Create a Layout-like plug-in for Autocad and Bricscad

For users who like SketchUp but don’t use Layout (need the more extensive feature set of a larger CAD program) what about a plug-in that allows hot-linking to a SketchUp file (like an XREF in CAD). This woul have features similar to what Layout allows – hybrid or raster rendering, set to scale, etc.

I have posted about this in a couple of other forums and that discussion may help to clarify what this would involve:

Info on cross-platform Autocad and Bricscad development:

It perhaps would not be for everyone (those who use and like Layout can use Layout) but for those of us who use Autocad or Bricscad it would be a great tool and would extend the SketchUp philosophy of playing well with others.

I´ve never used bricscad, and only used autocad for 2D, but if there´s an efficient way to dimension 3D geometry correctly, I would just keep a 3d export of the sketchup model referenced into that drawing, and re-export the xref-ed dwg from sketchup when needed.

I understand what you are saying, and there probably is a way to do that. But two things I would like to have that this method does not provide:

  • Materials, colors, and shadows from the Sketchup model retained
  • No need to export every time the Sketchup model is changed.

I have a way of working around these issues (see my link to a post in the general forum) which involves exporting raster images from SketchUp. It is ok but could use some improvement which is why I suggest this new feature.

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If someone could come up with a Layout replacement that maintains a hot link to a SU file, they would make a fortune. Or at least, they would if they were able to deal with all of LO’s shortcomings, principal of which would be its speed. But including a fully featured 2D set of tools would also be key.

I presume that if all this were easy, it would have been done long since by Trimble who must be well aware just how clunky LO is and how much it annoys many experienced users. Or by someone else spotting the gap in the market.

Trimble have not ignored LO altogether but the various tweaks and workarounds that we currently live with are really just sticking plasters and don’t stem the blood loss.