Friday, April 27, 2012

SketchUpBIM: Common Questions, and their Quick solutions!

Thousands of architects and engineers have downloaded SketchUpBIM over the past few months. It has been our pleasure to support our customers from United States, Brazil, China, United Kingdom, France, Australia and many other parts of the world.

In this blog, we have summarized the most common questions and their corresponding solutions:

I.                    SketchUpBIM Installation
a.    Question: “I entered my information on the SketchUpBIM Product page to download the software. However, I did not receive any email with the download information. Help!”
Answer: In rare cases, our emails might not reach you due to your company’s firewall and/or spam settings. The solution is simple, please send us an email at, and we will revert back immediately with the instructions to download and install the software.

b.      Question: “Norton declares that SketchUpBIM.exe has a potential virus. Is the installation file safe?”
Answer: The SketchUpBIM installation file is completely safe and does not contain any virus or malware. It is currently being used by thousands of customers worldwide without any issues. As we have been unable to replicate this issue on our test computers, our best guess is that certain Norton settings on specific computers might be flagging all files with an ‘exe’ extension as a potential risk to the system. The SketchUpBIM installation file has an .exe extension; however it is safe for use on any and all computers.

c.     Question: “I have installed SketchUpBIM. However, I cannot see the SketchUpBIM toolbar inside SketchUp.”
Answer: Please browse to "C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Google SketchUp 8\Plugins"
on your computer, and see if the following files exist inside this folder: (i) SketchUpBIM.rbs file (ii) SketchUpBIM sub-folder. If not, then please re-install the software using the installation file. If you still cannot see the SketchUpBIM files even after re-installation, then you might not have admin privileges to install softwares into your "Program Files" folder or you might have multiple versions of SketchUp installed on your computer. If this is the case, please send us an email at We will send you a link to the zip package of the plug-in that we supply under such special circumstances. The zip package can be easily un-zipped, and the files can be copied to the SketchUp plug-ins folder.

II.                 SketchUpBIM Software
a.     Question: “All the tool buttons are greyed-out. Only the ‘Grid’ and ‘Level’ tools are active, all other tools (walls, columns, beams etc.) are in-active.”
Answer: The first step is to define a “Grid”, and then create a "Level". Once a level is
defined, all primitive tools (like wall, column, beams etc.) get "un-greyed". The viewport automatically switches to plan view, and all tools work on the plan view of the levels. 

b.   Question: “The font on the dialog boxes is too large. I am unable to see all the controls on the dialog boxes. There is no OK or Cancel buttons.”
Answer: This issue is related to the zoom factor in Internet Explorer. To fix this issue, please open up Internet Explorer, and press the "Ctrl" and "0" buttons together. This will reset your zoom factor to 100%; and this will fix your issue inside SketchUp. If this still does not fix your issue, please un-install and re-install SketchUpBIM on your computer. Just FYI – we have fixed this issue permanently (so that it is now independent of the zoom factor inside IE). This fix will be available in the next version of the software.

c.    Question: “SketchUpBIM plug-in has a conflict with my other plug-in. The operations of my other plugin crash after I install SketchUpBIM.”
Answer: Few of our customers have brought this to our notice. There are a few plug-ins that seem to be incompatible with SketchUp 7.1 and SketchUpBIM. Few examples are TIG's 'SectionCutFace' and Chuck Vali's Instant Roof plugins. There might be a few others on the list. The simple solution to this problem is to get the latest version of SketchUp 8 or higher. We have tested several plug-in combinations on SketchUp 8, and there have been no crashes.

We would strongly recommend that you take a quick look at the basic tutorial: It's approximately 12 minutes, and we promise that it will make you an expert in using SketchUpBIM. Have fun with SketchUp and SketchUpBIM!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

SketchUpBIM 1.5 is Now Available!

Since we launched SketchUpBIM, we started collecting user feedback, comments and suggestions. One the top requests (obviously!) – was the support for Metric Units. So, we did this! SketchUpBIM 1.5 supports all units. Users can work in both metric and imperial units.

