CoolTechStuff: SketchUp Mobile Viewer

Larry Mortimer, AIA

Larry Mortimer, AIA

What It Does: This app allows you to view a 3D SketchUp model on a tablet, anywhere.

System Requirements: It works with Android tablets running Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0 or higher with a minimum of 1024Mb of RAM, and iOS tablets with a minimum of 1024Mb of RAM (iPad 3rd Gen. or newer, iPad Mini 2nd Gen. or newer) running iOS 7.0 or later.



What it costs: $9.99

How it Works: A SketchUp model is first uploaded to the 3D Warehouse (a cloud based storage facility), and then it can be viewed online, or downloaded to your tablet for viewing offline later when you don’t have internet access. With multi-touch and pinch-zoom gestures, you can orbit, pan, and zoom views of the model. You can also use preset views to quickly move around the model.

sketchup2Key Features:

■ Intuitive multi-touch gestures for orbit, pan, zoom

■ Standard camera views (top, side, bottom, etc.) or choose from list of presaved views

■ Zoom out to the extents of a model instantly to easily reorient your view

■ Search and browse through publicly available 3D models in the 3D Warehouse

Pros: Inexpensive and easy to use. Models uploaded to the 3D Warehouse can be open to public access or privately restricted to only those who have access to your account.

Cons: SketchUp Mobile Viewer can only access models that have been uploaded to the 3D Warehouse. Use with other cloud services or transferring files locally on your device isn’t available at this time. With the viewer you have no control over styles, scenes, layers, shadows, solar orientation, animation, etc.

sketchup3Conclusion: I love the multi-touch gestures, but would probably prefer to use a full version of SketchUp on a laptop retaining control of the model and avoiding the hassle of the 3D Warehouse upload & download. SketchUp Mobile Viewer might be useful, but it could be much better. Consider it if you have a tablet and not a laptop.

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