Fix Solids and Real Sections Plugins

SketchUcation user, Belgian architect, and now SketchUp plugin author GWydouw has release 2 new plugins for SketchUp.

Fix Solids

This Plugin try to fix problems with groups that suppose to be solids but don't show up like a solid in SU.

fixSolid fix the following problems:
* heal missing faces
* remove single edges
* remove separate faces
* remove edges between coplanar faces
* remove innerfaces
* remove all edges with only 1 face connected (RISKY FIX)

Real Sections

Do you want to create real sections with different materials through your SketchUp models?

Downloads : [ FixSolids | RealSection ]

Related plugins:  Section Cut Face | Solid Inspector

How To Download and Install SketchUp Plugins

Updated Dec 26, 2010

What are Plugins

Beginning with version 4, SketchUp has shipped with an embedded Ruby-language interpreter allowing anyone to write Ruby scripts which can automate, extend, and customize SketchUp.

Why Use Plugins

Plugins can save time, and allow SketchUp modelers to do things that are difficult to achieve otherwise.

Where to Find Plugins

There is no central place to find SketchUp plugins. Many people have contributed plugins, which are hosted at sites across the Internet.

  • - the site of the original plugins guys, Todd and Rick offering many free and paid plugins, support forum, and custom plugins services.
  • Ruby Library Depot - Didier Bur's plugins archive. Many older plugins not available elsewhere.

How to Download Plugins

Plugins are distributed in several forms:
  • Ruby scripts (.rb extension)
  • Compressed archives (.zip or .rar)
  • Installable executable file (.exe or .msi)
In theory, downloading any file should be as easy as left-clicking on its link. In my experience, it is not always that easy.

The most reliable way to download plugins to right-click on their link, then select "Save link as" or "Save Target as" (depending on your browser.) You may be prompted by the browser for a location to which to save the file. Save the file to a convenient location.

How to Install Plugins

For single-file Ruby (.rb) plugins, installing just means moving the file to SketchUp's Plugins folder.

There seem to be more problems when the plugin is a .zip archive which consists of multiple files. The important point is that folders and sub-folders within the .zip archive must be preserved when extracting. When using WinZip, for example, there is an option to "use folders" which must be checked in order to preserve the folders when extracted.

When a plugin comes as a .zip archive, it is common that its contents consist of a single Ruby script and its associated support folder:

In a case like this, both the .rb file and its associated folder would be put in the Plugins folder.
There may also be further sub-folders under the main folder - again, the key is that all folders and sub-folders be kept when extracting from the .zip archive.

How to Find the Plugins Folder

The location of the Plugins folder in SketchUp is dependent on the version of SketchUp installed, and the  operating system in use.

The most reliable way to find the Plugins folder is to ask SketchUp. With SketchUp running, open the Ruby Console from the Windows menu. In the Ruby Console's  input box (lower white box), type or cut&paste in the following code:

SketchUp 8 Ruby Console on Windows XP

SketchUp 7 Ruby Console on Mac OSX

If correct, you should see something similar to the above image; which is telling me my Plugins folder is located:

C:/Program Files/Google/Google SketchUp 8/plugins

This is the location to which you will move or copy the plugin files; whether they be a single .rb file, or a unzipped file and folder.

Once the file(s) are moved, you will need to close then start SketchUp again.

Where Are The Plugins In SketchUp?

In short, plugins can appear in any of several places.

  • Plugins can use any of the top-level menus: File, Edit, View, Camera, Draw, Tools, Windows, Plugins, and Help.
  • Plugins can create sub-menus in any of the aforementioned top-level menus.
  • Plugins can also create right-click, or context menus that only appear when the appropriate type of entities are right-clicked using the mouse.
  • Plugins can also create Toolbars in which case the plugin's Toolbar name would be visible in the View/Toolbars menu.
  • Finally, plugins may use the Extension feature. Extensions can be enabled or disabled when first installed, so you should check the Preferences/Extensions dialog window for disabled extensions.

