I have been embedding codes into dynamic components within my SketchUp models that relate to our project FF&E. Most notably, I have been embedding Finish and Selection Codes. We label our finish codes with a “P-01” for a paint color or “WD-01” for a stain color. We label our Selection Codes with a “HW-07” for cabinet hardware or a “PL-05” for a plumbing fixture. This all relates back to the Project FF&E that is created in tandem with the design. Depending on the size of a project, there can be a lot of finishes and selections that need representation.
To embed this information in the model, I create a custom attribute within the dynamic component that contains this information. This information is present in all of my components - a run of cabinets, doors and door casing, windows and window casing, flooring surfaces, hardware, lighting, plumbing, etc… Having this information embedded in the component allows me to use the Smart Label Tool within Layout while making my floor plans and elevations. The code is easily accessed while using the drop down arrow of the Label Tool when clicking on a component.
However, its quite common to use different label symbols for different information in a set of plans. Our Finish Codes are bounded with a rectangle, while our Selection Codes are bounded with a pill shape. We also use hexagons for Demolition Codes and circles for other information.
I would love the ability to select a bounding box type when activating the Smart Label Tool in Layout. This would allow me to draw upon the embedded codes within my model while also creating cleaner, and smarter plan sets. As an example, after setting up my elevations on a sheet, I could begin labeling. I would activate the label tool and select the pill shaped bounding box. From there, I would pull all of my selection codes. After that, I would activate the label tool again and select the rectangle bounding box this time. From there, I would pull all of my finish codes.
Now that everything is labeled, I have integrated information in my elevations. So if we decided to change the cabinets from a painted material to a prefinished laminate - I could simply change the Finish Code in the cabinet components of my model from “P-01” to a Finish Code of “LAM-01”. I would then update my Layout File and the corresponding finish would be represented in all plans and elevations with a label attached to those cabinets.
I hope I have explained how this feature could be helpful to me in my process while also illuminating how it could help a lot of other people in similar situations. If anybody has a work around or ideas of how best to create bounding boxes of labels, please let me know.
Of course, I would love for SketchUp come out with a Feature Update that allows the user to select from a variety of bounding boxes when using the Label Tool in Layout.