May 28th, 2018 | by SketchUp Team
Creating a space with a multiple of uses is never an easy task. Communicating the architects’ solutions to the brief not only to clients but also to those creating the actual buildings is one of SketchUp’s many advantages, as this project for a Victoria school demonstrates.
For LAW Architects in Melbourne, its design for Viewbank College’s Performing Arts Centre and STEAM Precinct would have been an even more formidable project without SketchUp.
Not only that, but the program’s use-friendliness meant they could create their own plug-ins to get the job done and set standards for best practice.
The Performing Art’s Centre Project
The Performing Arts Centre, when completed, will be a two-storey facility comprising of a flexible auditorium and theatre staging, including back of house technical, storage and handling facilities, front-of house gathering and foyer spaces and associated drama and music learning spaces.
The program includes additional general learning classrooms and a purpose built Materials Technology facility as part of the college’s broader learning and curriculum strategy. A new canopy will provide a weather-protected link with the refurbished adjoining two storey building to create a STEAM learning precinct.
How Architects Use Sketchup to Work on this Project
SketchUp was employed by LAW Architects from day one of the project, including being used to assess where best in the landscape the buildings would work.
The team built up basic ‘blocks’ to help convey the design in its environment. These were shared with the stakeholders and the siting was agreed on, moving the project to the next stage of architectural concepts.
“The design solution for this project led to a complex arrangement of flexible spaces which would have been challenging to communicate without the use of SketchUp,” said senior architect and design consultant Barde Gregory.
“With complex projects such as this, the model is organised and constructed in parts as separate SketchUp files. SketchUp is used through the design sequence, from concept through to detail design. These parts are necessary because members of the team must be able to work on the project at the same time.”
The team developed the Cross Reference Organiser plugin to allow each team member to progress their design in their model space while importing other team members’ parts as Cross Referenced components.
A key element of the tool’s functionality is that it prevents a re-importation and superposition of many instances of each project part when team members are importing the contents of each others’ model space – no-one can over-write someone else’s work.
The parts are worked on and then subsequently assembled into a master model file, reflecting a construction-like hierarchy, which is supported by a layer naming method, for instance: 1.Context, 2.Site, 3.Structure, 4.Enclosure, 5.Interior, etc.
Segregation of the model enables not only teams working within the office environment, but potentially with other design disciplines.
For example, the sub-contractor’s structural steel model was used for review against the SketchUp model for conformance to design intent, and also to identify structural clashes.
SketchUp has also given LAW Architects, on this job and others, a high-level diagnostic tool, allowing adjustments more easily, for example, on this project, it easily allowed the team to identify if the building had enough room for its uses.
As well, the ability to create videos means conveying the building to clients and other parties is much easier and more effective, as the clip accompanying this article demonstrates.
“Without SketchUp, all aspects of the design and creation of this quite complex building would have been considerably more difficult to achieve and communicate,” Barde said.
BuildingPoint is the expert in design-build-operate. Contact us to find out how we can help your practice as Australia’s authorised distributor of SketchUp.
May 24th, 2018 | by SketchUp Team
About 10 years ago, TAFE NSW carpentry teacher Graeme Wilton sat down in front of SketchUp for the first time.
“I drew a square, then made it 3D and rotated it … and I thought, bloody hell, this is marvellous!” Graeme, better know as Willo, recalls. “Straight away I could see this could really change the way we teach.”
Fast forward to today and the carpentry faculty at the Tamworth campus of TAFE NSW has done just that – and given a skill set of old a new lease on life as carpentry students come to grips with the often tricky geometry and theory of roof framing.
“The traditional method of roof framing needs some pretty complex geometry,” Willo says. “Over the years most students and teachers have not gotten into it and we’ve lost that traditional skill in favour of pre-made components. But when I saw SketchUp for the first time in 2008 I could see how it could teach this lost art without all the geometry theory that does everyone’s head in.”
Not everyone shared Willo’s enthusiasm and vision for how SketchUp could work for the faculty (“Everyone said ‘you’ll never get computers for carpentry’,” Willo recalls) but he found an ally in head teacher Grant Bowden.
“Grant was into it. He got the computers into our classroom almost a decade ago and we’ve gone from strength to strength,” Willo said.
“In the old days we’d give it our best shot in the theory stage and then go into the workshop and basically start again – every student would need guidance to get on track. With SketchUp we can cover the theory in 2-3 hours by drawing models of what we will build so when we get into the workshop the job’s largely done.”
“That’s not to say some students don’t need help as they go along, but as they’ve created 3D models they can see what’s what, they can problem solve more easily and they know before they set foot in the workshop if their design is going to work in real life or not.”
“We also do construction sequences so they can work out in what order to build – and how it will work. Willo said SketchUp also meant students could tackle projects previously out of reach, “We are now not constrained by physical resources.”
“Our students can create large roofing projects in 3D that we could never do in real life because we don’t have the room or the materials. It’s a huge advantage. The thing is, if you work in simulation, good simulation, it makes it real.”
How A Local SketchUp Helps
Willo said having a local contact for SketchUp had made a big difference to the team.
“In the past we were dealing with Trimble in the US”, he said. “It is great having a local company in BuildingPoint for the purchase and maintenance of our SketchUp licences and for the on-going support that we desperately need. Just having someone who can work in metres and millimetres rather than feet and inches is a real bonus and I can’t overstate the value of being in the same time zone when you need help in a hurry.”
