SketchUp is a great piece of software. It took me a while to fall in love with it – I was always more confident with Autocad. But now of course I am completely converted and use it regularly in my work. It also took me a while to discover all the plugins that are available to further improve the functionality of an already great bit of kit.
There is a vast range of plugins available on the SketchUp Extension Warehouse. I have selected a few of these that are really useful to architects and can speed up your modelling time, add extra dimensions and generally help you out. Some of the plugins are free, and some you have to pay for. Most of the paid plugins offer a free trial period so you can see if the plugin is going to work for you before purchasing.
So, lets get into it – here are some of my best SketchUp plugins for architects.
1001bit Tools (Freeware) is a collection of various tools useful for fast creation of architectural elements.
Staircases, spiral staircase, windows, doors, walls, customised openings on walls, automatic generation of hip roofs, rafters and purlins etc.
1001bit Tools also include some useful drawing and editing tools such as fillet edges, extend, chamfer etc.
Skalp has been designed and built as an easy to use yet powerful Live Section Tool. It represents the key missing features needed to realize a long standing dream: Create your stunning plans and elevations inside SketchUp.
- Create 3D trees in few clicks and add them to your model
- Choose from many predefined trees and plants templates
- Make grass and flowerbeds
- Fully customizable parameters to adapt the tree to your needs from a single configuration window
- Switch from 3D trees to Skeleton proxies (ghosts) to reduce tree size of your models while working within Sketchup and switch back to high poly 3D when final render needed
- Generate random new trees
- Save your parameters as new tree templates to re-use it in other Sketchup models
Extract & Export the following rendering channels for composting on your favorite image editor.
- Color by Layer
Really handy little tool this one.
Select the tool
click an edge or preselect and click on an edge
And Push it !
The Drop Downward tool places (drops) each item of a selection of groups and components downward in the blue direction onto the model. Select the objects to drop downward. During the drop, the selected objects will not drop onto one another. The objects will land on the first part of the model they encounter.
The Set to Elevation tool moves all objects in a selection to a uniform elevation.
Artisan is a SketchUp extension filled with powerful organic modeling tools. It is perfect for designers to create:
- Abstract Sculptures
- Fabric, curtains, and pillows
- Rocks, tree trunks, and plants
- and much more!
Select multiple connected edges, curves, and/or arcs (“connected” means having common endpoints), then use the Weld tool to join them into a single “polyline”.
Hope you have found these plugins useful in your sketchUp modelling endeavours. If you have any suggestions you would like to add to the list please comment below and I can add it in!