SketchUp VS Unity3D VS WPF/media3D

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…

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

Go for FreeCAD it is FOSS…

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.

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.

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?’

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.

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

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 ?!?

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)

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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.

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