The next annual release of SketchUp is here. Aside from the numerous performance enhancements to SketchUp and Layout, there have been some additional features added to both programs that I’m very excited about. I’ve also updated the SketchUp to LayOut …
To celebrate the launch of my new book ‘SketchUp to LayOut”, I hosted a free webinar on launch day. (If you missed the webinar, you can watch the replay at www.Sketchuptolayout.com) This was my first ever live event, so needless to say it didn’t go off without a hitch. Shortly after the webinar, I slapped myself on the forehead as I realized some of the essential tips I forgot to mention in the webinar. So here they are:
The Best Feature of LayOut
This one is so obvious, I can’t believe I forgot to mention it. Hands down, the best reason you should be using LayOut to present your SketchUp models is that LayOut maintains a dynamic link to your SketchUp models. This means that you can insert viewports of your SketchUp model into a LayOut document, and if you ever make any changes to the model down the road, you can tell LayOut to update the viewports to reflect those changes.
There are a few things to watch out for, but first, let me bring you up to speed on how viewports and model references work:
With the Tape Measure tool, you can create an infinite guide line in SketchUp that allows you to use the power of the Inference System to snap to. I use guides all the time in my model to help me model accurately. But I also find myself creating “custom guide geometry” in order to help me place objects that are difficult to inference. In this post, I’ll show you how to create your own guide geometry.
If you don’t know about the Tape Measure tool, you should. It’s a great way to create a special type of line called a guide line that you can snap to in your model. I use them all the time when modeling. I’ll add a few in order to position an object, then delete them right after I’m done using them. Other times I’ll just leave guides in the model till I get overwhelmed with dashed lines everywhere,at which point I’ll go to the Edit menu and select “Delete guides” to get rid of them all.
Back in September, I attended the 2013 World Maker Faire in New York. This was my second time going to the faire, only this time I received a personal invitation from the SketchUp team to join them in the SketchUp booth for the weekend! It gave me the opportunity to talk to a ton of people about SketchUp, and introduced them to a few open source projects that SketchUp partnered up with for the event.
What is MakerFaire?
Maker Faires are events organized by Make Magazine, a really cool company that is at the center of the Maker Movement. “Makers” are people just like yourself, who love to build, create, tinker, think, question, experiment, and MAKE all sorts of things.
Sketchup is a great tool for creating models for 3D printing. I recently built my own 3D printer and have been learning a lot about how to design printable models in Sketchup. These are the 3 plugins I can’t live without when modeling things for my printer.
NOTE: Depending upon which version of Sketchup you have on your computer, there are different methods of installing plugins. With Sketchup Make & Sketchup Pro 2013, they introduced the Sketchup extension warehouse which makes installing plugins much easier than before. The only problem is that they don’t have ALL of the plugins available. Some of the plugins I recommend below are not available through the extension warehouse, and must be downloaded from the Sketchucation forum. If you don’t have Sketchup 2013 or you are trying to install one of the plugins not hosted on the extension warehouse, I recommend checking out Installing the Sketchup STL Exporter Plugin for details on how to install these types of plugins.