SketchUp VS Unity3D VS WPF/media3D


#1

I’ve had create success with my Building Creator extension and am planning to create a full fledged estimating app the produces construction drawings and everything.

I was planning to create it as a SketchUp extension but was a little apprehensive about investing so heavily into a program that depends on SketchUp. Seriously if SketchUp would disappear or become prohibitively expensive I could end up in a bad way.

A developer is recommending building the entire thing in Unity3D rather than SketchUp. First off I don’t know anything about Unity, but I assume it would take a lot of resources just to replicate the basic functionality I use in SketchUp.

Has anyone used Unity3D, that could provide some insight?

I realize SketchUp is a mature stable platform, that probably won’t go away and yet…


#2

You could look at this existing Unity add-on, see how it stacks up at $55:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_4d-yI_EVA

It does have the advantage that you can see in real time that it’s going to work in Unity, but I don’t think you could use the models in another program. A SketchUp exported model should work in most tools.

One big advantage it has over your current one is that it’s cross platform. Quite a lot of Unity users are on Mac. I imagine a lot of SketchUp users are. As is the case with Xojo I bet.


#3

Unity is a game engine while SketchUp is a modelling programme. If anything you should compare Blender and SketchUp since they are both modeling programs and Blender is linked to Unity in many official capacities.


#4

I don’t really need to use the model in another program, although I will need to be able to print the views.

My program automates the drawing so I don’t necessarily need a modeling program. I simply need a way to create a 3D drawing using the specifications entered by the user, aka building size, color, etc.

I’ve even thought of using just WPF.
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dotnet/framework/wpf/graphics-multimedia/3-d-graphics-overview


#5

My unity developer told me it’s too complicated for Unity (or for him perhaps).
WPF media3D looks promising though. I found a sample online that created a basic model and performed hit testing. I added orbit and zoom with mouse, in about 20 lines of code.


#6

Is the idea not to build software to help others use that in a workflow or is this a standalone bit of kit?


#7

It’s going to end up being standalone in the sense of workflow. In other words it doesn’t rely on the user using the SketchUp tools (other than orbit, select, select, & move) because I provide the interface and do the drawing in my script.

In the sense of the app itself I’m trying to decide if it should be a standalone app of a ‘stand on top of SketchUp’ app.


#8

I would have thought it would be easier to market to an existing customer+user base rather than going at it alone


#9

Go for FreeCAD it is FOSS…


#10

Liam, check out this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=13&v=wiWFazs2hBQ

That’s inside Unity. I wish SketchUp had similar fast ways of working.

Neil, I was wrong about not being able to export, the above example does have an export to FBX for use in other tools. I went ahead and bought the $55 one.


#11

Ahh ok I understand now, building an app powered by Unity.

I am on and off working on something similar in Unreal Engine but I am using a component library created in SketchUp that I have exported. So it’s like a lego set.


#12

Most of my customers are not coming from SketchUp. The SketchUp people say $1,000 for an extension? Whoa!

In fact many of my customers don’t even know SketchUp exists and say ‘you mean I would need to spend another $700 for SketchUp?’, or ‘what is SketchUp?’


#13

Yeah I understand more after watching that video. I am building something similar myself in UE4 but using a pre-defined ‘lego’ set of components that a user selects from a library.


#14

My guess is that Neil’s thing is more on the lines of what you’re doing than what is in that video. I haven’t been able to find a video to see how his one works. If your approaches are similar, maybe he could hire you to do a Unity one too!

This Sims 4 builder mode looks neat:

https://youtu.be/9KSFkcKBBMo?t=55


#15

I’ll post something here (forum in general ) when I have something of note. It was a Volvo showroom generator that was an extension of this project I did https://www.artstation.com/artwork/KJZLB

You could add various component blocks (stairs, Windows l, stages, walls etc) to create showrooms and then place the vehicles and edit them.

However now that I actually just started at Volvo I can’t keep building a Volvo showroom in my free time so I am trying to figure out what else to do. Maybe I’ll stick a sci-fi twist on it and make some sort of robot factory where you can make robots ?!?


#16

I spent a few hours and did a proof of concept using WPF 3D. I don’t think it’s going to work though because there is no way to draw lines/edges, although I do like the fact that I end up with a single file exe of 34kb.

I think I’ll take a look at OpenGL/WPF next.

3DTest.zip (288.7 KB)


#17

Actually lines can be drawn by creating a square tube consisting of 8 triangles. I think It will work for this project.
I do like the ability of creating multiple view-ports.


Building Creator Extension (Demo Video)
#18

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