How to Use Tap Measure Tool in SketchUp

SketchUp tools are designed to give you the simplest way for designing your model. Tap Measure tool does its task of measuring the design without any hassle. It is as easy as dragging and dropping something. But the tool follows a few guidelines that offer you different ways to use the feature. The content discusses them nicely below.

You can activate the Tape measure tool from the Tool manure or large tool set tool. But the most preferred option is shortcut key T from your keyboard that will you to use the feature. The default option of Tap Measure tool is in a guide mode, but you can change it to the measure mode with CTRL key. This tool will help you measure from one end to multiple points as per your need.

Parallel guide lines:

Sketching parallel guide lines needs a few clicks. Click anywhere in the design along an edge you want to parallel with. SketchUp will understand that you want to create a guide parallel. On moving your mouse, you can see the parallel, dashed line.

Linear guide lines:

You can simply create a linear guide with clicking an endpoint or a midpoint and click somewhere along the edge. Your linear guide will be generated.

Guide point:

You can create a guide point with clicking an endpoint or midpoint and click again somewhere in space. A little X will appear at the end of the dashed line – this place is your guide points.

I am referring a video that presents Tap Measure tool in details.

Video Source: Harwood Podcast

How to Use Tap Measure Tool in SketchUp

Published By
Arka Roy


nz_Edge2Polygon – The newest sketchup extension

Natale Zappia develops nz_Edge2Polygon, the newest sketchup extension that is available in extension warehouse. It generates polygons by maintaining perfect reference edge lengths.

This extension is compatible with SketchUp 2016, SketchUp 2017, SketchUp 2018. The plugin is ideal for enhancing your drawing and productivity.

nz_PolyhedralJuctions also comprises of nz_Edge2Length and also provides more complicated operations. Here n denotes nth number or sides.

To download the extension, go through the extension warehouse

nz_Edge2Polygon – The newest sketchup extension

Published By
Arka Roy

Message in a bottle: A search in truss automation

A truss is presented as a framework for designing and construction field like a structure of elements which act as a single component though in combined situation and provide the support for the bigger structures. Naturally the design of an architectural truss is dependent on various calculations counting the effects of physical forces like weight, compression, material limitation etc. and the calculations are till now alarming and time consuming.

Robert Kovacs and his research team at Hasso Plattner Institute has been inventing to find a process of automating those calculations and there search and efforts have ended after creating TrussFab; it is a SketchUp Extension that make the 3D printable truss elements popular for the SketchUp users. This TrussFab helps users for rotating SketchUp geometry into a truss network which can smoothly be put together in real life with the recycled materials. This truss network with the recycled materials provides the users the ability for gathering trusses to their own projects easily, faster and reliably.

About the project: It is a unique project and thinking that has started two years ago at Hasso Plattner Institute and has attracted many undergrad and grad students to work here, the main team consist the following members: Robert Kovacs, Anna Seufert, Ludwig Wall, Hsiang-Ting Chen, Florian Meniel, Willi Muller, Sijing You, Maximilian Brehm, Jonathan Striebel, Yannis Kommana, Alexander Popiak, Thomas Blasius and Patrick Baudish.

Robert and the Truss Fab Team have highlighted some points on their works and they have started working on the plastic bottles and have created so far some amazing projects.

Idea of TrussFab: Robert‘s first project was the Protopiper at the Hasso Platter that focused on prototyping room-sized objects at perfect scale. After that the team has planned to take forward the idea of large-scale personal fiction for more functional objects and the result was complementing small 3D printed parts with ready-made objects that became plastic bottles. They also realized the need of the key design principle is always fro closed triangular contours, trusses or otherwise the connectors or the bottle will break.

The underlying physics of the forces: Truss structures are containing of triangles arrangements; that’s why the structures block deformation than only the individual object. The main strength of trusses is that they turn side forces or bending forces into tension and compression forces with the length of the edges or members.

