Generate interactive dashboards and reports from SketchUp models in Microsoft Power BI

If you are interested in going from this…

…to this…

…in a single click, then we should talk

To give some more information: I really love PowerBI. I believe it is a wonderful, fairly intuitive tool to give insight in your data. But, what I miss is a way to show spatial relations between business objects. For example, if you have data about rooms in a building (temperature, co2 levels, humidity, …) or data about products that are located somewhere (in a warehouse f.e.) I would really want to see that spatial context. I want to see where which room is located in the building.
On the other hand, we have SketchUp, which is like the most intuitive tool in creating 3d objects and thus also in creating this spatial context. But, what SketchUp really lacks is usage of data. I mean, extensions are needed to even add attributes to objects (except for those 6 or 7 ones in entity info)…

I decided to combine both. I decided to create an extension that allows me to generate 3d microsoft powerbi visuals directly from SketchUp.

Want to learn more about it, feel free to visit our web page.


For those of you willing to give such a dashboard a try, here is one I made out of a SketchUp model in a few clicks:


And it is live!
Thank your to the SketchUp team for approving the extension :heart:

Let’s get in touch if you want to give it a try :slight_smile:

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This is becoming quite a monologue. So, maybe I am not good at pointing out the possibilities and the versatility of this tool. After all, you’ve only seen some videos of a warehouse in this thread.
What if I told you the goal is to be able to link any data, with any kind of 3d model? It should not matter if you have iot (temperature co2 levels, …) data about rooms in a hotel or office building, or scheduling data about a construction site, or stock numbers of products in a warehouse, or energy yield of individual solar panels in an energy farm, or, like in the following case, occupancy levels of waiting queues in a vaccination center:

To show the possibilities I took a few hours to draw a SketchUp model of a totally fictional vaccination center with different waiting queues and mocked some data in powerbi. In a few clicks I was able to craft an interactive 3D dashboard (that can also be published online and even been show in real time in the actual vaccination center). Here is the result:

I’ll leave it up to you to recognize the scale figures that have been used :slight_smile:

Last week I have had the opportunity to live showcase 3DBI for SketchUp. A recording of this event (in Dutch…) can be found at the following link: Data visualiseren in (jouw) 3D ruimte ... in Power BI | Get ResponsLIVE #48 - YouTube

Here is also a link to the construction model dashboard that has been generated with 3DBI:

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I think it has nothing to do with your great tool - it’s more down to forum, and how easy it is to miss important (and really useful) information here.


Thank you, I appreciate your feedback :slight_smile:

Something else that might be interesting about 3DBI: although originally indented to bring data and 3D to Power BI it seems that Excel can also connect just fine to the data we export from SketchUp.

With 3DBI you have the option to also export data together with the .3dbi model. We do store that data in a .json file, which is somewhat a standard data exchange format nowadays. Now, Excel can import (or better, connect to) json files just as easy as Power BI can. Here is a short movie to illustrate that:

And, the reason I say “connect” instead of “import” is because whenever that .json file changes, Excel can sync with it instead of having to import it over and over again. So it is just a matter of doing an export in SketchUp again and then sync your data with Excel. (The same goes up for Power BI of course)

What data is included?
we export data regarding all component instances and groups and we export the following columns:

  • Id (which is the persistent id)
  • ParentId (which is the persistent id of the container element)
  • Name
  • Definition
  • Type ( Group or ComponentInstance)
  • IsVisible
  • Material
  • Volume (in square inch, SketchUp’s internal unit)
  • Volume.ModelUnits (thus the volume in the unit the model is setup)
  • all attributes in the entity info dialog, such as Price, Size, Url, …
  • all dynamic component attributes, so any attribute you have assigned to objects using Dynamic Components
  • all classifications and classification values, such as IFC

Thank you at the SketchUp team for approving the new version of 3DBI, earlier today :smiley:

Version 1.1.547 we fixed a bug that could occur in SketchUp 2017-2020, we added ID Provider generated IDs to the data export, so that we better handle model hierarchy and we upgraded the shipped 3DBI Power BI visual that contains new features.

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Here is another example where I linked a 3D model of a port (created in SketchUp of course), with various datafields regarding that port.

In a single view you can filter and colorize containers by Carrier, Weight, Origin, Destination, … or just about any other data field you might have about your containers, and see the results in 3D.

Let’s get in touch if you also would like to bring spatial insight to the data you already have.

Feel free to give the dashboard in this movie a try yourself: Microsoft Power BI


And here is a tutorial on how I made an interactive warehouse dashboard:

And hereby also a movie that summarizes the previous tutorial:

With the changes added to 3DBI over the past weeks it has become a matter of minutes to get your SketchUp model into Power BI and combine it with any kind of data to create interactive dashboards.