Category Archives: Construction

PlusSpec User Gallery (2D drawings)

By | 2D Drawings, Architects, Architecture, BIM, Builders, Business, Construction, Design, Designers, PlusSpec, Sketchup, SketchUp Layout, Software, Technology, Uncategorized, VDC | No Comments

2D_Documentation_PlusSpec

Have you seen our User Gallery Showcase? If not, take a look at some 2D drawings by our Users!

 

All of the current drawings that we have chosen to show you in the User Gallery are the first or second attempt at producing 2D drawings with PlusSpec for SketchUp! 

 

As you can see, with PlusSpec for SketchUp our customers can easily create amazing, professional 2D Drawings (Client Presentations & Construction Drawings). And the best part is that you are not stuck with a specific output or style. You can completely customize the software to present your drawings however you like. No other software is this flexible.

Do you have work that you have created with PlusSpec for SketchUp that you would like to share with us?

 

We want to hear from you!

 

Email drew@rubysketch.com with a PDF file(s) of the work that you would like to share.

 

Be involved. Be rewarded.

Load paths and weight distribution can make or break a budget

By | Architects, Architecture, BIM, Builders, Business, Construction, Design, Designers, Estimating, Estimators, manufacturers, PlusSpec, PlusSpec Updates, Sketchup, Sketchup for Construction & Estimating, Software, Technology, Trades, Tradies, Uncategorized, VDC, Waste reduction | One Comment

Designers can now see load paths at design concept stage to reduce the cost of the engineer.

Hi everyone, I thought I should get a bit technical and talk about load paths and weight distribution and why I decided we needed it in PlusSpec, after all, we are not engineers right?

Diagram outlining a typical load path that an engineer may specify

Why? Isn’t this the job of the engineer?

Is it just me or does anyone else design with point loads in mind?  I build and design and found myself designing unneeded cost into projects and I should have known better. I decided to add in typical point loads in PlusSpec 2017 so you guys can benefit from my experiences., By the way,  I/we have not added notifications everywhere yet we did add them in trusses and wall frames.

What the hell is a point load?

If you are not sure what a point load is it is where a concentrated load is placed in a wall or structure, a distinct section that carries more weight &/or uplift. EG a window jack stud or a girder truss. If you do not know what these are, it does not matter as we painted them Red so you can avoid long spans underneath them or so the engineer can specify hold down requirements to prevent uplift.

Are all Red Studs and Girder trusses point loads in PlusSpec?

Not all red studs are point loads, however, it is good to know that there is a potential issue y looking for the red when viewing your 3D model in structural mode.

When should I disregard a point load?

PlusSpec will add a point load next to every window or door, so if you have a specified stud spacing of 600mm or 2Ft and you have a window that is less than that measure, you can most likely disregard the point load. If you have a truss that is red this generally means that the truss is holding more weight than the truss next to it and therefore it will have more weight and uplift,  the longer the truss the higher the loads.

When should I pay attention to a red stud?

If your window or door opening is wider than your stud spacing and you have weight or a tie down above generally, you should take this into consideration. If you are unsure talk with your engineer or a qualified person.  When I get my designs engineered I always use an engineer who will work with Sketchup and preferably PlusSpec. Getting an engineer to add in steel beams or change sizes of the head to suit loads is a big time saver and it helps with reducing problems onsite.

Designing with structure in mind reduces the cost of construction.

There are many situations where you can reduce the cost of a project by 10s or hundred of thousands of dollars, even millions of dollars. A good example is when designing a room that is greater than the span of a joist, the rule of thumb is a 300mm (12 inches) floor joist holding floor load only is 6m (18 Ft). When a designer designs the room with a second storey over which is 6.1m, it is likely that the joist size across the entire project should all be increased or a steel beam added, this could easily equate toy $2000to$50000 depending on the project size.  In the case of a point load, adding two small windows each side of a girder can save thousands of dollars on one window alone. It’s Friday afternoon 508 PM, I have heaps more to write about but I am thirsty.  Keep your eye out for PlusSpec 2017 as this is just the tip of the iceberg, I can’t wait to demo the new handrail tool and PlusSpec Elite. This is the crew at RubySletchs best work yet. I am excited.  BTW there are probaly 200 typos, spelling mistakes because I have not read over. Did I mention it is Friday afternoon? BTW all existing users will be upgraded to PlusSpec 2017 for free!

Getting a project, urban plan or development out of the ground more efficiently!

By | Architects, Architecture, Builders, Business, Construction, Design, Designers, Estimating, Sketchup, Software, Technology, Uncategorized | No Comments

Reducing the costs to design firms from the word go!

