PADT 0.049 – SketchUp "BIMmy" Dynamic Components – Part 9
Getting to the Report and Beyond
Wrapping Up the Report
This will be the final Part for this series for the SketchUp BIMmy Dynamic Components. In future blogs I will intersperse these SketchUp BIMmy techniques in with the standard News and Commentary.
Our Beam Project
Back to our Dynamic Component Beam project, we added a Length Attribute and a hidden Name Attribute.
We should have everything we need to develop our first SketchUp Report. As we’ve discussed before, the real power of BIM is not just the ability to measure and count things, but to have user-defined data attached to Building Objects which can be extracted and processed. SketchUp Pro does feature a reporting feature; it is very basic, but there are ways to go beyond what it is capable of. You’ll find “Generate Report” under the File menu:
When you Select this you’ll see one of the most unusual Menus in SketchUp:
This is SketchUp’s “Template Manager.” We have left the world of simple 3D Design and now have to process the data attached to the Objects in the 3D model. Looking over this menu you see options to create and select Report Templates along the left and other options along the bottom. They are:
Cancel → leave the menu
Delete → deletes the selected Template
Export → Export a Template to a “.grt” that can be used on other projects
Import → Import a previously saved Template
Save to Model → Saves the Template into the SketchUp file
Duplicate → creates a copy of the Template
Edit → where the Templates are created and updated
Run → processes the Template
We want to start by entering the Template Title and editing the Creation Date and adding a Create By or Description, if required. And you know me—the more information you can attach to any project, the easier you make things to find, edit and reuse in the future.
Once that is all entered, you’ll click the “+ Create New Template” button on the left. This then takes you to the “Edit Template” menu:
It’s divided into three (3) sections: “Choose Filters”, “Format Columns”, and “Select Units.” For Choose Filters, we want to select the Entire Model and for the Component Nesting Levels, you need to select Enter Value and enter a value of “2”.
The Nesting Levels determine how far the Report “drills” down into the SketchUp Components. Since we’re controlling the Attributes of the Dynamic Components at the Parent level, you don’t need to go down any farther than two (2).
The Format Columns section is where you select the Attributes put into the Columns of the Report. You’ll select them from the “Model Attributes” area and then using the Arrows, move them over the to the “Report Attributes” area. You can then use the other Arrows to reorder them. These Arrows let you order the Attributes by moving them Up or Down or To the Top.
At the top of the Model Attributes Menu you’ll see the default Attributes that have the standard SketchUp icon to the left. If you scroll farther down, you’ll see the Custom Attributes we’ve added to the Beam Components. They have the Dynamic Component icon on the left and the text: “dyc:”.
We’ll then select the Attributes we want to appear in the Report and in what order we want them. You’ll select BN, Depth, Flange Width, Flange Thickness, Web Thickness, and Beam Length one at a time and using the arrow “>”, move them over to the Report Attributes section.
If we now click on the “Run Report” button, we’ll get the following:
If we scroll through it, we’ll see that each of the Beams has been listed which includes two (2) different beam sizes plus three (3) different lengths.
One of the areas you’ll want to edit is the Heading of each column. To do this, use the “Go Back” button to get back to the “Edit Template” menu. Next to each Attribute name in the Report Attributes menu is a small “gear.” If you click on these it brings up an “Edit Attribute” menu. In this menu you can change the “Column Display Name” and how the values in the Column are aggregated or totaled. We won’t deal with aggregation for now, but you can enter the Column Headers. For example, instead of “dyc:BN”, you could enter “BEAM NAME.” If you edit them all and rerun the Report, you’ll see something like this:
Make sure to select “Save Changes” whenever you make an edit to a Report Template. The only other then to do is take this information “beyond” SketchUp. That’s done using the “Download” button. This will create a CSV file with today’s date. This file can be imported into any spreadsheet or database application. In Excel, you can format the text, add monetary values, output Cut Sheets—just about anything that you can normally be done with a spreadsheet file.
If you out an XLSX file from Excel, the spreadsheet can them be imported into the SketchUp Pro Layout program with your formatting intact:
That’s going to wrap up this simple BIMmy Dynamic Component from creation to reporting. Let me know if you any questions about this or if there is something further you want to see explored. It’s up to you to take it from here and see how these techniques might be used to further your projects.
Just remember, BIM is about the data attached to the design and what can be done with it. As I’ve written about before, there are so many things that can be using a 3D design application which can have data attached.
It’s your turn to get out and play! Until next time…
Dave Edwards has been in the CAD/BIM industry as a manager, developer, consultant, speaker, and author for almost 40 years. He has had 80 magazine articles published, written 3 international newsletters, reviewed over 300 CAD/BIM applications and 3D modeled nearly 2 Billion dollars worth of architectural projects.
He is available for:
Application Feature Consulting
Technical Documentation Proofreading & Editing
Copyright © 2022 by Dave Edwards Consulting. All rights reserved.
All trademarks belong to their respective holders.
Translations and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Dave Edwards Consulting.
By accessing this newsletter in any manner, you agree to settle disputes within ten days of publication date by arbitration within the city limits of Montgomery, Alabama, United States with the arbitrator selected by an agent acting on behalf of Dave Edwards Consulting.