Skip to content or navigation

Trimble’s new Scan-to-Design technology in SketchUp for iPad

SketchUp Scan-to-Design for SketchUp for iPad leverages Lidar, Apple RoomPlan, Canvas and Trimble technologies to streamline model creation


From Labs, Trimble recently announced a new SketchUp for iPad feature that captures and interprets scans of interior spaces or exterior building data and transforms it into pristine, well-organized 3D geometry. From there, a user can begin conceptual design.


Scan-to-Design features in SketchUp for iPad leverages lidar technology built into a modern Apple iPad. They also utilize Apple’s RoomPlan technology in addition to Canvas’ scan technology and other Trimble technology, providing a robust, proven solution.

Sketchup -- Scan-to-Design for SketchUp for iPad.

Scan-to-Design is a Labs feature for SketchUp for iPad.

“Designers want to capture complete as-built conditions quickly and easily without having to switch between multiple tools, and they need to share their conceptual designs with clients in a way that builds both excitement and trust,” said Mike Tadros, director of product management at Trimble. “Scan-to-Design solves those needs by empowering designers to quickly capture a holistic view of a job site and provides a starting point for creating beautiful conceptual designs that can easily be shared with a client for immediate feedback.”

Core features of Scan-to-Design include:

  • Streamlined scanning workflow. Instead of switching between apps to scan and then design, users can quickly create textured 3D models of existing indoor and outdoor spaces without ever leaving the SketchUp for iPad app, giving them an easy starting point for design ideation and client collaboration. 
  • Customized 3D outcomes. Scan-to-Design offers a multitude of preferences, allowing designers to tailor the capability to best suit their needs. For example, users can decide whether to output textured 3D meshes that are created leveraging Canvas’ scanning technology or create simplified, untextured planes using Apple’s RoomPlan technology – or both. 
  • Intelligently organized models. SketchUp for iPad leverages Apple’s on-device RoomPlan APIs to interpret spatial data and transform it into clean, organized geometry that designers can work with immediately.
  • Superior client experiences. After scanning a room, designers can immediately explore ideas in 3D with clients, helping them rapidly visualize and iterate design options. Real-time feedback can be captured using Apple Pencil to mark up the model, and designers and clients alike can immerse themselves in the design using augmented reality (AR).
  • Backed by the cloud. Using Trimble Connect, designers can share, store, and collaborate in the cloud, allowing them to manage projects and teams and invite new collaborators to view 3D models using easy-to-share links. 
  • Design across devices. After starting a project in SketchUp for iPad, designers can publish it to Trimble Connect and continue to develop the model using SketchUp’s desktop and web apps. 

Today’s designers are increasingly taxed with having to capture an enormous amount of detail, come up with beautiful designs that will ‘wow’ their clients, and communicate that in a way that easily facilitates feedback,” said Sumele Adelana, senior product marketing manager for Trimble SketchUp. “Scan-to-Design drastically streamlines that workflow while also making it more visually appealing by enabling designers to easily capture, design, and collaborate – all in one app.”

A SketchUp Labs Offering

Scan-to-Design came out of the SketchUp Labs Program, which is a public beta program that allows SketchUp users (subscription-based) to try new innovative features and provide feedback.

SketchUp users with older perpetual licenses will need to become up-to-date subscription-based users in order to access the SketchUp Labs Program and, thus, the new Scan-to-Design features for SketchUp for iPad. To learn more, visit here.


INSIDER Xpresso 
Monthly newsletter with a focus on emTech (AI, machine learning, AAD, AR, robotics, 3d printing, and smart cities) its impact on CAD professionals.)

Subscribe now — it’s free!.

INSIDER Xpresso keeps CAD industry professionals up-to-date on next-gen emerging technologies (emTech) that will revolutionize the worlds of AEC and manufacturing and design. As an Xpresso reader, you will hear from some of the most important voices inventing and using the very latest tech in areas such as AI, machine learning, algorithm-aided design (AAD), AR, VR, MR, 3D printing, 3D computer vision, robotics, and SmartCities technologies.

Each issue arrives in your inbox on the first Sunday of the month. Issue #1 arrived on March 3, 2019. Full archives and easy navigation for your pleasure. Enjoy! 

Sign-up for our monthly newsletter
architosh INSIDER Xpresso.

  • Architosh will never pass any of your information onto third parties.
  • For more information read our privacy policy.
  • It is easy to unsubscribe at any time. Follow the links in the newletter footer.

(Recommended. These infrequent sponsored emails help us to provide our Xpresso newsletter for free.)

INSIDER Membership

Read 3 free Feature or Analysis articles per month.

Or, subscribe now for unlimited full access to Architosh.