SUplaceMaker, by Daniel Tal.. Brilliant!

 

How many weeks, days, months do you waste before you actually start designing the dwellings? 

  Developers/town planners and architects traditionally waste weeks of time on feasibility study preparation. Setting out large projects should be easier, it took foresight, frustration and determination to come up with a solution.

Why would I need SuPlacemaker?

PlaceMaker fits several needs for design professionals. First, it provided access to data sets, 3d buildings, roads, site plan and street views, that are either not available or would take hours, days if not weeks to create. And the high-resolution aerials really help understand a project location and start placing project studies into real-world context.    

Provides many uses

  Firms and designers will be able to use it for planning studies, rendering and viz, understanding view corridors and providing important context for architects, urban planners and landscape architects. Also, it will have automated the modelling process onto terrain providing a great starting base model while providing a more context-rich environment. There are so many more uses for this information and type of model.  

Save time and money

And aside from the uses, it will save time. You can generate several miles of building and road models. This would take hours, days if not weeks to normally do. The savings PlaceMaker provides more than pays for itself in one project in terms of savings.

Easy to use

We made PlaceMaker easy to use. As one user stated, we follow the SketchUp philosophy of keeping it simple and direct. We see it as important to make it accessible to even the newest SketchUp users. We took great care to make sure it was no complicated to get started.  

Take a Tour

One feature we have not highlighted enough in our videos is the Tour feature. We synced the PlaceMaker to Google Street View. So once you import a location aerial, streets and buildings, turn on the PlaceMaker Tour and you can see your location relative to the street view. You can even pan around in the street view and it will move you around the model and vice-versa. This provides immersive important context and understanding. Then you can even PhotoMatch building textures onto massings. make the job easier?

Must Have Tool

PlaceMaker adds loads of value to 3D projects, regardless of the project type or use. It will allow designers to better communicate ideas within a city or location. And we have large plans for the future of PlaceMaker. This is just version 1. We hope to provide even more data and options in future versions.

Need more information?

To get started, check out Daniels Website www.suplacemaker.com

PlusSpec 17: What’s It All About?

By | Architects, BIM, Builders, Construction, Design, Designers, Estimating, Estimators, IFC, manufacturers, PlusSpec, PlusSpec Updates, SketchUp 2017 Review, VDC | No Comments

We are super excited about our next update: PlusSpec 2017 and so are many of you! We have never had so many people reach out to us and ask, ‘What’s new in the next release, and when will it be ready!?’

 

So, we thought we would share a sneak peak of some of the improvements and NEW features that will be making it inside PlusSpec 2017, which is due for release in the coming weeks (yes, weeks!).

 

The PlusSpec team have worked incredibly hard, and we would like to thank our whole team (especially our developers) for putting in the hard yards and making PlusSpec 2017 another successful journey. However, there are still plenty of milestones and ideas that we are working towards – some which will appear in the next update, and some that will need to be fine-tuned for the one following.

 

PlusSpec 2017 will improve your ability to take full control of your model by having more freedom to customise, edit, add and change elements of your model with greater ease and efficiency. We’ve improved many tools/features, including the beam tools, roofing tools, flooring tools, windows and doors – and we’ve even added some new materials from one of our Australian Building Suppliers (Stramit).

 

roofing_options_gif

New roofing options coming soon with PlusSpec 17

 

 

But what does it all mean?:

✓ Work faster

✓ Better Communication

✓ More efficiency

✓ Better Project Results

✓ Make informed decisions at concept stage

 

 

Okay, sounds great, but what’s NEW?!:

 

✓ NEW Handrail Tool: Have the ability to add handrails to stairs and balconies

✓ IFC Tool; Room Quantities: Feasibility studies for air conditioning, Reporting and Measurements (cubic/square)

✓ Beam Tool: Allowing users to add structural and non-structural beams to their models

✓ Load bearing point identifier: Visual identifier that outlines areas where reinforcement needs to be allowed for

✓ Hip Roof Tools: Dutch gable, Mansard, dual-pitch ability, Dormer options, and optimised use of the edit roof pitch tool, allowing users to add and remove roof edits

✓ Sloping Roofing: Trace any sloping roof from 2D or 3D, with the ability to change overhangs mid-draw

✓ Create a 2D roof plan: Project your roof plan onto your floor plans 

✓ Floor & Ceiling Joist: Add structural steel beams to the model to customise and edit

✓ Joist Tool: Specify more beam or joist types

✓ Windows & Doors: Add architrave lengths to windows and doors as well as improving existing functions for more customisation and estimating abilities

✓ Foundation Tool: Draws multiple items in less time (e.g. footings, walls, top plates)

✓ NEW Materials: Added Stramit products to the Australian Material Library (Floor & Ceiling Joist Tools and Beam Tool)

✓ And much more!

