Automation Possible?

Hi everybody,

I’m keen to learn whether I can automate part of my workflow, although I currently know nothing about programming SketchUp (although I have a working knowledge of Microsoft VBA)’

I use SketchUp to model glass structures ending up with a bunch of bespoke Groups which represent the double glazed units. Before I detail the units in Layout I need to convert each Group into 3 separate Groups usually comprising an inner pane, an outer pane and a spacer bar. Each Group will have the same profile although glass and spacer bar thicknesses can vary.

My current manual process is pretty repetitive. Push/Pull to 6mm & save as 6mm Inner. Move/Copy as required, extrude to 10mm, save new Group as 10mm Outer. Trace the perimeter, offset to 13mm (spacer bar depth) delete inner surface, extrude to 18mm, save Group as Spacer Bar & position as necessary.

I would appreciate being pointed in the right direction if its possible to automate this process.

Thanks as always, Kevin :+1:

With fewer clicks (use shortcuts), without having to open or create groups manually.

That looks pretty neat!

I was thinking more about a single click running a script or whatever its called in SketchUp.

I will experiment with the plugin you’ve shown.

Thanks a lot.

You’re welcome!

I understood what you want, I just offered you a simpler method that can be applied with existing extensions, until you find a programmer to write the plugin you want.

Other Ideas:

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Here’s @dezmo first option but using FedoScale

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Just as I was looking for the link, while you posted it… :wink:

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And modifying with Curic Stretch, as Dezmo said

Thanks for all the suggestions.

The starting point is a surface or a simple group with the required profile (rather than a unit to stretch) so I guess my best bet is to study Dynamic Components?

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For this recent project there were so many glass units I didn’t even draw the spacer bars.

Model.skp (372.1 KB)

Does anybody know if DC’s have been upgraded in v2023 as I am currently sticking with v2022.

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You will be able to use DCs in V2023, you created in V2022 (or earlier).
I guess, even DCs created in V2023, you can use back in v2021 version, because the skp file is backward and forward “compatible” since V2021.

Thanks Dezmo.

Just thinking aloud - is it possible to have a DC which is based on a variable profile. As you can see from the above photo most of the units are different (every roof unit is different) so I need to be able to create a component with the same section details but starting from an infinite number of unit shapes?

It’s been a while since I dealt with DC. It’s relatively easy for rectangular windows, but triangular (or polygonal) shapes are more complicated… I’m not sure how (if) it can be done.

Ask your question in that (Dynamic Components - SketchUp Community) category of the forum… in details ( the best if you put an example .skp model of the desired kind of components or assembly of groups)

You (or I) can move this topic to that category if you want to…


I think it will only work if it can be based on any shape whatsoever, as sometimes the units have multiple non square corners.

How do I move this thread to the DC category?

Edit: Found it :+1:

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Post an example .skp’s of this units, as well as a “simple rectangle” base, then someone more experienced then me can see and can help…

I poke @pcmoor for you, who is the :mage: wizard of the DCs! (Not least one of the most helpful people on the forum, if he have enough time… :wink: )

I tried like a dog to make this a DC…

But for some reason that I can’t figure out the variable for positioning the Inner Pane converts (maybe to inches and/or cm) under any configuration of settings I can find.

The Outer Pane and Spacer Bar work as expected:

I don’t know if this is worth trying to fix because I don’t know why the conversion problem happened with some but not all the variables.

If you have to make lots of these I would be exploring Profile Builder 2, its a commercial extension but it can be used to build assemblies of components. I wouldn’t be surprised if you could knock up a whole conservatory with a few clicks.

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@pcmoor is the DC guru - been helping me get back into DC’s with my crumbling brain…

From what I understand

DC’s are quirky, particularly if you are working in metric as it was built around inches as the base unit.

Also note that you cannot create objects - only manipulate or duplicate them… so multiple geometric shapes are more problematic… you need to have separate DC’s for them or embed them all in a single DC and hide or show them as needed … which is not very efficient, complex and no very intuitive.

Nevertheless - I find them despite all their quirks more intuitive to build than that spaghetti mess of nodes and connectors in Live Components. “Cant teach an old dog new tricks”

Advantages are you essential built your assembly first, then organise it and manipulate it with the DC attributes as needed and provide any user with an interface that describes the assembly with a friendly input interface without out them having to understand the sketchup mechanics of how it is built.

James, @3DxJFD why don’t you upload your DC here… the forum might be able to assist

I did create a public Gotcha list on Gdrive, you are welcome to review, edit or add to it as needed…

@gsharp I’ve been trying over and over… write a post. Delete a post when I find a new way to break the DC.

These are the bones in inches:

Window_Glass.skp (60.9 KB)

I removed sizing on the interior pieces of the Spacer… but it’s still prone to breaking…

LenX and LenZ for “profile”/overall size. Inner_Pane_Y, Outer_Pane_Y, and Spacer_Bar_Y for widths of pieces.

I might look at the other one again because it worked until it just didn’t (and it was only variable that didn’t want to update).