“SketchUp in Australia is the icing on the 3D modelling cake.”
May 16th, 2018 | by SketchUp Team
Would you like to join us in Perth this June?
We’ve recently had a successful run of our 1-Day SketchUp Essentials course for beginners in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne and have been asked whether we’re holding courses in Perth, so we’re looking to travel that way on June 6th or 7th.
Before we do, we want to see who would be able to join us. You can see all the course details below. If you have any questions or want to tentatively book in, please call us on: 07 3851 8358 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re happy to offer bundled discounts for training + licensing packages. Have a friend or colleague that wants to get trained up as well? Refer them to receive a discount.
Date: TBA – either Wednesday, June 6th OR Thursday, June 7th
Time: Please plan to be there for 8:00 AM to setup. We will begin at 8:30 AM sharp.
Location: TBA – Central Perth location
Price: $550.00 total including GST
SketchUp skills you will walk away with:
- Confidently setting up and navigating the SketchUp Pro interface
- Creating 2D geometry drawings
- Creating 3D geometry models
- Understanding how to apply: groups and components, materials and textures, section cuts and styles, and how to use the sandbox tools
- Understanding how to use the visualisation tools to present your designs
- Creating a 3D model for a house from floor plans
- Understanding how to use LayOut for your 2D modelling and documentation
What you will get:
- Small group course with our in-house technical consultant
- All training materials will be provided
- We will supply light refreshments and lunch
- SketchUp Australia Certificate of Completion
What you need to bring:
- Bring your own laptop, and please be sure it meets the minimum software & hardware requirements
- Your 3-button, scroll-wheel mouse. This is necessary to properly use SketchUp and complete the course.
- Your laptop will need to have Pro 2018 installed before you arrive. If you don’t already own a license, you can download the 30-day free trial here
March 30th, 2018 | by SketchUp Team
Turning ideas, or, indeed, dreams, into reality is something SketchUp excels at.
For an Australian company, turning their clients’ dream outdoor kitchens into a reality is their business – and SketchUp plays a big part in it.
Outdoor Alfresco Kitchens, a WA business that’s recently launched in Victoria, designs, manufactures and installs outdoor kitchens that take the humble backyard barbecue area to a whole new level, making its own products under the Infresco name.
What sets it apart from other businesses is that it specialises in areas that are partially indoor or enclosed, manufacturing and installing barbecues, ovens and the like that are government-approved for use in those kinds of areas.
Ricardo Solomons, who is the firm’s agent in Victoria and who literally worked his way up from his apprenticeship, said SketchUp was proving an invaluable tool for Outdoor Alfresco Kitchens.
“Clients come to us with photos of the area they want to transform, or simple sketches on paper or even just ideas in their heads,” he said. “We use SketchUp to design the kitchen to their needs, to their specific wish list. We use it to form the basis of our quotes as well. Our customers love it – they can clearly see what the finished kitchen will look like and how it will function.”
“Once the client is happy with every aspect of the project, we pass on the finalised SketchUp plans to the production team who literally create the kitchen’s components from the files. It means there’s just no margins for errors. We get them right the first time.”
“Everyone has their own mind’s eye and with SketchUp we can translate that vision, we can communicate ideas effectively. We’ve found SketchUp makes the plans ‘real’ for a lot of our clients.”
“SketchUp has made everyone’s life simpler. We start off every project right and it stays that way all the way through to the finished kitchen.”
Ricardo said SketchUp’s potential continued to impress him and that he felt he and the team were continuing to learn more and discover more uses for it within their business.
March 26th, 2018 | by SketchUp Team
What if we told you you can bring together the power of CAD, Estimation, 3D Modelling, 2D planning, Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Virtual Design Construction into one easy-to-use package?
PlusSpec is adesign, planning, estimation and construction tool used mainly for residential projects. We’ve partnered with RubySketch to offer PlusSpec as a game-changing addition to your SketchUp Pro.
Using ready-made building materials from real manufacturers to create your design means you will model in less than half the time than with SketchUp alone. These materials include all the data you need to value your project in real-time as you make updates to your model.
Advantages of PlusSpec for SketchUp Pro:
One of the most powerful features of PlusSpec is the ability to customise. You can easily create every material or product you need for your designs – that’s if they’re not already in the extensive library! You can create your own unique materials library that will be available for use at any time, for any project.
It will be a BIM model:
Every aspect of your model will be ‘smart’ and will include all the data you need to bring your design to life such as: quantities, pricing, product names and codes, specifications, warranties, general notes, and more.
Everything you draw is parametric:
Never redraw anything again. Simply change materials, heights, diameters, thickness, floor plans – all with a click of a button.
Create automatic estimates:
Generate accurate takeoffs for your materials, quantities, labour hours, costs and more for amazingly quick quotes for your customers. Need to make a change? Your reports will update with your design.
March 20th, 2018 | by SketchUp Team
While the new year began on January 1 for most of the world, it’s been 2018 in the SketchUp universe for a few months already.
We welcomed the launch of Version 2018 in November and, in the spirit of all things ‘new’, we introduced our new website sketchupaustralia.com.au.
Curious about what SketchUp can do for you? Or maybe you’re using an outdated version? Now’s the time to find out what you’re missing out on with a 30-day free trial. Contact us to find out how SketchUp can help you and how to add it to your toolkit.
We’re always keen to see what SketchUppers in Australia and New Zealand are working on. Tag #sketchupaus or contact us to be featured.