How Can I Find Out Exactly Where A Plugin Will Appear?

Open the plugin file in a text editor (such as Notepad.exe), and look for code concerning the creation of menus and toolbars. Typically this code occurs near the top, or more likely at the bottom of a script.

Corrections and feedback on this article are appreciated.

Shaderlight for SketchUp Contest

"1stprize: $150 Amazon voucher, a copy of Shaderlight Pro for SketchUp, a copy of SketchUp Pro and a Shaderlight 2GB USB wristband.

2ndprize: $50 Amazon voucher and a copy of Shaderlight Pro for SketchUp and a Shaderlight 2GB USB wristband.

3rdprize: a copy of Shaderlight Pro for SketchUp and a Shaderlight 2GB USB wristband.

The top three images will also take pride of place on our homepage in January for the world to see (and for you to show off to your friends!)

To enter, simply send your finished Shaderlight render, orignal SketchUp scene along with your contact details to . If you've not downloaded your free copy of Shaderlight yet, you can get access to the full range of features and unlimited resolution free for 14 days. If you're feeling really creative you can even enter more than one image."

[ Shaderlight for SketchUp contest ]

Plugin: Follow This


This plugin allows you to use a path  inside a Group  for a Follow Me operation on a Face outside the Group.

This plugin is at the stage where it works in simple situations, but may not be reliable or stable. Use with caution.


Update 2010-Dec (small change)

  • Valid Faces are highlighted as the mouse is moved  over them.
  • Changed filename (see note at end of post.)


  • Open a Group for editing, and right-click a Face.
  • Select Follow This from the context menu.
  • The Group will close. 
  • Move the mouse over a Face you want to extrude, then select it using the right mouse button.

To install, right-click the link below and select "Save As" to save the file to your computer. Move the file into your SketchUp Plugins folder, and restart Sketchup

  • Download plugin: jf_follow_this.rb <-- Right-click, and select "Save Link As" or "Save Target As"
  • Once saved, move or copy the file to your SketchUp Plugins folder.
  • The "Follow This" item will appear when right-clicking a Face.
  • Note: This file should replace any file named follow_this1.rb (if installed.)

SU Podium Render V2 Upgrade Pricing Ending Soon

We have held the SU Podium V2 upgrade price to $28.95 (USD) for three months and thousands have upgraded. Thank you. But, the introduction upgrade price will end with the New Year, on January 1, 2011. You can upgrade any version of SU Podium 1.x so long as you have a valid 1.x serial number. Click here to upgrade at $28.95

Free V2 evaluation is available. [ SU Podium V2 ]

Sphere Tool

Update 2010 Dec, 13 (Internal version 1.4)
  • Menu: Draw/SphereTool
  • Code cleanup, and generally tried to make it behave like a native SU Tool.
  • Press the Tab key to switch between draw by radius and draw by diameter.
  • Fixed clipping on tool startup.
  • Added line thickness when inference locked.
  • Made VCB and Statusbar texts consistent, accurate.
Due to inconsistent file names for past versions, this file (jf_spheretool.rb) is meant to replace any of the following files in the Plugins folder:
  • spheretool.rb
  • spheretool1.1.rb
  • spheretool1.3.rb
  • jf_spheretool.rb
  • (You get the idea.)
Download jf_spheretool.rb

Here's a quick tool for drawing spheres. It creates a Sphere option under the Draw menu.

Download the script and move it into your Plugins directory.

A group is created to hold the sphere. You can enter the number of segments you would like to use. It defaults to 24. Even-numbered segments work best, odd one cause unpredictable results.

Spheres are drawn with the poles along the Z axis.

Regular Polygon Keyframe Animation Plugin

Regular Polygon has published a keyframe animation for SketchUp version 7 & 8, Free or Pro.

