PhlatScripT: SketchUp to G-Code Plugin

I breifly mentioned the Phlatprinter in this post. Now has release a SketchUp plugin for exporting a flattened SketchUp model into a g-code file for use in CNC software. The plugin is beta, meaning there might be undiscovered issues, but it's released fully open-source.

See The Process page for download and a video.

Saturday Night SketchUp Support Chatroom

Chatroom closed for the evening (sleep good.)

Edit: I can try this again next week. It seems a good number of people were interested, but I announced too late, and closed too soon.

Updated Protrude Plugin

Oct 1 - Uploaded the latest revision. This is still a work-in-progress. I appreciate all the interest, but I'm still working out some bugs. However, any feedback will help me to get it stable.

Sep 30 - I apologize for this one - this release was nearly a total failure. Please hang in there until I can make it right.

I added the rectangular division to the Protrude plugin. Let me know how it works.

Here's an older video showing what it does:

SketchyPhysics 3 Preview Video

Chris has posted a video showing a few features of SP3, scheduled to be released Nov-Dec.

There is a wealth of SP videos on youtube.

Hand Drawn Images - Landscape Texture Collections

Carol Buckland, Marketing Manager,  wrote in to let everyone know about a new division of Scowcroft Studios called Hand Drawn Images (HDI). HDI provides landscape texture collections for cad users.
As many of you may know, Scowcroft Studios, Inc. has been providing  architectural rendering and graphic services for architects, advertising agencies, builders and developers for the past10 years, and we still do.

Our new division, HDI is simply another service that we now offer to allow those clients with in-house capabilities to artistically enhance client presentations quickly,  easily and efficiently.
The Collections and Series of hand drawn landscape textures are high resolution 300 dpi image textures that work seamlessly with current architectural software programs.  These are comprehensive working libraries of hand drawn and digitally colored backgrounds, foregrounds, trees, shrubs, flowers and more, provided in PSD, TIF, PNG and IRF formats, including precise alpha channels.
HDI currently has 4 landscape collections for sale on their site, as well as 8 high-quality sample images for you to try out.

Waybe: 3D Unfolding Plug-in Now Available for Mac and PC

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts., September 14, 2008 – Waybe has released both a PC and Mac version of its unfolding plug-in for Google SketchUp 6 and Google SketchUp Pro 6. Waybe unfolds 3D models within Google SketchUp so that they can be printed, cut, and re-assembled in the physical world.

 "Waybe complements SketchUp in that it gives users an easy and inexpensive way to actually bring their creations into the real world," said Justin Anderson, Waybe founder.

Waybe is a plug-in for Google SketchUp that provides a simple toolbar to aid both automatic and manual unfolding of 3D models created within SketchUp. The ability to test unfolds directly within SketchUp allows for faster design cycles, and an interactive print window can fit all unfolded components onto a minimum number of printed pages. Custom page sizes make it possible to scale folded models to any desired size from desktop printers to large plotters.

Waybe is appropriate for hobbyists creating vehicle and character papercraft as well as architects and engineers seeking a faster method of creating 3D objects for prototyping and modeling.

Availability and Pricing

Waybe 1.0 is being sold online for $49.95 in both PC and Mac versions. Visit for additional product information.

About Waybe

Waybe is a software company started by graduates of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The company develops software products that bring 3D digital objects into the physical world.

WalkAbout3d: Real-Time SketchUp Walk-Through

WalkAbout3d has just started an open beta test and is welcoming SketchUp users to try it out. WalkABout3d is a real-time walkthrough application aimed at SketchUp users.

Check out this website for more details:

silvershadows eyecandy2: Blackhawk Helicopter

silvershadow doesn't post often, but it's worth the wait. Some may remember the first "eyecandy" post of a highly detailed water-front village. Now he's pushing the limits of SketchUp once again with this model of a Blackhawk helicopter posted at SCF.

SketchUp Timber Framing Plugins

Professional timber framer and former programmer Clark Bremer has written "an extensive set of ruby plugins for SU specific to the mortise and tenon work we do", and has generously shared his work on his site: Northern Lights Timber Framing

See Timber Frame Design using Google Sketchup for information.

SketchUp FlightGear Exporter

james, on his blog, has volunteered to write a SketchUp exporter for FlightGear, an open-source flight simulator. The exporter is still in the planning stage, but it's always good to see more people using SketchUp.

MNPCTech Case Design Competition forum is hosting a case-modding competition. The task is to take an ordinary computer case (modeled in SketchUp) and customize it using the free version of SketchUp.

There are some nice prizes, too (Mmmmm, cheesecake.)

Creating a Model from Views

An SCF user had a request about creating a 3d model from the standard views: top, front, and right.

I thought it could be done, and came up with a this partial solution.

The Phlatprinter CNC Foam Cutter

The Phlatprinter is a home-built CNC cutter designed and built by Mark and Trish Carew. It is designed to cut flat media (think foam) to be folded into 3d models. Foam radio-controlled airplanes are just one example from the gallery, but I imagine it could be very useful in Architecture as well.

The cutting of the foam is done with a Dremel tool which is mounted in a "printer" box. The foam (up to 1.5 inches thick) is driven back and forth through the machine with a drive roller and the Dremel is moved side-to-side and up and down to make the cuts. You can watch the videos of  how it works. The Phlatprinter can handle material up to 22" wide and unlimited length.

The CNC control software is PC based, so you can design your parts and send them to the phlatprinter using the same computer. The software is called Mach3 and is available on this site.

The best part is that you can use SketchUp to create models. You create your model in 3D using SketchUp, unfold your design to 2d in SketchUp, and then send it to the phlatprinter to be cut out. The phlatprinter comes with a SketchUp plugin to export the flattened model to a format which the CNC software can understand.

You can purchase plans to build your own phlatprinter; or better yet, you can purchase a kit from the store to build your own which includes everything you need to build a fully-functional phlatprinter. The cost seems very reasonable - well within the hobbyists budget.

Plugin: Grey Scale

This requested plugin switches the in-model material colors to grey scale, and back again. The grey color is calculated as an average of the RGB values.

The model can be saved in Grey mode, and the original colors will be preserved upon opening the model again. Color changes made in Grey mode will not be kept.

While in Grey mode, right-clicking a face will revert the face's material back to its original color.

Download here.

SketchUp Model: long meeting table

When Alam says long table, he means it. Beautiful design.

Sketch Stuff: long meeting table

Be sure to see Alam's other models on the 3D Warehouse.

Are Your SketchUp Dimensions Lying To You?

Here is an article on flightsofideas about why you need to know your model's Units Precision setting before trusting your on-screen dimensions.

Read article.

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