How can I auto-generate playground fall zones?

Hi there!

I model playgrounds for work, and one of the repetitive tasks involved with this is creating fall zones. Essentially, these are outlined areas that are based on platform heights and sizes. For instance, a 1200mm high platform requires a 1500mm fall zone, which extends from all sides of the platform. An example is attached.

(This shows the fall zone around a set of chin-up bars).

The fall zone is dependant on the platform heights. For instance, anything between 600-1500mm needs a 1500mm wide fall zone. Once you go over 1500mm high, the fall zone increases proportionally, so a 2000mm high platform needs a 2300mm fall zone, a 2500mm tall platform needs a 3000mm fall zone, etc.

Is there any way to create a plugin that will automatically generate a fall zone in a design? Or at least reduce some of the steps involved in drawing a fall zone? (Currently, I draw a rectangle over everything, then outline the platforms, then use the offset tool to extend out the fall zone). I’ve never used Ruby before, so I just want to know if it’s possible before I dedicate any significant time to working on this.

Thanks so much for your help!

I suppose it could be done. Geometric objects in SketchUp have bounds.
This is a bounding box object aligned with the model axes.

The height of the object’s bounding box could be used for the “platform height”.

The bottom corners of the bounding box could be used for offsetting a rounded rectangular “fall zone”.

I suggest drawing the fall zone within a group so it won’t merge with anything. (The fall zone group could be a subgroup of the object so that it moves with it’s parent if you need to drag stuff around.)

Personally, I’d make up a library of components that already had a fall zone associated (with a tag that could be switched off,) as part of the component.

Also it’s probable that a dynamic component could be crafted that has expanding fall zone as you drag the height upward (or enter a different height in the options dialog.)

The cost of crafting a dynamic component might be less than that of developing an extension.

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