TRUCKEE, Calif. - With more than 30 million new users in just the past year, SketchUp continues to call on the expertise of longtime Truckee architect Nick Sonder. Google featured Sonder's work using SketchUp at the American Institute of Architect's annual convention last May, and he was one of two power users invited to present at the SketchUp 3D Basecamp "Unconference" in Boulder, Colo. Sonder demonstrated his process of utilizing SketchUp to produce complete design and construction documents without any use of AutoCAD to Basecamp attendees from around the world. SketchUp is one of the most popular 3D modeling tools in the world, with users ranging from architects to engineering and construction firms to building and design professionals. Trimble acquired SketchUp from Google in June of this year. Trimble, best known for GPS technology, plans to continue to offer SketchUp as a free version and to develop more applications and plug-ins for use with the software. Trimble's video recording of Sonder's presentation at the SketchUp Basecamp will be available for viewing soon on YouTube along with a multi-part tutorial SketchUp filmed with Sonder on Nov. 14.Trimble's Tyson Karchner, who is responsible for all of the SketchUp videos that Trimble hosts on YouTube, came to Truckee to interview Sonder.Sonder's first interview, which includes footage of Truckee contractors and designers, features Sonder discussing the usability and advantages of SketchUp. The video received more than 158,000 views since it was posted by SketchUp four months ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnHrdUCenzs&feature=youtube.Sonder has continued to monitor comments and questions from viewers, offering advice and even SketchUp support contact information.The second interview filmed in Truckee focused on going through Sonder's unique workflow and responding to the numerous questions and comments that came up in response to Sonder's first SketchUp video.Sonder's approach is unique because he uses SketchUp for the full production of design and construction documents. Because the three-dimensional views show more details than traditional plans, Sonder is able to save clients time and money because contractors and clients have more information to finalize decisions before starting construction. Said Sonder, "With Sketchup, you can actually see and walk through the home you're designing." Sonder has been designing homes and buildings in the Truckee-Tahoe area since 1995, including LEED-certified homes. His portfolio mainly consists of custom homes in the Martis Camp, Northstar, Lake Tahoe, Lahontan, and Gray's Crossing areas. Publicly funded projects include the Glenshire fire station. For more information, go to www.NickSonder.com.
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