Profile Builder 2 Review

Matt Donley Extensions, Uncategorized 2 Comments

Profile Builder 2 is an extension for SketchUp that bundles three unique tools that help you automate your workflow. This article is a review of Profile Builder 2, aimed at giving you a general overview of its features, and my personal impressions of its functionality after experimenting with it. Whenever I had a question, I emailed back and forth with the …

3D printing a replacement handle – PART 2

Matt Donley 3D Printing, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Watch Part One In this video you’ll see me troubleshoot and export this small section of the handle and print it out on my MendelMax 3. I then make some adjustments to the model, export the full sized handle, and print it out. LINKS MendelMax 3 CURA slicing and printing software (FREE) STL plugin Solid Inspector …

Everything you need to know about SketchUp 2015

Matt Donley News, Uncategorized 14 Comments

SketchUp 2015 has been released, with it comes some great performance improvements as well as some additional tools. Here’s everything you need to know about SketchUp 2015.

NOTE: If you’re upgrading from a previous version of SketchUp PRO, go here to find out how to upgrade 

New Features in SketchUp 2015

  • 64-bit versions of SketchUp & LayOut – SketchUp and LayOut are now available in 64-bit, which means they will now take advantage of your multi-core processor.
  • New drawing tools in SketchUp – The 3 Point Arc tool and the Rotated Rectangle tool have been added to the default toolset in SketchUp.
  • IFC Importer – SketchUp Pro now has the ability to import IFC files directly, further enhancing its BIM capabilities, and helping it communicate with other software within your BIM workflow. The classifier tools has been upgraded as well.
  • Two-segmented labels – The label tool can create two-segmented leader labels, giving you more freedom over the look of your labels.
  • Label Auto-Text – Label autotext took a huge leap forward, unlocking a whole treasure of data from your model, making your labels even smarter. You can access IFC data and dynamic component attributes from within LayOut!
  • Fast Styles badge – Styles have a big effect on how SketchUp performs under pressure. Some styles perform better than others. You’ll now see a special badge next to high performance styles when browsing through the Styles window.
  • New Licensing System – Enterprise and network licenses will now be a lot easier to manage, and you’ll now get a 30 day trial to SketchUp Pro, instead of the previous 8 hour trial.

Mason Farm Renders

Matt Donley News, Uncategorized 16 Comments

When I wrote my book, SketchUp to LayOut, I wanted to use meaningful sample files in it that related to real world projects. This article shares the personal story about why I chose the specific house as the sample project.

The House Project

To show how the methods in SketchUp to LayOut can be applied to multiple types of projects, I chose a table woodworking project, a kitchen, and a house. I wasn’t sure what house I wanted to use in my book, until I made a visit to my Mother’s house and she showed me something incredible.
I grew up in Bristol, RI, a small, historical New England town. Our claim to fame is our Fourth of July Parade, it’s the oldest in the country as a matter of fact, (and I also happen to march in it each year). I have family traced back to the 1700’s who’ve lived in Bristol, so I personally have a lot of ties to the town.

The house I grew up in was built in 1912 by my great grandfather, and has been passed on to each generation. I had thought about using it as my sample project for the book, but was a bit overwhelmed with the thought of having to measure everything in order to create an accurate model.

Everything you need to know about SketchUp 2014

Matt Donley News, Uncategorized 6 Comments

The next annual release of SketchUp is here. Aside from the numerous performance enhancements to SketchUp and Layout, there have been some additional features added to both programs that I’m very excited about. I’ve also updated the SketchUp to LayOut book for 2014. Articles/Announcements SketchUp 2014 is here This is the official blog post from the SketchUp team announcing SketchUp …

Everything you need to know about Sketchup 2013

Matt Donley News, Uncategorized 15 Comments

It’s here! Sketchup 2013 was released on Tuesday, and you’re probably wondering what’s new! Well I’ve got you covered. I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about Sketchup 2013,

Before I jump into my overview of what’s new, I thought it would be helpful to share links to a number of important pages that will help you understand all the changes that are going on.

Official Sketchup Announcements

  • Introducing Sketchup 2013 This is the announcement from Sketchup explaining the overall picture of the release. In the article, John Bacus highlights the new Extensions Warehouse, improvements made to Layout, and the rebranding of the free Sketchup; Now called Sketchup Make.
  • (re)Introducing Sketchup Make
    This is more of a reflection on how Sketchup has grown, and how important it is to them to continue to offer a free modeling program. With Sketchup Make, they reaffirm their allegiance to always provide a version of Sketchup that is free. (Notice the backlink to my pinewood derby tutorial? Woo hoo!!)
  • A Closer Look at Layout
    Here’s an in depth look at the specific changes made to Layout. There are numerous performance upgrades, as well as many additional features added to Layout. Some features include pattern fill (hatching), new annotations, copy array, and increased zoom levels.

