AEC CAD/BIM – [as] https://alexschreyer.net AEC CAD/BIM, SketchUp, Timber Engineering, Web Design and more... Tue, 15 Jan 2019 13:12:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0.3 https://i2.wp.com/alexschreyer.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/cropped-as-square.jpg?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 AEC CAD/BIM – [as] https://alexschreyer.net 32 32 6702894 Sketchfab Uploader now allows for re-uploading https://alexschreyer.net/sketchup/sketchfab-uploader-now-allows-for-re-uploading/ https://alexschreyer.net/sketchup/sketchfab-uploader-now-allows-for-re-uploading/#respond Tue, 09 Oct 2018 13:00:57 +0000 https://alexschreyer.net/?p=7361 I just updated my Sketchfab Uploader extension for SketchUp to version 2.5.1. This comes with several smaller fixes but one big change: Now you can re-upload models, and any changes you make in Sketchfab’s 3D editor (e.g. to materials, lights, the rendering environment, etc.) are preserved. Also, models are now uploaded as draft (and not [...] Read more..

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I just updated my Sketchfab Uploader extension for SketchUp to version 2.5.1. This comes with several smaller fixes but one big change: Now you can re-upload models, and any changes you make in Sketchfab’s 3D editor (e.g. to materials, lights, the rendering environment, etc.) are preserved. Also, models are now uploaded as draft (and not automatically published), which gives you more control over the upload process.

The video below outlines what’s new and there is now even a manual available. As always, it is best to update this extension via SketchUp Pro’s Extension Manager window right in SketchUp.

Changes:

  • Version 2.5.1 (10/2/2018)
    – Drops support for pre-2014 SU (removes global variable problem)
    – Newer HTMLdialog help dialog
  • Version 2.5 (9/17/2018 – unpublished)
    – Some backcomp fixes
    – Added re-upload functionality
    – Now stores model data (ID, title etc.) on upload in SKP file
    – Made clear in dialog what gets stored where
    – Added menu item to edit Model ID
    – Updated jQuery and 7zip to latest versions
    – Now uses v3 Sketchfab API
    – Now uploads as draft first (unpublished)
    – Checks material number for max. (100)

Links:

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Mirror, mirror… https://alexschreyer.net/cad-bim/mirror-mirror/ https://alexschreyer.net/cad-bim/mirror-mirror/#respond Wed, 12 Sep 2018 18:00:41 +0000 https://alexschreyer.net/?p=7321 Admittedly, I completely missed Sketchfab’s May announcement that they now support Screen Space Reflections (SSR), i.e. object reflections. What this means is that any model in their browser-based WebGL viewer can now be set to reflect items that exist within that model. A good example (that likely will heat up your computer a bit) is [...] Read more..

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Admittedly, I completely missed Sketchfab’s May announcement that they now support Screen Space Reflections (SSR), i.e. object reflections. What this means is that any model in their browser-based WebGL viewer can now be set to reflect items that exist within that model. A good example (that likely will heat up your computer a bit) is shown below:

This is of course pretty awesome, especially for architectural models, where windows can now reflect “correctly”. Previously, it was just possible to set surfaces to reflect the environment map and that was it. Mirrors typically looked a bit strange that way.

As you can see in the examples above and below, this is not a 100% accurately rendered reflection, but it is very, very good and immediately improves pretty much any model with reflections. I am completely blown away that it works even with more complex models. For example, the model above has 280k faces! And I made every one of them reflective.

Try it out for yourself (e.g. with my Sketchfab uploader extension for SketchUp).

 

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Unwrapping SketchUp extension updated to 2.4 with coloring option https://alexschreyer.net/sketchup/unwrapping-sketchup-extension-updated-2-4-coloring-option/ https://alexschreyer.net/sketchup/unwrapping-sketchup-extension-updated-2-4-coloring-option/#respond Mon, 07 Aug 2017 14:13:17 +0000 https://alexschreyer.net/?p=7034 I just updated my Unwrap and Flatten Faces SketchUp extension to version 2.4. You can now choose an option to colorize faces as they are being unwrapped. This provides a reference for reassembling those faces later. If an object is textured and you would like to preserve those textures, don’t turn this option on and [...] Read more..

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I just updated my Unwrap and Flatten Faces SketchUp extension to version 2.4. You can now choose an option to colorize faces as they are being unwrapped. This provides a reference for reassembling those faces later. If an object is textured and you would like to preserve those textures, don’t turn this option on and the original textures are reserved on unwrapping.

Here’s a complete list of changes:

  • Version 2.4 (8/5/2017):
    – Added colorizing of unwrapped/smashed segments for reference
    – Toned down colors a bit (no white/black)
    – All confirmation dialogs can now be turned off (in settings)
    – Fixed face orientation for smashing
    – Fixed vertices bug for smashing
    – Fixed axis location of flattened shape

As always, download from the Extension Warehouse to update. More information about this extension is on this page.