Main Features include:
  • Keyframes are easily added, deleted, renamed, and reordered.
  • Any group or component can be animated.
  • Animated groups (components) can be nested.
  • Animated groups (components) can be nested inside of non-animated groups (components).
  • Animated groups (components) are interpolated between keyframes by translation or rotation.
  • The interpolation lasts for the entire keyframe transition time.
  • Keyframes can have independent transition times.
  • Keyframes can have independent delay times.
  • The keyframes can be converted to a slideshow of ordinary (non-animated) scenes, called tweens.
  • The number of tweens depends on the frame rate you set.
  • The tween slideshow can be exported to an AVI movie, or to image files (PNG, JPEG, TIF, or BMP)

Keyframe Animation is a commercial Plugin with an introductory price of just under $20. The download is a full-featured, 10-day evaluation.

Plugin: Simple Shell

Simple Shell creates an inner or outer shell by copying and scaling a Group or Surface around its center of geometry. It works best with symmetrical objects.

To make a shell,

* Select a single Group or surface.
* Select JF Simple Shell from the Plugins menu.

A Dialog will prompt for the wall thickness.

The Faces of the shell will be reversed from the original's. Use a negative thickness to make an outer shell.

Download jf_simple_shell.rb

Driving Dimensions 1.4 Update for 8

LEDAS has released version 1.4 of their Driving Dimensions plugin for SketchUp. The update is focused on SketchUp version 8 compatibility.

Driving Dimensions adds parametric ability to SketchUp by allowing users to set and update contraints through SketchUp's Dimensions.

Read the official press release: LEDAS Improves Google SketchUp 8 with Driving Dimensions 1.4

2Bot CNC ModelMaker

I thought this machine was interesting, since it says it is compatible with KMZ files produced by Google SketchUp.

The 2BOT ModelMaker is a turn-key solution for creating physical 3D models from 3D data. The system includes hardware, software, and material. Your 3D data needs to be loaded into the 2BOT software, called 2BOT Studio, which "is compatible with many different file formats including DWG, DXF, Google SketchUp KMZ, STL, and USGS FLT files."

(I couldn't find a price, or a description of the material.)

[ ]

'Digital Job Site' Blog - Fine Homebuilding SketchUp Blog

FineHomebuilding has recently entered the Sketch-U-verse with a blog they call the "Digital Job Site" about...

how builders, remodelers, and architects use the free 3-D modeling software Google SketchUp to design projects and present them to clients.

'Digital Job Site' Blog - Fine Homebuilding

Stand-Alone FBX Converter

If you need to work with FBX files and don't have an Autodesk product, then this stand-alone converter may be useful. It doesn't directly support SketchUp files, so an intermediate format will be needed.

Transfer project data from one application to another quickly and easily with the FBX Converter. This utility lets you convert OBJ, DXF™, and 3DS files to and from the FBX format.

The converter supports COLLADA, although it is not mentioned in Autodesk's description.

Downloads for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

[ FBX Converter ]

SketchUp Graphing Plugin

Update: 2010 December 05, a cold and snowy Sunday morning.
  • Add function to Layer (allows Color By Layer)
  • Add Function to Group
  • Users can enter X range and X step values

Equation Grapher is a free plugin for Google SketchUp.

Activate the plugin in the menu: Plugins/JF Graph Eq

A dialog will ask for the X Range and X step value to plot the function through.

The Function dialog will prompt you to enter the function to graph. The function must be valid Ruby language statement. (see also: Ruby Math module.) Use paranthesis to force order of operations, or whenever there is doubt in the order in which operations might occur.


To display the plots in color, open the Layers dialog and select Color By Layer in the fly-out menu. Then, select Edge color by material in the Styles/Edge Settings dialog.


Download the file attachment below. Move the file to your SketchUp Plugin folder, and restart SketchUp. The file is meant to replace the file named eq_grapher.rb (if you have it also.)

Download: jf_eq_grapher.rb.

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