Units in SketchUpBIM have been designed to work like all other elements in Google SketchUp. If units are not explicitly entered, SketchUpBIM tools use the default SketchUp model units. However, if units are entered with input values, then these entered units over-ride default model units. This procedure for entering units is similar to all other elements in SketchUp (like Line Tool and Rectangle Tool), and allows both Imperial and Metric conventions. For additional information, watch the Advanced Tutorial

Version 1.5 provides the ability to render materials for SketchUpBIM elements. A check-box to switch on/off the rendering of materials has been provided under the Display Options for SketchUpBIM.

A number of enhancements have been bolted into Version 1.5 of the SketchUpBIM software. Some of these include (a) enhancement to the Beam Tool to support multiple draw functionality and (b) adding menu items for all SketchUpBIM operations.

SketchUpBIM 1.5 can be downloaded from the Product Page. The Tutorials have also been updated for Version 1.5.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

What is a "Level" in SketchUpBIM?

Levels in SketchUpBIM are synonymous to Floors in a building. Level is used to define the elevation of floors. Once a level is defined, it allows the users to add elements to that particular floor. These elements may be walls, columns and/or beams.

The Layers window is a very important part of the modeling experience, and is used intensively by SketchUpBIM for managing Levels. Clicking on “Layer0” displays the entire 3D model of the building in isometric projection. 

All Levels or floors of a building in SketchUpBIM are represented by their own explicit layers on the Layers window. Clicking on either of these Levels opens the plan view for that particular Level. Plan view makes it easy to add new walls, columns and beams. Keep in mind, that although you are currently drawing in plan view, actual elements are being created in true 3D. You can switch back to “Layer0” to view the complete model in 3D at any time.

In case of columns and walls, such elements are drawn from the elevation of a particular floor to the elevation of the floor below it. For instance, in the below example, a new Level is defined in SketchUpBIM with an elevation of 10 feet, and consequently a few walls are added to this level. These walls will extend from the floor elevation of 10 feet to the level below. The level below is the ground level, so these walls extend from the 10 feet elevation to the ground level. 

Now, in the below example, another level is added at 20 ft, and a few columns are added to this level. In this case, the columns extend from 20ft to the elevation of level below, ie 10 ft.

The other important point to note is that the elements drawn on a particular level “belong” to that particular level. This means, as a simple example, that if a particular level is deleted, then all elements (ie, walls, columns and beams) drawn on that level shall also be deleted automatically.

The SketchUpBIM software can be downloaded at

Saturday, January 7, 2012

What is SketchUpBIM?

SketchUpBIM is a plug-in for Google SketchUp. It is tool that helps engineers and architects to cut down their design time for complex buildings and engineering structures. It provides out-of-the-box tools to quickly model basic building elements like walls, columns, beams and slabs.

SketchUpBIM combines the power and ease of Google SketchUp, with the popularly adopted principles of BIM softwares - to offer a simple interface for building construction. The tools in SketchUpBIM are both mouse and keyboard enabled, and either of the input devices can be used to draw the architectural primitives. Best of all, SketchUpBIM elements are fully compatible with all other modeling operations in SketchUp and offer flawless integration.

SketchUpBIM has been written with an intention of providing seamless integration with external BIM softwares. It is envisioned that future versions of the SketchUpBIM software will offer import and export functionality to/from popular BIM softwares like ArchiCAD and Revit.

The SketchUpBIM software can be downloaded at

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

SketchUpBIM : Building Information Modeling in SketchUp

I am very excited to publish the first bulletin post for SketchUpBIM :)

SketchUpBIM provides simple tools to create grids, floors, and all common structural engineering and architectural primitives like walls, columns, beams, slabs and openings in SketchUp.

The SketchUpBIM team have put this together by collaborating over the past few months! It is a building modeling plug-in for SketchUp. We have utilized our knowledge of popular BIM products (like Revit) and tried to follow the same process-flows.

Check it out at The free version of this plug-in can be downloaded  on the Product's page.

The SketchUpBIM software can be downloaded at