Daniel Ewald, landscape architect MNLA

SketchUp – Favorite plugins for Landscape Architecture

We have been using Trimble SketchUp quite extensively as of late. It’s increasingly useful these days after the implemention of IFC classification to objects (albeit limited, it automatically classifies unknown objects to IFCBuildingElementProxy elements, ensuring the entire model is included when collaborating with other disciplines). Below are some extensions I find useful at a daily basis. This list will be updated as additional extensions are discovered. Feel free to leave tips in the comment section below!

Architect Tools
“Suite of tools for working with imported map data to generate buildings and stepped terrains.”
The ‘Flatten Selection’ tool and ‘Generate Buildings’ tool have been useful on numerous occasions for cleaning map data and adding volumes to a model quickly.

Utilities Tools
“The Utilities submenu contains two tools: Create Face and Query Tool.”
Two very useful tools – Query allows you to read elevations from points (Should really be a standard feature).

“Cleans up and optimizes your SketchUp model.”
Very useful for reducing file sizes to make your model easier to work with.

Color by Z
“Add color to faces based on the Z location (height) of the face.”
Useful for analysis and visualisation purposes.

Color by Slope
“Add color to faces based on the slope of the face.”
Useful for analysis and visualisation purposes.

Fractal Terrain Eroder
“Splits every selected face to smaller ones and randomly moves around endpoints to make it look more like a natural terrain.”
Useful for visualisation purposes.

Layers Panel
“Designed to be very similar to Photoshop’s layers panel. It adds the ability to group layers, sort them, lock them, hide/collapse groups, etc.”

“Library of shared functions used by other extensions.”
Necessary for the Architect Tools package.

BIMobject SketchUp app
“The BIMobject® App for SketchUp has functions to quickly browse the BIMobject® Portal database online and filter among all objects from building- and interior manufacturers”

Simplify Contours Tool
“This command reduces the number of segments of contours or other poly-line curves, making them easier to work with.”

“PathCopy allows you to select a path (edge, curve, or polyline*) and then select a group or component to copy along the selected path.”

“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”.”

Land F/X
“A complete landscape architectural add-on to create planting and site plans”

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Magasinet KOTE
BIM for landskap


December 2014
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