The EAATC Fire Station 3D Modeling Process Illustrated

Part III



St. Paul Former Station 14 (b) Modeling Illustrated

In late January, 2013 we began development of our 35th Fire Station model, that of the StPFD Former Station 14 (b). That stations location is at #91 N. Snelling Ave, in St. Paul, Minnesota. The building (although altered) is exists.

That station was this authors 'home' station when I was a much younger man. After 34 other fire station models I thought it might be interesting to some to explain our process used to produce these models.

You can model this very same station, and follow along with the examples, or, model your own house, or other building of your choice. If you follow along and build this station with me, I'd be very interested to view your results.

We are going to model ONLY the outside of the building. Doing a full inside/out structure requires a much more significant level of complexity when dealing with 3D drawing.

If you have questions or comments about this explanation go to our USER FORUMS and leave your questions.



This section takes our model from...

A model with a complete fire escape, and a sloped, peaked parapeted roof. A Watch Office having a profiled roof soffit. And a set of entrance steps.

  Numerous extrusions on station front around apparatus door areas. Near rooftop extrusions on station front and side. Raw layout, and completed brick arch for double front windows. The FIRE STATION extrusion with 3D indented text.






Model along with me, and then model your own home station and then submit it to the Trimble 3D Warehouse

21. Adjust some front surface depths, create over apparatus door main extrusion

22. Create and place Over Extrusion Corner objects

23. Create more apparatus door area extrusions

24. Add button extrusions to apparatus door area extrusions

25. Create and place the app door area rounded extrusion

26. Create Indented 3D Text for the 'Fire Station' logo

27. Create and place station logo w/3D text

28. Create and place two rooftop over window extrusions

29. Rough out the 2nd floor front windows and brick archway shapes

30. Create the 8' brick arch (brick laying)

21. Adjust some front surface depths, create over apparatus door main extrusion

TASK: Adjust the surfaces on the station front for proper depth. Create the main extrusion over the apparatus door area.

TH-not-found At the front of the station I have erased most of the dimensions to remove some clutter.

TH-not-found Our first task is extend the 2 foot elevation at the front bottom into a surface 20 feet deep.

Draw a LINE from the corner shown out 20' on the GREEN axis.

This represents the distance from the station front to the inside of the sidewalk. For reference the sidewalk is 6' wide. And the total distance from 'front' to the street is 40'. We'll use this info later.

TH-not-found Now draw a LINE to extend the surface outside edge to match the corner distance of the previously created surface.

Then close the remaining LINE to create the surface.

TH-not-found This is an important photo. It provides much of the details for the requirements of the station apparatus door area.

First notice the both app door surfaces and the 'center' window surface are depressed.

TH-not-found PUSH in both apparatus door surfaces 4".

TH-not-found DIVIDE the line above the center window area into 3 equal segments.

Then draw two LINES down to divide the surface into thirds.

TH-not-found PUSH in the center surface also by 4".

You can enter 4", or just use the app door surface as a reference.

TH-not-found I have extended the lines all the way across the station front above the app doors.

TH-not-found That defines a 3' area over the app doors. I've dimmed it for reference.

Then draw a line from midpoint to midpoint to horizontally divide the 3' area in half.

TH-not-found Draw a GUIDE 6" in from the vertical station edge.

TH-not-found And another the same 6" on the opposite side.

TH-not-found Draw a LINE out on the GREEN axis 1' fro the corner shown.

TH-not-found Then start a LINE on the RED axis from that lines endpoint.

I then held down the shift key to lock it on the RED axis (the line 'thickens') and continued it until I was 'even' with guide point and I received a 'Constrained on Line from Point' prompt.

TH-not-found Click to finish the line. Then draw another to complete the rectangle.

Could this also have been with the RECTANGLE tool? Sure.

TH-not-found Remember we divided that 3' area over the app doors in half, or two 18" segments.

Pan to the temp building, and draw an 18" (1' 6") line on the front. I dimmed mine for reference.

We are going to begin a profile for the extension above the app doors.

TH-not-found Begin with a 4" x 18" rectangle. Then draw additional lines, and ERASE eventual unneeded at the dimensions shown.

Then PULL the rectangle out by 1/2", as shown.

TH-not-found Select it. Create Component. I named mine 'App Door Overhead Extension PROFILE'

TH-not-found Pan back to the left inside corner of the rectangle above the doors.

Drag a copy of our new profile into the position shown.

TH-not-found Make this profile copy UNIQUE.

TH-not-found EDIT the profile. Select the face of the component.

Right click, and choose REVERSE FACES.

Why? To prevent our eventual Follow Me from creating an extrusion that has all reversed (blue'ish) faces.

TH-not-found Draw 3 LINES around the outside of the rectange.

TH-not-found Then select ALL 3 lines.

TH-not-found Now FOLLOW ME on the profile.

TH-not-found And our extrusion is created.

TH-not-found Let's close up the open bottom of the extrusion.

Draw a LINE from the open inside corner on one side to the other side.

TH-not-found OFFSET the surface of extrusion shown 2".

Then PUSH it in by 15/16". If you go deeper the surface will disappear.

TH-not-found You can clean up some unnneded lines on the botton.

TH-not-found EXIT editing the extrusion.

ERASE the rectangle at the top that we created earlier.

TH-not-found Go back into EDIT of the profile.

Draw enough lines to re-create a surface on top of the extrusion.

ERASE any unneeded lines.

TH-not-found And clean up at the original profile also. Don't fotget about the sides also.

TH-not-found Exit editing the extrusion. Then select it.

