Trimble to Acquire SketchUp — Google 3D Modeling Tool

Example of site logistic design by M.A. Mortenson Company using Google’s SketchUp 3D modeling tool

Trimble announced plans today (April 26, 2012) to acquire SketchUp, a popular 3D modeling tools, from its Silicon Valley neighbor, Google, Inc.

Sunnyvale, California–based Trimble signed a definitive agreement with Google, headquartered in Mountain View, with the transaction expected to close in the second quarter of 2012. Although the companies did not disclose financial terms of the deal, a Trimble news release said the transaction “is not expected to be material to 2012 earnings per share.”

Trimble announced plans today (April 26, 2012) to acquire SketchUp, a popular 3D modeling tools, from its Silicon Valley neighbor, Google, Inc.

Sunnyvale, California–based Trimble signed a definitive agreement with Google, headquartered in Mountain View, with the transaction expected to close in the second quarter of 2012. Although the companies did not disclose financial terms of the deal, a Trimble news release said the transaction “is not expected to be material to 2012 earnings per share.”

SketchUp is currently used by millions of users annually — ranging from architects to engineering and construction firms to building and design professionals — for designing, modeling, and visualizing projects. An extensive third-party developer community provides industry-specific solutions for a variety of customers.

As part of the SketchUp platform, Trimble will also partner with Google on running and further developing SketchUp’s 3D Warehouse, an online repository where users can find, share, store, and collaborate on 3D models. The site enables users to create collections of models, including 3D buildings, and share them with fellow modelers around the world. Individual models can be loaded, saved and viewed in 3D from within SketchUp or a web browser.

For the foreseeable future, Google will host and operate the 3D Warehouse for Trimble, and together the companies will continue to offer the same capabilities, functions, and services available today. The ability for users to submit 3D Buildings for potential acceptance and viewing in Google Earth will be maintained. Currently the 3D Warehouse has almost two million user-generated models.

“SketchUp and the corresponding 3D Warehouse provide an important element of our long term strategy by enhancing the integration of our field presence with the wider enterprise,” said Bryn Fosburgh, Trimble vice-president. "SketchUp, together with [Trimble’s existing field data models and project management tools], will provide a stand-alone and enterprise solution that will enable an integrated and seamless workflow to reduce rework and improve productivity for the customer. Users will be able to collect data, design, model, and collaborate on one platform.”

Fosburgh said that the combined capability will enhance Trimble’s ability to extend existing market applications including the cadastral, heavy civil, and building and construction industries. The SketchUp platform will enable Trimble, third-party developers, and distribution partners to develop new office-to-field-to-office applications.

As a part of Trimble, SketchUp will continue to support all of its current users through its website. Concurrently, the SketchUp engine will be integrated into Trimble’s current solutions in its engineering and construction, field solutions, and mobile solutions segments.

Beyond extending the reach of the product into Trimble’s commercial markets, the company was “committed to continuing to provide SketchUp as a free version to millions of users,” Fosburgh said. Trimble and Google will also continue to collaborate on utilizing other Google tools for Trimble’s markets.

"In Trimble, we found a partner that will grow SketchUp in a way that best supports the SketchUp team and our users," said Brian McClendon, Google’s vice-president of engineering. “We at Google look forward to a continued partnership with Trimble and the SketchUp team.”

For more information, visit the Trimble website.