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Similar to SketchUp?

No, it's Autodesk FormIt 

Autodesk is showing its conceptual modeling tool, FormIt, at the annual gathering of architects held by AIA. It appears remarkably easy to use. 3D buildings are easily created and modified with a push or pull. It’s like I’ve seen this somewhere before… Oh, yeah. It was called SketchUp.

Autodesk’s FormIt may remind you of another architectural conceptual modeling program
Autodesk’s FormIt may remind you of another architectural conceptual modeling program
Architects have almost universally accepted SketchUp, which has been giving away its easy-to-use 3D modeler for years. This has no doubt been a vexation to Autodesk, whose Revit software, while close to a standard as a BIM design software, does not lend itself to the type of 3D “sketching” architects need to do at the conceptual stage of design.
Autodesk must have chafed at the use of SketchUp, which they had knocked for not being precise, not being a real solid modeler and not being able to merge efficiently into “serious” design tools. But nothing could pry SketchUp from architects’ hands.
So Autodesk creates FormIt
Of course, Autodesk would never copy SketchUp, right? It would be preposterous to think a software leader of high standing would stoop to anything so low. The giant that has never admitted to even having any competition. And how would that look, when the giant has actively and aggressively pursued others for copying their software.
I am not making any friends at the Autodesk booth with my unwelcome comparisons to a product it could never have copied. So I wander over to the SketchUp booth to get their take on FormIt, where I wonder out loud if SketchUp should be worried about the giant’s hot breath on their neck.
The SketchUp guys have quite another opinion on the similarity of FormIt. Their product manager bites his tongue when he sees I am taking notes. He answers instead with a barrage of numbers, most of them ending in “million” that signify the immense following and insurmountable lead SketchUp already enjoys.
But I can’t resist. I have to tell them FormIt is a real solid modeler. And it does tie directly into Revit.
SketchUp doesn’t deny it.
“But have you tried using it?” he asks rhetorically. He piques my interest, and I’m curious enough to see what real architects have to say. 

SU Podium v2.5 Plus for SketchUp by Cadalog

More geometry, more textures, more speed:

With significantly increased speed and an exciting new Panorama feature for presenting interactive, 360 degree VRs, Cadalog, Inc has released SU Podium v2.5 Plus for SketchUp.

After months of development, SU Podium v2.5 Plus implements a shift from Ruby to C++, meaning the plugin can now process SketchUp models and communicate with the photon mapping/ raytracing engine up to 20 times faster than in previous versions.
Models with significantly more geometry, textures, and materials, will produce far less impact on render-times. In tests, Podium v2.5 Plus was able to export a model to its rendering engine, with 760,000 faces and 145 materials in only 43 seconds. Older versions of SU Podium required over 12 minutes to complete the same task.
360 degree Podium Panoramas:
v2.5 Plus also has an eye toward client presentations with the introduction of Podium Panoramas. The new feature allows users to render a 360 degree panorama of any SketchUp scene, which can be converted to an interactive presentation from directly within SU Podium.
Panorama presentations can be sent directly to clients or embedded on a web page, and lets your client control a camera to “look around” the design as if they are standing in the space. Panoramas convey far more information in a single render than ever before, and retain the beautiful lighting and photo-realism you’ve come to expect from a Podium render.
This link shows an example of SU Podium’s Panoramas using Sphere Cast’s VR hosting site (in beta). You can also generate the Panorama directly from SU Podium’s image editor.
The SU Podium v2.5 Plus upgrade is available to existing Podium users for $29.95 in the Cadalog webstore, and $198 for new users.

SU Podium v2.5 has both 32 bit and 64 bit versions for Windows 7/ 8 and Mac OS-X. It requires SketchUp 2015 or 2014. Thirty day trial versions can be download from here.

Create instant photoreal snapshots with Visualizer

Simple, fast, fun: three adjectives we often use to describe SketchUp. They also fit pretty well for Visualizer, an extension that provides instant photographic previews of SketchUp models and exports fast, clean photoreal images. You know, delicious stuff like this:
3D Warehouse model of the Sydney Opera House, processed in about 60 seconds with Visualizer.

3D Scanning Extension for SketchUp

The Trimble Scan Explorer Extension
Trimble (NASDAQ:TRMB) announced today the release of Trimble® Scan Explorer Extension for SketchUp Pro; a powerful, easy-to-use tool enabling architects, engineers and geospatial professionals to create models from 3D scanning data. The new solution connects the high-resolution field data from Trimble scanners with intuitive and powerful professional modeling software; simplifying the process of creating, accessing and sharing precise 3D models of the real-world environment.  

The BIMobject® App released for SketchUp

BIMobject® announced today that the cloud integration App for Trimble SketchUp is now released. The App is completely free of charge for all SketchUp users worldwide.  The App contains features such as providing the user with a toolset to find, source, update and check BIM objects supplied through the BIMobject® cloud completely integrated in their software.

Modeling SketchUp roofs on a click with Build Edge PLAN

If you’ve ever taught someone to use SketchUp, you’ve probably drawn the basic SketchUp house and then breezed over the details when it comes to detailing the roof. The truth is that designing roofs is not always a straightforward task, even for experienced modelers.

Extension Warehouse: A smarter approach to SketchUp plugins

Over the years, our beloved plugin developers—the folks who use our Ruby scripting tools to build add-ons for SketchUp—have created some truly amazing features. Historically, these extensions have been crazy useful, laughably affordable, and (for the most part) incredibly difficult to find. No more.

Can SketchUp do X, Y, or Z? Extension Warehouse is the place to find out.

SketchUp at Trilogiq USA Expo Demonstrates Holistic Material Handling (VIDEO)

The Trilogiq USA Second Annual Material Handling Solution Expo is to be held on October 10th for manufacturing leaders. The focus will be how distribution centers can become more effective. The company, based in Livonia, Michigan, develops new methods and applications for manufacturing companies. Years of growth in capabilities, geographic reach, and comprehensive one-stop-shopping solutions have created a wide scope and value proposition for Trilogiq USA’s customers. 

ArtVPS launches new cloud-based platform for AEC professionals to share 3D projects

ArtVPS, the company behind Shaderlight - the leading interactive rendering plugin for Trimble SketchUp - is launching a secure, cloud-based collaboration platform that enables AEC professionals to share ideas and 3D data.