The future potential of Sketchup. I hope to revive this debate into some constructive thinking for the development of SU. My specific experience is in Model Organization within SU and related to this I want to share some ideas of how I see Sketchup become serious at BIM. I honestly don’t think the new classifier tool will reach potential if core organizational features, The Outliner & Layers in particular, don’t get a proper overhaul.
I have made SU work as a design to precise detail & engineering tool and I use Outliner & Layers allot to organize my models. As an engineer I like to make the physical building sequence clear in my models. I use Numbers, Dots, CAPS and Hyphens to structure the building sequence inside the Outliner and Layers. In both Outliner and Layers the naming is closely related and with some shifts in the model I need to restructure both manually, this can be time-consuming. With the 2013 update I had hoped for some basic improvements and bug fixes in this area, at least sub layers, alas.
An ongoing Bug in Outliner: in Entity Info, when I click on a components name, definition name or layer, the component gets auto renamed allot to a previous input. I am even coming across instances that I see multiple renaming of groups and components have taken place even without me seemingly touching the Outliner or Entity Info. And what I miss in the Outliner: you can’t rename inside Outliner or drag & copy drop.
I have been working on a modular building system which needed a structured naming of components for re-use in new models and a logical export of components to my hard drive. I, for example, added codes for level_location & type to the component name. It worked, but the limited features in SU’s Layers & Outliner has been one of the things I got stuck with on trying to BIM / organize my models to detail… Now organization of models remains too much of a hand job and that’s why for me Sketchup is stuck on being a sketch, design & visualization tool and only fit for engineering small models and furniture.
I believe the key to BIM and better model organization for SU lies in the integration of the Outliner & Layers and the new classifier tool can fit in this too. In this integrated tool you can move from sketch to design to detailing in a flexible & evolving information structure, custom or adapted to industry standards:
-Having layers with sub-layers and components & groups nested inside these layers.
- Layers & sub-layers can also have class tags.
-To be able to custom rearrange and auto renumber for creating the physical building order.
-To have this numbering be a customizable part of an export naming string.
- Perhaps the relating of building elements to each other could become a feature of this tool too?
As an extra clarification I attached some screenshots and I realized while writing this I am just scratching the surface of this idea, so before I get lost in it, I am curious what you think.