Friday, 14 September 2012

Modeling SketchUp roofs on a click with Build Edge PLAN

If you’ve ever taught someone to use SketchUp, you’ve probably drawn the basic SketchUp house and then breezed over the details when it comes to detailing the roof. The truth is that designing roofs is not always a straightforward task, even for experienced modelers.

We’ve explored some solutions for boosting roof design productivity on this blog, and today we’re happy to share a new plugin, Build Edge PLAN, that employs a bit of BIM for quickly creating dynamic walls and roofs. Here’s a quick look at how it works, courtesy of Aaron from Build Edge:

If you couldn’t sit still for the video, here’s the skinny: Build Edge PLAN plugin makes it easier to...

Draw Walls: Rather than outlining walls in a 2D view, and using Push/Pull to extrude them to full height, PLAN can draw complete 3D walls based on your desired dimensions. Each wall can be input as quickly as drawing a single line.

Edit Walls: Even if you are precise when it comes to grouping objects and creating components, modifying walls in an existing structure can be a trying process. With walls created by BuildEdge PLAN, you can move one wall, and all of the attached walls (not to mention the roof) will stretch to stay connected.

Model Roofs: Modeling a pitched roof in 3D is not a straightforward task. Properly projecting surfaces so that they intersect each-other to form a proper roof is time consuming, and if you want to model for framing, including proper heel heights and overhang geometry can be a challenge. BuildEdge PLAN simplifies the process by generating roof geometry from a simple roof outline. Just specify the slope and heel geometry of each side of the roof, and the plugin does the heavy lifting. PLAN also lets you set properties of each roof side individually, so there is plenty of wiggle room for customization.

Roof Creation in Build Edge PLAN: Roofs are created by outlining their profile; selecting individual sections allows for customization

Edit Roofs: Since BuildEdge PLAN recognizes walls and roofs as they are input, you can modify the house as a whole, and move walls or change properties of a roof on the fly. This allows you to quickly change the look of the entire house or any individual properties. For instance, switching from a hip to a gable is literally a single click.

Currently, Build Edge PLAN is only available for PC (a Mac version is in the works). The folks at Build Edge have some quick tutorials to get you going and are pretty great about helping modelers to get the most out of their plugin; give it a try, and the next time you teach someone SketchUp, don’t skimp on the roof.

Via Google SketchUP Blog

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