SketchUp Pro Extensions

There are a growing number of Architectural, Engineering and Construction organisations who are saying that they’re finding the cost of mainstream BIM tools has now escalated to such a point that the delta between these tools and SketchUp Pro is simply too big to ignore.

SketchUp Pro Extensions

It has also become clear to me, following many customer meetings, that there are lots of organisations out there who do not fully understand what SketchUp Pro can do for them and rarely use it to its full potential.

SketchUp Pro productivity extensions can help SketchUp Pro users to design more efficiently, more productively and more cost effectively in terms of early stage conceptual design modelling. SketchUp Pro productivity extensions are add-on tools that solve 3D modelling problems which might otherwise leave you scratching your head and there are hundreds of them to explore.

These extensions enable you to add special tools and features to SketchUp Pro and you can find extensions for a specific application (such as drawing or 3D printing) or industry-specific tools (such as extensions for architecture, interior design, construction, and more).

Here are just a few of the free extensions that I think could be the most useful to the largest demographic.

Weld

An incredibly useful extension – you won’t realise how much you need it until you start to actually use it. Weld allows you to select multiple connected edges, curves, and/or arcs (“connected” means having common endpoints), then use the Weld tool to join them into a single “polyline”.

JointPushPull

JointPushPull is a script dedicated to Face extrusion, with several Tools.

  • NORMAL – Similar to native Push Pull, but in multi-face. Faces generated are non-jointed.
  • VECTOR – Faces are offset along a custom direction picked graphically in the model (or along model axes). Faces generated are jointed.
  • JOINT – Faces are offset along their normal but are kept jointed. Useful for thickening shapes.
  • EXTRUDE – Faces are offset along an average direction, keeping faces jointed. Gives more consistent results than Joint tool.
  • ROUND – Combination of Normal and Joint mode depending on the angle between faces, with automatic rounding of gaps between faces.
  • FOLLOW – Faces are offset along the direction given by their adjacent edges. This concept was introduced by architect’s Smart Push Pull plugin.One solution would be to redraw everything from scratch in Autodesk Inventor, but this is time consuming and would be error prone.

CleanUp

Pretty simple really – cleans up and optimises your SketchUp Pro model. With this extension you can:

  • Fix duplicate component definition names (when in model scope)
  • Purge unused items
  • Erase hidden geometry
  • Erase duplicate faces
  • Erase lonely edges (except edges on cut plane)
  • Remove edge material
  • Repair split edges
  • Smooth & soft edges
  • Put edges and faces to Layer0
  • Merge identical materials

RoundCorner

RoundCorner performs the rounding of the edges and corners of 3D shapes along a 2D profile, in 3 modes: Round corners, Sharp corners and Bevel. RoundCorner also supports concave corners (always rendered as Round) and non-orthogonal edge faces. Corners can have 2, 3, or more edges.

Soap Skin & Bubble

This plugin allows you to apply a skin over edges to create complex curved surfaces.

Selection Toys

Provides a wide range of selection modifiers, filter out all edges, faces etc. Let’s you quickly select entities with similar properties such as material, layer orientation etc. Also lets you select similar instances of the same Dynamic Component.

Hopefully you’ve found our pick of the best free extensions in SketchUp Pro useful. If you would like to learn more about the SketchUp Pro Extensions in this blog, please contact us.

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Part 2 - The hybrid office: A longer term strategy

31 August 2021

In part 1 of our “Hybrid office: a longer term strategy” blog series, we discussed the technology routes your business can take if you are likely to keep an emphasis on home working. In this blog post, we discuss the options available if your business is more likely to take an office at core, home at edge approach.

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