What's your secret for reviewing other people's models?

Hey all,

Just playing around in Sketchup and catching up on the community and I thought “Hmm, I wonder how the Sages review other people’s models?” (I know, I know. I need to get a life)

Sometimes I’ll see someone post a question with their model attached and in less than 5 min someone has responded with their analysis of the model.

For those of you (@DaveR and @slbaumgartner to mention a couple that consistently give detailed feedback) that do this, do you have some tips/tricks for the rest of us?

As I muddle through building my models I tend to forget that I did something or to get back to something I meant to. It would be nice if there was a methodology for reviewing/analyzing models.

I’ve learned about Purging Unused, reducing the number of faces on non-flat surfaces, and avoiding nesting. Each of those was an “Oh, wow. I didn’t know that” moment for me. Helping me do a better job of designing models.

What other magic can you reveal to us? :slight_smile:


Hard to put an answer into words. There are things I do like switching to Monochrome face style and setting Profiles to 1 to help see some geometry related issues. I look at Model Info>Units to see what the user has chosen. I look at Outliner to see if the model structure makes sense. I turn on Hidden Geometry and look at that. Sometimes a lot of it is just done by “feel”. Having looked at thousands of models over the years you just start to get an idea of the things other people do.


I start by doing much the same as @DaveR has described, mainly by “gut feel” just as he said. One technique he didn’t mention is using the text tool (or the tape measure in recent versions) to check the coordinates of points to see whether they are aligned as they should be. That and hard-to-see tiny edges are often why a face won’t form or a pushpull doesn’t cut a face.

I also have a collection of Ruby snippets I have accumulated over the years that probe a model to see whether errors I have seen before are present, such as very large objects, objects very far from the origin, damaged camera parameters, and others.


Good one. I do that too.

I often start at the ModelInfo>Statistics dialog to see an overview of what the thing contains.

1 Like

I’m surprised that @DaveR nor @slbaumgartner mentioned either

  • an initial “purge” of unused items - scenes, component definitions, materials, etc
  • using the Default Layer extension to if they see geometry assigned tags - instead of having “No Tag”

I’ve seen them both show the results of a “purge” often.

That might be because I mentioned I had learned about Purge Unused in my initial post. :slight_smile:

Oh! I missed that! Admittedly, I didn’t actually look too closely at the initial post - as I was more interested the the answers!

I do those things but not as an initial part of my review of the model. I do those things as an attempt to make the model more manageable.

Hey, I’m used to people giving up reading my stuff since I can’t seem to say things succinctly

In this particular case, you were VERY succinct - in the post title! It was enough to get me to skip a detailed look at the initial post and skip to the answers you received!

1 Like

Save a scene of the model as it is presented to you. To return to when needed.
(The times a model disappeared after ‘Zoom Extents’ are numerous)
Then proceed with reviewing the model with the tips mentioned above.
Don’t forget that a model can have section planes, even hidden ones and/or with different tags. Section planes that aren’t currently visible due to whatever reason (hidden / plane and cut turned off / tag turned off).


Well it depends on what the end purpose of the model is so understanding that first drives the direction of the review…

Then making sure I am seeing everything… unhide hidden geometry,zoom extents and turn on all tags…zoom extents after the other two)

Then review the data structure for sensible organisation…things in their appropriate tags and tags structured to subdivide the model practically

Going to model info - units, upping precision and deselecting length snapping is usually on the list.

Yep, And turning on “Color By Axis” to check edges are on axis…

Though beware: color by axis has a tolerance. It won’t find edges that are only a tiny amount askew.

Edit: I should clarify. Color by axis will color edges that are actually a tiny amount askew.


What is “Color By Axis”? I searched help and didn’t find a hit.

It’s a style setting under the Edit tab for edges. As @slbaumgartner indicated, it has some tolerance for off axis edges. It can be useful but isn’t a perfect tool for idientifying off-axis edges.

1 Like

I’m a bit slow this morning. What am I looking at? I see that the Color property is set to “By axis”, but I’m not following what it does and how it helps. Would you mind elaborating?

It confirms by color what edges are parallel to the x,y,z axis…

It is a visual check that things are perpendicular to each other… but note that it sometimes also could have inaccuracies… Trimble is unprofessional in this regard… it should either be right or wrong… not mostly right and sometimes wrong