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SketchUp Ruby Code Editor 4.0 is now available! https://alexschreyer.net/sketchup/sketchup-ruby-code-editor-4-0-now-available/ https://alexschreyer.net/sketchup/sketchup-ruby-code-editor-4-0-now-available/#respond Mon, 10 Jul 2017 20:43:55 +0000 https://alexschreyer.net/?p=6939 My SketchUp extension Ruby Code Editor held a top spot on my to-do list for quite a while… until now. I finally got around to giving the code a major overhaul and can now proudly announce that version 4.0 has just been released. If you are a seasoned coder or a newbie just wanting to [...] Read more..

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SketchUp Ruby Code Editor

My SketchUp extension Ruby Code Editor held a top spot on my to-do list for quite a while… until now. I finally got around to giving the code a major overhaul and can now proudly announce that version 4.0 has just been released. If you are a seasoned coder or a newbie just wanting to try out scripted geometry, check out the new version, there are some quite nice new features in there. Here’s the complete list (new features highlighted):

Features

  • Beautiful and clean editor user interface with menu-based UI
  • Light / dark themed editor
  • Allows executing multi-line Ruby code directly in SketchUp
  • Works with files of any size
  • Fast opening and code highlighting of large files
  • Most recently used file list
  • Keyboard shortcut navigation
  • Line numbering in editor
  • Indenting/dedenting of code blocks
  • Matching brackets, current line highlighting
  • Undo/redo in editor
  • Find/replace in editor
  • Code folding
  • Insert code snippets at cursor
  • Code-completion for SketchUp classes and methods
  • Automatic backup file creation
  • Various options: font size, tab/space indenting
  • Undo of code execution
  • Single undo option for entire code
  • Results window keeps track of run history
  • Reference web browser for common websites
  • Explore selection object properties and attributes
  • Option for direct access to the Ruby console
  • Option to edit default code snippet
  • Clean printing of code

Where to get it?

As always, it’s best to just download it or update from the Extension Warehouse dialog right inside SketchUp. Of course, you can also find it in SketchUcation’s PluginStore as well as on my website.

And once you have it installed, why not check out chapter 7 in my book “Architectural Design with SketchUp” for some coding ideas (see also the videos on the linked site).

Links

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Unwrapping and unfolding correctly in SketchUp https://alexschreyer.net/sketchup/unwrapping-unfolding-correctly-sketchup/ https://alexschreyer.net/sketchup/unwrapping-unfolding-correctly-sketchup/#comments Thu, 29 Jun 2017 14:43:59 +0000 https://alexschreyer.net/?p=6888 Whether you are working with paper or sheet metal, unfolding is a crucial step in the manufacturing process when you are starting off with a digital model in SketchUp. If you want to build something exactly as designed on-screen, then you will need to unfold complex shapes and lay them out flat for cutting. Of [...] Read more..

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Whether you are working with paper or sheet metal, unfolding is a crucial step in the manufacturing process when you are starting off with a digital model in SketchUp. If you want to build something exactly as designed on-screen, then you will need to unfold complex shapes and lay them out flat for cutting. Of course, my Unwrap and Flatten Faces Extension for SketchUp is the ideal tool for doing that in SketchUp. In many cases, it can automatically unwrap a surface (i.e. multiple faces) and produce something usable. Of course there are some caveats for that to work and I will be covering some of those here.

Face Orientation

SketchUp faces have a front and a back side (turn on “monochrome” face style in the View menu to see those orientations) where the front of a face is commonly colored white. The unfolding algorithm of my extension starts at one face and folds it along an edge to end up aligned with the next face at that edge (and then repeats from there).

This relies quite a bit on face orientation. As you can see in the image above, if all faces are aligned the same (as in the topmost model where all fronts point outwards), the three faces unwrap correctly. If neighboring faces have a different orientation, however, (as in the model in the lower half of the picture), then the unfolding process ends up placing faces on top of neighboring faces, which leads to an inaccurate result (SketchUp merges those overlapping faces in the process).

Best practice is therefore to always double-check that all faces that are to be unfolded together have their fronts oriented similarly. If a face needs to be reversed, then that can easily be done with the “reverse face” right-click tool. Do so before starting the unwrap tool.

Developable Surfaces

In general terms, only flat shapes and developable surfaces (e.g. a cylinder) can be cleanly unwrapped and flattened. This means that if your object has double-curvature (as is the case for the semi-sphere and the shell in the image above), then my extension can fail because it is likely impossible to find a result for the entire object. In some cases, (as for the sphere), this tool may be able to “peel” a surface, which may or may not be a useful result.

