IRender nXt Rendering Contest

Render Plus is launching a new IRender nXt rendering contest. It starts on Monday March 1, 2009, and will run until April 2, 2009. Results will be announced on April 15, 2009.

There will be 3 main prizes:

1st prize - Kindle 2 (value $359.00) or Render Plus Combo Pack (value $599.00)

2nd prize - Acer V223-WBD 22" Widescreen Monitor (value $166.99) or IRender nXt (value $449.00)

3rd prize - Logitech Quickcam Deluxe (value $69.00) or IRender Lite (value $189.00)

[ Visit RenderPlus for rule and more ]

2nd Generation PhlatPrinter

It looks like Mark has been busy designing and making videos of the next generation PhlatPrinter - the MKII. The most anticipated new feature is the faster cutting speed...

as well as the ability to cut up to 2" think material. Here is an introduction to the MKII:

And one more..

Very, very impressive. Although the phlatprinter seems to have been designed for rapid prototyping r/c airplanes using foam, I can see it quickly out-growing that particular niche. I imagine it would be an incredible time-saver for model-makers in many professions - and the cost is well within the hobbyists budget coming in at just under $400 for a premium kit.

SketchUp 7 Maintenance Release 1

Google has posted Maintenance Release 1 for Google SketchUp 7. For details on what has been fixed and added, see the Release Notes page.

The latest versions should be:
  • For Windows: 7.0.10247
  • For Mac: 7.0.10248
Both can be downloaded here.

Finding Your SketchUp "Plugins" Folder

I am frequently asked the question of where to install plugins for SketchUp. The answer depends on which version of SketchUp you are using, where SketchUp was installed, and which operating system it was installed on.

Here is a sure-fire way to find out where to install any plugin.
  • Start SketchUp
  • Copy and paste the following line to the SketchUp Ruby Console

This works for all versions of SketchUp, on all operating systems:

SketchUp Extension Roundup

No less than 6 new SketchUp extensions made their appearance this week:

  • Greeble 2 by Chris Fullmer - Creates random extrusions
  •  OnScreen Display by Chris Fullmer - shows the cursor location and screen position, and the name of the selected component.
  • Color By Z by Chris Fullmer -  paint all faces in the model according to their elevation
  •  Counttriangles.rb by Eleandor - estimate model triangle count for game importing
  • Recall Last Tool by Matt - use a shortcut key to recall the last tool used.
  • SCrud Debugger by pecan - SCrud is an implementation of the Ruby Debugger for Sketchup.

KeyPod: Control SketchUp Using iPod/iPhone

Transforms the iPhone/iPod Touch into a wireless touchpad that controls Google SketchUp. Useful shortcuts are accessed through single taps and intuitive gestures; models can be rotated, panned, and zoomed onto; scenes can be walked through and looked around; while sound effects provide feedback. Use it to work more efficiently in Google SketchUp, for novices as well as pros.

 [ LINK ]

Alternative for Hosting Plugins?

I am looking for suggestions on where I could host my plugins. The main limitation of using a blog to host content is the feedback (or lack of) feature. The comments are ok, but they tend to get buried as the post ages, and they are not searchable. I think they are a little inconvenient to use. Editing and updating pages is not as easy as it could be either. The blogger post editor isn't up to the task. I think the blog has become an obstacle between me and users of my plugins.

I am thinking of using Google Groups to host the plugins and a forum. I would be able to host files, and have a single forum for discussions. Each plugin could have its own page, also. A limitation of Google groups is that you get only a single forum, and sub-forums are not supported but I think it could work. What about access? Can everyone use Google Groups, particularly if someone does not have a google account?

I do plan of continuing to post SketchUp news and announcements here - but I wonder if moving my plugins elsewhere would serve everyone better.

Any thoughts or other suggestions?

DrivingDimensions 0.4

We have recently updated our Driving Dimensions plugin for Google SketchUp.

Version 0.4 supports a new kind of driving dimensions (vertex-face
distance), non-rigid arc curves, improved Undo functionality. We have also
created a FAQ section on our web-site and designed several sample models
with Driving Dimensions.

You can find more information at

SuPy: Scripting SketchUp in Python

Greg Ewing has released an experimental version of SuPy - a way for you to write SketchUp plugins using Python language instead of the built-in Ruby interpreter.

Currently, the files needed to use Python are available for the Mac platform, with a Windows binary in the works.

The plugin is released under the GPL, so the source code is available for those who want to attempt to roll their own.

[ SuPy ]

2 Plugins

Rick Wilson ( has release a couple of plugins this week:

  • GoldenGauge - Create a vertical grid (2x2) proportioned to the golden section. (Free)
  • ToggleBreakEdges - Toggles the BreakEdges functionality of SketchUp 7+ ($5.00)

Sketc hyPhysics 3 Alpha released

Here it is. The long overdue new version of SP. Its an alpha version because it still has lots of bugs and a few missing features. It has also only been lightly tested. So it may not run on all configurations etc

[ Read More ]

Moulds and accessories for wargames and roleplaying

A & K Studios is providing SketchUp models of their moulds used by  fantasy gaming fans for making scale models of buildings. Parts are cast in silicone RTV and then assembled brick-by-brick in any configuration imaginable. This allows gamers to build and design models in SketchUp before casting the actual parts.

The skippy files are linked from the moulds page, and available from Google's 3D Warehouse.

(via TGN)

Dave Continues Blathering

Dave Richards continues his blathering over at lumberjocks forum.

In all seriousness, Dave's SketchUp Blather is an excellent series of posts about SketchUp geared towards woodworkers. If you haven't been following, it's really a must-read.

Podium Contest the 4th: Renew

There's a new Podium render contest with some really great prizes. Contest starts today and runs through Mar 15. [ Podium Contest 4 ]

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