Grid for brickwall

Hello, another newcomer to Sketchup world here.
I started learning the app with one quite specific task in mind;
I need to make a layout and a plan for a large brick wall on a apartment house, using several types of bricks.
I got a 3d model of the house from the architects and have created the needed collection of bricks in right size and images of the real bricks as surfaces in Sketchup.
As the brickwall will have mortar seams there will be 1cm gaps naturally around these brick-objects.
What would be the easiest way to make those bricks be a certain distance away from each other?
Is it possible to make those bricks so that there is a invisible or transparent outline or offset around itself which is larger than the actual visible object inside?
There will be a couple of thousand bricks in the realized artpiece so I need a simple way to maintain the gaps.

Thanks and apologies if this kind of topic is already somewhere here. I could not find it.

You could include mortar on two sides of the bricks. for instance on all undersides and left sides…
Edit: like thisbrick with mortar.skp (79,3 KB)

Floor Generator plugin

or Skatter

The two, as well as others, may be options, but it depends on the desired result, and then the variant presented by @paul.millet, with the texture, may be more easier.


Hello, creating a texture is easier for such a thing. But in case you’d really want it to be in 3D, it’s pretty much similar to what I explained there :

Show us YOUR Quick Win

Except that you will first need to give a thickness to the plane and then push/pull down the area that represents the mortal instead of deleting the copied pattern.

If it sounds interesting to you I can capture a gif of it

Edit : oh well, @mihai.s 's plugin in way more effective ! Didn’t know about floor generator, I’ve got to get my hands on it !

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Are all of the bricks the same size?
“2DXY SlickMoves” is a plugin for distributing and aligning.

it will help to see some screen captures of your various brick sizes and shapes, size and position of the wall, etc.

You can use guides in SU to position bricks 1 cm apart - add them to each brick component.

After you have positioned all the bricks, you can add the mortar as a single surface.

Not sure if it would work in this case, but you could check out Eneroth Randomize Components.

I’d like Floor Generator too, but it is no longer offered. Any old links to get it?

On the other hand, depending on your time and patience. Duplicate/ move (moving an object with the option key and entering a “x (distance)” (times distance) value will lay out a row of bricks quickly, once you learn the basics. The same row can be duplicated and offset for the row immediately above. The two rows can be duplicated (using the "x(distance) to make as many rows as you need for the whole wall. The wall of bricks can be reused on other walls of the building, modifying and cutting for openings etc.

Usually it’s done with a texture though.

Thanks everybody for the suggestions; Gstudios´ suggestion for having guides in brick-components is what I was also thinking of and would like to use. But is it possible to have guidelines around the brick and then make into a component so that every copy of that has the same guides around keeping them were needed? I tried but did not succeed in making so far.
If not possible, then at least tweenulzeven´s approach with mortar would at least work.
I have to point that the bricks used are models of real existing ones and that´s why I would not like to use tile or floor generator.

Yes, that is what I was suggesting.

How about building the mortar thickness into each brick component using lines that are hidden. Then you can toggle hidden geometry on and off to work with the mortar edges as guides. Or, with the hidden lines included in the component the bounding box will be the right size to just use the bounding box corner as a move handle even with hidden geometry off.

This will also allow you to play using many different sized bricks as you indicated and “design” the stack as you go.

Moving copies with 2DXY SlickMoves, as WhiteRabbit suggests, will enable you to choose the gap in the rows & columns. I would place the bricks and then model the mortar as a single group with side, top & bottom setbacks ( 1 cm ) as I choose. Then use Eneroth3’s solid tools to delete the mortar from the bricks.

If you have 1/2 bricks as well as full size ones you might need to make up to 8 different brick-mortar components. Tweenulzeven described what is similar to a “buttered” method of laying bricks. That’s what I do when laying “Real” bricks but with these SketchUp bricks I use Solid modelling.

Thanks @endlessfix , do you know if there is there lessons (youtube…) about using hidden geometry in SU?

I don’t know of any specific tutorials on hiding but its not that complicated and you can figure it out with a little help and some playing around. Hiding is available in the context menu that pops up if you right click on an object while it is selected (two finger click if you are on a trackpad), it it also available under the Edit Menu. Once a line or object (group or component) is hidden you can toggle hidden geometry visually on and off with View>Hidden Geometry. While it is visible it appears as a grey or dash version on screen and behaves like normal geometry ( you can inference to it and interact with it) In this video I erase the surfaces of the “mortar” section, then I hide all the edges that comprise the “mortar” framework. Then with hidden geometry on i select the whole thing and make it a component called brick. Play with just hiding and unhiding some simple things then try following the video. Good Luck!


Have you looked at the OOB Layouts plugin? It might be what you are after?