Best Way To Collaborate (Between Clients/Other Companies)

I’m an avid Sketchup user (2015 - Pro) I work in kitchen/bath/bar/builtin design, and its paramount for me to be able to effectively and precisely present and discuss finishes, as well as take precise measurements.

(Collaborating within my company:)As far as Trimble Connect is concerned, I didn’t find the presentation of it to be very precise regarding textures/styles in. The freedom of Sketchup is great, but if Trimble Connect doesn’t show exactly what your Sketchup Model shows (transparencies, textures, and styles) then it doesn’t prove to be helpful to me. The time to upload and use the model in Trimble Connection is slow, as well. I’m actually very interested in an ‘intelligent’ SketchUp project management collaborative tool, but right now this feels sluggish and heavy! Instead I share the model on Google Drive, which can has syncing issues, so you have to be careful.

(Collaborating with the client/other companies:) Right now, I’ve been having clients download the SketchUp Viewer and I’ve been sharing my Google Drive private folder that is specific to the client that includes the model and a set of plans in PDF form (this is all included in an email with a set of instructions). I set the permission so they may view, not edit. This gives them the freedom to the client/other company to use Sketchup Model as we, the designer, see it. But the problem with sharing a model and forcing a SketchUp Viewer download, is that some clients aren’t very ‘computer literate’ and have a difficult time. I end up thinking, “There must be an easier way!”

I see some people export images to a video, but that limits the viewer and tends to reduce the visual quality of the model.

I see some people using WebGL (i.e. three.js), which I would be really curious about. Since it still gives you similar 3D paning and zooming capabilities, just not orbiting.

What do you suggest I use as a workflow?

Thanks for your help,

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Hi Mike -

Thanks for your feedback on Trimble Connect. We’re still in the early days of this tool, and there are many improvements to come. As you state, the Viewer for Connect lacks texture and edge rendering support at the moment. This is a WebGL viewer though, and carries with it the simplicity of your clients not having to download and install a viewer application. Expect there to be improvements to the rendering quality in the future. One of the big advantages of Connect is the fine-grained permissions model, so you can keep things very much between you and your clients.

If you don’t mind your models being public, you can upload them to the 3D Warehouse which itself has a WebGL viewer for the models (see the example embedded in our home page) . Again, you pick up the advantage of your clients being able to zoom, pan and orbit the models without having to install a client application. You can even embed these model views into your own site if that is of interest. The 3D Warehouse WebGL viewer looks more like the native SketchUp renderings and has full texture support.

We’re dedicated to providing solutions to collaborative, multi-user workflows so hang tight and I think you’ll see many improvements as time goes on.



Hi Tyler,

That’s very reassuring to hear it is going in that direction! I was really excited to try the Trimble Connect (TC). And now that I know you’ll be making improvements from TC’s infancy, I’ll definitely be awaiting it’s adulthood.

The 3D Warehouse is something that I have tried but neglected to list in my OP. The one and large shortfall is what you have already stated: in order to share it, it has to be labled as ‘public’. When you’re sharing large designs that cost the customers money, I don’t think they would like it. Sometimes the 3D Warehouse can be “Down For Maintenance” for a lot of the day, as well. Doesn’t feel like a professional option for our company.

However, I do really like the WebGL the 3D Warehouse is built on, when it does work properly. It feels like, in one way or another, the way our company will ultimately be presenting our 3D models.

Thanks again,

Hi Mike,l

Your concern regarding sharing models with clients and colleagues is well founded. My firm also had some trepidation about using Trimble Connect for that purpose and favors using cloud storage options such as Google Drive, box, iDrive, and Dropbox. Of these options my preference is Dropbox based on the reasonable price and reliability (IMO). I typically will send the requisite skp file(s) along with a link to the SketchUp Viewer (for those clients and/or engineers who may not yet exist in the 21st century); for communicating with consultants this process is simple, effective and credibly supports quality control collaborations. It would be nice, however, if the models being sent this way could be locked to prevent modification in some cases.

Yes it seems many of us share this same conflict. There are solutions to collaboration, but nothing that fullfills all the needs of the professionals who intend to use SketchUp as a platform for a business. It’s doable, just not pretty. :laughing: I absolutely love sketchup and the route it continues to grow towards. I’ve tried a lot of different programs.

I do feel that with the work Tyler_Miller was talking about happening with Trimble Connect in the previous post listed above, I can see me coming back to Trimble Connect once more to try my luck.

hi tyler

my name is Richard Makgoga , i’m 25 years in age ,i’m from South Africa.I need much help from you, i’m not a professional user , but good in in designing and drawing using this model for : bridges, roads, railway lines and trains, stadiums, statues, towers, dams, buildings: malls, houses, and even can plan a city . i do have many images for what i design and draw using this software ,so but dint how to upload to you

so please if anything to help with will be more than welcome. or even challenges.

thanks find me on 0722665061 or email me on