FlexTools Extension

Hi i am having trouble getting Flextool to work on another computer, i have downloaded again and bought another license as well but it simply won’t load the toolbar. I’m running pro 19.2.222

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Hi Jarrod,

We have seen this issue a few times before. It’s due to a bug in Sketchup that seems to come and go. We have mostly been able to fix it. Please check your email. I just sent you all the possible solutions.

Sorry for any inconvenience.
Let me know how it works out.

Yoni

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FlexStairs in 2 minutes:

Really like FlexStairs so far, used it on this piece…

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So nice to see FlexStairs in use in this mesmerizing animation! I like how the different render passes appear after each tree moves in front of the camera. Nice design!

Thanks for sharing this MatthB!

We use FlexTools on pretty much every project, it definitely speeds up our workflow by quite a lot. Only downside is the lack of details on the windows/sills so I wanted to share some of my own presets I made. They are leaning towards a central european window style.

It’s one preset for the Flex Casement Single and one for the Flex Hopper Awning. I rounded the profiles a bit, gave them more realistic proportions, modified the sills so they actually look like external sills and modeled some weep hole covers for manual placement.

Here’s what they look like in SKP:

Here’s what they look like in Enscape 2.5:

1_CaseSingle_EVO_II_roundEdge.skp (525.6 KB)
2_HopperAwning_EVO_II_roundEdge.skp (456.8 KB)
WeepHoleCover.skp (33.7 KB)

Throw those into your Preset folder and have fun with them. Resizing and changing the number of divisions works just fine. Would love to hear your feedback and some constructive criticism.

Thanks a lot!

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Hey MatthB,

This is so cool! :smiley:

When I designed the flex components one of my intentions was that they be used as a basis on which one could build upon and modify the sub-components for further detail, and then save aside for later use.

It’s so nice to see how you’re implementing this concept, making the windows more realistic and ready for rendering.

I noticed the weep hole covers are manually placed. I’m uploading new versions with dynamic weep hole covers! Select them and in the component options you can adjust their distances if needed.

If you have more flex window components that need weep hole covers, you should be able to copy and paste the sub-component into other windows, and I think in most cases it will work ok.

I’d love to see more examples like this. Wow!

1_CaseSingle_EVO_II_roundEdge_02.skp (584.5 KB)
2_HopperAwning_EVO_II_roundEdge_02.skp (526.1 KB)

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Didn’t even think that anybody would ever respond and here we are, the boss man himself responds. :wink: First of all, thanks for your reply and thanks a lot for putting this into the model! I also fiddled around with them and tried putting them into the window component but always ended up with the geometry going haywire. :man_shrugging:

Anyway, one thing I noticed is that with the “upgraded” sills I run into some problems when chaining windows. Looks like this:

Yep, looks like ■■■■, especially when rendering. So I came up with the idea to produce additional sill variants so I ended up with a total of three: 1.) closed, 2.) half open and 3.) full open.

This enables us to infintely chain windows together without having the sills looking weird. You just replace the needed sill by reloading, after reloading it looks kinda off so you just resize it and everything just falls into place:

This is what the finished product looks like:

Here are the sills for everybody to try out:

Sill_2_0.skp (61.1 KB)
Sill_2_0_half_open.skp (54.1 KB)
Sill_2_0_full_open.skp (50.8 KB)

Enjoy!

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Quick demonstration of FlexTools in action

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See how you can create different types of dynamic windows and doors by combining a few flex components in our latest blogpost.

%5Byt%5D%20How-to-combine-flex-windows

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Good timing. I was just trying to figure out how to mull multiple window units like those in @MatthB’s post before. It appears just butting two single windows together stumps the cutter on the second one.

Glad you find this useful. Yes, it’s like you said: If you place two wall cutter components side by side, the second component won’t cut. The current solution is like in the video, to place the components into a wrapper component and convert that component into a wall cutter.

I’ve been playing around with some success and some struggles.

A couple questions:

  1. Online instructions say,

WallCutter does not work well with Groups . Don’t use them ! Use Components!

Why is that? What happens other wise? It does seem willing to cut groups and raw geometry.

  1. Straight out of the palette, the doors and windows don’t have any of the values I would want requiring me to have to edit each one. Is there a way to change the default values so they are more useful on first insertion? Is there a way to configure my own preset versions and save them locally to open in the component window, and bring them in that way instead of off the FlexTools palette?

  2. I was just about to ask how to use Exclude, but I think I figured that out. (There weren’t specific instructions on the help page.)

