Sketchup Section Planes and Scenes Support on Connect

Is there any support for Sections and Scenes created in Sketchup?

I couldn’t find it, so I’m going to assume there isn’t

There should be.

How can we manage a project nicely if we will have to keep redoing all section views inside the main model?

No, layers was another thing that won’t show up in the 3d Viewer natively. Although now implemented, it won’t respect higher nested levels of grouped components that have another Layer assigned then the basic low level object, meaning, it will only respond to the lowest level objects.
Basically, you need to adjust your modeling practice and adapt to a more BIM-like manner.

It all comes down to the way how SketchUp considers components as ‘little SketchUp models’ inside a bigger one. Where AD and other CAD choose the Xref way (IMO)

You can show more than one model in the viewer, and so have a way to separate different aspects of the total design.
So you need to divide your model, create different design options as different models instead of trying to show or hide layer inside a SketchUp model.
Currently, if you have unchecked layers (some refer to them as ‘Tags’, btw) and upload to Trimble Connect, they won’t even load in the 3D Viewer. All with the ‘digital twin’ in mind, the model is the model as it’s supposed to be built. Think Tekla engineers.

Another thing that is considered 'bad practice ’ is to have section cuts in the model itself. One should create views in the TC included with section planes (you can have 8 active section cuts, and also have a section cut that follows a path (road /bridge designs) Those views can be saved and shared with others, and you can also create groups of views.

So at first glance, you might be disappointed about the capabilities compared to your (power user) experience with SketchUp, but if you open your mind and try to develop another way of setting up your project you might see possibilities that the (tekla) engineers haven’t even thought about :slight_smile:

i’ll post this link here and in your other post:

I think I understand everything you say. Even the Layers/Tags part, which is the most confusing for me :blush:

That workflow poses me many doubts. I could imagine myself setting up sections and views inside TC, if I was in a BIM workflow myself. However, even if I was willing to, my clients, engineers, consultants and builders, but mostly, municipalities here, have never heard the term.

Is it possible to create standard arch drawings from these views inside TC?

Have you tried all this from inside of the SketchUp for Web viewer linked to from inside Trimble Connect?

Do you have any problems letting your collaborators view the model with SketchUp for Web? The scenes are preserved in that view.

By now I’ve got a better understanding of what a TC project is and how it’s very different from a Sketchup model.

A TC project is capable of displaying all 3D and 2D data in a folder simultaneously in the 3D view space. You choose what tot view in 3D.

A Sketchup model is only one of the models you might view in the TC 3D. You can keep stacking all models and drawings that exist in the folder and view them in that 3D view.

A TC project is a collection of all data that can be mixed together in the same 3D environment. If you have a Sketchup model in one of those folders, it doesn’t become a project, it will only become another part of the whole data visible in that 3D environment.

Your answer does help if we are thinking of viewing a Sketchup model online.

However, now that I’ve started using Trimble Connect, I want to use it’s full feature set and explore how I can use it for project management and presentation.

In that regard, it seems awkward that Sketchup doesn’t share more of it’s features with Trimble Connect.

What I’m now trying to say is that there should be a way to have sections of a TC Project synced with Sketchup model’s sections and I’m also saying that certain properties from Sketchup Scenes, should also be synced with TC Projects.

In the same way you can import a model as reference into Trimble Connect, you should be able to import/publish a camera into a Scene in the model from a Scene and into Trimble Connect.

The same should be valid for Sections too and eventually other objects or properties on Trimble Connect.

There’s should be a way to sync Sketchup elements to TC projects:

  • Sketchup Sections could be imported from TC project’s clip planes;
  • We could generate TC clip planes from Sketchup Sections by publishing sections that exist in our model;
  • Imported or exported Sections should be synced in the project and in the models that feature them.
  • We should be able to sync sketchup scene cameras to TC project views;
  • We should have a way to manage all this both in the Sketchup Model and Trimble Connect Project via the Trimble Connect for Sketchup Extension.

I can create separate posts to discuss this and maybe elaborate it a bit.

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The problem to be solved is that you can have up to 8 clipping panes in Trimble Connect for all loaded models, but only one active in a context of SketchUp. The Trimble Connect team could learn something here, like they took the inferencing icons from SketchUp when measuring in the 3D Viewer. A clip pane per model, for instance.
Or ‘per group/component’.

The generated ‘Views’ in Trimble Connect work like you expect it to work, no need to take in account certain styles or having unchecked ‘hidden geometry’ etc. What you see is what you get.

This boils down to the way Tekla organises their models, I suppose, the concept of ‘little models inside a bigger one’ inside SketchUp does not have a similar equivalent in Tekla. They do have ‘Assemblies’ and you can toggle the selection mode inside the 3D Viewer, but it won’t respond on SketchUp’s hierarchy of nested groups or components. This could be a simple mapping problem when converting SketchUp models into their .trb (TrimBIM)format, the format that the 3D Viewer uses on all devices, but I am not sure if there are other consequences of this approach.

There should be some overview consensus in the SketchUp team and a Product manager, I think. (whom to address? @ChrisDizon )

This section and scene discussion can derive into a multitude of different implementations.

I think the best would be to have as much parity between Sketchup and Trimble Connect as possible.

Sketchup, for me, is the hub for all 3D models and 2D drawings I have in a project. I use it as Trimble Connect is supposed to be used, inserting DWG files in my model, drawing on those files if needed, or annotating them in Layout, and I insert engineering 3D models as well.

Scene, Layer and Section management is key in this workflow.


  • Any Section of any Sketchup model should be able to be published into the Trimble Connect Project;
  • Any Clip plane of a Trimble Connect Project should be able to be imported to Sketchup;
  • A published/imported section should stay synced between Project and any model it would have been imported to.
  • Apart from synced sections Trimble Connect should keep ignoring all sections inside Sketchup Models when viewing them.
  • If a user wants to have a shared section between the project and model, it must be synced.
  • A synced section will, therefore, exist only once in the Trimble Connect Project, but it can exist in multiple Sketchup models.
  • This section location in a Sketchup model is fixed relatively to the origin of the model;
  • If the SU model has an origin point which is very different from the origin of the TC project, then a datum distance, or relative coordinate difference should be able to be configured for that sketchup model, in Trimble Connect Sync Plugin. This can be a tool that helps us place the section using Sketchup move and rotate tool. The section’s datum coordinates would then change to match the Sketchup model without affecting Trimble Connect Project section location.
  • If Trimble Connect allows 8 simultaneous active sections, Sketchup should support those too.
  • However, I don’t understand why TC limits itself to 8.
  • Both Sketchup and Trimble Connect should support multiplanar sections and clipboxes:

This way, we could manage Sections at a Project Level, in TC, and have the same sections being used in Sketchup for working on the model and documentating it.

Sketchup can’t manage an Architectural Model as TC can, but Trimble Connect can’t documentate it as Layout can.

Scenes/Views with/without active Sections

  • If a TC view is useful to manage and display parts of the model, that view should be synced with Sketchup and be stored in specific Sketchup Scenes.
  • If the view of the model changes in TC it should change accordingly in Sketchup.
  • As with sections, views should be able to be relative to Sketchup origin point and be adapted to a datum location if the model origin is different from the Sketchup origin.

TC Coordinate System Origin Point VS Sketchup Model Coordinate System Origin Point

Maybe the way to handle origin’s coordinates between Sketchup and TC should be carefully thought so it’s possible to have a Sketchup model that knows what it’s position is relative to the TC project coordinates.

This should be handled in a streamlined fashion by TC Sketchup Extension.