by Roopinder Tara, Tenlinks.com
Here among the AEC software giants whose towering booths are metaphors for the huge buildings they will help create, is Aaron Dietzen in a 10'x10' space showing off his little gem of an application. It does nothing more than make one of the giants (SketchUp) a little easier to use. Make that "a lot easier to use," if you are extending walls, making roofs, adding windows, and so on.
BuildEdge makes a roof on a SketchUp model in no time flat
Aaron shows me how BuildEdge moves a wall in SketchUp by dragging it; the adjoining walls stay with the wall that moves. This is because BuildEdge treats walls as enitities, whereas SketchUp's own walls are merely lines and surfaces. You may be used to dragging walls with your AEC software, but SketchUp users have to reconnect walls manually; every change involves clean up.
As architects are all about billable hours, a few minutes saved from each wall move more than pays for BuildEdge, as it costs a mere $29! But there's more.
BuildEdge brings more heavy-duty architectural software tricks into the SketchUp realm. For instance, windows dimensioned from an edge keep their distance.
Making roofs is a cinch with BuildEdge. Aaron shows me a house with eight walls, and then BAM! A roof pops up on it. It looks nice, with several peaks, edges, and even shingles. Sure, I've seen that done in Revit and ArchiCAD, but SketchUp users had to create all that manually. Me, it would have taken hours.
But can it change the pitch of any part of the roof? Aaron does it in a wink. Even before I can ask to change a sloped roof to a gable, he does it for me. Seriously, why isn't every SketchUp user doing buildings using BuildEdge?
BuildEdge is a plug in for SketchUp. Commands are accessed from a small menu window after you install the program. It works with both the free version of SketchUp and the professional version.
A trial version with limited capability available on th BuildEdge site. There are versions for Windows and Mac. For more information, go to www.buildedge.com.