Category Archives: IFC

SketchUp 17 Pro Review

By | Architecture, BIM, Construction, Design, IFC, PlusSpec, Sketchup, Sketchup for Construction & Estimating, Uncategorized | No Comments

SketchUp 2017 Release: What we (the RubySketch team) like best:

At a glance the obvious changes are evident by the little man in the corner (when you open SketchUp). The previous mascot has been replaced with Chris, who’s sporting a nice new blue/grey polo shirt, beige pants, sports watch and slip on shoes. Unlike previous versions though, Chris isn’t Dynamic, so you can’t mess with his colours via the on-click function (but most people didn’t even know that you could do that, so it’s no biggy!).

The  most obvious change to SketchUp is the rectangle tool. You will notice that it now has a small pre-drawn rectangle, which will help you automatically select the axis that you want to draw on. You can even lock the axis by using your arrow keys, which is super useful (for new and pro users alike).

 

One other thing to note is that SketchUp has changed the location in which they save components. This is a big help! Now you can easily load/insert your components into your projects with ease.

 

The speed of SketchUp has improved dramatically (at least 20% to 30%) and this is one of the improvements that we like most. However, our favorite improvement in SketchUp 2017 is the new graphics (line work, transparent materials, shadows, etc) in both SketchUp and Layout. If you want to to see the difference for yourself, open a model in SketchUp 2016 and 2017. If you don’t notice the difference, open > Preferences > Open GL, and then select a higher number in the Multisample anti-aliasing drop down box.

 

All in all, it’s a thumbs up from us over here at RubySketch. Well done to the team at SketchUp, but as always we are looking forward to seeing whats lined up for SketchUp 2018!

 

Andrew Dwight has made an “off the cuff” screen grab video and added it to the RubySketch YouTube Chanel, which I am sure many will get some great Sketchup 2017 tips from.

Let’s take a look at some of the best new features from the SketchUp Release Notes:

SketchUp

SketchUp

  • The graphics have been completely reworked, so everything you draw will look even sexier!
  • Transparent materials quality and speed has been improved.
  • The modeling window is now DPI aware and will look way better on your display.
  • The Offset tool has been improved so that any overlapping geometry is trimmed automatically to create clean boundaries with no overlaps.
  • The inferencing tools have been further pimped so that you can draw easier and faster.
  • A new Component Origin inference has been added so that you can find and snap to a component’s origin.
  • Persistent IDs for entities have been added, which keeps dimensions and labels better attached in Layout when the model changes
  • Smarter Graphics Card Settings have been implemented to ensure that SketchUp runs the best it can on your computer.
  • The UI for the Add Location tool has been reworked. They have ditched the old Google UI and created a new UI by Trimble, which leverages Trimble’s geo-data infrastructure.
  • The printing quality output directly from the SketchUp model has been improved.
  • You can now change the axis colours. This is particularly beneficial for people who are colour-blind.

SketchUp Layout

SketchUp Layout

  • The Graphics in Layout have been improved, so that your drawings will look better than ever before.
  • A Table tool has finally been added. You can now create a multiple row and column table that can be easily customized to suit your requirements. This is perfect for schedules, cut lists (and the list goes on).
  • You can now import .csv, .tsv, and .xlsx spreadsheet files into Layout as tables – and they will be dynamically referenced, so if your link file changes, you can update the reference to display the new data, or re-link to an updated spreadsheet.
  • Dimensions have been improved. You can now drag a dimension line without affecting the dimension’s offsets or connections.
  • A new Offset tool has been added so that you can now have greater 2D drawing ability.
  • It is now easier to do a click-drag sections (to select multiple objects in your Layout file) without accidentally moving anything.
  • DWG exporting has had a major rework.:
  1. You can now export a multiple page document into one dwg file.
  2. Dimensions (and other 2D objects) will be exported as native dwg objects so your dimensions will not be exploded, and circle and arcs will no longer be segmented splines.
  3. Defined linetype scales are now being respected
  4. Clipping masks are now exported (they were previously unable to be exported).
  5. Text will now remain as the correct font, location and stype

PlusSpec by RubySketch

SketchUp keeps getting better, but how much is your time worth?

 

Learn how PlusSpec will enable you to draw 50 times faster inside of SketchUp.

