Floor Flatness Check in SketchUp with Point Clouds

Floor Flatness Check in SketchUp with Point Clouds

As I covered in last week's post, Trimble recently released a new point cloud extension for SketchUp, Trimble Scan Essentials For SketchUp. In today's post and video, I am using this tool to perform some analysis with the same 3D point cloud data that I introduced earlier (a scan of our classroom). I am basically checking how level the floor in our classroom really is by using what is aptly called a "floor flatness analysis", This approach is useful to verify any concrete work, especially if tolerances were defined in the specs. As you may have guessed already - our classroom's floor is not overly flat at all in some areas. My solution uses the extension's Inspection Map feature and simply compares the floor scan's points to a planar reference surface. This then results in a color-coded map that nicely illustrates where the ridges and valleys are. You can even label individual points and produce well-documented reports from this. Of course, the...
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Point Clouds in SketchUp – Much Improved!

Point Clouds in SketchUp – Much Improved!

A few days ago, the Trimble folks announced the release of a new point cloud extension for SketchUp, Trimble Scan Essentials For SketchUp. This came on the heels of their release of version 2020.1 of SketchUp Pro. And if you asked me, being able to easily work with point clouds in SketchUp is absolutely the most exciting feature of this year's release cycle! Never heard of point clouds? Check out this Wikipedia article as a primer. Up until recently, Trimble produced the Scan Explorer extension for SketchUp that allowed you to load a point cloud and extract construction points, planes, etc. into the 3D model. The workflow was a bit clunky in that the cloud would never load into the modeling environment but remained in the viewer dialog. This is now much improved in this new extension. I should mention at this point that there are also other LIDAR and point cloud extensions for SketchUp, most notably Undet, which you may want to...
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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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Pulled Brick Design Options

Pulled Brick Design Options

I came across brick wall designs today where the architects were considering various options with pulled bricks. This design approach has been used before in many different ways but the basic principle is always the same: In a brick wall that is dominated by stretchers, you insert strategically placed headers which then protrude a little bit beyond the brick wall surface. This creates a very nice pattern with interesting shadows. The first image below shows such a design in a SketchUp model: Given that in reality these are placed manually it may be reasonably easy (and therefore not too costly) to vary the extend of their extension beyond the surface and thereby create more interesting undulating patterns. One such pattern is shown below: As it turns out, this is very easy to do by simply modifying some of the scripts from Chapter 7 and combining coding with a carefully created SketchUp model. The secret for success is having a component type (the...
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Information Modeling in SketchUp: An Overview (my 2016 #3DBasecamp presentation)

Information Modeling in SketchUp: An Overview (my 2016 #3DBasecamp presentation)

This page provides some additional information for my presentation at the 2016 3D Basecamp on.Monday, June 13th 4:30 pm - 5:45 pm in Sleeping Giant Description: Counter to popular belief, SketchUp can do much more than just “sketching”. This session dives deeper into the software, exploring techniques for creating parametric, data-loaded Dynamic Components, deploying the new  IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) functionality for BIM projects, and using scripting to bend the software to your will. With these information modeling tools, you can set up an efficient workflow for planning, estimating, and exchanging projects with software such as Revit, and more. More Documents: my_schema.xsd get_cost.rb ...
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