3D Warehouse woes

I don’t think I have got the hang of how the 3DW now works at all. I had problems a while back logging into it and creating collections but I seem to be able to do that now. But when I get in, it tells me I have no models and no collections. Well, I have certainly uploaded a number of models in the past. Heck, I occasionally get notified that someone has even liked them!

Now I am having difficulty uploading models. I started today by creating a blank collection. That seemed to work. But then the dialog box you get to upload files doesn’t seem to allow you to. In desperation, and hoping for a shortcut, I simply selected a dozen files and drag/dropped them from my hard disk to the 3DW window (as you might for moving between folders). Looked as if something was happening and then I got this:

What am I doing wrong?

Just to expand on this, this is what I see when I try to add models to a collection:

The sub-heading suggests that there is a way to add and remove files but I see no buttons that relate to that. It looks as if you can create a new collection or you can select Done and that’s about it. Either there is something wrong with it or I am misunderstanding ho to use it.

If you drag a binary .skp file into a browser window that does not contain an element that responds to drag&drop (usually indicated by cursor image), the browser window tried it’s best to display it as a web page / text file.

In the upload dialog from within the SketchUp application, you should not get a file selector or an element to drop files.
Instead, it should look like this:

If it does not look like this, the 3D Warehouse website fails to recognize the dialog being embedded in SketchUp.
If you use SketchUp 2017+, you can do:

  1. Right-click in the embedded browser window → Show DevTools
  2. Switch to the Console tab.
  • Are there errors or anything red?
  • When you paste “navigator.userAgent” and press enter, the browser should identify itself similar to:
    "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/56.0.2924.76 SketchUp Pro/18.0 (PC)  Safari/537.36"

Just for the record, you can only add models to a collection that are allready uploaded. You cannot upload directly in a collection.

The image that is displayed, says ‘add to collection’

Upload the model first via the button image left to your avatar (once signed in)

Having spent a number of hours preparing models for upload and then uploading them, I have found the process quite daunting. Some of it was learning on the job, so it should be faster in future. However, I feel the process is not made as easy as it could be. If it were easier, it might encourage more people to get involved.

I was uploading 26 models of basically the same thing: rooflights which only differ in widths and lengths. I had hoped I could upload them in one go but it seems that possibility only exists if you pay a subscription. Well hell, I’m doing this as a favour to others and giving my time. I ain’t giving my money too! I realize that is aimed at companies that have products to sell but it is the small guys that suffer.

The next thing that could have been easier was naming. You can see the dialog box in the post above. You already have a file name but it asks for a title. I can see that you might want them to be different but you might be happy to use the same name. So why not have that as the default which can then either be accepted or overwritten?

Also, why not have the option to upload directly to a collection you have already created? Without it, you have to painstakingly move each file one by one.

Another thing is the limitation on drag and drop, as referred to in the post above. You can’t do it when uploading. But if you edit an already uploaded file, you can. Why one and not the other?

Because I was getting fed up with the laboriousness, I didn’t bother to add a description for each file. I thought I could do it by editing later. Well you can, but that’s another enormous chore because I couldn’t see any batch editing facilities. The note I wanted to add was the same for all 26 models.

I appreciate that I may not have found the fastest way to do all this but if I have, I would think very hard about doing it again. It’s a shame because the discipline of preparing files for the 3DW is useful in making files for one’s own use. Plus, I would have found it very useful if someone else had done all the donkey work and I could simply have downloaded the rooflights I wanted. Would I try uploading windows, doors and other commonly used components to help others knowing what a major task it is? I’m not so sure.

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