5 Reasons Trimble Will Master Sketchup

Matt Donley News, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Ever since the announcement that Google was selling Sketchup, the 3D modeling world went into panic mode. There was a lot of uncertainty over what Trimble would do with Sketchup, and if they would be capable or willing to continue developing Sketchup into the best 3D modeling program. I want to share with you, 5 Trimble companies that are already doing fantastic things in the 3D modeling industry. This portfolio of accomplishments can serve as proof that Trimble will do great things with Sketchup.

5 Noteworthy Trimble Products

Trimble is well known in the construction industry. They have created the standard for providing project management tools and capturing field data. Not only do they have experience with 3D modeling software, but they also have a number of 3D scanning devices that can create a 3D model by scanning an environment with a laser. Here are 5 of the most interesting Trimble products currently being used.

  1. Trimble Indoor Mobile Mapping Solution (3D laser scanner)

    An incredible example of Trimble’s capable technology, I introduce the Trimble Indoor Mapping Solution (TIMMS). This device can produce a 2D/3D map and model of an interior space. It uses dual LiDAR technology to collect 27,000 data points per second. It is housed within a cart that has wheels and is manually pushed around the building to capture 360° coverage of the area. The model is even geo-located so the building’s real world location is recorded, similar to placing a Sketchup model in Google Earth. It has been used in applications such as situational awareness, emergency response, and in construction for creating floor plans. It has mapped the following infrastucture:

    • High Rise office buildings
    • Plant and factory facilities
    • Airports, train stations and other transport facilities
    • Public event spaces such as music halls, theatres, and auditoriums
    • Underground mines and tunnels

    Once a scan is completed, a complete set of floor plans can be produced. This saves an incredible amount of time when compared to manually measuring and drawing a building. Think of this as a Google Street view camera, but instead of just taking pictures, it also laser scans the environment for geometrical data too.

Share 2D Sketchup Models with ScreenHunter

Matt Donley News, Tips & Tricks, Uncategorized 6 Comments

Sketchup can be categorized as a communication tool. It allows people to take their ideas and communicate them to others in the form of a visual model. Sometimes I struggle with how to share my models with other people in a way that communicates exactly what I want to show them. In this post, I will show you how to take 2D screenshots of your Sketchup model using a free program called ScreenHunter.

Exporting a Sketchup Model as a 2D Image

Sketchup image
Even though Sketchup is a 3D modeling tool, sometimes we just want to export a 2D image of our model to share with other people. It’s a quick way to show someone a part of your model. It’s great if you are working on a design for a client, or if you are collaborating on a project with a team. An image allows you to isolate a specific part of your model and capture a perspective that you can share with your partners and discuss.

Why create a 2D image of a 3D model?

  • You can share your model with people who don’t have Sketchup, or don’t know how to use it.
  • Viewing an image of a model on a mobile device is easier, and uses less bandwidth
  • Posting to forums and social sites like Facebook is easy
  • It gives you the control to deliver a specific perspective view of your model
  • It eliminates people from looking at other parts of your model that weren’t drawn to scale, or were intentionally inaccurate to save time

Sketchup has a built in 2D export utility, but there is a better way! I like to use ScreenHunter, by Wisdom Software (ScreenHunter info from Wisdom Software ). It’s a Windows program, sorry Mac users.

Why Google Doesn’t NEED Sketchup Anymore

Matt Donley News, Tips & Tricks, Uncategorized 21 Comments

Sketchup has always been known as an easy to use 3D modeling tool. With its intuitive interface, it has claimed the motto “3D modeling for everyone.” With the recent acquisition of Sketchup by Trimble, Sketchup is no longer under the Google umbrella. Many people have wondered why Google sold it. But to answer that question, you must first understand why Google bought it in the first place.

Google’s quest to model the world

Google has an ongoing, ambitious goal of mapping the world. This vision is delivered via Google Maps, and Google Earth. The two programs share many similarities in the way they show maps and satellite imagery. While I don’t want to go into great detail about the features and differences between the two programs, the main distinction is that Google Maps is a web based application, and Google Earth is a program that gets installed on your computer.

In 2004, Google announced that it had acquired Keyhole Corp, a digital mapping company. The technology from Keyhole is what became the beginning of Google Earth and Google Maps.

Fun Fact – If you go to, it refreshes to the Google Earth website.

Google Earth started out as a 3D model of the globe, with 2D satellite imagery pasted continuously on the surface. Even though there was some terrain data integrated into the 3D part of Google Earth, the images were still pasted flat to the surface. Therefore, if you were to fly over a city, all the tall buildings and land features would appear flat on the ground.

3D buildings in Google Earth

In 2005, Google started to extrude the outlines of buildings in order to create a rough 3D model. There were no textures applied, and a lot of the building details were lost. All the buildings had the same grey looking surface. It lacked realism.

Google realized they would need to do something else in order to take their 3D model of the world to the next level. At the time, the only way to create a realistic model of a building was to manually create each one. It would cost way too much to hire people to create all these models, so instead Google looked to the community to create the models for them.

Enter Sketchup.