Then Window/Entity Info. CHANGE the Definition Name: to 'App Door Overhead Extrusion ASSY' so we've renamed the component.

TH-not-found And now are model looks like this.

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22. Create and place Over Extrusion Corner objects

TASK: Under the main overhead extrusion at each station side corners there are two rectangular extrusions. We are going to create and place them.

TH-not-found An re-examination of our station photograph shows a rectangular extrusion at each corner. The objects width is 1/3 of the 5' wide station side panel dimension.

I have DIVIDED the line at the top of the panel segment into 3 equal parts of 1'8".

TH-not-found I've drawn the dimensions we are dealing with.

The rectangle will need to be 1'8" wide X 1'6" high.

TH-not-found Pan to the temp building. I've drawn a rectangle 1'8" wide by 1'6" high. Then I PULLED it out by 6".

Then I OFFSET the surface by 2" in. And then PUSHED in the center surface 2". See photo.

TH-not-found Select it all and Make Component.

I named mine 'App Door Over Corner Extrusion'. xx

TH-not-found Pan back to the station. Drag a copy of our extrusion off the Components Window. Place it as shown.

TH-not-found I drew a line to mark it's placement corner.

Then drag another copy of the extrusion from the window nd place it. Then ERASE the placement line.

TH-not-found And now our model looks like this.

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23. Create more apparatus door area extrusions

TASK: The overhead area above the apparatus doors has several extrusions that remain to be created. We will do that now.

TH-not-found Let's save to another revision. Mine will now be V7.

You will save yourself hours of work by being able to go back to a previous version you've saved. It is well worth you efforts to have saved various versions.

TH-not-found If your re-view our station photograph you will see that there 2 extrusions in this area of the front of the station we have not created as yet.

We will do that now.

TH-not-found On the temp building draw a 12" high by 3" wide rectangle. This will be the start of a profile we will need a number of times in our creations.

Draw LINES and an ARC, and ERASE as needed to your drawing to the shown dimensions.

TH-not-found Then PULL the surface out by 1/2".

Why? Because it makes it much easier to move and place the eventual component if it has some 'thickness' to it.

TH-not-found Select it all. Make Component. I named mine 'App Door 12" Extrusion PROFILE'.

TH-not-found Now pan to the upper left corner of the center area of the station.

Drag a copy of the new profile off of the Components Window, and place it near it's eventual location.

TH-not-found I've switched into X-ray view to be able to 'see' portions of the model that no pan/orbit/zoom will let you see in 'normal' viewing. This is on of those situations.

You need to MOVE the profile inside corner to another inside corner of the wall/app door. You would never 'see' this location without the X-ray view.

TH-not-found Right click and make this copy of the profile UNIQUE.

We will require this profile in it's raw form several more times. Don't skip this step.

TH-not-found EDIT the component.

I forgot to illustrate this next step... Select to top surface of the Profile, and then REVERSE it.

Then draw 3 LINES around the top center wall section.

Then select all 3 of them.

TH-not-found EDIT the component.

Then FOLLOW ME the profile surface.

And you'll get this extrusion.

TH-not-found Exit editing the component. Then select it.

Then open Window/Entity Info. Change the Definition Name to 'App Door 12" Extrusion Center'.

TH-not-found From the Components Window drag a copy of your new 'App Door 12" Extrusion Center' component off onto the other center wall.

TH-not-found Go to X-ray view and MOVE it into the precise placement position.

TH-not-found And your model should look like this.

Now we need yet another copy of our RAW profile. But what happens if you return to your Components Window and you have either NO raw profile there, or all the versions that used it's 'little pictures' show completed extrusions.

Bummer! You forgot a MAKE UNIQUE someplace. You'll do it. I've done it.

So how do we 'fix' it?

1. Do enough UNDO's to get back to where you have it again. Good if there are not 'to many' steps to undo.

2. Redraw the raw profile and recreate a component. How easy? Depends on how complex the profile is.

3. Place a copy of one of the already created extrusions in a 'safe' place (like the temp building). Then make it UNIQUE, then EXPLODE the component, and begin erasing until you've returned to the profile shape. Then re-make the profile component. Lots of work.

4. Right click the raw profile component when you created it. SAVE AS the profile component to it's OWN .skp SketchUp file and then you'll always have a 'clean' copy. Easy, IF you remember to do it. A few 'kick yourselves' and you'll begin to remember.

TH-not-found Pan to station right side. Drag another copy of our raw profile off the Components Window and MOVE it into it's correct position in the corner of the app door.

TH-not-found Make it UNIQUE!!!

TH-not-found Edit the component. Reverse it's front face. Draw 5 LINES around the extrusion above.

Note, the extrusion we're creating does NOT continue along the station wall.

Now select all 5 lines, they'll turn blue.

TH-not-found Orbit to the extrusions bottom.

The bottom is open.

TH-not-found Draw a line to close up the bottom.

You can ERASE any unneeded lines.

TH-not-found Exit editing the component. Then select it.

Go to Window/Entity Info. Change the Definition Name to 'App Door 12" Extrusion Right Corner'.

TH-not-found Pan to the station left side. From the Components Window drag another copy of the raw profile onto the app door surface.

TH-not-found Make it UNIQUE.

TH-not-found Ah, but there's a problem. The raw component is not suitable for a 'right hand' placement. It was designed for a 'left hand' placement.

We need to 'flip it'. Right click it, and Flip Along/ Component's Red (or try green or blue) until you get it into proper orientation.

TH-not-found That's better.

