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...
Read More
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...
Read More
2018 SketchUp 3D Basecamp Recap

2018 SketchUp 3D Basecamp Recap

After SketchUp's 3D Basecamps in Boulder (2012), Vail (2014), and Steamboat Springs (2016), this was my fourth such event, this time in Palm Springs, CA. Aside from the move from CO to CA, this event also hosted a lot more attendees, over 1200 in total, with folks coming from over 30 countries.I really enjoy these 3D Basecamps. Not only because I can talk about topics that are dear to me, e.g. in my presentations this time on Ruby coding, but at which other event can you meet so many amazing people that all share the same passion, then listen to a keynote about making (delivered by the incomparable Grant Imahara of Mythbusters fame), then sit at lunch with an Oscar-winner (by complete coincidence), followed by listening to presentations about design, laser scanning, and drones in construction. And let's not forget that the same day was capped by a party under the Californian sunset with old and new friends from all...
Read More
SketchUp 2017 is out. And it’s looking great!

SketchUp 2017 is out. And it’s looking great!

Okay, admittedly SketchUp 2017 has been out for a few days now (there's even a first maintenance release already). I just didn't get around to posting about it. So, what do I like most about this release? Here's my rundown: A new Graphics Engine This one is a major improvement. As you may know, SketchUp doesn't only exist on Mac or Windows computers, but since a little while also as a browser-based modeling app on the web (at my.sketchup.com). This means that there are three different graphics environments out there in which you can push and pull to your heart's content. It makes only sense from a software development standpoint to unify those three. Fortunate for the users, this also leads to much more consistent graphics as well. Specifically this means:The modeling environment is now DPI-aware. This means that on a high-resolution screen, everything from lines to tool cursors now scales with the set resolution. You can see this already in the...
Read More
2016 SketchUp 3D Basecamp Recap

2016 SketchUp 3D Basecamp Recap

Tip: Once the 360-degree viewer loads, click and drag the image above to explore Steamboat Springs!I just returned from Trimble's 2016 3D Basecamp, SketchUp's biannual user conference, which this year was held in Colorado's super-beautiful resort of Steamboat Springs. This year's iteration, which drew over 600 participants, featured five days of presentations, lots of industry sponsors, and an amazing social program. You can find my images from the trip and the events in the gallery at the end of the post.It was great to see so much emphasis by the presenters put on the use of SketchUp for big projects, which often showed data-heavy, BIM-oriented implementations. Another major emphasis was virtual reality with various viewer companies exhibiting. I even got my hands on testing the Microsoft Hololens at the event. Of course, all of this went along with presentations about good 3D modeling, rendering and visualization, and digital fabrication (there were even some cool, CNC-fabricated games and furniture, made by Eric Schimelpfenig, available in the...
Read More