walks around inside with their own 3D figure, the avatar. This makes any model easy to understand as it creates a sense of space of dimension. 

XUVER is a truly interactive, web based 3D platform that enables SketchUp architects and their clients to communicate at the same level. While walking around inside the web based 3D model, communication is possible through the voice module. Just like a real life viewing, everyone is free to ask away and you, the designer, can answer all questions that arise just as easy. This also offers room to ask your clients their opinion. 

While you meet inside the 3D model based on your SketchUp design, you can ask them whether they like the open kitchen you’ve created for them. Or perhaps there is an interior wall that they would like to see go. All of that can be done just as easily. Just change the SketchUp file, create a new XUVER project and show them the altered model. Your clients will feel involved in the modeling process, while at the same time you shorten your approval times by giving clients a clear, easy to understand visualization of your design. 

Portfolio tool for SketchUp architects

Besides showing your SketchUp designs as an interactive web-based model to your clients, XUVER can also be used as a portfolio tool for SketchUp architects. Make your portfolio truly interactive by placing at as a public XUVER model on your architect portfolio website. New potential clients are able to literally step inside your portfolio designs and explore it on their own. Visitors to your website will be impressed by your designing skills and will be eager to hire you! 

This interactive, online way of visualization fits seamlessly with the vibrant SketchUp community that loves to share and explore new opportunities in 3D designing software. Xuver is available as a free trial, or feel free to contact us for a demo.