TH-not-found Switch to X-ray. MOVE it into correct position.

TH-not-found Edit the component. Reverse it's face.

Then draw lines, and select them as you did for the opposite corners extrusion.

TH-not-found Follow Me and your extrusion will be created.

TH-not-found Close up the open bottom, and ERASE unneeded lines.

TH-not-found Exit editing the component. Then select it.

Open Window/Entity Info and change it's Definition Name to 'App Door 12" Extrusion Left Corner'.

TH-not-found And now your model looks like this.

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24. Add button extrusions to apparatus door area extrusions

TASK: The apparatus door area extrusions we just created also have numerous 'button' extrusions attached to them. We'll create and attach them now.

TH-not-found Again referring to our station photograph a close examination discloses that on our just created app door extrusions have a number of 'button' extrusions attached.

On the temp building I've drawn a 3" X 3" rectangle, and PULLED it out by an inch. Then I drew a 1" LINE from the center.

Then I extended the tip of that 1" line to a corner. Next I created a triangle connection on the base. See photo.

TH-not-found Then I selected the surface...

TH-not-found Then a FOLLOW ME on the triangle.

TH-not-found And it created a 'button' extrusion.

TH-not-found Select it and Make Component. I named mine 'App Door 12" Extrusion Botton".

TH-not-found Pan over to our right hand app door extrusion. Edit it and draw 3 GUIDES, two each 3" in from the edge, and one down the midpoint.

TH-not-found Drag a button extrusion onto the surface.

TH-not-found Start a MOVE grabbing the 'Midpoint in Component'.

TH-not-found MOVE to the intersection of the guides.

TH-not-found Now MOVE the Midpoint of Component on top of the button until it is over the vertical guide.

Now your botton is centered over the guides intersection.

TH-not-found Do a COPY/MOVE of the button until it's over the center of the right and pair of guides.

Notice the dotted red line as you drag assisting you in staying parallel.

TH-not-found Then enter 2/.

Now you've got 3 equally spaced buttons.

TH-not-found Pan the to the left side.

Draw 3 GUIDES again two 3" in from each side and one down the center.

TH-not-found Drag another botton and place it on the center position.

TH-not-found COPY/MOVE the button to the other end.

TH-not-found Enter 2/.

Now you've got 3.

TH-not-found Orbit to the nearby corner.

Draw two GUIDES to establish a 'centerpoint'.

Now drag another button, and center it.

TH-not-found And repeat the process on the other corner.

TH-not-found Exit edit of the component.

The component now looks like this.

TH-not-found Now edit and repeat the WHOLE process on the left hand side extrusion.

Until it looks like this. They are two SEPARATE components so we have to do this twice, unlike the ones in the center that are identical components. Edit one, fix all.

TH-not-found So far our model looks like this.

TH-not-found Pan to either one of the center extrusions. Edit it.

Now same plan, 3 GUIDES, two 3" in from the ends, 1 down the center.

TH-not-found Place a centered button.

TH-not-found COPY/MOVE and enter 3/.

And you'll get 4 buttons.

TH-not-found Exit edit.

And now our model looks like this.

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25. Create and place the app door area rounded extrusion

TASK: Below the apparatus door area extrusions is a small rounded extrusion located on each side of the station front. We'll create it and place it now.

TH-not-found Again referring to our station photograph located below our App Door 12" Extrusion Right/Left Corners is another 'rounded' extrusion. Anything 'rounded' in SU is a challenge, whether large or small. This one is no exception.

Pan to the temp building. Draw a LINE 14" long on the RED AXIS. Ensure you're on the red axis parallel to the base of the building. If it helps you could draw a guide parallel to the base to assist you.

But, we must start on the red axis or the whole process of this section is useless.

TH-not-found Next draw a LINE on the GREEN axis out 7"

TH-not-found Complete the rectangle.

It 'sticks out' at right angle to the temp building face.

TH-not-found Orbit so you are now 'under' the rectangle.

From corner to corner draw an ARC with a 5" bulge. Enter 5 in the BULGE (Measurements) box.

And enter 48s to create a smoother arc.

TH-not-found Now from corner to corner draw a 7" perfect half circle ARC on the building face.

TH-not-found I've done three things here.

First I reversed faces the 5" arc.

I've drawn a LINE up the center of the 5" arc.

I've SELECTED the 7" half-circle arc.

TH-not-found FOLLOW ME on one half of the 5" arc.

TH-not-found If your new extrusion turns out reversed (blue'ish) select it and right click Reverse Faces.

TH-not-found Your extrusion should look like this.

TH-not-found So are we done? Unfortunately not. Orbit to view the 'top' of the extrusion.

It generated some 'extra' lines and surfaces we need to clean up.

TH-not-found Why the 'extra stuff'? I've turned on View/Hidden Geometry momentarily to view what has really happened when we asked SU to make an extrusion out of two intersecting arcs.

Wow, all that? Look closely our extrusion is really a whole set of small individual parallelograms connected together with hidden edges. It took a LOT mathematics to produce this, and often SU gets 'close' but not perfect.

YOU could not have produced this by yourself.

TH-not-found Back to the top of the extrusion. Lets begin drawing a LINE corner on the RED axis to close up the top face.

TH-not-found And then begin ERASING lines beginning at the location illustrated.

TH-not-found Then ERASE the outside rectangle.

TH-not-found Now CAREFULLY begin ERASING starting from the center top. Zoom in as needed to 'see' what your affecting.

Your objective is to erase at the TOP without affecting anything below on the extrusion.

Use you UNDO if things don't go as you wished .

