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Designer with SketchUp – do not forget these features

Many times the designer asks that how to use a pen tablet to create models in SketchUp? A designer can use and create models in SketchUp using a pen and a pen tablet, such as a Wacom Graphire or Intuos pen tablet, or a Wacom Cintiq pen display. However, when you use a pen instead of a 3-button mouse, the way you work with some of the tools differs. For example, by simultaneously pressing and scrolling the scroll button on a 3-button mouse you can rotate and zoom your model at the same time. This isn't something you can do with a pen by itself (but most pen tablets also include a 3-button mouse you can use with the pen tablet). In particular, zooming behaves quite differently when you use the scroll wheel rather than by clicking the “Zoom” button and moving the Zoom cursor. When you zoom using the scroll wheel, the view zooms in to or out from the point at which your cursor is. When you zoom by clicking the “Zoom” button and moving the Zoom cursor up or down, the view zooms in to or out from the center point of the drawing area (the area you see in the SketchUp window).

How should designer prepare a CAD file for import into SketchUp? When SketchUp imports an AutoCAD file, it strips the information to its basic geometric components. Because of this, regardless of AutoCAD file format (2010, 2007, etc...), the end result is essentially the same. To maximize compatibility, however, we suggest importing AutoCAD files that are in R13 format. You may not need to do anything special, but performing a little preparation often helps make the imported data more efficient. SketchUp automatically discards any entities in the imported CAD file that have no 3D relevance, for example, text, dimensioning, hatching, logos, and so on. However, SketchUp won't discard the layers holding these entities, so you may want to delete those layers from the CAD file prior to import, or you can easily delete them all in SketchUp after import by opening the Layers browser (Window > Layers) and using the Purge command on the flyout menu, which purges all unused layers. When geometry is many miles or kilometers away from the origin (0,0) in SketchUp, you can experience performance problems. Because of this, if you are importing, for example, Autodesk AutoCAD DWG files such as civil site plans in order to work with the contour lines, if the graphic or geometry is far away from the origin, it is helpful to move it close to the origin before importing into SketchUp. Alternatively, clear the SketchUp Preserve drawing origin option when importing (File › Import › Options › Scale). CAD imports are generally successful when the file size 15MB or less. Larger file sizes may fail upon import.

How should designer prepare a CAD file for import into SketchUp? When SketchUp imports an AutoCAD file, it strips the information to its basic geometric components. Because of this, regardless of AutoCAD file format (2010, 2007, etc...), the end result is essentially the same. To maximize compatibility, however, we suggest importing AutoCAD files that are in R13 format. You may not need to do anything special, but performing a little preparation often helps make the imported data more efficient. SketchUp automatically discards any entities in the imported CAD file that have no 3D relevance, for example, text, dimensioning, hatching, logos, and so on. However, SketchUp won't discard the layers holding these entities, so you may want to delete those layers from the CAD file prior to import, or you can easily delete them all in SketchUp after import by opening the Layers browser (Window > Layers) and using the Purge command on the flyout menu, which purges all unused layers. When geometry is many miles or kilometers away from the origin (0,0) in SketchUp, you can experience performance problems. Because of this, if you are importing, for example, Autodesk AutoCAD DWG files such as civil site plans in order to work with the contour lines, if the graphic or geometry is far away from the origin, it is helpful to move it close to the origin before importing into SketchUp. Alternatively, clear the SketchUp Preserve drawing origin option when importing (File › Import › Options › Scale). CAD imports are generally successful when the file size 15MB or less. Larger file sizes may fail upon import.

For imported data that won't be used for 3D extrusion, but that you need to view or show to others, such as property lines, parking lot markers, and so on: The goal with this type of data is to have it available, but to prevent it from impacting performance. To accomplish this, you need to isolate this data so SketchUp doesn't need to use its Face Finder functionality to analyze all of the points that make up this data. You can do this by selecting all these entities and creating a component from them (this is easiest to accomplish if these entities are all on their own layer). Be sure to use the Replace selection with component option when you create the component. For imported data that will be used for 3D extrusion: As long as the imported edges are connected endpoint to endpoint, all you have to do is trace one edge from endpoint to endpoint, and then SketchUp's Face Finder creates the face whose perimeter is defined by the edges connected to that edge.

Can a designer share files between SketchUp Pro and SketchUp? If you are a designer, then you can share SketchUp files (.skp) between SketchUp Pro and SketchUp. You can also share SketchUp files (.skp) between SketchUp for Mac and SketchUp for Windows, with one limitation: SketchUp for Mac can't interpret the Windows Bitmap (.bmp) image format. Any textures that use a Windows Bitmap (.bmp) image won't be displayed in the Mac version of SketchUp.

 

Can a designer share files between the Mac and Windows version of SketchUp? Yes, if a designer can share SketchUp files (.skp) between SketchUp for Mac and SketchUp for Windows, with one limitation: SketchUp for Mac can't interpret the Windows Bitmap (.BMP) image format. Any textures that use a Windows Bitmap (.bmp) image won't be displayed in the Mac version of SketchUp.

Designer with SketchUp – do not forget these features

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