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SketchUp 2020.2 - Massive Update for SketchUp

After going subscription-only, Trimble is delivering well on its promise on regular updates. Before, they used to deliver one or two small changes every year and roll out major changes in the next version only. But after going the subscription way, Trimble has first released SketchUp 2020 in January this year, and then hit us with the extremely useful 2020.1 update in April. And now, Trimble has delivered this massive SketchUp 2020.2 update. Let?s go and see what?s new in SketchUp and LayOut!

Oh and by the way, if you have a Sketchup classic license or an active subscription, you can get SketchUp here.

The new enhancements in SketchUp are mostly centered around LayOut 2D drawings, but there are some nice changes and upgrades in SketchUp main as well. All of these rose out of requests the users have been making for a long time now. We will discuss the new features in SketchUp 2020.2 first, then we will take on bigger LayOut 2020.2 updates.

New features in SketchUp 2020.2: In this update, SketchUp has gotten quite a few bug fixes and minor improvements ? but the two most important updates are focused on drawing tools. Let?s see which they are.

Line tool ? linear inference toggles: Inferencing in SketchUp ? the way how your cursor snaps to something when you draw ? is an extremely useful tool. Indeed, it is present in many modern CAD software, it?s so handy. In SketchUp, there?s a lot of inferencing options ? you could choose which axis to snap to using the arrow keys.

However, sometimes it can and does prove to be rather a problem than an assistance. For example, when you are tracing an image, or making small contour changes in an organic model, you would rather not take help about where your cursor should be. So far, SketchUp had no option to turn inferencing off.

Well, now it does! This much-needed feature, called linear inferencing toggle, has been requested for too long and is now available just at one keystroke. Now you can just press ALT (CMD in mac systems) and that will cycle between inferencing options. You can let the cursor lock to the parallel, or just to the perpendicular inference (available since SketchUp 2017), or turn it off altogether.

New tool ? Weld Edges: There?s a new tool in SketchUp?s native tool palette (which doesn?t happen often!) - the Weld tool.

This is basically the thing to join arcs and edges into a single polyline directly from within SketchUp. It was possible before, but only with installing extensions.

Why would you want to do this? Well, do you need to push/pull faces which have a rounded side starting from a straight side? Then you?d see a line appearing on the solid at the point where the straight and the rounded side joined when you perform the push/pull. It?s because they weren?t really joined together, they were considered two separate line/polyline and so when making 3D of them, two distinct surfaces appeared. Well, now that won?t be the case. You can weld those lines together to have one smooth pushed/pulled surface.

LayOut 2020.2 Update

This is the larger part of the SketchUp 2020.2 update and arguably the greatest update to LayOut so far! Before, LayOut was good enough for getting the 2D out of your 3D ? but it wasn?t a serious 2D drawing app. That changes now, you can throw your 2D CAD app out the window! Let?s look into the matter.

Line controls: You can now control the line style in LayOut. The width, color and pattern of SketchUp tags are all adjustable now, freeing you from stacking performance-heavy multiple viewports. Before, to achieve this you had to hide a bunch of geometry, create different scenes, link them to multiple viewports, and stack them. Not anymore! You can adjust line width, color, dash pattern/scale in a single viewport. This will revolutionize how you use LayOut altogether.

Performance upgrade: As you may know, unless you got a beast of a system, working with LayOut could be sluggish. All those viewports, vector graphics, labels and images do put a heavy load on the system. Below 8GB of dedicated VRAM, it was not a good idea to do many drawing operations in LayOut, especially with a large project. But that changes now.

Now, the move/copy/scale operations in LayOut are substantially faster! This was achieved by means of previewing the operations instead of actually drawing them all-out in real-time. When you are still moving your mouse around while in the tool, LayOut won?t finalize the drawing, it will just show it that way.

It will only actually draw the new lines when you complete the operation. And then it?s a background task, you won?t even notice since we all pause a bit anyway to see what we did after every operation.

This change is more subtle than the other updates in SketchUp and LayOut 2020.2, but this will definitely boost up your productivity and confidence in LayOut, attracting you to dive in it more and more.

SketchUp 2020.2 - Massive Update for SketchUp