It is always possible to select only part of an object (e.g. the curved top of the cone shown above) and unwrap that separately from the rest (the circular base in that case). For a double-curved surface (the rightmost object), the best way to unfold will likely consist of taking a horizontal or vertical set of faces and unwrapping in “strips”. This process is illustrated in the images below as well.

Double-Curved Surfaces and Material Stretch

When double-curved surfaces are unwrapped in strips (as shown for the sphere section above that was unwrapped in seven sections), then there are several ways to work with those to get a final result (see image below).

If the material has no stretch capacity (as with sheet metal, for example), then the best way to cut and reassemble is shown in the right example below. If, however, the material can stretch (as with fabric), then an educated guess must be made (because the unwrapping algorithm cannot at this point take stretching into account). All faces could be placed with a slight overlap (shown on left) and the outlining shape can be cut out. This assumes stretch to be possible in the vertical direction but assumes no horizontal stretch. This could be compensated for by scaling the shape horizontally a bit.

Material Thickness

Thickness of the used material becomes an issue when two flattened and then cut pieces need to be joined. You can see this in the example above. If the material is of negligible thickness (much thinner than the overall material area) as is the case with paper, sheet metal, and the like, then flattened shapes can likely be reassembled just as they are cut (bottom example). When the material has some amount of thickness, however, as can be seen in the upper model in the image above, then mating edges must be treated (by tabbing, backcutting or chamfering) to allow for pieces to be reassembled as they were intended.

Tabs

If you need to create overlaps at edges for glue or weld tabs, then the easy way is of course to simply overcut the flattened shape (while marking the original shape outline). For more control of tab size, one option is to use the tab tool in the Flattery extension that places tabs manually on single edges. An easier approach, however, is the Offset Contours tool in the Tools on Surface extension. As you can see in the image above, all edges can be offset in one go and a defined offset amount (1/2″ in my case) can be entered.

Further Reading

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Dryer fix made easy with 3D printing https://alexschreyer.net/sketchup/dryer-fix-made-easy-3d-printing/ https://alexschreyer.net/sketchup/dryer-fix-made-easy-3d-printing/#comments Mon, 20 Feb 2017 23:10:46 +0000 https://alexschreyer.net/?p=6861 As you can see in the image below, our dryer had a broken knob. It was just a small plastic part but without it, starting the machine became a bit of a hassle. To fix this, I could have gone to a site like Sears PartsDirect or similar, looked up the dryer’s model number, find the [...] Read more..

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As you can see in the image below, our dryer had a broken knob. It was just a small plastic part but without it, starting the machine became a bit of a hassle. To fix this, I could have gone to a site like Sears PartsDirect or similar, looked up the dryer’s model number, find the part, wait a few days and then get the original replacement part. I chose to go another route… I 3D-printed it myself!

Hard to start this thing without a functioning knob

Because this was such a simple part, it was very easy to model a replacement knob quickly in SketchUp. All I needed were the dimensions for the overall knob size and the small switch stem.

As you can see, the stem had a flat bottom that grips nicely into a void in the knob. Also, I was not too eager to replicate the original knob design (although that wouldn’t have been too hard). The knob just needed to fit and function as intended. So I went with a simple design that consisted of a disk and a box shape.

I might upload a video of the 3D modeling in another post, but I essentially used exact dimension entry and the tape measure tool for the main geometry and then the PushPull tool to form all the shapes (pull the grip up and then push the void in). The resulting shapes had quite sharp edges, so I also used Fredo’s Round Corner extension to round the top edges a bit. I then turned on the x-ray face style to be able to look into the object, which allowed me to find some stray lines that prevented this object from being 3D printable. After a few minutes, this was what I got and then exported to STL format using the SketchUp STL extension (click image to navigate):

Fortunate for us here at UMass, we have the MakerBot Innovation Center in the WEB DuBois library. A quick email and a trip to the library provided me with two versions of the knob in just a few hours (and for cheaper than ordering a replacement part):

Picking up the finished part at the library

So, did it fit? As you can see in the following image, it did (admittedly after some manual cleanup). Not too bad a solution!

Good as new!

I do have some tips and tricks in case you want to do something similar, too:

  • I didn’t use calipers to measure the exact stem dimensions. As a result, I didn’t get the dimensions correct. The fit was quite tight and I needed to ream the knob out a bit. Use calipers if you have them! Sparkfun has some cheap ones for sale.
  • This knob relies quite a bit on the strength of the perimeter of the internal void (to turn the switch stem, which has a bit of resistance). Therefore it is a good idea to increase the number of shells (the outside layers) during 3D printing from the default two to something like four.
  • I could also have used the SolidInspector or SolidSolver extensions to check and clean the model up for 3D printing. In this case, I didn’t need to do that because of its simplicity.

