For now My.SketchUp is a small subset of the desktop product.
Trimble has just released an open beta of a new browser-based, cloud-hosted version of its popular 3D modeler SketchUp. For now, my.sketchup.com is a thin subset of the desktop version. The cloud-based version was introduced at an event for users earlier this year but was invite-only until yesterday.
The SketchUp team is recommending that users only work with MySketchUp.com on a desktop or laptop computer. According to the usage terms of agreement, MySketchUp beta is not for commercial work.
MySketchUp requires an active account with either Trimble Connect or the Google Drive system. Google was the previous owner of SketchUp, and continues to host 3D Warehouse, an open library of models created in SketchUp. Signing up for MySketchUp will create a 10GB storage space on Trimble Connect at no charge.
MySketchUp usage requirements:
- Internet connection
- Web browser that supports WebGL: Chrome 42+, Firefox 35+, and Safari 8+ are good environments. At this time Microsoft browsers are not recommended.
- A desktop/laptop computer. Touch gestures are not implemented at this time, so tablet and smartphone use will be problematic.
The SketchUp team says that because My.SketchUp.com is browser-based it should work as well on a Chromebook or a Linux PC as it will on Windows or Mac computers.
What do we think?
One of the clear advantages of cloud-based CAD is 24/7 ease of access to drawings and models. A large percentage of SketchUp users are in construction and really need access to their models and detail drawings in the field. Having a cloud-based version of SketchUp will be a productivity boon for these users.
I tested My.SketchUp.com briefly on a Chromebook in a hotel room in Europe with limited bandwidth. It took about a minute to find its way onto my screen, but performance was as good as could be expected once the program was ready.