Today, we are extremely pleased to introduce a new type of configurable object for SketchUp: Live Components. Live Components are built on Materia, a new modeling platform that aims to deliver smart 3D content to Trimble customers. Materia is the result of Trimble’s acquisition of MatterMachine, a New Zealand company specializing in Computational Design. We are ecstatic about the new ways of working that Live Components and Materia will unlock for the SketchUp Community over the next few years. You can start configuring Live Components now to see what we mean.
Before we get more into the what & why of Live Components, we also want to mention that Live Components is the first “feature” being released under a new program called “SketchUp Labs”. SketchUp Labs program represents a big shift in the way we develop and release features. Labs means that a feature is still under development but we feel that it would be valuable to our user community in its current state. The Labs program allows us to collect your feedback earlier so we can better prioritize development. Features that are part of Labs may be less polished, but we figure that’s well worth providing new features to you faster and being able to test them earlier in real workflows. Please join us in conversations in our forums that will help shape the direction of these features.
So, back to Live Components… As of today, you can configure and preview Live Components on 3D Warehouse. When we say configure, we mean that you can control a wide array of settings and options for each component. By preview, we mean that you can view the 3D object in real time as you configure it. Once you are done, you can download the v2020 skp file and insert into your models.
We invite you to explore configuring Live Components into highly customized objects that add a new dimension of richness to your models. Though we only have several dozen objects available now, they represent millions of permutations. Some of our Live Components can even be made into assemblies (check out the park bench or the stud wall!).
This is the first step towards having that same configuration capability directly in SketchUp.
And rest assured: we are working on a solution to allow customers to create their own Live Components. In the meantime, we are also developing more pre-built Live Components for you to use in your SketchUp models. We’ll announce here when new batches of Live Components are released.
How to find Live Components?
There are a few dozen Live Components on 3D Warehouse right now. There is also a Live Components filter in 3D Warehouse search that we are still working on improving. To use it:
- Go to the search results page by clicking the magnifying glass icon in the search field on 3D Warehouse.
- Turn on the Live Components filter under Advanced search properties (in the bottom left of your screen).
- Make sure you are viewing the Models tab and there you will find all the live components we have published. There are also a few Live Components on the products tab but most are under models.
- Look for the lighting bolt icon!
Have feedback or ideas you’d like to discuss?
For now, we’ll be handling all discussion around Live Components in our forum under a new main category: SketchUp Labs and a dedicated sub category: Live Components Discussion. Please post feedback questions, ideas, etc, in this forum under those categories. Again, we are very excited to bring a feature like this into the community where people can participate in the discussion and future direction. We’ve also set up another Labs subcategory called “Live Components Content”. Please use this for reporting content related issues or for posting requests for specific kinds of content.
Want to check out our Live Component documentation and frequently asked questions on Live Components? Visit our help center articles for all the details on working with live components. We’ll be updating these from time to time so they point to all the info we have on Live Components.
Thanks and we hope you enjoy Live Components!
Bryce and the entire Live Components Team