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Architectural Design with Sketchup


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Table of Contents

Preface ix Acknowledgments x Chapter 1: Introduction 1 About This Book 1 3D for All 6 How Does SketchUp Fit into the Designer's Toolbox? 7 Windows or Mac, Pro or Make? 9 How This Book Works 11 Let's Go! 12 Chapter 2: A SketchUp Refresher 13 Let's Get Started! 13 Interface and Program Setup 15 Adjusting SketchUp's Preferences 18 Working with Templates 20 Setting Units and Fonts 21 Adding Components 23 Views 24 Completed Template 24 SketchUp's Tool Set 24 Navigating the 3D Model 25 Accurate Modeling 27 Groups and Components 34 Applying Materials 43 Using References for Modeling: Images and Location 50 Other Tools 60 SketchUp Best Practices 61 Chapter 3: Component-Based 3D Modeling for Efficient and Data-Driven Designs 64 Group- and Component-Based Modeling 64 Effective Use of Groups and Components 65 Modeling with Production Assembly in Mind 70 Using Dynamic Components to Your Advantage 79 Where Does SketchUp Fit into the BIM Workflow? 87 BIM Classifier and IFC in SketchUp 93 Chapter 4: Using Extensions Effectively 102 What Does an Extension Do? 102 Getting and Using Extensions 103 How Exactly Do Extensions Work? 107 Updating, Uninstalling, and Organizing Extensions 110 Extensions Overview 111 Extensions for General Modeling 112 Extensions for Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) Modeling 127 Extensions for Digital Fabrication 135 Extensions for Data Integration and Exchange 146 Extensions for Animation and Presentation 149 Extensions for Analysis 155 Chapter 5: Rendering in SketchUp 164 Let's Get Visual! 164 What is Already in SketchUp? 164 Overview of Rendering Methods 175 What is Photorealistic Rendering? 176 Rendering Techniques 181 Rendering Software 181 Setting Up Kerkythea and Creating a Rendering 186 Perfecting the Components of a Rendering 195 Modeling 195 Environment 201 Lighting 209 Materials 228 Objects 250 Rendering Tips 267 Making Renderings Presentable 268 Combining SketchUp Output and Rendered Output in Photoshop 269 Other Methods 271 Chapter 6: Making Things with SketchUp 274 What Can I Make with SketchUp? 274 Services for Makers 276 Selecting the Manufacturing Technique 277 Cutting Prep 282 Laser Cutting 289 CNC Milling 295 3D Printing 302 Preparing Your SketchUp Model for 3D Printing 302 Exporting and Processing Your Model Outside of SketchUp 312 For More Information About Making 316 Chapter 7: Creating Geometry Using Ruby Scripting 317 Why Computational Geometry? 317 Setting Up Your Computer 319 Installing the Ruby Code Editor Extension 321 More Extensions and External Editors 322 Intro to Ruby and the SketchUp API 323 How Does Ruby Work? 323 What's in SketchUp's Ruby API? 329 Links to Further Reading 332 Creating Geometry with Ruby 333 Lots of Boxes 334 Lots of Boxes with Color 336 Creating a Small City 338 Randomizing Extrusions 340 Using Formulas for Patterned Panels 341 Plotting Data from Text Files 343 Saving Vertices to a Text File 345 Transformations Change Things Up 347 Lots of Boxes Using Components 349 Building a Curved Wall 350 Placing Components on Faces 351 Randomizing Everything 353 Attracted to Attractors 355 Coloring Faces by Proximity 355 Scaling Objects by Proximity 358 Solar-Responsive Design 360 What Else is Possible with This? 362 Some Pitfalls and Things to Watch Out For 363 Appendix A: SketchUp Quick Reference Cards 365 Appendix B: Ruby Class and Method Reference 370 Appendix C: SketchUp API Class and Method Reference 373 Appendix D: Creating Your Own Extensions 384 RBZ Extension File Structure 384 Extension Template Structure 384 Appendix E: Dynamic Component Function Reference 387 Appendix F: Creating a Simple Custom XML Schema 389 Index 391

About the Author

ALEXANDER C. SCHREYER is senior lecturer and program director of the Building and Construction Technology program and faculty member in the Department of Architecture at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He teaches courses in AEC BIM/CAD modeling and visualization as well as materials and methods, structural design, and 3D printing. He is an active member of the SketchUp community, speaks regularly at user conferences, and owns a popular blog at


Students and professionals and general public will find this book immediately useful and applicable. The author does a good job of describing the product, showing the functionality and expanding on the delivery of 3D printed products or other outcomes. (3D Visualization World Magazine, April 2016)

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