Image: Machine Operator Control Panel in SketchUp

More images from an upcoming set of components.

Made with Make Ortho Views and Paint.NET

Control Panel Image

Image of some industrial machine electrical control components I am making.

2 Plugins by Chris Fullmer

Chris Fullmer has released 2 new plugins: ExtrapolateColors and ColorByZ

This script finds materials used within a selection of faces, and then randomly applies those same materials to all selected faces that have no material already applied.

Color By Z paints faces based on their centerpoint's Z height. It uses colors selected by the user.

See this list for a complete list of Chris's plugins.

[Plugin] GhostComp 1.0a (Conceptual edition)

The latest plugin by Fredo has been released - GhostComp.

The concept behind GhostComp is to associate a simplified version to a component (called Ghost). Then the script provides an easy way to switch back and forth between the Ghost version and the Real version in the model. The idea is that in many situations, switching heavy and complex components to their Ghost version would make the model view lighter to manipulate during the design phase (for orbiting, copying, etc…).

SketchUcation Community Forums • View topic - [Plugin] GhostComp 1.0a (Conceptual edition)

New SketchUp Coming Soon?

The Official SketchUp Blog posted last evening hinting at a possible new version coming soon.

Some major news in the article is that the dxf/dwg importers will be removed from the Free version of SketchUp. (The Pro version will still have them.)

In the next release of Google SketchUp, our free modeler, we've decided to remove the dwg/dxf importers. We know how important these importers are to our professional customers, especially those who depend on CAD products in their daily work. And for that reason we'll focus our attention on supporting them in Google SketchUp Pro, where we really understand all the nuances of your workflow and where we can provide professional support to troubleshoot your issues.

It seems like this is going to hit a lot of people pretty hard. The license for the Free version allows commercial use, and I would guess a lot of small businesses and individuals who otherwise could not afford it are using the Free version for business. No longer having the ability to import drawing files could really hurt.

Read it here.

Will you be affected?

Plugin: Make Orthographic Views

My latest plugin is now available.

Make Orthographic Views ($5) copies the selected Group or Component into a typical orthographic layout - Front, Top, Left, Right, Bottom, and Back views.

It can be a useful time-saver if your work-flow includes dimensioning and exporting to 2D CAD for finish work - especially for users of the Free version of SketchUp.

The plugin assumes the object is aligned to the Axes in SketchUp with the Front View looking at the front of the object.

Select a Group or Component, and press the Toolbar button. The view is then set-up with a parallel projection camera zoomed to the views.

An Isometric view is also created, but is not useful for dimensioning.

Install the plugin by extracting the files to your Plugins folder, but make sure to maintain the directory hierarchy. Please contact me if you need assistance.

Thank you, and I hope you find Make Orthographic Views useful.

New Blog Sponsor: Driving Dimensions

I started with a new sponsor today - Driving Dimensions by LEDAS.

Driving Dimensions is a SketchUp plugin that adds parametric functionality to SketchUp through the use of Dimensions. Changes applied to dimensions are reflected in the model's geometry.

Driving Dimensions is available in Free and Pro versions.

New: SketchUp Twilight Render

Welcome to Twilight Render:
"Twilight Render TM* is a fully integrated rendering solution for Google SketchUp**.

With Twilight, it's now possible to render photo-realistic images inside Google SketchUp! Render with biased and unbiased methods on an unlimited number of processors. And while Twilight is rendering in the background, continue working in and saving your SketchUp models."

SketchuUp Model: Cooler

Your basic red cooler.

Update to SketchyFFD Plugin

After applying a optimization routine from stefan...

It sped up the initial weighting of a big model from 75 seconds to 15 seconds.
FFD stands for Free Form Deformation. It works by creating a 3D grid of construction points around the geometry. Manipulating the control points manipulates the nearby geometry. Click the link for examples:

SketchyFFD is hosted on SCF

New set of fee and free SketchUp tools for architects. There are only a few tools at the moment, but more are planned.

"These are tools that I made for my own use, tools that I longed for in SketchUp. They help perform tasks that we as architects often do, but might as well be done by a machine. They are made to make our work in SketchUp more efficient."

Latest SketchUp Models Feed

If you're interested in subscribing to a separate rss feed just for the latest SketchUp models from FormFonts,, and myself you can click here.

If you have a model feed and would like to be added to the list, please contact me.

If you would like FormFonts and cadyou to include a thumbnail image in their feeds, you'll have to bug them about it.

[Plugin] Dynamic Snap

Matt says he wrote it to help him use SketchUp on a tablet PC using a pen instead of a mouse, but it's a clever idea that may be useful for anyone.

SketchUcation Community Forums • View topic - [Plugin] Dynamic Snap: "This plug-in changes the snap distance depending on how zoomed in you happen to be."

