Thursday, December 24, 2009

SketchUp vs Revit: How do they match up?

This is a big question, and boy is it contentious! Some people get very very mad when you put SketchUp and Revit together.... Anyway, I have been using SketchUp Pro/ LayOut to produce construction documents ever since LayOut came with SketchUp. Below is a recent sample:

....and here are other samples along with photos of finished buildings documented exclusively using SU Pro/ LayOut.

My main points of comparison can be summed up like this: 

  1. Excellent for outputting construction information and automatically linking/ compiling drawings. 
  2. Seemingly cost effective for very large projects, but prohibitive for small projects. 
  3. It is a post-design tool only.
SketchUp Pro:
  1. Used to assist in the design process.
  2. Exports technical data from the model, though this is as yet an unrefined process within SketchUp. However Rpreports can produce Bills of Materials from SketchUp. (Windows platform only)
  3. Creates excellent construction documents in conjunction with LayOut.
  4. Cost effective for very small to medium size projects (May in time become cost effective for large/ very large projects)
The full SketchUp Pro vs Revit review can be found here Comments welcome!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Prototyping for Inventors: A modern view

A few years ago, I invented a catch-all solution to the problem of storing, carrying and protecting DVDs in an attractive cheap to manufacture, unbreakable case called the "Jemcase"... Sounds like it should be successful right? Nope. What killed it? Mostly industry politics and protectionist economic arguments- Incumbent industries had too much to lose by changing what they were already doing: Churning out the highly breakable, highly scratchable, highly lose-able, high waste "Jewel Case." The jewel case is, unbelievably still selling- a testament to the intransigence of big industry and the willingness of consumers to buy whatever we are offered.

The images below give an idea what the Jemcase was about. The cost of patenting was unbelievable- totally unsustainable for a lone inventor. Patenting is anything but fun. I can't imagine ever trying to patent anything again. There needs to be a better alternative especially for lone inventors, but big industry won't like that idea!

Above: The Jemcase- a screenshot for a marketing video made by Stephen O'Connell and myself in 2000

The above image shows the Jemcase in use as a desktop stack: Each disk can be removed from the stack without removing the case. Alternatively, each case can be removed from the stack as required.

Finally, the blog post that prompted the above tirade: Click here to access the post about rapid prototyping and a sensible view about patenting. I agree with the views expressed here: Patenting needs to be examined carefully for advantages/ disadvantages before committing lots of money and huge resources. My view: Life's too short to patent things. Perhaps the best way to get a product to market is don't patent anything- just offer your first product for free and allocate rewards to collaborators. Let the cheapest producer in the world put it into production. Use the new product as a marketing tool for yourself. You can easily prove that you were the one who came up with the concept.... Just an idea...

Any further comments to:

Friday, December 4, 2009

SketchUlpture: Sculpture made from SketchUp

OK I was wondering when this was going to happen. Sculptors pre-visualising their sculptures before they make them. Seems logical, especially when Carrera marble is so expensive these days... Are you planning to use SketchUp for sculptural purposes? Please send us your samples and we will publish anything interesting: