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Method 1: Using CAD in SketchUp Without Cleanup
Linework Cleanup with Extensions

2.3 - Linework Cleanup with Extensions

0:00 We’re now ready to do some cleaning so that hopefully, when we try to make faces again, we’ll have either more surfaces or cleaner lines and boundaries to work with.

0:12 We’re going to need some extensions for this lesson so refer to the ‘Extensions List’ PDF for links to download them if you haven’t done so already.

0:22 We’ll go into detail for each extension shortly but they are: Eneroth Flatten to Plane...

0:29 Thom Thom’s 'Edge Tools' and Thom Thom's 'Cleanup3 '– both of which both require his 'TT-Lib' extension

0:39 And lastly, as demoed in the previous lesson, Eneroth’s 'Face Creator'.

0:44 Your particular project may not need all of these extensions but it’s good to be aware of them for down the road in the event you have a troublesome plan like I have here.

0:55 If you didn’t do so in the previous lesson, make sure to start by exploding the main component group that our linework came in as.

1:06 We can also open our layers list to see all the various layers we have in our model.

1:12 We'll want to start by identifying and separating out anything that was a block in CAD that is now a component in SketchUp – specifically furnishings for this example.

1:23 Since we’ll be doing some exploding later, we want to make sure that we don’t explode these components so that we can utilize the component properties of them in later lessons.

1:36 Looking at our layer list, we can toggle layers on and off one by one, leaving on any furnishings that we may want to separate from the rest of our linework.

1:47 There’s really no quick way to do this this step...If the drawing was drafted well it should be relatively easy by looking at the layer names.

1:55 If the drawing wasn’t drafted that well then there could be furnishings on multiple layers that we’ll need to sort out manually.

2:05 As we’re doing this, we can also delete any layers we know for sure we won’t need.

2:11 For example, annotation layers we don’t need along with some of these layers containing unnecessarily detailed linework buried within the furnishing components.

2:25 After isolating all the furnishings just group them together.

2:31 Its ok that they’re on different layers right now as we’ll address that shortly.

2:37 And a tip for isolating raw geometry that may not be groups or components is by selecting and grouping by layer.

2:47 For example, we’ve got these columns that should be components but aren’t.

2:53 Keeping them loose may interfere with the ability to easily create a surface out of the decks they sit within...

3:01 so it may make more sense to separate them by grouping as well.

3:05 We can do this by right-clicking on any column line segment and choosing ‘Select/All on the Same Layer’

3:13 Then making them a group.

3:18 I’ll add this column group to the furnishings group to keep things together for now.

3:36 With the furnishings grouped, let’s now make sure that everything else in the model is exploded.

3:42 We can select all, except our furnishings of course, and manually explode several times...

3:48 but if there are nested groups or components, it may take a while to make sure everything is fully exploded.

4:00 With everything exploded we now can run ‘Flatten to Plane’.

4:05 This is helpful as there may be stray geometry floating above or below our ground plane.

4:11 In CAD, since you primarily draft in plan view only, it’s easy to accidentally snap to lines that could have z-value or elevation data applied without even knowing it.

4:23 If I set my camera view to side or front then I can see some stray ‘floating’ lines that need to be moved in line with everything else.

4:33 ‘Flatten to Plane’ ensures that everything is coplaner, or sitting flat on the same plane.

4:50 Next let’s run ‘Cleanup3’....Before we can do that, let’s first hide our furnishings group as we don’t want to cleanup those components.

5:06 Go ahead and check all the boxes except ‘erase hidden geometry’ as we just hid our furnishings group...

5:14 and ‘erase stray edges’ since all of our linework is currently considered ‘stray edges’ since there are no faces or surfaces yet.

5:24 We also have the option of just cleaning a part of the model by selecting portions of our linework or the whole thing.

5:32 We can clean the whole model now since we’re starting with just our CAD linework here.

5:39 Even after purging and cleaning we may have some stray layers left behind which as I noted earlier, are likely contained within the component groups.

5:50 That’s no big deal as we can just select them and delete them, making sure to choose ‘Move to Layer 0’.

6:00 The next extension is we’ll use is ‘Edge Tools’ in order to help identify and close any gaps or overlaps that have occurred from either poor drafting or the conversion from CAD vector lines to SketchUp line segments.

6:18 Start by selecting everything in the model and go to ‘Tools/Edge Tools/Close All Edge Gaps’.

6:27 For the tolerance, let’s try ‘1 foot’....This is the tolerance of how wide the gaps are that the extension will automatically close for us.

6:38 I’ll assume anything under a foot is a mistake and should be extended or closed....and then hit ‘Ok’.

6:47 If it didn’t look like it did anything it’s because we’re zoomed out too far out to see the change.

6:53 I’ll undo that last step and this time, zoom into the right-hand corner where our column used to be, leaving a gap in the paving linework.

7:03 I’ll re-do the steps of selecting everything…and going to 'Edge Tools'…and choosing 'Close All Edge Gaps'…

7:14 and here we can see that it automatically extended or filled in the missing line segments.

7:21 Now we’ll wrap up by running ‘Face Creator’ again to see how things may have improved.

7:28 We’ll select everything…run the extension…and there we have it.

7:40 And the reason we don’t have very many faces is that we have all these odd boundary shapes as there is nothing separating one room from another.

7:52 So now, we just have to close off the doors with some quick lines and we’ll see that as we go, things will start to speed up as we’re working with fewer complex boundaries.

8:06 I’ll speed things up a bit as I finish closing boundaries which only took me about 5 mins since the rest of the linework was cleaned and optimized.

8:18 From here we can choose to delete any of those lines that I drew closing off the rooms depending if I want the floor area to be one large surface or not.

8:29 Once I’m done with all the faces I’ll wrap up by unhiding my furnishings group.

8:36 If you’re following along and made it this far with me, from here you’re in good shape to start adding materials, grouping walls, assigning layers and of course, extruding surfaces.

8:49 We’re not going that far in this lesson given that in the next course, we’ll take our model further into 3D after optimizing things in CAD first...