 

We will provide a comprehensive list of ALL features and functionality of PlusSpec 2017 when it is released towards the end of April 2017. We’ll be posting these on our Release Notes and Blog pages.

 

Share your thoughts and share this page with your colleagues and friends!

Introducing FREE weekly webinars

By | Architects, Architecture, BIM, Builders, Business, Construction, Design, Designers, Estimating, Estimators, manufacturers, PlusSpec, PlusSpec Updates, Sketchup, Software, Technology, Trades, Tradies, Tutorial, Uncategorized, VDC, Webinar | No Comments

Did you know that we now hold a FREE Webinar EVERY week?!

 

Our Webinars have already become extremely popular, and our limited seats fill up quickly. Each week we have people from over 20 countries attend, from every profession: Architects, Designers, Interiors, Builders, Trades, Engineers, Estimators and Manufacturers. We are super happy about this! Uniting the design and construction Industry, so that we can all be more efficient and profitable, is one of the main reasons we get out of bed. What other software can say that?!

 

These live, interactive webinars have been designed to help you. It doesn’t matter if you are a PluSpec user, or if you just want to know more.  This is the best way to get answers to your questions and see why PlusSpec is the right choice for your business.

 

We hold our Webinars every Thursday @ 9am AEDT / Wednesday @ 2pm PST. However, we understand that this time may not suit you, and this is why we also record each session. As long as you register (even if you can’t attend) you will receive the recording so that you can watch it at a time that suits you. If you don’t register, you won’t receive the recording, so please check out our webinar page at the beginning of each week so you don’t miss out!

 

Our Webinars last 40-60 minutes and each session will discuss a specific topic. However, we have limited seats, so please register early so you don’t miss out.

 

We recommend that you bookmark our Webinar Page so you always know what’s coming.

 

If there is a topic that you would like us to hold a webinar on, you can make requests for upcoming registers when you Save Your Seat for a Webinar.

 

Click HERE to see our Webinar Page and stay up to date with your FREE learning.

There is a reason why Hollywood Designers use SketchUp

By | Architects, Architecture, Augmented Reality, BIM, Builders, Business, Construction, Design, Designers, Estimating, Estimators, manufacturers, PlusSpec, Sketchup, Sketchup for Construction & Estimating, Software, Technology, Uncategorized, VDC | No Comments

Image by Luke Whitelock. Copyright owned by Marvel Studios

And the answer is simple.

 

No other CAD or BIM software (or any other acronym that you want to use) has actually been made as a design tool. Our competitors are merely ‘virtual drafting boards’, and have been created so that their users can create 2D drawings in a slightly more efficient way.

 

SketchUp on the other hand, is the first 3D CAD design software. The Trimble SketchUp team believe that Architects and Designers should be focused on design (above everything else), and that’s why they created SketchUp as ‘a pencil with superpowers’. It enables you to design in 3D, in the same free way that you can design with a pencil and pen (the traditional, and only other way to truly design). But most of us can’t really draw anyway, right? Well, drawing with SketchUp in 3D makes you look like a pro. And no other CAD software comes close.

Luke Whitelock is an Assistant Art Director with over 12 years experience working on large movies for clients as diverse as Marvel, Fox, Universal and Disney. Luke plays a major role in bringing movies to life and realizing the finished movie sets. He has worked on some ‘big name’ movies, such as “Inception”, “Guardians of the Galaxy”, “Beauty and the Beast” and “Doctor Strange” (among many others). Check out his IMDb bio. He is currently finishing work on “Avengers: Infinity War”.

Image by Luke Whitelock. Copyright owned by Marvel Studios

Luke has now used SketchUp in his work for over 10 years. In the last 5 years, he made a transition from 2D board drawing to using only SketchUp and Layout for his work. Aside from dreaming up the sets of block buster movies, he also helped to design the “Wizarding World of Harry Potter” Theme Park at Universal Studios, Orlando, Florida.

 

Luke has been very vocal about how great SketchUp and Layout are, and within the Film Art Departments he has converted many of his peers.