3D printed hubs in the extension: Robert and the Truss Hub team has rated many hub designs proficient to hold the bottles or any objects together and they also used a threaded-snap connector pair for each edge. After that they settled on a design which can adjust various kind of objects (here bottles) and easily apply the 3D print; initially this design has the connector with only a simple projection.

Incorporating engineering functions into the application: TrussFab and Robert have the main goal to give a chance to the beginner users for building structurally firm large-scale things in just some minutes. The fundamental design principle behind TrussFab is well known in architecture that is less understandable in everyday life and the 3D printers can manufacture more objects with a better quality. The observation of materials and the wall thickness of the designs often fail as the forces grow numerically with the size of the object; it can overcome by implementing truss-specific functions to help users to create sturdy structures. In addition the editor of TussFab offers primary shape fundamentals as the elementary formed trusses, tools that can create large beams in the form of trusses and tools to tweak the shape of structure in the time of maintaining inflexibility.

The most inspiring structure: The largest structure according to Robert and his team was a 5m high pavilion for the CHI’17 conference that was made more than 1500 bottles and 191 3D printed hubs and was designed by the architect Oanh Lisa Nguyen-Xuan with the help of TrussFab’s editor.

The process of extension self-validate larger structures: At first the effect of weight of any structure placed upon the Structure is computed by TrussFab and they use the software here. The software generally finds the flaws in the truss structure and searches the parts which are not locked properly in place by other members can be subjected to shear or bend forces. In case, if such kind of forces can be found then the software would place additional balancing member; then the software examines the capability of the structure. The software analyzes the applied forces through finite element analysis for every member of the structure and shades every member accordingly.

Digital tools used in TrussFab: SketchUp is the most used tool and far most the best software for designing and planning the models in TrussFab. According to Robert, SketchUp is a vast and available platform for 3D projects that help them to make their project easily in 3D editor. Besides SktechUp, they use some additional tools also like Karamba 3D to estimate the forces inside the structures and OpenSCAD for creating the precise hub geometries for 3D printing.

Use of bottles in structures: TrussFab uses the normal soda pop bottles as a recycled product to make structures of their models which they buy from the local stores of Germany. They used refillable bottles for higher structural stability that provides them strength and make strongest and on the other hand the softer bottles are inflated to get the same strength.

Article Source:

Message in a bottle: A search in truss automation

Published By
Arka Roy

How Accurate Are SketchUp Shadows?

Shadows add a real essence to your design. The same is true for your 3D modeling also. SketchUp, being the most popular 3D modeling design application, has come up with different shadow effects required for creating the environment as per the sun movement. Now the question is – how accurate are SketchUp shadows? The application follows a general rule and helps you add shadows the way the sun casts naturally. Mimicking the real-world shadow is not easy. But, SketchUp allows you to observe how the real shadow enhances the visibility of an object.

With SketchUp, you can calculate the best angle for adding shadows to your design. Below are a few features that are commonly available in the application.

• The latitude and longitude of a model.
• Cardinal orientation (north, south, east or west) of a model.
• Time zone selection

The shadow feature of SketchUp only brings out the general rule of how the Sun casts a shadow as per the geo-location. Since you cannot adjust time in the application, getting the right show effect is a bit difficult.

To add shadow effects to your design, you must put your model in geo-location. In SketchUp Pro 2017, you can easily import terrain to your design with the Add Location Tool. The steps can be done manually, as well. Follow the steps below:

Window > Model Info > Geo-location > Set Manual Location > Latitude and Longitude

Once you make your model Geo-located, the sun creates shadow naturally on your model. It creates your design more realistic. How to turn on Shadow in SketchUp:

SketchUp turns off shadow feature by default because shadows are consuming more computer processing ability. You can turn on shadow manually by following the steps: View > Shadow

To get a complete control over the tool, open the shadow feature on a default tray and customize everything that is needed. To add the time of the day, you can either drag the time slide along the timeline or insert a time in the time box. Steps will be the same for adding a month and day – dragging the date slide or inserting the date in a date box.

