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Trimble SketchUp Brings Projects to Life

by Tom Mortensen 3. July 2012 05:19

More and more, we’re seeing projects come to life using Trimble SketchUp as a 3D modeling design tool. As a landscape architect, I don’t necessarily use it as a final rendering tool for presentation graphics as the color rendering capability is not that sophisticated, but where it has been very helpful is in the design development and decision-making process on complex projects.

As an example, SketchUp became an invaluable design tool when our team was exploring some of the spatial relationships on the recently completed Summerfest project. This tool allowed the design team to relate to each other’s respected disciplines in 3D, making the meetings very productive. We also used SketchUp recently for a series of design charrettes for a large, regional park planning project in the village of Sussex, Wisconsin as a “live” design and visualization tool at public meetings. Participants were able to make decisions and draw consensus through the use of 3D imagery, while the park design was being developed in real time.

We also used 3D laser scanning technology along with SketchUp to build a series of renderings for a large courtyard plan for the Veteran’s Administration in Tomah, Wisconsin. For video tutorials on how SketchUp works, visit

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