New product connect links virtual 3-D product catalogs to SketchUp-based reporting plugin for interior and kitchen & bath industry
LAS VEGAS— Igloo Studios, a leading developer of 3-D content and applications and official Google SketchUp partner, recently unveiled Product Connect for Google SketchUp at the 2011 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) in Las Vegas. Supporting both parties’ drive to make it easier for manufacturers and designers to work together to sell products, the launch of the Product Connect for Google SketchUp plugin provides the design industry with a new, efficient way to specify products.
“Product Connect gives manufacturers and designers an opportunity to collaborate in the design specification process,” says Alex Oliver, CEO of Igloo Studios. “We anticipate adding more product catalogs to the 3-D Warehouse, while also developing additional Product Connect features inside of Google SketchUp that will serve to strengthen the designer/manufacturer collaboration over time.”
For manufacturers, Igloo Studios semi-automatically converts product catalogs into Dynamic Component SketchUp models, or “smart” 3-D models. These virtual products can be found via a traditional Google search, previewed in the Google 3-D Warehouse as well as downloaded by designers and visualized in the context of a design project in Google SketchUp. In addition, designers can use Product Connect to export product data out of SketchUp and into the next step of the design specification process.
“With Product Connect, design professionals can now use Google SketchUp for product visualization and specification,” says Steve Dapkus of business development, new markets at Google. "We believe Product Connect makes it easier for users to preview a variety of products in their SketchUp models and helps manufacturers reach new customers.”
Product Connect launches with a selection of compatible Kitchen & Bath product catalogs by leading building product manufacturers, including the following categories and brand names:
- Cabinetry: KraftMaid Cabinetry, Merillat Cabinetry, QualityCabinets
- Countertops: DeNova Countertops
- Faucets: Brizo, Delta Faucets
- Appliances: Dacor
- Tile: Oceanside Glasstile, Mandala
- Surfacing Materials: Formica Corporation
“With only a portion of our product catalog converted for use in SketchUp, we’ve already achieved well over 200,000 product downloads to date, and have successfully reached a wider audience and potential customer base,” says Mark Johnson FAIA, director of architect relations & education for KraftMaid. “Igloo Studios’ Product Connect will allow us to deepen our relationship with this audience and drive even more product specifications.”
The reporting capabilities of Product Connect will save designers time by generating organized product schedules, freeing designers to focus on the creative process. Product Connect is available for free download at www.igloostudios.com/productconnect/app.