Patterned Panel + Bending Extension = Cool Candle Holder

Patterned Panel + Bending Extension = Cool Candle Holder

Now that the days are getting shorter, it may be a nice home decorating idea to create a decorative candle holder. Having the powers of SketchUp and computational design methods as well as 3D printing at our fingertips, it does, of course, make sense to create something more interesting than just a boring lampshade. This brief example uses the patterned panel exercise from Chapter 7 to create the basic geometry. Of course you can replace the sinusoidal wave pattern easily now with another beautiful function, or you could even have the cutout pattern generated based on colors in an image, which allows you to make it look like a logo, landscape, etc. Since the resulting shape needed to have the pattern cut into a curved surface, there were basically two approaches: 1) create a curved surface and place the geometry onto it by arranging it radially (and then subtracting it), or 2) creating the panels flat and then curving them. Also, this...
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Using images for scaling and geometry patterns in SketchUp

Using images for scaling and geometry patterns in SketchUp

This post was actually inspired by a question in my Basecamp presentation: Could we use images to create or modify geometry in SketchUp? As it turns out, this is actually quite easy since SketchUp version 2018. This year's version of SketchUp includes a new class in Ruby, the ImageRep. Contrary to the regular Image class (which you can use to work with images as entities in SketchUp), the ImageRep class goes further and allows you to look at images on a pixel by pixel basis. This is basically what we need to be able to read pixel color values and then use those to create or modify geometry. As you can see in the code snippet below, this is reasonably straightforward once one figures out the basic geometric behavior. The code even stretches the image by the (x and y) dimensions of the selected geometry. One part that needed to be resolved was that color information in an image contains red, green, and...
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Beautiful Functions in SketchUp

Beautiful Functions in SketchUp

Scripting geometry (as described in Chapter 7) can make things look very interesting (and quite beautiful) with a rather small amount of actual code. You can see this in the patterned panel example or in the pulled brick post. Both of those examples use a combination of sine and cosine functions to create a "wavy" pattern that nicely undulates shapes and geometry. There are other functions, however, some of which you likely remember from algebra and trigonometry classes. But even without delving too deeply into this, I thought it would be useful to have a reference for some interesting functions that may be of use. The interactive examples shown below use the following grid of 1 inch cubes in SketchUp that were simply scaled vertically according to the lines of code that are included at the bottom of this post. Obviously you can use this approach for other purposes and in other ways, too, but this is a good way to...
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Merry Christmas, Joyful Holidays, and a Happy New Year 2016!

Merry Christmas, Joyful Holidays, and a Happy New Year 2016!

For this year’s Christmas post, I went back to a simple rendering approach. Mixing some extruded shapes, eroded boxes, basic materials and a few lights makes for a nice, moody image. As always, all done in SketchUp (and Twilight). To you and your loved ones a peaceful and joyful holiday season and a happy and successful new year 2016. Merry Christmas! Cheers, Alex...
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Second edition of “Architectural Design with SketchUp” is now available!

Second edition of “Architectural Design with SketchUp” is now available!

I am very excited to be announcing the release of the second edition of my book "Architectural Design with SketchUp" today! For this edition, I went back through the text and updated and improved a lot of content. As before, my main goal was to keep it relevant for as large a variety of SketchUp users as possible and at the same time provide thorough yet easy to follow examples and tutorials. I am also very excited to announce a completely new chapter on physically making things with SketchUp that includes 3D printing, CNC cutting, and other techniques. Lots of fun stuff! As before, this second edition will use the companion website at http://sketchupfordesign.com/the-book where you can find free sample chapters, videos, references, 3D models, and tutorials.There are also now over 30 videos that accompany the book and can be accessed using the instructions in the book. Interested in getting the book? Check out Amazon or Wiley. Here's the official press release: 3D Modeling in SketchUp and Digital Making Come Together in Second Edition of “Architectural...
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