Custom need. Will SketchUp Work for me?

I am evaluating SketchUp for a potential client need. The application is for commercial kitchen development and will need to import from an ERP system’s bill of materials and link to what would be a pre made SketchUp (scrapbook/stored) objects. Ideally the import file could have the dimension of the area and part numbers (corresponding to the objects). We are ruby developers so SketchUp of course appears to be a possibility. I would like to know before I invest too much time if this tool is ideal. Can SketchUp with ruby ingest a file (text files with skus) and draw a page based on its contents and export part number? Using existing objects stored within the program? If not suggestions?


There are several kitchen design extensions already. So it is more than possible.

Of course. SketchUp embedded Ruby comes with the standard library since v2014, so it can open and process text files via the File class or any type added by library classes. (Ie, CSV, XML, ZIP, etc.)

Be aware that Gem install functionality is not at 100%. Pure Ruby gems work best. (Binary gems can sometimes be pre-compiled and repackaged within an extension. Do a search in these categories on that as the discussion is extensive.)

SketchUp is a modeler. It is like AutoCAD’s model space.

Unlike, AuoCAD (or it’s clones,) SketchUp uses a separate application called LayOut for paper space.
You create scenes in SketchUp of the model (viewed from different camera positions, perhaps with unique section cuts, styling, and layer sets,) … that will be used by LayOut as paperspace viewports into the model.

See this post: Construction documents - general overall flow question - #4 by DanRathbun

If your skus for a particular cabinet matches the filename of a cabinet component in a local library folder (say installed by your extension,) then SketchUp can load that cabinet component into the kitchen model. But something needs to tell SketchUp how to place an instance of this cabinet component into the kitchen “space”. (This is called a transformation. For example your import files could have X,Y,Z origin coordinates and a rotational angle that the extension could use to place the components.)

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