TH-not-found Turn on View/Hidden Geometry so you can see each line that needs to be erased. Yes EACH line at the top of EACH small section needs to be erased.

Wow, that's a pain in the... Yes, but it needs to be done.

TH-not-found If you're very experienced (or very brave!) you can use your mouse and try drawing a selection rectangle to select what you want ERASED. Use orbit/pan/zoom to improve your chances.

Remember UNDO, you'll need it.

TH-not-found When you've successfully erased all that's required your extrusion should look like this.

TH-not-found PULL the top of the extusion up 2".

TH-not-found Click on the remaining arc line. It will be selected.

Now HIDE it.

TH-not-found Now select all of the extrusion and Make Component. I named mine 'Half-round 14" Extrusion'.

TH-not-found Draw a new 12" x 18" rectangle.

TH-not-found PULL it out 1".

Draw 3 GUIDES each 2" in from the sides and from the top to create a 2" x 14" area at the top.

TH-not-found Draw LINES to complete the 2" x 14" surface.

Then PULL it out 5".

TH-not-found Drag a copy of the rounded extrusion component onto the surface.

TH-not-found Position it centered under the 'ledge'.

TH-not-found PUSH the bottom edge surface up until its even with the bottom of the round extrusion.

TH-not-found And then PULL it down exactly 2".

TH-not-found Select it all and Make Component. I named mine 'App Door Extrusion Lower 14" round'.

TH-not-found Returning to the main model I drew two LINES each from the midoint of the side surfaces up to the bottom of the lower extrusions.

I've selected them for your reference.

TH-not-found Drag a copy of our new rounded extrusion component onto the side surface.

TH-not-found MOVE the new component into position underneath the ledge of the extrusion above.

TH-not-found Like this.

TH-not-found Repeat on the other side. ERASE the two centering lines we drew.

And now your model looks like this.

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26. Create Indented 3D Text for the 'Fire Station' logo

TASK: The 'FIRE STATION' logo over the apparatus doors contains recessed (indented) text. Extruded text is easy. Recessed text is a wholly different matter. We'll learn how to do it.

TH-not-found Over the apparatus door area the 'Fire Station' extrusion and text is clearly visible.

TH-not-found In this photo the portion of the 'logo' shows the text to be an indented serif font approximately 12" high.

The text font also appears 'regular' rather than a bold font.

TH-not-found If you choose Tools/3D Text you will receive a dialog similar to this. This link will give you details on all the options in the dialog.

SketchUp Help 3D Text Dialog Box details

Most important are the choices available for Font (typeface), Regular/Bold/Italic dropdown, text Height, and the Extruded depth and checkbox.

For this example I've chosen DejaVu Serif Condensed font Regular to be extruded by 1" from the surface it is to be placed on. And I've entered the text 'FIRE STATION' in all caps in the textbox.

TH-not-found Clicking the PLACE button in the 3D dialog you will receive a pre-created component containing your text that you can move/rotate/place etc. as with any other component.

TH-not-found Zooming in on the text it indeed extruded text standing 1" of of the surface it was placed on. For extruded text it is no more difficult than that.

However that is not what we desire. You might think that you could edit this extruded text object and simply PUSH it to achieve indented text.

Unfortunately this will not work. We must perform a more complicated set of tasks to achieve indented text.

TH-not-found I've opened the 3D Text dialog again, and have made only one change.

I've changed the Extruded height from 1" to (minus) -1" telling SU I want indented text.

And it will indeed create an indented text object, well kind of. We need to do some work to get what we want.

TH-not-found I clicked the Place button and this is what we got. The text is there, but it looks flat.

Where is the indentation we desired?

Ah ha! There is the problem we must solve.

TH-not-found Our first step is we need to EXPLODE this component object.

You must realize what Explode does.

We will no longer have a component. We will have a bunch of individual lines and faces that no relationship to each other except they are shaped like text. And in this format you can't move them, rotate them, or much of anything else you could do when they were a component.

But we must do it. Perhaps in some future version of SketchUp they will attack this 'issue'.

TH-not-found After the explode we get this.

TH-not-found I deselected everything, then just selected the surface of the letter 'F'.

TH-not-found Deleting the surface wd get this.

'Hiding' underneath are the indented text surfaces. They are 'reversed faces' but they are there.

TH-not-found Selecting the 'I', 'R', and 'E' by clicking, shift, clicking etc...

TH-not-found And deleting the surfaces, we get this.

TH-not-found Now click, shift, click, shift, click etc. gets all the letters in 'STATION' selected.

TH-not-found And deleting gets us...

TH-not-found Let's close up the open face of the 'R' by re-drawing a LINE on it's surface.

TH-not-found It closes, and reversing the reversed surface gives us...

TH-not-found Selecting in 'inner' surface of the 'F', and doing a Reverse Faces...

TH-not-found Fixes the 'F'. Now click/shift on the rest of the 'IRE' selects them all. And then Reverse Faces...

TH-not-found Now close up the 'A'. And reverse it.

TH-not-found And close up the 'O' by drawing a line across it's open face from any side to any side.

TH-not-found It closes. Now ERASE the unneeded line.

TH-not-found And reverse the surface.

TH-not-found Now select ALL the 'back' faces of the 'STATION'.

And reverse them.

TH-not-found And finally we have our indented text.

Or do we? Remember that EXPLODE we did?

All we have is a individual bunch of lines/faces and indents.

TH-not-found Using the select arrow drag a selection box around our 'letters'.

TH-not-found To select them all.

