Anyone doing sheet metal?

As the title says, is anyone out there designing sheet metal in SketchUp?

Stuff like that. If so, I’d like to hear your process. How are you modeling it, are you flattening it and how are you getting it fabricated.

A search on the forum for “sheet metal” turns up a number of existing topics, such as this one:

I did see that thread. What I’m looking for are more examples of people doing sheet metal in SketchUp, not a how-to.

I’ve been searching for a sheet metal plugin and saw your post. It looks like there was one a several revs ago by Sam Mitch on Sketchucation, but I can’t find a working link so I assume it’s no longer available.

I’m thinking people designing industrial sheet metal in SketchUp isn’t really a thing… You can definitely do it, but my guess is that people doing it in industry are using something like Solidworks or Inventor…

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When I worked in aerospace a few years back I used Solidworks almost exclusively for sheet metal design. It has some excellent tools for working with sheet metal and the cool thing is the ability to flatten it out for the construction drawings.

I’m sure that an equivalent toolset could be devised to work in SketchUp, it would just take some programming, time and effort and a sufficiently motivated developer…

As I’ve always said, SketchUp with its API can really be manipulated to do anything. If I wanted to I could create a program equivalent to Quickbooks that runs within SketchUp. The possibilities are limitless.


Check this out:

Stock prices in SketchUp in 2008!

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My point exactly. With the Ruby backend and a host of other tools you can do a lot with SketchUp.

I am currently working on developing a FEA (Finite Element Analysis) engine for my beam module of the new Medeek Engineering extension. This entire code base will run inside of SketchUp using the API and Ruby.

The SketchUp API combined with the full Ruby language is an extremely powerful combination. That is why I got hooked and ultimately hung up the hat on my regular day job (granted my wife was initially very concerned, and rightly so). Programming extensions/plugins is just way too much fun.

Just for fun, a few months back, I programmed a very simple implementation of John Conway’s Game of Life in SketchUp. This is what happens when you give someone a full toolbox with an amazing 3D environment, again the possibilities are really limitless.


Sheet metal design is really difficult, but it still needs continuous exploration and discovery
It is uncertain which day a capable man will solve the problem
Sheet metal design is mainly about unfolding, blanking, unfolding calculation and flattening, which will be a difficulty

Hi Medeek, any chance of sharing that program? Game of life was one of my first encounters with computers. The code was printed in a popular science magazine. I had to type over all that code into the computer at school to make it work. I remember being fascinated to watch it do it’s thing! Would be fun to see it in SketchUp!!

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The code is all here:

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