Skip to main content
Microsoft HoloLens
November 7, 2016

Trimble brings mixed reality to life for architecture and design

SketchUp Viewer now available for download in the Windows Store


Last month, we showcased our aspiration to empower a new wave of creativity, and our goal to enable that through 3D and mixed reality for everyone. Today, we are thrilled to announce another important milestone in the Microsoft HoloLens and mixed reality journey.

This morning at Trimble Dimensions in Las Vegas, alongside Trimble CEO Steve Berglund and prominent architect Greg Lynn, I helped to introduce Trimble’s SketchUp Viewer, which is now available for purchase in the Windows Store. This marks the first extensible commercial HoloLens solution available in the Windows Store that any company in the Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Operations (AECO) industries can buy and use right away.

Today, SketchUp is widely used for 3D modeling and design by tens of millions of AECO professionals. SketchUp Viewer on HoloLens adopts mixed reality and extends the value and investment already made in 3D modeling with SketchUp. With this new solution, Trimble is taking 3D modeling as part of the design and construction process further and into what they call experiential review. SketchUp Viewer on HoloLens allows people to inhabit their designs in the most natural way possible – either as a holographic scale model on a tabletop, or through an immersive experience from within a digital building model. Viewing models in this way will enable designers to better understand the choices and tradeoffs in their projects, which can help shorten the cycle between design iterations. Perhaps most important, we believe experiential review will improve communication and collaboration across project stakeholders who participate in mixed reality experiences.

Earlier this year, as part of the 2016 Venice Biennale architecture exhibition, Trimble and HoloLens partnered to enable architect Greg Lynn to use SketchUp Viewer to envision a drastic re-design of the Packard plant in Detroit that has been abandoned for half a century. SketchUp Viewer allowed Greg to cost-effectively visualize and navigate a holographic representation of the Packard Plant from the convenience of his work space in Venice Beach, California.

“Microsoft HoloLens and Trimble’s SketchUp Viewer have completely revolutionized the way I work,” says Lynn. “It actually changes the way you think about design and is an absolutely new way to experience architecture in a mode not previously possible.”

This is just one example of the truly innovative work we and Trimble have already seen using SketchUp Viewer on HoloLens, including from some of the world’s largest commercial AEC companies like, AECOM, CallisonRTKL, Gensler and Hensel Phelps as well as other pioneering design and construction firms. Through mixed reality on HoloLens, SketchUp Viewer brings complex architectural designs to life, providing an unmatched level of real-world scale, proportion and perspective. This technology enables higher quality decision making, collaboration, rapid iteration, incredible cost savings, and improved safety in just about every segment of architecture, engineering, construction and operations industries.

Architects, builders, designers, engineers and makers using SketchUp Viewer are the people who shape our world. We can’t wait to see how using SketchUp Viewer on HoloLens improves your design process.