Customize shadow:

Besides the above-mentioned tips, there are a few things that help you customize the shadow attributes the way you want. The tips are given below:

• In the upper left is a display shadow button for switching the shadow effect between on and off.
• The time-zone tab allows you to select a new time zone. If the design is geo-located, the time showing in the model is accurate.
• The light slider is for changing the intensity of the light. This way, you can lighten or darken your model.

• The Dark slider is controlling the intensity of the shadow.
• On Face slider helps you cast the shadow of the one face on the other face logically.
• On Ground slider is for casting a shadow on the plane ground.
• From edges denotes the edges of the face can cast a shadow.

The SketchUp Shadow tool is amazing to use as you can change the effect of shadow as per the movement of the sun. All advanced functions along with the basic ones will help your make your design as much real as required.

Article Source:

How Accurate Are SketchUp Shadows

Published By
Arka Roy

How to make complex shapes with various skethchup plugin

n this sketchup video tutorial, you will learn how to generate complicated shapes with the use of different types of sketchup plugins like Extrude Tools, Flowify, Mirror, Split Tools, Vertex Toos, JHS POWERBAR. All these plugins are available in SketchUcation Plugin store and extension warehouse.

Extrude Tools – A series of toolset which can be used for extruding edges into meshes etc.

Flowify – A powerful extension that twists groups or components along a quad surface. The source geometry is associated with a projection grid and the geometry is then mapped onto a quad target surface.

Mirror – Mirror the selected objects by choosing 1/2/3 points to describe a point/line/plane: then select to retain/eliminate the original objects.

Split Tools – Integrates the Split-Donut, Split-Sausage and SplitUp tools into a single toolbar of face splitting tools.

Vertex Tools – Manage each vertex with this vertex editor for SketchUp. Soft selections are obligatory organic modelling and the manipulator gizmo provides you great control at the time of modelling.

JHS POWERBAR – This tool is unique in that it’s actually a collection of powerful extensions from other developers, like TIG, Thom Thom, Rick Wilson, Christina Eneroth, and more.

Watch the video to learn the process for producing complex shapes with skethup.

Video Source: Tutorials Up

How to make complex shapes with various skethchup plugin

Published By
Arka Roy

Using Tape Measure Tool in SketchUp

The Tape Measure Tool in SketchUp is used in SketchUp to scale or measure between the points and also it is useful to create construction lines. This construction lines are work as referral geometry in SketchUp. Users can also re-size any group or the whole model by using this Tape Measure Tool. In SketchUp, along with Tape Measure Tool, the Protractor tool and the Measurements box are allowed to model accurately different things, those are:

a. Tape Measure Tool is used to scale a distance and fix exact guide lines or points.
b. The Protocol Tool can use to scale angles and fix an exact angled guide line.
c. The Measurements box waits to accept an exact value after using any kind of tool.

Under the Tape Measure Tool the things can find are:

a. Getting Started Toolbar
b. Construction Toolbar
c. Large Tool Set Toolbar
d. Tools menu on the menu bar
e. Tools palette

nz_Scale&Align for sketchup

Natale Zappia has developed nz_Scale&Align, the newest sketchup plugin available in extension warehouse. It is a paid extension. The plugin is compatible with SketchUp 2016, SketchUp 2017, SketchUp 2018.

The plugin is suitable for Architecture, Construction, Education, Engineering, Film & Stage, Gaming, Heavy Civil, Interior Design, Kitchen & Bath, Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning, Woodworking, Other.

nz_Scale&Align comes with four operations “Scale, Align, Relocate and Copy” and the users can modify them as per their choice into a singular action and perfectly accomplish through relative source and destination points on-screen..

