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Ruby Plugins for Sketchup

For recent SketchUp experiments, see my art blog.

Installation instructions for Sketchup Ruby plugins can be found here or with a quick Google search.

Auto-reload Plugin

The scan_plugins plugin monitors any given directory and looks for any changed .rb files. When your code changes, it is reloaded into SketchUp automatically. This means you can work in your own plugin directory, and won’t need to restart SketchUp to test changes to your scripts.

I found the plugin-writing process somewhat frustrating because, in order to install a new plugin, you typically have to quit SketchUp and restart it. This is murder if you test continuously as you develop (as we all do… right?). scan_plugins avoids this problem.

Caveat: because each file will be executed as soon as it is changed, the Ruby files in the specified directory should consist ONLY of SketchUp plugins! Put your Ruby-based disk cleanup programs, WEP-cracking utilities, etc., elsewhere.

I have found this script indispensable while developing other plugins, by greatly reducing the turnaround time for testing.

Crowd Plugin

The crowd plugin places a selected component at random throughout an area on the x-y (red/green) plane. This was the first plugin I wrote, just to try out the process.

Example Image:

Current Project

I have been working sporadically on a set of mesh manipulation tools for subdividing, smoothing, joining, and sculpting polygonal meshes. When this is a bit further along I will post here. Meanwhile, Subdivide and Smooth (video) and Tools on Surface are great plugins to get you started with advanced mesh manipulations.