Estimator Plugin for Sketchup


#1

Hi

I’m wondering if anyone can recommend a good estimating Plugin for Sketchup Pro.

I’ve looked at Quantifier Pro, but the Mac version seems to not have all the features of the PC Version. I’ve also tried, (and used to love), Estimator for Sketchup, but the latest version consistently causes Bugsplats when trying to generate a CSV report.

So, I’m a bit stuck at the moment.

My only option seems to be to go back to Estimator for Sketchup Version 1.

Kind regards

Mike


#2

Have you considered PlusSpec?

Do Medeek plugins have estimating now?


#3

Have you contacted John Brock and tried to resolve the issues with Estimator for Sketchup?


#4

Hi @GSTUDIOS

I have looked at Pluspec but I don’t really need it to be that involved.

What I like about Estimator for Sketchup is that it allowed me to model in my normal way and then add all the cost data.

@Ccaponigro, yes, I’ve been in constant contact with him, but up until now, his Programmer can not get the Export to CSV to work. The one feature I really need. It consistently bugsplats Sketchup every time.

Mike


#5

I don’t know I looked at Johns response and it doesn’t seem like a widespread problem so you may want to look inward. I have found that sometimes third party plugins or extensions don’t play nice together. Perhaps you might want to disable your plugins except for Estimator and See if it works. Does the native report generator in SU work for you?


#6

Just tried this.

Disabled EVERY other extension that I have, (I don’t have many).

Restarted Sketchup.

Fresh Install of Estimator

Restarted Sketchup.

Still does not work.

At the point of giving up with this and asking for a refund. Spent way too much time trying to sort this out. Very disappointed as I can not know offer this service to my Clients unless I go back to Version 1

His Programmer has tried, but John did say yesterday that his Programmer does not have a Mac to try it on. Seems that is basically works on Windows but not Mac.

Mike


#7

That is disappointing. The only path seems to be getting your hands on a Windows Setup at least temporarily.


#8

Very disappointing!

I’ve thought long and hard about it and have just e-mailed asking for a refund, and a re-issue of Version 1 which did work ok. Not as good as version 2 but it works.

I’ve said I will quite happily upgrade to V2 when it is confirmed as working on a Mac.

My equipment is extremely fast new iMac i7, MacBook Pro i7, and I’m not prepared to go and buy a Windows machine just for this. I don’t really think I should have to.

In all honesty, I am getting slightly disillusioned as it seems that Macs are an afterthought for software developers.

Mike


#9

Mike,

What should a good estimating plugin do for you? I have developed one for my own use (which works on Mac). Maybe this is something which can do the job for you too.

Kind regards,

Guy


#10

Hi @Guy

I didn’t realise you guys had done one.

Basically, I create a Model, all components and groups etc. All layers sorted, (I use the layers for Skalp to define the patterns).

The I want to be able to allocate costs to components and groups, but also to materials.

So, for example, a Concrete Slab is on its own layer. I want to be able to Assign a description/Cost Code, and a predefined Cost per unit/ton, but also have the Plugin automatically add in a predefined waste. Also to perform a calculation to tell me how many tons are required.

The good thing about the Estimator Plugin was that it did all of the above, as you could edit the databases to define cost codes, descriptions, costs, units, as well as then add in associated items.

So, for example, for a steel posts set into a steel socket, a cost could be allocated to the steel post along with an associated cost for the steel socket.

I also need to be able to allocate costs to items that may be included in a Contractor’s package. For example, the supply and installation of new windows or doors. I can select the entire group and allocate a ‘Quotation’ to it, received from the Contractor.

Finally, once all this is done, I then need it to export as a csv so that I can edit it in Excel for presentation and further work. Ideally exporting directly into Excel would be great. But, even with the likes of Quantifier Pro, for some reason they do not support Excel on a Mac, (but charge the same price as the Windows version which does support Excel - this adds to the feeling that Macs are treated as second best).

The really annoying thing is that The Estimator for Sketchup did everything I needed. It just keeps crashing when trying to Export to CSV.

Mike


#11

No we didn’t have an estimator plugin. But I have made one for my own architectural work, the same way like Skalp started. But at this moment we don’t have the plan to make this commercial. Also I doesn’t cover your needs. I manage my descriptions and costs in an excel file and the only thing I’m interested in are quantities from my model… For every code I want, I can select pieces, lengths, surfaces or volumes. It remember the selections and counts together all the quantities. The results can be exported to CSV. If the model changes the quantities will be recalculated.


#12

Maybe that’s a job for 2019, to develop a commercial one, hint, hint :wink:

If it was as good as Skalp, I’d have it!


#13

Have you tried Quantifier Pro from Mindsight?
Mac compatible.


#14

Not entirely Mac Compatible, @GSTUDIOS as you can’t use the Excel feature when using on a Mac.

And I refuse to pay that price, the same as Windows users, when a Big feature does not work with Mac.


#15

mdkBIM (Medeek plugins) will eventually have estimating built-in but they are not there, just yet.

I have started working on the Medeek estimating module, and provide a functioning tool with the latest release of the Wall plugin. However, it is very limited in what information it provides currently and unlike other estimating plugins it will be primarily limited to interacting only with its own plugin generated geometry. This may change in the future as things evolve, I guess at this point I really can’t say for sure, I haven’t got that far down the road with it. To be honest I really don’t have any intention of programming a general purpose estimating plugin, I am just concentrating on providing a tightly integrated solution for my plugin suite.

For a general estimating plugin John’s Estimator is the probably the way to go, his plugin was purpose built to do exactly that and from what I understand it is very good at what it does. I do also know of quite a few people using Quantifier and Profile Builder to do similar estimating tasks.

I’ve had my own grief in dealing with Macs and my plugins. Generally everything works as it should but in some situations I’ve had certain users who, no matter what I do, can’t seem to get the (Medeek) plugins to work without errors on their systems. I don’t know if its a Mac thing or some other misconfiguration or possibly a conflict with another plugin.

I doubt very much that this error you are having is the fault of the Estimator plugin specifically, it is probably more likely to blame on some system configuration or conflict, I could be wrong but that is my hunch based on my own past experience.


#16

It just seems that software and plugins are designed for Windows, and if they work on a Mac great, if not, oh well, never mind.

Quantifier: the excel feature which they promote - does not work on Mac. I’ve asked them why and no response.

Seems Macs are at the bottom of the list when considering compatibility.

I think in future, before I buy a plugin, I want to see evidence that it works on a Mac and ALL features work on a Mac. Skalp works great on a Mac, but then the developers use Macs themselves.


#17

Regardless of Mac or Windows the one thing that bugs me more than anything is customers who purchase the plugin(s) before they have even tried them out to see if they work on their system and/or are even useful given their workflow etc…

I would much rather a potential user thoroughly test out my plugins (trial mode) for at least a week before they ever consider purchasing them. When they don’t it often leads to headaches for both me and the customer.

I develop on a Windows machine and so inevitably most of my testing is also on Windows. I agree Macs are probably not given as much attention as they need so that does put the Mac user at a significant disadvantage.


#18

For me, Estimator Version 2 was an upgrade from Version 1. So a feature which worked in Version 1 got broken in Version 2.

And, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head, Macs are not given the attention they need. Look at the issue with Layout on a Mac for example.

Mike


#19

What issue in LO for Mac?
By the way Skalp is developed on the Mac.


#20

Hi @Guy

It’s the zooming issue we’ve spoken about before.

Yes, and to me, that’s why Skalp works so well. Fingers crossed, I’ve never had any problems with it.

Mike