More

Interested in 3D printing with SketchUp? Want to learn more techniques and other ways to 3D print or otherwise make things with SketchUp? Check out my book Architectural Design with SketchUp, 2nd Edition.

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Sketchfab Uploader and SketchUp News extensions updated (again) https://alexschreyer.net/sketchup/sketchfab-uploader-sketchup-news-extensions-updated/ https://alexschreyer.net/sketchup/sketchfab-uploader-sketchup-news-extensions-updated/#comments Tue, 20 Dec 2016 11:10:17 +0000 http://alexschreyer.net/?p=6801 I just updated two of my SketchUp extensions: Sketchfab Uploader and SketchUp News. As always, you can get the updates directly from the Extension Warehouse or from the SketchUcation Plugin Store via the auto-update. Here’s what’s new: Sketchfab Uploader Version 2.4 (12/12/2016): – Added help menu item – Code cleanup SketchUp News Version 1.2 (12/12/2015): – [...] Read more..

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I just updated two of my SketchUp extensions: Sketchfab Uploader and SketchUp News. As always, you can get the updates directly from the Extension Warehouse or from the SketchUcation Plugin Store via the auto-update.

Here’s what’s new:

  • Sketchfab Uploader Version 2.4 (12/12/2016):
    – Added help menu item
    – Code cleanup
  • SketchUp News Version 1.2 (12/12/2015):
    – Code cleanup
    – Fixed loader code
    – Implemented new dialog for 2017

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Sketchfab uploader extension v. 2.3 is now available https://alexschreyer.net/sketchup/sketchfab-uploader-extension-v-2-3-now-available/ https://alexschreyer.net/sketchup/sketchfab-uploader-extension-v-2-3-now-available/#respond Fri, 09 Dec 2016 12:41:25 +0000 http://alexschreyer.net/?p=6738 I just updated my Sketchfab Uploader SketchUp Extension to v.2.3. This version does not offer many new features – it mainly just makes the uploader compatible with SU 2017. To update it in SketchUp, go to either the Extension Warehouse or SketchUcation Extension Store dialog right in SketchUp and hit “update”. While I have your [...] Read more..

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I just updated my Sketchfab Uploader SketchUp Extension to v.2.3. This version does not offer many new features – it mainly just makes the uploader compatible with SU 2017. To update it in SketchUp, go to either the Extension Warehouse or SketchUcation Extension Store dialog right in SketchUp and hit “update”.

While I have your attention, check out this blog post I wrote a little while ago that explains how to best upload models from SketchUp to Sketchfab. The model shown below is from that post.

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SketchUp 2017 is out. And it’s looking great! https://alexschreyer.net/sketchup/sketchup-2017-looking-great/ https://alexschreyer.net/sketchup/sketchup-2017-looking-great/#respond Fri, 25 Nov 2016 17:45:16 +0000 http://alexschreyer.net/?p=6630 It’s the time of year for… yes, turkey, I know! But a few days ago it was also the time of the year for the much-beloved “A new SketchUp version is available” dialog to pop into your life. If you haven’t downloaded the new version yet, but are burning to know what is new, may [...] Read more..

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2016-11-25_17-34-53

It’s the time of year for… yes, turkey, I know! But a few days ago it was also the time of the year for the much-beloved “A new SketchUp version is available” dialog to pop into your life. If you haven’t downloaded the new version yet, but are burning to know what is new, may I suggest the following article where I go over the new features and why I am very much looking forward to working with SketchUp 2017:

http://sketchupfordesign.com/news/sketchup-2017-looking-great/

P.S. I know, I know… two of my extensions (unfold and Sketchfab) are not yet working with 2017. Please be patient and keep using them in SU 2016 for a few days longer while I figure out a fix.

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Ciao! My SketchUp book is now available in Italian https://alexschreyer.net/sketchup/ciao-sketchup-book-now-available-italian/ https://alexschreyer.net/sketchup/ciao-sketchup-book-now-available-italian/#respond Tue, 09 Aug 2016 03:27:01 +0000 http://alexschreyer.net/?p=6158 While checking my Amazon book purchase stats I just noticed that my book “Architectural Design with SketchUp” (2nd edition) is now available in Italian. Italy being a country with one of the highest number of architects per capita, Italian is clearly one of the best languages to have translated it into. Thanks to the great folks at [...] Read more..

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While checking my Amazon book purchase stats I just noticed that my book “Architectural Design with SketchUp” (2nd edition) is now available in Italian. Italy being a country with one of the highest number of architects per capita, Italian is clearly one of the best languages to have translated it into.

Thanks to the great folks at tecniche nuove, this book with the title “SketchUp – Applicazioni per architettura e design” is now available in paperback and on the Kindle.

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