TH-not-found And now Make Component out of it. I named mine 'Fire Station 12" Text Indented 1" '.

Now we are back to a set of indented text contained in a component we can move/place as usual.

All that just for indented text? Unfortunately yes. But it gives the SketchUp software developers some work to be done... and SOON we hope!

It takes much longer to explain it, than it does to actually do it.

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27. Create and place station logo w/3D text

TASK: Now that our indented 'FIRE STATION' text is created we'll create the extrusions required for the 'station logo', and place it n our model.

TH-not-found I'm determining the width dimension of our FIRE STATION 3D text. I get about 9' 5/16". Let's round up and call it 9' 1".

I desire to size the rectangular needed in the center of the station logo extrusion.

TH-not-found I've added an inch (or so) on each side of the text, and 2" above and below it, and have drawn a 9' 3" x 1'4" (16") rectangle. I then placed a copy of out text into it just to see 'how it looks'.

That's okay as I'm attempting to keep the horizontal width to a minimum.

TH-not-found I ERASED the text object, and then PULLED the rectangle out by 6".

TH-not-found I've drawn two GUIDES, each down the two centers of the rectangle.

Then I've dropped a copy of the FIRE STATION text component onto the rectangle.

TH-not-found MOVE the left hand edge 'Midpoint of Component' until it snaps to the horizontal centerline guide.

TH-not-found Now grab the top 'Midpoint of Component' and slide it until it snaps to the vertical centerline guide.

TH-not-found Out of the way of the rectangle, draw a 2'6" x 6" RECTANGLE. Then a GUIDE down the vertical centerline.

And two more GUIDES 3" each from the rectangles bottom edge.

TH-not-found Draw an ARC inside the upper left 3"x 3" small rectangular area, as shown.

TH-not-found And another complimentary arc inside the lower right rectangular area.

TH-not-found Now ERASE away lines until you have a 'half-shape' as shown.

Then select it, and COPY the shape.

TH-not-found Then PASTE it, and right click and FLIP ALONG the RED DIRECTION.

TH-not-found Carefully MOVE the edges together to create a full shape.

TH-not-found Ensure that you've correctly placed the two sections together by clicking in the center. You should get a selection like this.

If not something is 'open' somewhere.

TH-not-found PULL the shape out by 8".

TH-not-found Do a little clean up along the bottom edge. If your ERASING causes a surface to disappear, simply redraw edges to re-create the surface.

TH-not-found Draw a GUIDE down 8" from the top edge.

TH-not-found Use the guide as a starting point for a LINE on the GREEN axis on the shapes side.

Then draw another one on the opposite side too.

TH-not-found Now select the whole shape, and Make Component. I named mine 'Station Logo Side Panel 8" '.

TH-not-found Now grab the inside point of the 8" line drawn on the side of the component and MOVE it to the right hand side of the large text rectangle.

TH-not-found And drag off another copy of the shape from the Components Window and place it on the left side the large text rectangle.

TH-not-found Check that everything is 'clear' behind it (momentarily use X-ray) and then select all of the text rectangle and side shapes, then Make Component. I named mine 'Station Logo Center and Side Panels'.

TH-not-found Next to the right top of the side shape draw an 8" X 8" square.

TH-not-found Move the 'Center and Sides' component away. Draw a couple of lines and ERASE until you create this shape, then PULL it out by 1/2". Then select it and Make Component. I named mine 'Station Logo Top PROFILE'.

TH-not-found Then drag ANOTHER copy if it off the Components Window near the upper right of the station text and sides object.

TH-not-found Make it UNIQUE.

TH-not-found MOVE to the upper inside right edge of the 'Center and Sides' component.

TH-not-found EDIT the profile. Reverse it's front face.

Then draw LINES all across the top of the 'Center and Sides' component. Then select all those lines.

TH-not-found Then FOLLOW ME on the profile surface.

TH-not-found And you get your extrusion.

Draw LINES needed to close up the open back surface, and ERASE any unneeded.

TH-not-found Ensure everything is clear 'behind'. Then select all of the logo parts you've created so far.

Then Make Component. I named mine 'Station Logo Complete ASSY'.

ASSY is short for Assembly.

TH-not-found Pan back to the model. I then drew a 5' LINE up from the midpoint top of the extrusion over the apparatus doors.

TH-not-found Drag a copy of our Station Logo onto the station front

TH-not-found Then I placed our Station Logo 2' 6" up from the base of that line.

Then you can ERASE that 'location line'.

TH-not-found And now your model looks like this.

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28. Create and place two rooftop over window extrusions

TASK: At the rooftop line on both the front and Watch Office side of the building there is an wide extrusion. We will create and place them.

TH-not-found In both our previously displayed station front photo, and this view from GE Streetview, we can see a large extrusion over the second floor window areas.

TH-not-found I've drawn some GUIDES to show where this extrusion will be placed. The first is 11' up from the top of the Over Apparatus Door extrusion. And another 1' above that.

And a pair each 3' foot in from the vertical building sides.

TH-not-found At the upper right corner draw this rectangular set of lines to these dimensions.

TH-not-found Now on the left hand side draw another GUIDE 11" in from the ' guide already drawn.

TH-not-found PULL the rectangular shape out by 1/2".

TH-not-found Now switch to X-ray view and pan/orbit to ensure there is nothing 'behind' our shape.

Then select it, and Make Component. I named mine 'Rooftop Over Windows Extrusion PROFILE'. ;

TH-not-found EDIT the profile shape. Reverse it's front surface.

Now draw a LINE straight out 6" from the upper left hand corner.