[Plugin] Drape Cpoints by TIG

Adds Plugins Menu Item 'Drape Cpoints' which makes a regular grid of grouped cpoints over a 'mesh': it works on selected face(s), group(s) or component-instance(s) or combinations of these; other types of entities in the selection are ignored.
When the cpoint group is made you can use 'Triangulate Points' on the it re-make the 'mesh' with a regular grid.

[Plugin] Drape Cpoints

SketchUp Electrical Controls Collection

I am playing with the idea for a SketchUp model collection for machine electrical control systems. Before I get too far, I was curious how many people might be interested and what features would be important?

Right now, my design goals are for a rapid viz collection:

  • Not specific to any manufacturer
  • Simplified geometry (low polygon)
  • Dimensionally accurate
  • Reasonable insertion points
  • Other Construction points for assembly
  • Dynamic Components where applicable
See the Electrical Controls collection on this site, and tell me what you think.

Plant, Shrub, and Evergreen Image Collection

Adam Hails (EarthMover) has put together an image collection of plants, shrubs and evergreens for the SCF community.

The collection is available through sketchucation.

Solo & Tomsdesk SketchUp Plant Collections

Check out these outstanding and nicely priced plant collections from 2 master SketchUp artists: solo and tomsdesk. You are unlikely to find better quality models at any price.

solo's 3D Gardens and tomsdesk's tree and shrub bundles.

New Plugin Video from Fredo - So Cool, It's Scary


Twitter - For The Last Time

Yesterday I was ready to stop using twitter, but Martí from CAD.Addict pointed me to twitter feed.

Twitter feed will automatically send my blog posts to twitter. Long story short - with no extra effort from me, people will still be able to follow me using Twitter.

Model: Optical Touch Button

For machine operator saftey.

Indigo 2.2 beta: Twice as fast or faster

Indigo 2.2 beta is out. Twice as fast or faster... | Indigo Renderer

Twitter Two

Just a quick note to say I will no longer be updating via Twitter. It was a fun experiment, but there was too much noise and too little response.

CADoogle - Find, Preview and Download CAD Files Online Quick!

Ran across this today: CADoogle - Find, Preview and Download CAD Files Online Quick!

Kid's Digital Design Contest

There is still plenty of time to enter the Kid's Digital Design Contest hosted by Architect Mason Kirby Inc.

Submission Deadline: 9/15/09

Do You Use Dynamic Components?

Yes or no, do you use dynamic components?

For SketchUcation forums members - if you missed it, please take the poll.

So far, only 63 out of our over 20,000 members have participated.

Model: Mission Style Sofa Table

Today's model:

See this collection for all of my models featured on this blog.

SVG Plugin Updated

Just a quick note that a couple of bugs have been fixed in the SVG exporter plugin for Google SketchUp (now at v0.92). Thanks to Otto who noticed that some dissecting lines weren’t being exported (I’ve fixed that now…). See Otto’s plywood chess set on the Make Flickr Pool and Thingiverse.

Sketchup Model: Electrical Pushbutton Enclosure

Podium 1.7 for SketchUp released

New version of the photo-realistic rendering plug-in for Google SketchUp includes blurred reflections. Cadalog, Inc. also announces the release of Fire Farm light fixtures for its Podium Light Fixture library.

Full press release after the video:

August 11, 2009 Bellingham, WA, U.S.A.

Cadalog,Inc. has released SU Podium 1.7 which includes blurred reflections and some utilities to help analyze and help fix textures that are difficult to render.

SU Podium is a popular photo-realistic rendering plug-in for SketchUp. Podium 1.7 includes a new blurred reflection feature. Blurred reflections can give faces and textures subtle, indirect reflections. Blurred reflections work well with wood, metal, plaster or cloth type textures.what’s new in SU Podium 1.7

In a separate announcement, Cadalog,Inc. has released the Fire Farm Ceiling Light Fixture addition for the free Podium Light Fixture plug-in. Fire Farm is a light fixture manufacturer which creates uniquely styled light fixtures. Using Fire Farm’s SketchUp models, Cadalog created an addition to its Podium Light Fixture library. The light fixtures are “render ready” and simply need to be dragged and dropped into a SketchUp model and then rendered in Podium.

Upgrade to SU Podium 1.7 for existing Podium customers is free. SU Podium works in Google SketchUp, Free or Pro, Windows or Mac. Cost is $179.00 (USD). For more detailed information including download of a free evaluation version, please go to

OOPSMP for SketchUp

OOPSMP: An Object-Oriented Programming System for Motion Planning

With the plugin you can define environments, robots, motion planning queries, solve them with OOPSMP, and "play" the solutions without ever having to leave SketchUp. You can also export motion planning problems from SketchUp to an OOPSMP input XML file.


Plugin: Ambien Occlusion

Here's an interesting new plugin for SketchUp that calculates soft shadows in a SketchUp model. It creates the grayscale texture material, and replaces the existing texture on the selected faces.

via Sketchucation Forums

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