Likelihood to Recommend
Real estate is not really the most likely use for Sketchup, since it has so many choices and possibilities. But, it is an innovative way to differentiate yourself from the competition. The program is very well-suited to the myopic seller or buyer who can't visualize future changes and their effect on value.
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For design automation for SOLIDWORKS, I feel Tacton Design Automation is the best solution out there. It's simple to develop and implement for the design/engineering department. But can be implemented within the sales team as well with Tacton CPQ. When a company has products that are modular and/or have many sizing updates, this is where Tacton excels. If you have products that are completely customized, then Tacton or even design automation isn't the best suited for that.
Read full review Pros Quickly exploring solutions in 3D: We get a lot of "what if" and "what would that look like" questions. While hand-sketching and hand-drafting can be fairly quick, SketchUp allows me to quickly create 3D and 2D views of a detail or solution, change dimensions and materials in a flash, and show a client or installer the plan in minutes. Creating professional design documents in LayOut: Projects of any scale need good documentation. Using a combination of SketchUp and LayOut, I can create a Design Intent Set, plans for permitting, a set for mechanical trades to mark-up, etc. Having clear, appropriately-scaled drawings with dimensions or notations is a must, and we don't always have the time or budget to get an architect involved! Using live files to guide discussions: Not all clients are "visual" people, so opening their model and orbiting around their space in real time has been extremely helpful. Clients and trades enjoy the perspective views so much that we often include them in the full-sized drawing sets to give a good "overall" view of the project intent. For complex or tight spaces, sometimes un-rendered plans and elevations just aren't enough! Read full review Tacton has a non-linear solver, meaning it can solve lots of equations without them being is a particular order. This enables the software to be incredibly flexible. Tacton has a great interface to set up configurators for people to use. No knowledge of programming languages is required. The configurator uses equations similar to Excel equations to control what the users options are. Tacton has the ability to easily add lists of data like product lists, beam or pipe sizes that because available for user selections or for calculations. The Tacton configurator also automatically builds the user interface as you set up user inputs making it much easier to set up then competitor software. Read full review Cons Ability to import Revit files and libraries. Ability to export true curved vector linework. There are some workarounds, needs to be refined. Create an OPEN MAPS connection. Since the split from Google, the source for high-quality aerials is limited. Ability to dock all menus to the master window on a Mac Ability to develop dockable menu trays on a Mac Read full review Layout mode is probably the most lacking aspect of the software (within Tacon Design Automation Engineer). Something so powerful as having modular parts should be more heavily supported. Although, I've heard Tacton is focusing on updating this with better functionality. The constraint editor does not display complex/lengthy constraints very well. I end up using Excel to visually break out in cells the different aspects of the constraint. Read full review Likelihood to Renew
We typically wait a few years in between renewing, as even older versions are powerful tools for modeling, and we make sure the amount of feature changes are worth the re-investment.
Read full review Support Rating
Sketchup is so intuitive; I can't recall ever looking for official support. However, there are many user forums online that can answer more questions. The usefulness of the online forums is, however, tempered by the fact that there have been many versions of the software under different ownership and support regimes, and thus finding the right information for the right version of the software can be a challenge.
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It's great to give the customer an overview of how a project will look, but it will never replace the information that a blueprint or engineering drawing can convey. SketchUp is great for the casual user or someone who is just getting started in design work. Other high powered software, such as Solidworks or Inventor is more suited for 3D modeling on a regular basis
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Drive Works is the main competitor for the TactonWorks module of Tacton. We actually discovered DriveWorks and purchased it before we discovered Tacton and started to use it. Once we discovered Tacton we liked it so much better we dropped using DriveWorks and switched to Tacton. I think you could accomplish what you need to in DriveWorks, but it is easier to setup in Tacton and Tacton has alot of features that really can make your product configurators nice
Read full review Return on Investment SketchUp has definitely had a positive impact on the customer experience with our company. The model can be generated to give the owner a good idea of the final product before actually committing the resources to complete the project. Having simple models created before the work gets started in the field means that issues with elevations or odd angles can be ironed out beforehand and solved with the design team. This has greatly reduced the rework on our more complex self-perform concrete structures! Read full review Time to produce submittals went from 1-2 weeks down to a couple of days. Then, once approved, normally to produce the fabrication drawings (70+ unique parts) it would take from 4-6 weeks. We can get it down to as little as a few days. Read full review ScreenShots