TH-not-found Now continue across the front until your even with the 11" guide.

TH-not-found Complete the 3 sides of the rectangle. Select all three lines.

TH-not-found FOLLOW ME the profile shape. The extrusion will be created.

Now draw lines to close the top surface. And ERASE any unneeded lines.

TH-not-found And close the open bottom also.

TH-not-found And there's our extrusion... So far...

TH-not-found On the bottom portion of the extrusion there is a set of crenelations.

Pan to the temp building. Draw a 3" high by 2" wide rectangle.

TH-not-found Then PULL it out 2".

TH-not-found Select it and Make Component. I named mine 'Rooftop Extrusion Crenelation Rectangle'.

TH-not-found Back to our building rooftop extrusion. EDIT it.

On the right hand corner draw a LINE down 1" in from the edge.

TH-not-found Drag a copy of our crenelation rectangle component off the Components Window and place it's corner against the extrusion's 1" line.

TH-not-found Orbit to the opposite side of the rectangle.

Draw another LINE down 1" away from the rectangle. This represents the spacing distance between the rectangles.

TH-not-found Now on the left hand side of our large extrusion, draw another LINE down 1" in from the edge.

This is where the left side of the LAST rectangle will be placed.

TH-not-found Start a COPY/MOVE on the corner of the rectangle.

Click away on the HAND ICON on the toolbar. The MOVE arrows will 'gray out'.

TH-not-found Now PAN down to the other end of the extrusion.

Now click back on the 'grayed out' MOVE arrows and place the copied rectangle.

BE CAREFUL not to click anywhere in the drawing area!

TH-not-found Click away again on the HAND ICON. Pan back to the other end of the extrusion again.

Enter 50/. Watch the result and compare it to the desired intra-rectangle spacing.

Nope not enough copies. Enter 70/. Enter 100/. Nope still not enough.

TH-not-found For me it was 120/ that was just about perfect. Your might be slightly different.

TH-not-found Now for the corners. Place another copy of the rectangle 1" in from the edge.

TH-not-found And another an inch away from that,

TH-not-found And on the other corner place two more.

TH-not-found Exit editing the component.

Then select it and open the Entity Info window and change it's Definition Name: to 'Rooftop Over Windows Extrsion Front'.

TH-not-found Exit editing the component.

Using the upper guide already draw as a 'corner reference' draw another GUIDE on the station side indicating the height of the extrusion.

TH-not-found Then the building side use the center of the roof peak an a positioner of the vertical centerline GUIDE.

TH-not-found Then drag a copy of the Rooftop Extrusion onto the building side.

TH-not-found Now MOVE the Midpoint of Component to the intersection of the two GUIDES.

TH-not-found And now our model looks like this...

TH-not-found And this.

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29. Rough out the 2nd floor front windows and brick archway shapes

TASK: The 2nd floor front has 3 double windows with arched top. And in addition there is a brick archway above each window.

Archways are not natural to SketchUp. We'll have to roll-are-own, but we have to also solve the 'arc centerpoint' problem.

TH-not-found The 3 second floor double windows with arched top are clearly visible in this photo.

TH-not-found And a close examination of this photo shows a brick arch over each window.

A careful counting of the bricks (at a normal brick length of 8") discloses we have a 12" high arch.

TH-not-found We need some GUIDES to begin our layout.

First draw a GUIDE 6" up from the top of the station logo extrusion.

We will eventually need that 6" space in order to place an extrusion sill under the windows.

TH-not-found And another 3" down from the bottom surface of the over windows extrusion.

This determines the highest point of the brick arches.

TH-not-found Then a set of verticals. First one in 20' from either side determining a vertical centerline.

The two both 4' from either side of center, determining a center 8' foot width window.

Next two 2' each side of the 8' center.

And finally two more each 8' from the last.

TH-not-found I've cleaned up some of the dims and drawn LINES to determine the window areas. I've selected the window spaces for visibility.

This determined an 8' wide by 7'9" high rough window area for each window.

TH-not-found I selected the four lines of a window area by clicking, shift, clicking etc.

Then I copied them.

TH-not-found Pan over to the temp building. And paste the window rough dimension lines.

TH-not-found I've added 3 guides. One down 12" from the top. And another 8" down from that.

And one down the vertical center.

I've dim'ed them all for clarity.

TH-not-found I've drawn an ARC from each 18" corner point to the center point of the 8" giudeline.

TH-not-found And you MIGHT think all you have to do is draw another arc 12" away from the first one, in order to create the brick arch shape.

But you would be very very WRONG!

TH-not-found What that would create would be two 'parallel' arcs (partial circles) 12" apart.

These two arcs (partial circles) are not concentric. On other words they are NOT drawn from the SAME CENTERPOINT!

TH-not-found I've drawn a sample circle. If I now want to draw another circle SU will provide me with a centerpoint inference. That's nice.

TH-not-found Let's select the arc again. It is part of a larger circle, so where is the center point or this arc?

Hmmmm. No help from SU.

Now if you maybe recall your high school geometry you might draw two chords across the arc. The draw two perpendiculars from the chord centertpoints. Where the two perpendiculars cross is the arc centerpoint.

Say What! No way!

I agree.

There must be an easier way than doing all that geometry. And there is, it's called Ruby Plugins. Ruby for the 'Ruby programming language', and 'Plugin' for the easy installation of these numerous 'add-ons'.

Some are available Google (Trimble), and thousands more are available from other sources. Such as Best SketchUp Plugins - Ruby Scripts, and Smustard.