Given below, some exclusive features of the plugin

Scale Factor
– Scale objects with scale factor

Relative Scale
– Alignment 3D
– Adjustable Settings
+ Leave in Place or Relocate Original
+ Create a Copy

– Inbuilt 6 point “Alignment Verification”
+ With Pop-up Notification in case of any misalignment
– Visual Guides and Semi-Automated Flow Sequence for ease of use
– Text Overrides.
– Right Click Cancel/Exit/Cleanup
– RememberMe (Selectable Option): Settings are retained for the extent of the session and/or among sessions
– Commands are available from Menu(Tools), RightClick(on Valid Selection) and Toolbars

To download the extension, go through the following link

nz_Scale&Align for sketchup

Published By
Arka Roy

Christmas story in SketchUp

SketchUp is one of the most used software for 3D modeling and design tools across the world and SketchUp team works with a motto that is “SketchUp for everyone”. From their beginning they are continuously working to provide their users better and smarter experience in work than previous. With SketchUp and they have published so many tools that will be useful for designing and modeling.

As a result of their constant improvement now-a-days it has been using by hundreds of thousands of architects, engineers, contractors, woodworkers, artists and other people from various fields. The team is also working on SketchUp Pro, LayOut, Extension Warehouse and the 3D Warehouse for designing each and every little object from motion centers to treehouses and many more.

Christmas is one its way and celebrated by most of the people in world with cheerfulness that become a huge celebration all over the world. In the outer countries especially the winter countries have lots of plans for this grand day and the festive mood starts from the beginning of December and SketchUp’s offices are not behind from that celebration. TY Schalamon has created some wonderful LED-star lights for decorating Christmas trees and made the print out and designs of the LED star lights with the help of SketchUp.

TY Schalamon is a user of SketchUp and works as a member of the Knowledge Team who provide Technical Support for SketchUp. In his team he has to work on fixing problems of the users and try to improve the support system to provide better help to the users. This article is a brief of the work of Ty for the Christmas.

Ty thought to make some variations in Christmas tree this year and he started to draw his idea in Sketchup that resulted print out of a LED-lit star for the Christmas tree this year and discussed about that. He also uploaded those models of LED-lit star in the 3D Warehouse so that anyone can use them for decorating his/her Christmas tree.

The unique part of the printing is that the models should be printed at 0% filling and they don’t need any kind of support. Ty also made snowflakes in SketchUp and for them he used a SketchUp pattern component method and kept the sides of all the snowflakes same. On the base shape he used a dodecahedron and then raised the edges up to a fixed point for every star point.

Dodecahedron is term used in geometry which is like any polyhedron that has twelve flat faces, also has three meeting at each height and represented by the Schläfli symbol.

After fixing the edges of the stars he used Fredo6’s Joint Push Pull tool for fixing the thickness to a perfect size that should enough thin to not filling while printing but should be enough thick to be strong. After that he added a certain fit sized hole in the bottom of the LEDs and send through STL export into the slicer software to print.

Article Source:

Christmas story in SketchUp

Published By
Arka Roy

Raylectron Render – The newest sketchup plugin

SoftByte Labs, Inc develops Raylectron Render, a user-friendly and photorealistic rendering and animation plugin for sketchup to transform any 3d models into a photo-realistic image.

The plugin is compatible with SketchUp 8, SketchUp 2013, SketchUp 2014, SketchUp 2015, SketchUp 2016, SketchUp 2017 and SketchUp 2018 as well as windows platform.

Raylectron facilitates the professional artists, hobbyist or anyone who produce 3D designs and wishes to convert their models into photorealism presentations, and/or to observe their models in 3D stereo just as they were real.

Raylectron includes all the settings to modify the output, as a result, no other software is necessary for executing the task.

With the help of material, it is possible to provide diverse effects for materials. It ranges from reflection (like mirror), refraction (like glass), transparency, glossiness, shininess, bump maps, normal maps and background images. Generate your individual grass & fur. Shadows are not fraudulent or simulated like “Soft shadows”. Caustics are also real, not fraudulent or simulated.

Make your own animation that offers you a hands-free tour of a model.

Raylectron employs all the CPU cores and threads (user selectable) to render at a rapid speed and new GPU version available.

