SketchUp 3D Basecamp, here I come!

SketchUp 3D Basecamp, here I come!

  This Sunday, I will be heading to Trimble's SketchUp 3D Basecamp in Boulder, Colorado. This year's iteration of the Basecamp is promising to be a great event. There will be lots of presentations showing what can be done with SketchUp once one masters the basics. For example, rendering in SketchUp has a solid block on Tuesday's agenda. And then there will be a keynote by Makerbot's Bre Pettis. Wednesday offers a full-day Ruby scripting workshop for those interested. For my part, I will on Tuesday morning show off how one can use Ruby scripting for design. This is an exciting topic, yet many people don't even know that what others do in Rhino and Revit can actually be done in SketchUp, too. See the image on the right as an example. So if you are interested in this, don't forget on Monday to vote for my talk and drop by on Tuesday morning. Finally, this weekend will also mark the release of the companion website for my forthcoming book "Architectural Design with...
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Unwrapping a double-curved shell

Unwrapping a double-curved shell

As you saw in example 4.6 in the book, unfolding a developable surface in SketchUp is very easy using the Unfold plugin. What do you do then, if you have a doubly-curved shape, such as the one shown above (from chapter 6)? Obviously, you can't just "flatten" it without distorting it (take the Mercator projection of world maps for an example of how unwrapping a sphere can lead to significant distortions). In this case, it might be a good strategy to unfold the surface in strips using the same technique described in example 4.6. This gives you the ability to cut the surface into separate parts that can then be assembled using gluing, welding etc. The image below illustrates how this looks after flattening. As you may have noticed, I also added some glue tabs using the Glue Tabs plugin (see chapter 4 for details). In order to make this work, you may need to turn on hidden geometry display (in...
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