PlusSpec will set up your model for you, 2D drawing in Layout, construction drawing, shadow diagrams and detailed sections have been automated.

PlusSpec is smart, it sets up layers, groups and components for you, just like the pros do: walls, floors & roof are easily modified, hidden & textured.

PlusSpec automatically generate structure, BOQ’s, Estimates & Specifications – all at the click of a button!

The tutorials are built in and PlusSpec is easy to learn, so get your copy while you are here.

What are you waiting for?

Get PlusSpec TODAY!

Please note that the SketchUp 2017 release incorporates a lot of General fixes and improvements, which we have not outlined in our review. For the Full Release Notes, see the SketchUp Website.

 

Oh, and don’t forget to check out the Official SketchUp 2017 Video HERE!

PlusSpec v16.3.3 Release Notes

By | Architecture, BIM, Construction, Design, Estimating, IFC, manufacturers, PlusSpec, Sketchup, VDC | No Comments

Minor Update (16.3.3):

This update includes the following improvements:

  • Fixed a thickness issue in the Joist & Ceiling Joist Tools.
  • Fixed Takeoff header naming errors.
  • Fixed a custom material thickness error and wall preview error for the Lightweight Multi-Skin Wall.
  • Fixed a Takeoff Export Excel issue with a forward slash (‘/’) in the layer name.

PlusSpec v16.3.1 Release Notes

By | Architecture, BIM, Construction, Design, Estimating, IFC, manufacturers, PlusSpec, Sketchup, VDC | No Comments

Minor Update (16.3.1):

This update includes the following improvements:

  • Updated splashscreen.
  • A new internal bifold door option (single & double) has been added.
  • Skirting enable/disable issue has been fixed.
  • Slab drawing issue has been fixed. Previously, if you tried to generate a slab from an edge/line made up of multiple segments, the slab would not have been formed correctly. This is no longer a problem.

PlusSpec v16.3.0 Release Notes

By | Architecture, BIM, Construction, Design, Estimating, IFC, manufacturers, PlusSpec, Sketchup, Uncategorized, VDC | 4 Comments

So what’s new in PlusSpec 16.3?

This update is packed with new tools and features that we know you’ll love. See the full notes below:

Interior design in 3D is now a reality! 

Introducing the most powerful and easy-to-use  Paint Tool EVER!  You now have a full color atlas, with 5040 named colors at your finger tips. WOW!

  • search color
  • add color
  • see color
  • quantify color

Find out more HERE.

Simply add your color selections to your model, or get your color consultant to do it for you!

 

Don’t forget you can view your PlusSpec models on your Android or Apple tablet or phone!

Ohhhh the joy of communication and technology with PlusSpec……

Paint Tool

Full range of Taubmans Paints for the Australian Material Library:

To coincide with the release of the new  PlusSpec Paint Tool, We have included the full Taubmans range of colours to the Paint Tool – with over 5040 colours to select from. This gives you the ability to apply paints/colours to just about anything inside of PlusSpec!

 

See how this will benefit you HERE.

Splash screen Update

Check out our new welcome screen. It’s the first thing you’ll see when you open PlusSpec.

It tells you when you need to update, and when your Material Library is out of date – so keep your eye on it!

 

We have also added links to all of our tutorials. If you have never used PlusSpec before, get started with our super easy Beginners Tutorials. They only take a minute and they will save you those D’oh! moments.

Learning BIM in Skethcup

Roof Tool improvements:

  • Now includes fascia options.
  • Now includes gutter options.
  • Boxed & raked eave options.
  • Plumb & angled fascia options.
  • Eave/soffit material can now be chosen.
  • Timber/lumber fascia option.
  • Fascia/barge materials for gables can now be chosen and enabled/disabled.
  • Reverse dutch gable option added to the ‘Edit Roof Pitch’ Tool.

 

Eave and Fascia Updates

Plumb Fascia & Boxed Eave

Raked Eave, Angled Fascia

Angled Fascia & Raked Eave

Reverse Dutch Gable

Edit Roof Pitch: Reverse Dutch Gable Option

Sloping/Skillion/Shed Roof Tool improvements:

  • Improved draw method: now each side of the roof will explain if the fascia will be plumb or angled;  if the fascia material will be removed; and if the overhang will be enabled/disabled.
  • Now includes fascia option.
  • Now includes gutter option.
  • Boxed & raked eave options.
  • Plumb & angled fascia options.
  • Eave/soffit material can now be chosen.
  • Timber/lumber fascia option.
  • Raked or flat ceiling option for insulation.