Image by Luke Whitelock. Copyright owned by Marvel Studios

As you can see from some examples of Luke’s work, his designs are not only highly creative and emotive, but also very technical. Because the 3D model is so complete, and illustrative, he is also able to quickly turnaround projects within a couple of weeks and then see them go into production immediately. This is because SketchUp enables him to do three things seamlessly:

  • design
  • communicate his design in a way that everyone immediately understands (3D, colour, perspectives, etc).
  • communicate technically (so that the designs can be built)

Movie Draftsman and Art Directors need vivid imaginations, and ensure that they use the best mediums to help them design, and then communicate their vision.

 

In the words of Luke, ‘Much of what we do in the Art department relies heavily on everyone being able to understand the design, not just from a construction point of view but also from the perspective of all the other departments, whether thats rigging, SFX, Visual Effects, Set Dec or the Director of Photography. A SketchUp model can be viewed by everyone and immediately everyone knows what they can expect to get with regards to a finished set. Quick turnarounds and last minute script changes are not as painful as they once were, as the beauty of SketchUp and Layout means I can change the design and the drawings will automatically update saving hours of labour and stress. I love SketchUp!!’

We share Luke’s statement, and we believe that these same principles that are so important to being able to successfully design movie sets have exactly the same importance for the design of buildings.

 

So why do Architects and Designers use software that have not been made primarily to help us design, and then communicate the form and feel of our designs in ways that everyone understands (especially our clients)? Why are we using ‘Virtual Drafting Boards’ and trying to communicate the old way (in 2D)? 

 

Shouldn’t we be using software that helps us design (first and foremost) – but also communicates the form, feel, and function? Just like in the movies, design is all about emotion. You should be able to communicate directly in your immersive 3D model – more 3D, less 2D!

 

However, we also understand that Architects and Designers also need smarter ways to draw, specify products, and capture information/data in the model. We understand the power of BIM – and being able to model parametrically (having the ability to adjust every element in your drawing through attributes, rather than having to redraw, or manually adjust). We understand that you need to be able to design and specify real building materials and products. We understand that you need to be able to be able to work with consultants and be able to update your work to suit their specifications. We understand that you need to be able to easily manage the cost of your designs so that they meet your clients budget. And we understand that you are supposed to do all of this and more within strict deadlines.

 

This is why we created PlusSpec for SketchUp.

 

At RubySketch, we don’t think the same way as our competitors. We want to change the way that we design and build. We believe that 3D technology should be more than just another way to create 2D plans.

 

We challenge the traditional ways of doing things by creating software that ends the communication breakdown between architects, builders and manufacturers (not to mention clients).

 

PlusSpec for SketchUp gives you total design freedom, as well as the best of Building Information Modeling, Virtual Design and Construction & One-click Feasibility studies. This is the ultimate design tool for Architects and Designers. With PlusSpec for SketchUp, you will create 3D ‘Virtual Design and Construction Models’. These are exact, virtual replicas of what will be built, and contain all of the information about the project within the model (everything that anyone would ever need to know). And because it is true 3D, you are able to communicate the feel, form and function a ‘natural way’ (from within the interactive and immersive 3D model): the same way we see the world with our eyes; the same way that we lose ourselves in movies. If you have highly bespoke/complex elements in your design. use the easy SketchUp tools and 3D sketch it, then ‘BIM-it’ with PlusSpec – and you don’t need to be a guru or BIM Manager to do it!

 

It just so happens that our software is simple to use and user friendly.

Become part of PlusSpec HERE

 

See some more examples of Luke’s work HERE.

SketchUp also recently interviewed another Hollywood Visual Artist, by the name of Chris Rosewarne. Check out this very interesting article HERE.

Upcoming SketchUp Guide includes a PlusSpec spotlight

By | Architects, Architecture, BIM, Builders, Business, Construction, Design, Designers, IFC, PlusSpec, Sketchup, Software, Technology, Tutorial, Uncategorized, VDC | One Comment

We’ve just heard that the first Italian Guide to SketchUp with a PlusSpec spotlight is Coming Soon.

Here’s what we know:

 

SketchUp. Progettazione architettonica BIM, is the first Italian guide to Trimble SketchUp 2017, ranging from the introduction of the software to the BIM-approach with PlusSpec, and GPU-rendering with Octane Render. It provides users with step-by-step tutorials exploring all aspects of SketchUp, from simple tasks to advanced ones.

