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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How to best prepare your SketchUp models for Sketchfab.com

How to best prepare your SketchUp models for Sketchfab.com

There are nowadays quite a few ways in which we can share a SketchUp model with the world, thanks to a technology that is built right into most modern browsers: WebGL. One example is Trimble's 3D Warehouse, where an uploaded model becomes an interactive one just by clicking on a small icon: Other web services expand on this technology. Of those, Sketchfab offers amazing possibilities when it comes to adjusting the model and its materials after upload. Using its 3D Editor, you can tweak the interactive WebGL model quite a bit. Here is an example of an edited SketchUp model. I am covering the process of preparing a SketchUp model, uploading, and adjusting it in a guest post on the Sketchfab blog. You can read it at the link below. Feel free to discuss anything related to this process in the comments below this post. http://blog.sketchfab.com/post/139059882629/getting-your-sketchup-models-to-sketchfab-the If you want to experiment with the sample model, download it here: https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model.html?id=uf387fc06-37bd-4099-ad5a-584fd6525db1...
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Modeling and rendering my 2015 Christmas card image

Modeling and rendering my 2015 Christmas card image

Did you see my 2015 Christmas card tree image on this site? In case you were wondering how I modeled and rendered it, here is a video that explains that process. It's a bit of a minimalistic design, but as you can see in the video, I used a bunch of SketchUp extensions and the Twilight Renderer to make it happen. I hope you find the tips and tricks useful for your own projects. Covered topics: studio setup, materials, Erode extension, components, scale tool, Fredoscale extension, Selection Toys extension, Profile Builder extension, Twilight extension, Twilight materials, Twilight lights, Twilight rendering options. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMBhhXavm48&feature=youtu.be...
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