For more clarification, watch the following video tutorial.

To know it’s features and download the plugin from extension warehouse, go through the following link

Raylectron Render - The newest sketchup plugin

Published By
Arka Roy

About Fred Bartels and his creation

Fred Bartels is an educator, builder, artist, maker and a very old member of the SketchUp community. He became inspired by Seymour Papert and many other education visionaries and hope that the future of SketchUp in the classroom of SketchUp. Bartels has introduced SketchUp to his students Seventeen years ago and from that time he continuously trying to create some variations in the classes of SketchUp from its normal class studies and also Bartels hope that other educators will realize this soon and follow the same.

In this article we will go through the idea of Bartels in encouraging students for a better study with some new techniques. As Fred has been with SketchUp for a long time, he can describe his creations better way through SketchUp.

Fred’s 3D modeling story: Fred Bartels had a great interest in art and architecture and had done some photography courses in high school but could not pursue it in future as a profession. He generally produced art in a summarized way and loved to work with the house designs and often made outlet for his designed ideas. He started to teach in the computer programming classes when the computer and 3D design tools became available in most of the schools and taught about many programs and software. But all were not much good for the students still he found SketchUp at MacWorld 2002 and loved it. From then he has been providing lessons and IT supports to the students of K-12 schools.

Special things about SketchUp: According to Fred, SketchUp is a vast and most useful tool even in schools as it has various option that help the students to stay focused more on the designs and knowledge not using the tool only. Besides this, Fred tried to do much more things than only designing in computer graphics, SKetchUp can be used in math, science, history and language classes for better understanding. Students loved the idea and some of them tried to make some innovative work; such as Andrew Nathanson who had made a unique design work and had been invited to the SketchUp Basecamp 2008. There he got a chance to represent his design and also shared the method of using SketchUp in K-12 environment in schools.

The relationship between technology and education progress: According to Fred, he and other educators have a wish that computers will provides a rich ranged world for the students where they could both play and experiment over things and can get loads of information. It will be done in a way that would give them abbreviate concept and keep them interested and focused.

A great supporter of this idea was MIT’s Seymour Papert; he had thinking that computers can be used in education as in books like Mindstorms: Children, Computers, And Powerful Ideas and The Children’s Machine: Rethinking School In The Age Of The Computer Reprint Edition. SketchUp is just like that and with the 3D Warehouse students could get an available way for sharing their designs and get feedbacks on them. In schools or educational institutions, computer is generally used as an information presentation tool for providing only some information; though it is not enough as there are more things than normal information. It is good news that there are some new software like Maker Movement, Sketchup etc. that are providing various additional roles in teaching and learning.

Fred’s new models for students: Fred has a keen interest in art and architecture and has examined many building and design ideas, shared them in 3D Warehouse. After quitting his teaching he took a number of courses at Yestermorrow; which is a design or build school in Vermont and became capable to do some more creative works. He got appreciation for his works that he had shared in 3D Warehouse or SketchUcation that motivated him to do more experiments. Later he worked over 3D printing and made some small sculptures designed in SketchUp and programmable using LEDs controlled with Arduino microcontrollers etc.

Besides SketchUp, he also shared his designs in another site named Thingiverse and has some other ideas about making larger designs for future, SketchUp’s role in designs of Fred: After discovering SketchUp, Fred found to work with his ideas and designs in a vast and better platform that also provide him to explore the designs and make creative works on them. SketchUp has now become a part of his work as it is ever growing software that provides new things every time.

Other extensions: He used the extension named Artisan for any kind of work and in addition with that Profile Builder, Solid Inspector 2, Align 2 and Export STL.

Fred is happy with SketchUp and has been using for the past 15 years and expect to explore more sides of his designing skill and also hope that SktechUp will play more active role in education system and will provide a great supportive, powerful and unique microworld to develop and explore 3D design ideas.

Article Source:

About Fred Bartels and his creation

Published By
Arka Roy