Stretching Sketchup's capabilities

I foresee this suggestion being blown out of the air before it has even left the tarmac, but Im giving it a go anyway!

The Stretch command is useful but has its limitations, the most obvious being its tendency to distort geometry. DCs sought to get around this problem but introduced more new problems than they solved. But how would it be if you could have the best of both worlds?

For my concept to work means giving attributes to edges. That may not be easy to do. There have been countless requests for linestyles, line colours, and lineweights, as attributes and all have fallen on stony ground. Maybe it is just too difficult when you are dealing with 3D edges rather than 2D lines.

If attributes are possible, you would have a Stretch attribute as a toggle. By default, it would be on and everything would work just as it always has. But you could switch it off for any line (or circles/arcs, which are only special groups of conjoined lines). When you do that, those edges would no longer respond to a stretch operation other than moving undistorted.

I attach an example. It is maybe too simple and one would have to think through all the ramifications for more complex models. For example, it would be hard to predict the results on an organic shape. But I would argue that SU is not really ideal for creating organic shapes and when it is so used, you probably wouldn’t want to change any edge stretch attributes.

If something like this could be implemented, you could have parametric modelling that was really simple to create and use without all the faff of spreadsheets or forms to fill.

Table.layout (315.6 KB)

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16 years ago Macromedia introduced 9-slice scaling. Something like that would give you what you need.

@Mark @MikeTadros Something to consider.

Wow, so not blown out of the air straight away then!

I guess the point here is to find out how difficult it really is to create a simple form of parametric modelling that anyone with already established SU drafting skills can quickly pick up and use. I am tempted to believe that it cannot be beyond the wit of man to devise such a thing but the other side of my brain tells me that it would surely have been done by now if so. Though that kind of logic does not always apply…