 

After exploring the SketchUp interface, the author shows every aspect of the software:

  • Visualization & Navigation
  • Objects creation & editing
  • Model organization
  • Printing & Layout
  • Plugins & Extensions
  • BIM with PlusSpec
  • Rendering with Octane Render

Alessandro Barracco, aerospace engineer, PhD, is Assistant Professor at SUPINFO – École Supérieure d’Informatique, Paris, where he teaches Algorithmic and Programming Languages. He is also a Research Fellow at University of Enna Kore, Italy where he teaches courses in AEC BIM/CAD modeling and visualization, as well as structural design with SketchUp at the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture. He his an active member of the SketchUp community. He founded, with prof. Arch. Maurizio Oddo, the BOMAstudio, winning several international architecture competitions and realizing many buildings in Italy (House Ditta[1], the New University Library of Kore[2], the new Arena of Selinunte[3]). He is now also an avid PlusSpec user.

[1] http://www.domusweb.it/en/architecture/2009/09/30/boma-studio-house-ditta-erice.html

[2] http://www.ppan.it/stories/oddo/

[3] http://www.domusweb.it/it/notizie/2016/08/27/nuovo_teatro_triscina_di_selinunte.html

 

We have been advised that the book will be in Italian only. Comment below if you would like to see them publish an English translation also (we know we would)!

Sustainable Design and Construction: How to consider the environment with PlusSpec BIM software

By | Builders, Construction, Design, Designers, Environment, Estimators, manufacturers | No Comments
New Year’s resolutions are often taken seriously for the first few days, but it’s not too long before old habits kick in. If one of your resolutions was to do your part to save the environment (and not just to lose those extra pounds you gained over Christmas) then let us help you make a difference by taking a look at Sustainable Design & Construction!   Our environment (and our responsibility to take action to maintain it) is often not recognised enough. Here at RubySketch, we have been busy acquiring relationships with manufacturers who support, design and supply Eco-friendly products, where these models are free to download in the RubySketch library for your use in PlusSpec! PlusSpec has become a key driver of success for many companies through the use of it’s intuitive technology.  Project stakeholders are able to effectively and efficiently communicate throughout the design & build process – and they can rest easy knowing that they are choosing environmentally safe products throughout the process.   In this post, we’ll focus on some of the Australian brands in PlusSpec that are doing their part to build a better future for the environment.

Taubman’s: Pure Performance

  You wouldn’t think by choosing a brand, you’d also be choosing a more eco-friendly solution when designing! We love Taubman’s Paint. The variety of colors and paint product ranges leave us in awe. Needless to say, they also address the environment and health and safety of the community through their products, too. taubman's_paint_window_in_plusspec sustainable construction design Taubman’s Pure Performance paint addresses many of the concerns of homeowners, such as allergies and chemical contents. It’s 100% water-based, contains Microban antibacterial protection, and is low in VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) – meaning it has a lower odour than high-VOC paints. If you’re not convinced yet, it has also received approval from the National Asthma Council Australia’s Sensitive Choice program.   Using Taubman’s Paint range inside of PlusSpec is incredibly easy. Edit the wall you’d like to use, then choose ‘paint material‘ under the material that you want to paint.   Colour consultation using Sketchup and PlusSpec Sustainable Design and Construction    

Eco-Friendly 3D Models We’re Proud Of:

Every product in the RubySketch 3D Library is special and has value, due to the time and dedication of each manufacturer to create something truly special for us to use in our construction projects! To name name’s, these are some of the Australian sustainable design construction products that you can currently find in our library and use in your projects:  

Weathertex

Weathertex has been a market leader for supplying external wall timber products since 1939, which are 100% natural and have a better than zero carbon footprint. Check out their models in our Library for you to download for free.  Their product range are also available within PlusSpec.  

EcoBuild Solutions

Ecobuild Solution’s Insulfloor is a durable lightweight insulated floor sheet that has excellent thermal properties and will help reduce your electricity bill. It’s rot proof and unaffected by vermin. Need a flooring option? You can get access to their free 3D models here and also in the PlusSpec software.  

AWS Architectural Window Systems

From paint, to walls, from floors to windows; Even your choice of window suppliers can have an impact on the environment! AWS windows are created from aluminium – a highly abundant, natural occurring mineral unlike fossil fuels. Selecting AWS, you can be confident your windows will last MUCH longer than typical PVC windows, are stronger and light-weight (no broken backs!). When the time comes for an upgrade or replacement, the aluminium can be re-melted, re-purified: RE-CYCLED! AWS in the RubySketch Library.  

Sustainable Design & Construction: Easier with PlusSpec

2017 New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be forgotten! Take action to improve your sustainable design and construction with the support of PlusSpec and our partner manufacturers, who create innovative and sustainable products for the design and construction industry. Create unique designs, estimate, and/or build projects with the added selling-point of “environmentally-friendly products sourced within PlusSpec”.
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