But to 'fix' our specific problem here is Arc Centerpoint, a very small Ruby script text file. You can download it by right clicking and 'saving link' or 'save file as' the arc_centerpoint.rb file. It's a .rb file so it installs as a SketchUp7 file even if your using SketchUp8 (or later). See HELP/LEARN ABOUT RUBY PLUGINS in SketchUp.

But after you've downloaded it now what? You must determine WHERE the SketchUp program is installed on your machine. It could be Windows: C:/Program Files/Google/Google SketchUp 8/Plugins, or Mac OS X: 'Hard Drive'/Library/Application Support/Google SketchUp 8/SketchUp/Plugins.

But on my Windows 7 it wasn't. So what do you do?

TH-not-found From you're Start menu find the SketchUp program. Then right click and choose Properties.

TH-not-found And you'll get the SketchUp Properties box. Make sure the Shortcut tab is selected. And then the Target box tells you the path to your SketchUp program.

Mine reads C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Google SketchUp 8.

TH-not-found So using my Windows Explorer I've navigated to the proper directory and discovered my SketchUp installation.

Your after the PLUGINS sub-directory. If you observe mine you'll see the arc_centerpoint.rb already installed. And a whole bunch of other .rb's too.

With SketchUp not running, just place your arc_centerpoint.rb file into this Plugins directory.

Then the next time you start SketchUp it will automatically activate any .rb files found in the Plugins directory.

TH-not-found Now back to our arc. Select it, and then right click. Assuming your .rb file install was done properly you'll see an Arc Centerpoint choice. Click it.

TH-not-found To see ANY result you MUST have VIEW/GUIDES chosen , the centerpoint to be drawn is a GUIDEPOINT. Yes a single small point.

I'm pointing it out. It's drawn ON THE CENTER GUIDE. If you turn guides OFF it will disappear too!

TH-not-found Let's try drawing a CIRCLE using the centerpoint as our starting point and comparing it to the arc.

Yes, looks good.

TH-not-found I've ERASED the arc, and I'm drawing a CIRCLE and have entered 96s so we get a smooth circle.

I've chosen the intersection of the rectangle side and the guide as the 'radius point'.

TH-not-found And draw another CIRCLE using the same centerpoint and the top center as the 'radius point'.

TH-not-found Now choose the PROTRACTOR tool . Click it on the centerpoint.

TH-not-found Second click the intersection of the guide and the rectangle bottom.

TH-not-found Now you've got a radius guide line you can move around.

Choose the intersection choose the intersection of the rectangle side/guideline and the inner circle.

TH-not-found Repeat the protractor process and draw a GUIDE on the opposite side also.

Are you beginning to see the brick arc shape?

TH-not-found Now ZOOM in and carefully draw a LINE connecting the arc ends along the radius guildline.

And draw one on the other side also.

TH-not-found Start ERASING the unneeded lines...

TH-not-found Until you have this.

Select the arch to ensure it's all connected properly.

TH-not-found Until you have this.

And ERASE the unneeded rectangle also.

TH-not-found Draw a LINE across the bottom. This will help us place it. We'll erase it later.

TH-not-found Select the entire arch and Make Component.

I named mine 'Over Window 8' Brick Arch Shape'.

TH-not-found I dragged a copy of it just to check the 'look'.

Seems fine.

TH-not-found And I dimensioned the window shape.

TH-not-found And now our model looks like this.

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30. Create the 8' brick arch (brick laying)

TASK: An arch of brick is required above the front 2nd floor windows. SU has no way to 'automatically' produce a brick arch such as this. So we'll brick lay our own.

TH-not-found First, let's SAVE to a new revision. Mine is revision 8.

TH-not-found And let's have an evaluatory detailed look at the brick arch on the actual building via a Google StreetView photo.

Each slanting segment is made up from a 'full' brick, and a 'partial' brick. The dimensions of real bricks are 8" long by 3 1/2" wide, by 2 1/4" high, by 3 1/2" wide, and utilizing a 1/2" mortar thickness.

We made our arch shape from two circles drawn 12" apart. So given a 1/2" of mortar at each end of a segment, that's results a segment 11" high.

TH-not-found On the temp building draw a RECTANGLE 11" x 2.25".

TH-not-found I've divided up the rectangle into 'brick sizes'. A portion 8" long for the full brick. 1/2" for the mortar between the bricks. And 2 1/2" for the remaining partial brick.

I've drawn two LINES across the 1/2" mortar area, and highlighted it.

TH-not-found Next I've drawn a 1/2" LINE out fron the corner.

TH-not-found Then I drew a 1/2" LINE out from each corner, and the vertical centers. This represents the mortar dimensions.

Then I selected the two lines representing the ends of the mortar section and have HIDDEN them.

TH-not-found Select the rectangle and Make Component. I named mine 'Brick Pair for 8' Arch'.

TH-not-found Select the Brick Arch Component and EDIT it.

Now from the Component Window drag a copy of the Brick Pair onto the arch component.

TH-not-found With the ROTATE tool click the corner just moved to establish a pivot point.

Then next click the upper left-hand corner of the rectangle (to be your 'grab' point).

TH-not-found CRITICAL. Next rotate it until it's in alignment with the left edge of the arch segment.

This establishes the side of the bricks to 'on' a radius line of the arch.

This alignment with the radius lines is critical because if you don't get it correct you WONT make an arch correctly! Just like the true brick layers, all the way back to the Romans.

TH-not-found Now grab the end of the bottom 1/2" 'mortar' dimension line and MOVE it so that's its on the edge of the arc line

Be careful to maintain the brick side edge alignment.