Skillion Shed Roof

Sloping/Skillion/Shed Roof Improvements

Skillion Shed Roof GIF

Wall Tool improvements:

  • When you draw a wall, you will now see a bold, black line. This line indicates which wall alignment has been nominated to draw from.
  • Help text will now appear as you draw walls. This will enable you to better understand which side of your wall is the external material, and which side of your wall is the internal material.
  • Raked ceiling option for internal lining (eg. plasterboard) has been added.
  • External wall reveals around windows and doors now have the wall material applied. Previously these reveals were shown white.

Wall Update: Exterior vs Interior

Wall drawing improvements: External vs Internal + Wall Alignment clarification

Section Hatching Tool improvements:

  • Stucco hatching option added.
  • Existing and Demolition hatching options added.

Section Hatching_existing vs demolition vs proposed

Section Tool Improvements: Existing vs Demolition vs Proposed

General Improvements

Slab Tool:

  • Slabs can now be drawn without a footing.
  • Construction details have been updated to make more sense.
  • Slabs and footings are now one object.

Ceiling Tool:

  • The ceilings now have a thickness.

Floor & Ceiling Joist Tools:

  • The joist direction will now determine the direction of the flooring.

Rafter Tool:

  • The ridge sizing error has been fixed.

Settings Tool:

  • More Takeoff units have been added: Materials & components can be imperial or metric in takeoff  (mm, cm, m, in, ft, yd).
  • The Search Materials feature has been improved to make it quicker and easier to use.
  • The ‘Create Similar’ option in the right-click menus has been added to more tools.
  • PlusSpec right-click menu items are now in capitals to make them easier to find/see.
  • An Arch window has been added to the Component Tool.
  • Updated splash screen and links to tutorials.
  • The ‘None’ option has been removed from some material fields.
  • General Performance improvements and upgrades.

Arch Window

New Arch window

Things you should know

TIPS & TRICKS

Are you regularly using the Sync Tool?

Once you have installed an update,  re-open PlusSpec and click the Sync Tool. You’ll get access to loads of new products that will make specification easier, and will transform the look of your designs.

Remember to click the sync tool every 2-3 weeks. This will ensure that you will always have access to the latest materials. Note: Your old materials will always be there for you. 

Previously drawn Walls

Because we have reconfigured the material libraries, if you want to edit a wall that you have drawn prior to this update, you may need to re-select some of the materials (eg. masonry).

 

Previously drawn Windows/Doors

When editing a model drawn prior to this update, some of your windows and doors glazing may turn opaque if you move a wall. If this happens simply select the windows/doors with the Window/Door Options tool > press submit.

 

Previously drawn Slabs

If you want to edit a slab that you have drawn prior to this update, you will be unable to right click and edit. To edit previously drawn slabs, left click the slab > select the slab tool > make required changes in the Slab Tool Dialogue.

Previous Update Reminder

Geo Located materials:

We want to remind you that in our last update, we added Geo Located Materials:

There is no point in building igloos in the desert as ICE can be hard to come by.Why specifying products that are not available or feasible to deliver?

 

PlusSpec has Geo located materials! This is a game changer. PlusSpec enables USA, UK & AU users to select national products. In Australia it can be done by State and territory.
It’s as easy as 1 2 3
geo located BIM content Australia, USA, United Kingdom

Don’t forget to change your location settings as materials are now geo located

Don’t have PlusSpec yet?

Click on your Profession below and see the benefits:

All or our updates are FREE to all PlusSpec Subscribers.

ARCHITECTS

Architects/Designers

Builder

Builders

Estimator

Estimators

What are you waiting for?

Get PlusSpec TODAY!

Don’t have your building products inside of PlusSpec yet?

Click here to see the benefits:

supplier

Manufacturers

PlusSpec 2016+ Release Notes

By | Architecture, BIM, Construction, Design, IFC, PlusSpec | 4 Comments

PlusSpec 2016+ Banner

PlusSpec 2016+ is here

We promised you that something big was coming – and it’s finally here! PlusSpec 2016+ is packed with new tools and features that we know you’ll love.

 

So what’s new in PlusSpec+ ?

