What would a CAD program look like when developed by a non-CAD company? This is the question that drifts through my mind as I read through the list of new features in SketchUp 7.1, released today by Google:
- Rendering engine works faster with big models; "orbiting, zooming and drawing are quicker and smoother."
- Import and export COLLADA and KMZ files.
- Get Photo Texture accesses Google Maps Street View images.
- Nearby Models uses a geo-location snapshot to search 3D Warehouse for nearby buildings.
- Upload Component directly uploads models to 3D Warehouse.
- Dimensioning and object snaps added to LayOut v2.1 (part of SketchUp Pro).
Recall the shot that Autodesk took at SketchUp (and Rhino) during last spring's launch of 3D mesh modeling in AutoCAD 2010? Google now fires back. In speaking of LayOut's new ability to dimension and snap to elements of SketchUp models, the anonymous Google voice says during a video:
You might even be able to stop using your old CAD system altogether.
Or, maybe not.
Comment #2 complains about the update: "Is there any way to downgrade back to the previous Collada exporter? ...the new exporter doesn't preserve group or component names. This is a deal-breaker for me." Ouch.
Oh, and welcome to the uber-precise world of CAD.