TH-not-found It should look like this.

TH-not-found Select either arc segment. They will turn BLUE.

Now right click and choose 'Arc Centerpoint'. Have you got GUIDES turned on?

Look CAREFULLY and note the centerpoint location.

It is vital that from this point on in construction of the arch that any MOVES are done in a RADIAL manner.

I spent a lot of 'time' doing an accurate placement of our 'bricks' in a RADIAL alignment because that's the way arches are built. That's also why the addition of the Arc Centerpoint .rb script was needed. We must move our bricks radially from the same centerpoint the origial arch arcs were created from.

TH-not-found Zoom out so you can view the arc centerpont AND the arch.

Now choose the ROTATION tool. It will appear as the same icon as the protractor tool but it will act differently. We're going to ROTATE/MOVE our bricks into further alignment.

Click the rotate protractor on the centerpoint. Next click the 'move point' on our bricks. But the place we click is critical. We must zoom in to find that point.

See the next step.

TH-not-found The 'move point' we're looking for is the outside end of 1/2" mortar dim line at the lower left-hand corner of the bricks.

TH-not-found Now ROTATE that point until it's in alignment with the left 'edge' of the arch. DON'T GUESS! Move your over the line of the your trying to locate and let SU snap to that point.

Just like a real brick layer you just established 1/2" of mortar along the arch edge AND placed the bricks on 'top' of the mortar. That's WHY I drew all those 1/2" 'dim lines' when we created our 'bricks'.

In real life, or in 3D modeling DETAILS are important!

TH-not-found Now we need to make a copy of our brick pair and COPY/MOVE/ROTATE them into position.

Select our first set of bricks. Then choose the ROTATE tool. Click on the arc centerpoint.

Then hit the CTRL KEY, you'll get a '+' sign on the little 'rotating arrows' indicating your in MOVE/COPY mode.

Grab the exact same point we moved in the previous step, and move the copy bricks to the point shown. We are going to OVERLAP our mortar dimension of 1/2" with the 1/2" dim line of the 'original' bricks. THINK about it... We are trying to establish the mortar BETWEEN the bricks, which is 1/2" NOT 1". That's why we OVERLAP.

TH-not-found Select the copied set of bricks.

Right click, and choose FLIP ALONG/COMPONENTS GREEN. And the brick will flip into an 'opposite' pair.

Note: In actuality we should leave the copied pair as they were, and FLIP the original pair, to exactly match the actual station building. Your choice.

TH-not-found And so far your arch should look like THIS.

We've spent a lot of time and accurate efforts just creating and placing these two sets of bricks. Why. Well you'll see in our next steps. If you get these two wrong, the WHOLE arch will be a waste of time.

TH-not-found Just for a demonstration I grabbed a set of bricks and started a copy/move to let you observe that our placement efforts were a success. No matter where we move these bricks they stay exactly positioned on radial lines and the mortar dims stay perfectly aligned too.

TH-not-found Now the 'fun' part.

Start a ROTATE/COPY/MOVE again. Centerpoint the protractor, hit CTRL key and then grab the end of the inside 1/2" mortar dim line (SEE PHOTO!).

Then click away selecting the HAND TOOL, observe that your ROTATE icon on the toolbar 'grays out'. Then pan to the opposite end of the archway. Zoom in.

Now re-click the grayed out ROTATE tool icon and carefully position the 'grab point' against the arch edge.

DO NOT CLICK ANYWHERE IN THE DRAWING area or you'll leave the COPY/MOVE/ROTATE, which you don't want. If you do, you'll need to undo and start over.

TH-not-found Now we need multiple copies.

I entered 12/ for a 'first try'. Nope not enough.

TH-not-found I then made several more attempts.

I finally settled on 17/.   Not bad!

Your trying to 'match' the mortar dim lines at the bottom of the bricks, not at the top where the dim will naturally be larger.

TH-not-found Now we are going to do a similar copy on the 'other' pair of bricks.

Select brick pair '#2'.

So re-start a ROTATE/COPY/MOVE. Your 'grab point' now is critical. I've zoomed in to clarify. Your grabbing the end point of the second set of bricks lower right-hand corner. Don't forget to hit the CTRL key.

See the PHOTO. Careful because other dim lines are there now also. GRAB the correct one!

TH-not-found Again click away selecting the HAND TOOL, observe that your ROTATE icon on the toolbar 'grays out'. Then pan to the opposite end of the archway. Zoom in.

Using the mortar dim lines position this set of bricks right in between the last two on the opposite end. Let SU help you by snapping into position.

Then ENTER 16/.

TH-not-found Now zoom out a bit.

WOW, you've got an arch full a very nicely spaced bricks!

TH-not-found Some 'clean up' required.

Double click any pair of bricks to edit them. Then carefully ERASE all the mortar dim lines.

Remember they are components, erase one... erase ALL.

TH-not-found Neat.

And I've selected the arch's 'background' to see that it all gets selected. We will eventually have to 'paint' this with mortar.

TH-not-found Notice the 'selection rectangle' around the arch. It extends way way down because it INCLUDES the arc centerpoint.

ERASE the arc centerpoint. You're selection rectangle should resize to just include the arch.

And the line across the bottom of the arch.

TH-not-found And your arch in place looks like this.

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This example of the use of Trimble SketchUp were created by:
D. B. Freedman, EAATC Webmaster
Copyright © 1996-2017 The Extra Alarm Association
of The Twin Cities, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Last Modified 2017-Dec-18 09:41:30
Edited and maintained by D.B. Freedman

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