For now you’ll have to read the notes below, but we’ll add some video updates shortly.

New Tools

New Section Tool

This is by far our favorite new feature. Say goodbye to hollow geometry. You can now assign a hatch, colour or texture to each PlusSpec material – and when  you change/move your sections, they will update live! And the best part? It’s super easy to use!

Note: these sections cut fill will only work in new geometry.

Please note that the Section Tool will only work for walls/slabs, etc that have been drawn using PlusSpec 2016+.

New Capping & Flashing Tool

The new capping and flashing tool allows you to quickly and easily add any combination of our flashings, cappings and gutters to your model.

capping and flashing tool in Sketchup PlusSpec

New Ceiling Joist Tool

You can now generate Ceiling Joists from the Roof tool. Draw Ceiling Joists in exactly the same way as Floor Joists.

Ceiling Joists in PlusSpec for SketchUp

New Dincel Wall Tool

Australian users will be happy to hear that you can now model your projects using the Dincel construction system!

Dincel Wall Tool

New Features/Improvements

Truss Tool Update

Skillion & Dutch Gable Truss options have been aded to the Roof Truss Tool.

Skillion trusses in 3d with variable overhangs

Joist tool Update

Until now you have only been able to draw Joists from faces. In this update we have pimped the Joist tool to allow you to also create joists with a 3 click drawing methodology (the same 3 click methodology used for the Truss tool).

 

Lightweight Multi-skin wall

We have added a new wall type: Lightweight Multi-skin wall. This is a very common wall-type in the USA, Europe and Asia – and will make our North American users, in particular, very happy!

Lightweight Frame Wall Example

Updated wall types

The update wall types give you more freedom when creating walls. Masonry products have been joined together so you now have the ability to create more walls like a block and brick wall, block veneer wall and more.

 

Updated Search function within the BIM tool

The updated Search function will make it far quicker and easier to assign your custom BIM components to a layer.

 

Scene Update

With the release of our amazing new Section tool, we have also updated our Scene creator. Orthogonal plans/elevations/sections have now been set to color by default (so you can use section hatching, color, etc). But don’t worry. If you like to draw in the boring old black and white, you can easily modify your scenes, as usual.

 

Round timber post/column option in the Post Tool

Have you ever wanted to build a pole house? Well, it just so happens that PlusSpec now has circular wood/timber poles that you can adjust parametrically to build your home on any level block.

 

Material Search Option

A new Material Search option has been added but is currently only available for AUS bricks. However, it will be rolled out over all products and material libraries in the very near future.

 

Product Geolocation

You can now set your region so that you only get access to products that are available in your area. This geolocation setting is currently only available for AUS bricks. However, it will be rolled out over all products and Material Libraries in the very near future.

 

Full Austral Bricks Product Range

Every single product! Now you have access to every brick that Austral makes and distributes around the world. Austral distributes products internationally. All you need to do is load the latest version of PlusSpec and press Sync. Then go to the materials list and check out all of the cool new products.

 

Takeoff units

You now have the ability to select which units you want to appear in the takeoff when you estimate your model. Simply go to Settings and select the units you want.

 

General Performance Improvements

Manufacturer Spotlight: Taubmans

By | Architecture, BIM, Construction, Design, IFC, manufacturers, PlusSpec, Sketchup, Sketchup for Construction & Estimating, Uncategorized, VDC | No Comments

We would like to thank Taubmans for their latest PlusSpec ‘shout-out’, and for their ongoing support.

 

Australian users will be very happy to hear that the full Taubmans colour range is Coming Soon to PlusSpec!

 

Check out their latest Flyer:

Taubmans Coming Soon to PlusSpec Flyer

Taubmans regularly send out flyers with their paint brushout samples – and every user of the Taubmans Colour Centre requesting paint brushout samples will receive this PlusSpec flyer.

 

We recommend that all of our Australian users register to utilise these services from the Taubmans Colour Centre, by clicking on the ‘Register’ link found Here. This is the easiest way to see what your favourite colours look like off the screen, receive other promotional items from Taubmans, and stay up to date with all of their latest news.

This is just the beginning

We’ve been working on a new BIM Paint tool that will change the way you design, estimate and specify paint.

Interior design in combination with design and construction is a huge step forward for our industry.

Find out more here in our latest release.

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