Anticipated by many and announced last year at 3D Basecamp, SketchUp 2013 is now out and available for download. If you are still using SU 8 (or dare I say even 7 or 6), swing over to their website and download the latest version. The free version is still free and there are upgrade options for the Pro version.
So what’s new? Quite a few things. Here’s the run-down:
- Extension Warehouse
There is finally an official place where you can find the many plugins and extensions that are available for SketchUp (including mine). While all the other sites out there (Ruby Library Depot, SketchUcation, Smustard and even my sketchupplugins.com) did a great job accumulating these, the new warehouse is integrated right into SketchUp (just look for the toolbar button) and it features one-click installation and plugin updating as well as the usual app-store stuff of reviews, popularity stats and hopefully later: ratings.
This might have turned SketchUp into the first CAD application with an App Store!
- Toolbar problems are now finally fixed!
SketchUp now uses a better toolbar system that leaves toolbars (even those created by plugins) in their place. You can also create custom toolbars and re-arrange buttons to your liking. Nifty!
- New icons
Along with the new toolbars come new icons. Many of these make it clearer what the underlying tool does while others unify tool icons across SketchUp and LayOut (take the rectangle tool as an example).
- Free is now SketchUp Make
The free version of SketchUp has been renamed to SketchUp Make. This just makes sense since so many people use it to “make” things (think of what you can do when you combine it with the MakerBot, for example). Along with this change comes a significant change in licensing, though. While it was possible to use the free version for commercial work before, this is no longer the case. From now on it can only be used for personal or education projects. Read more…