Scan to Design for iPhone

I’d like to see the new Scan to Design feature on the iPhone. I believe many more Sketchup subscribers use a LIDAR-equipped iPhone than an iPad Pro, and they would benefit from importing interior spaces using their phones.

Uploading to Trimble Connect for Sketchup on Desktop, iPad, and web would be a great workflow.


My memory could be a little faulty, but I thought Christopher Richter was showing how he used an iPhone with Lidar to scan the trees for his treehouse projects in his 3D Basecamp 2022 presentation. I don’t remember the workflow, and the presentations weren’t recorded.

His website:

OK, so is this another instance of me opening my mouth & letting my belly rumble.
If so please ignore, my manic ramblings. Thanks.

As I remember it he was using the polycam app and exporting into SketchUp via .dae.


Specifically the new Scan to Design feature that was rolled out in the latest iPad version of Sketchup. You can watch a preview of it here:

Yes, I understand that capability was just released, I’m interested to experiment with it too. I was answering the previous post about the workflow presented at last Basecamp.

I ran a few scans this morning to play with it. Feels very similar to the Canvas app it is apparently based on, results were similar to polycam too. :+1: I have yet to adjust the settings to optimize, but it looks very promising as a method to capture the basic layout of larger spaces. The details level is not sufficient to generate as built models, or to capture objects with fidelity, but its getting there and still very useful for getting the real world into digital very quickly.


I had the old occipital scanning device with an iPad a while back. I didn’t like the Canvas pricing model to render out .SKP files at a per square-footage pricing. This was before the iPad Pros had LIDAR.

Now, with the newer phones having LIDAR, it makes for a much more convenient scanning device. Would like to see it on iPhone.

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Thanks, all for the great discussion here about your interest in seeing the Scan feature become available in the Phone-based version of our iOS app.

Given that the Scan capability would require an active subscription – I’m curious to learn more about the extent to which we would need to push into model creation/editing for the overall experience to be valuable/delightful for you.

For example, in order to bring Scan to iPhone, we would need to at least allow you to create and save new files and publish those files to Connect. At that point, you’d also be able to open/edit/save existing files. Given the panels currently available in the phone app, you’d be able to edit/save all sorts of things, but the toolbar is pretty limited…

Where to draw the line (so to speak…)?


I could imagine situations where I would be out and about and I would have my iPhone , but not my i.Pad Pro.
Knowing that I can grab a scan and deal with it back at home base - or even open it in SketchUp for Web on someone else’s machine (in a pinch) would be great.
I personally wouldn’t want to be doing any editing on my phone, I don’t think that’s a good fit for how SketchUp works.


Simply scanning a room into a published .SKP file on Trimble Connect would suffice in most of my cases of capturing interiors and floorplans. And yes, this should be a Pro tier subscription feature.

If you had the added ability to correct a few dimensions before publishing the model, that would be great. Allow the app to connect to a Bosch Bluetooth laser measuring device to verify a few key measurements for added accuracy, and that would be awesome. Keep the functionality limited and focused on capturing room interiors for 100 sq/ft to 2200 sq/ft.

I don’t see the need or practicality to edit or create models in Sketchup on an iPhone. It’s not the right place to do this kind of work. An iPhone, however, makes a great measuring device. Too many features can make it cumbersome and useless. Take Bosch’s MeasureON, for instance.

I’ve tried several room scanning apps, from MagicPlan to Canvas, but I always create an.SKP from my own thumbnail drawings and laser measurements.

The combination of Occipital’s mesh and Apple’s RoomPlan is very promising.
Happy to speak to your team if you’re seeking research from the interior/build community.


I agree with the others, just being able to scan with a iphone would be useful as it would allow those of us with Non Lidar ipads to access this tool.


I agree with the others too. I usually always carry my iPhone and you can scan an enclosure at any time. Only the option to scan and save is necessary for later editing on an iPad or a computer

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100% agreed with fbonomo.

This is exactly how I would use it, and would happily pay for it if the accuracy of the model created is good enough.

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Count my vote as well. The iPhone is always with me, not the iPad. The iPhone would map the object, save it as a file, and allow detailed work back on the desktop or iPad. Scan to Design is a tool only, one that every modern iPhone can deploy for, well, scanning to a design!

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Me too. I can’t imagine trying to do SU work on an iPhone instead of an iPad, but I could see using the phone just to do the capture for use on desktop or iPad. My current iPhone won’t even do that (iPhone 13 Mini), but that’s because I chose a minimal phone and spend more iOS time on the iPad rather than the phone. Many other people have that capability on their phones.

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Chiming in here as well. Many of my new experiences with early client interactions is to have a quick way of capturing existing space and conditions prior to a full release of contract. “Getting the job is part of the job” so to speak and verifying more exact field measurements lends itself to a more standard design process in future phases after a signed and executed proposal.

Capturing with Lidar has been a great benefit, and I have used my iPad Pro with Canvas on a few projects, but would love to have a Scan to Design option in my Lidar-capable iPhone. Just like others have mentioned, I don’t see it being robust or overstructured app - possibly just a SketchUp Viewer and Scan to Design. All of my real “work” gets uploaded to the cloud for perusal and processing on my laptop or desktop. Having a quick scan of space directly into SketchUp from my iPhone would be fantastic to secure a good amount of information to make sure the job can advance.

Hope to see this rolled out someday soon!

OK, so can we all agree, that Trimble Sketch Up should possibly take note. In that the operators love the idea of using their iPad Pro, to draw out ideas in 3D at an early point in Design Proposals
& that having the ability to create, edit & scan in that program, that would also be great.
Yes, No, don’t know. ? Thanks. Angus Fordyce.

It’s already possible on an ipad pro, we’re discussing scan on an iphone pro here Angus :slight_smile:

I fully follow the logic of having the iphone being only for presentation/demo but it simply makes sense to open it to scanning for all the reasons already mentioned.

In my view the phone should be allowed to be used for:

-opening and viewing/navigating pre-existing models
-airplay to alternate screen (again for demo purposes)
-going though scenes while looking at models
-presentation mode
-markup mode / saving markups
(I also think markups should be saved back as a different name to not damage the original source model. The use case would be me creating model and sending model to a designer who would demo the model to the customer. I don’t want the client to delete something by accident and save the now broken model.)
-Tags on/off selection

-Lidar Scanning and saving models (and whatever would be needed to confirm a successful scan)

None of that is about editing or creating a model (with exception of lidar) and it’s all relative to demo/presentation ability.


Yes, I’m well aware of what is being discussed on this thread. My concern is that Trimble Sketch Up don’t notice what our list of wants are, going forwards. & also yes I’m aware that the dimension of an iPhone mean it won’t be a candidate for ever creating, or editing drawings, on the iPhone. My question really, was to do with, are the “for Mobile” & “for web,” versions essentially, the same & should I go ahead to Download the “on web” version” in light of the fact that, I’m not seeing the “ for mobile” version offered to me, in the My Products section. I am a full-time student using an educational license. Dunno, if that makes any difference, in all this. Hopefully, now somebody, will be able to answer, these questions.