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  1. Well, yes, in most cases the wallcutter feature will cut openings in groups and in raw geometry without any issues, just like it works on components, but… then there are cases where it is best to stick with components to be on the safe side!

Example 1: if you place a wallcutter window onto raw geometry, then select all the raw geometry and the window and make a component our of them (so now the window is inside the new component, placed within the raw geometry). Then make a copy of this new component. If you move the window in the original component everything will be fine. If you move the window within the copy… the first face will be cut, and the second will fail. Removing Cuts, then making the window or wall unique, and then refreshing… sometimes will work, and sometimes it won’t.

Example 2: If you place a wallcutter window onto a wall that is a group. Make a copy of the wall and the window. The copied wall will immediately screw up with geometry flying/becoming deleted.

Example 3: In some cases, once you save the model. Close Sketchup and then re-open the model, if you have a wallcutter on a group, sometimes (not always!?) the opening will not be dynamic anymore - We’ve had a few customers build whole models with lots and lots of windows placed on groups, and then when they re-opened the model… all the openings became non-dynamic (broken). It’s an unexpected behavior and totally not fun when you want to make quick changes later. And working with wall cutter is all about the speed and fun! :slight_smile:

There are some cases where wallcutter can fail, even with walls that are components! But I believe we got all of those edge cases covered with 3 simple steps as described in the advanced operations section on the wallcutter help page. Remove Cuts > Make Changes > Refresh:
https://flextools.cc/learn/wall-cutter/#Advanced-Operations

Conclusion: It’s best to stick with components! :wink:

  1. Yes, you can definitely save your edited favorite components aside for quick insertion later. This is what ComponentFinder is great for. You can save components quickly, browse your locally saved folders and find what you need with a quick search, and it can be used with all of your components (It’s not limited to flex components). More info here: https://flextools.cc/learn/learn-component-finder/

  2. Glad you figured it out. In any case, Exclude / Include are there so you can mark which sub-components affect or don’t affect the wallcutter algorithm. This is for example when you want to add trim around a wallcutting window and you don’t want the trim to affect the size of the opening. There is a short blurb about it here: https://flextools.cc/learn/wall-cutter/#Control-Panel . I now also added an animation showing this which I hope will help explain it - check the key features section:
    https://flextools.cc/learn/wall-cutter/#Key-Features

(Maintaining the help pages is tough. You can’t imagine how many changes and updates I’d like to introduce to them to make things clearer)

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Speaking of combining different windows: I’m trying to combine windows of different height (kinda like this) but end up with WallCutter cutting out something like this:

Furthermore: Would it be possibile to set the handle height to 50% of window height instead of a fixed value in cm? I’m often resizing the windows in height and find myself having to readjust the handle height time and time again.

  1. Currently WallCutter will only cut openings in convex hulls, so in the case of different height windows where the outline is concave an opening will not be cut correctly. For the time being, for this case it is best not to use wallcutter, but rather create the opening manually and then scale the windows into it.

  2. Yes! you can easily place the handle at 50% by setting it’s height to 0. See the video below.

  1. That’s what I thought. Figured out a ghetto solution to my problem meanwhile though: Just pull that ■■■■ to where you need it. Still need to ignore WallCutter spazzing out a bit. :man_shrugging:

  1. That’s perfect, thanks for the hint!
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Nice ghetto solution! After adding the fill, and then moving the windows to another location for example - That will probably cause wallcutter to throw around or delete some geometry (Sapzzing!?).

To prevent that, you can try to ‘Unlink’ the components first and see if that helps.

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More questions as I’m learning.

  1. Nesting and outline level.

Do the cutting components need to be at the root or top level of the model? It doesn’t seem so while experimenting in a little test model, but on my real world project it appears to be a problem.

My workflow involves making a component out of the entire building, so there aren’t any loose parts of the building at the top level. The number one reason is that I use separate files for building and site. (I’m not alone with this.) The building as a component gets loaded into the site and refreshed as changes occur.

I also spin the building to produce 45° shadows in elevations. (Example here)

  1. Do layers matter?

Hi RT,

  1. The cutting components can be at the root or within a component that wraps both the wall components and the cutters. Both cases should work fine. If something isn’t working upload a model so I can take a look - I’m not sure I understand what the issue in the picture is. Are you intentionally cutting only through one face in the model?
    Note that when making copies of wallcutters some cases may require a few additional steps to preserve the dynamic cutting later on: https://flextools.cc/learn/wall-cutter/#Advanced-Operations

  2. Layers should work fine. The cutting geometry inherits the layer of the wall geometry.