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FlexTools gets an update! New FlexDoor Glass

Architects and 3D artists use the FlexTools platform to create SketchUp doors, windows and other architectural elements, with exceptional levels of speed and control. And now FlexTools gets a big update.

What’s new

  • New FlexDoor Glass component
  • New material settings
  • New dynamic door handles
  • Updated Simplified Chinese translations
  • Removed layers (tags) from door components

New FlexDoor Glass Component

Create endless dynamic glass door variations with the new ‘FlexDoor Glass’ component.  Suitable for interiors and exteriors, traditional and modern style.

Based on the original FlexDoor, you can choose between a single door, a double door with equal panels or unequal panels.  Add fixed panels above and from the sides.

Each of the panels can be adjusted individually.  Add muntins with various division distributions just like you would with the window components.

Double Glazing

For a better look and feel for interior views, you can adjust the glass thickness and add double/triple/quadruple glazing to each of the panels.

Note that the spacers between the glass panels protrude a bit instead of being placed below the line of sight.  This is for reasons of keeping the component as lean as possible.

Following multiple requests for such a feature (by email and from the FlexTools Ideas forum) the team will be rolling this out to the rest of the windows in the next update.

New Material Setting

There are now a few new Material attributes added into all the FlexDoors.  The default materials are:

  • FlexMat_Main
  • FlexMat_Hardware
  • FlexMat_Glass
  • FlexMat_Sill
  • FlexMat_Wall (Used for mass modelling when the wall geometry setting is set to ON)

You can change any of the default names by entering a new name.  If a material by that name exists in the model, refresh the component, and it will then be painted with the material.  If you want to cancel the material, enter a name of a material that doesn’t exist, like ‘0’.

If you apply a material with the paint bucket on the outside of the component, the material will change as usual, and so will the material name in the options window.

Example:  You’ve placed a mess of components in the model and you haven’t assigned materials to them ahead of time.  You then decide you want them all painted orange.  Create a new Sketchup material called FlexMat_Main and adjust it’s colour to orange.  Then refresh all the Flex components and see the magic – All the components will be painted orange.

📌 If you want to save a component aside so it’s materials persist even when saving it out with Component Finder, you will have to apply the materials with the paint bucket onto the inner sub-components.

New Dynamic Door Handles

Choose between 4 new dynamic handle bars that can be placed into any flex door directly from the 3DWarehouse.  All dimensions, diameters and distances can be adjusted.

How to change door handles from the 3D Warehouse

Simplified Chinese Translations Updated

All tool translations have been updated and new translations for the FlexRamp, FlexSlope and FlexStairs components – Many thanks to Wantao Xiao – 肖万涛 FlexTool reseller from SUBlog for his continuous efforts.

No More Layers!

Many have requested to eliminate all the extra layers (now tags in Sketchup 2020) that came with Flex components.  Starting with the door components, everything is now on Layer0.  The rest of the flex components will have their layers removed in the next update.

📌 If you ever need some layers again (for quickly hiding of hardware for example), assign new layers to the desired sub-components and then save the components aside with ComponentFinder.

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SketchUp 2020 is here and there’s a lot to be excited about!

For a limited time only, place your order for a SketchUp Pro or SketchUp Studio 2020 Annual Subscription and we’ll throw in real-time renderer Twinmotion for FREE! To claim your Twinmotion license simply complete your order for SketchUp Pro or Studio 2020. Once your order has been processed we’ll send you an email containing your Twinmotion activation.

SketchUp Pro 2020: your 3D creative space

The team at Trimble spent a lot of time in 2019 learning more about what you, the user, wish SketchUp did better. So…thanks for speaking up! You helped them discover what you need to improve your workflow. The result? Some exciting improvements in SketchUp 2020.

Introducing Outliner
A BIG model organisation change: Outliner. In an effort to increase model performance, you no longer have to create Layers upon Layers. Manage and organise your model straight within Outliner. Use the friendly eyeball icon to toggle between the major sections of your model, such as main floor plans and furniture. Check out the video below to learn more about how to use it.

Now, in SketchUp 2020, you can toggle visibility too! Check it out in this new SketchUp 2020 Quick Win to learn more.

New grips on bounding boxes
When you grab a point that is obscured in an object (such as a back corner or centre point) and start to move it, your object will automatically go transparent when something in your model interferes with the object you are moving. This works with both the Rotate tool and Move tool. This will literally ‘transform’ your workflow. Don’t take our word for it: start positioning objects in hard to reach places to see what happens!

Better control of hidden objects
You’ll notice in your drop-down menu that we separated hiding objects from hiding geometry. How will this change your workflow? Well, this will give you the ability to better manage hidden geometry and hidden objects for an even easier modelling experience. For example, let’s say you want to edit hidden edges in a landscape or smoothed surface, but you still want to be able to hide objects that are nearby (like trees, bushes, or a building)…well you can do that now!

Updates to your SketchUp dictionary 
We have a few updates to the naming conventions we use when talking about SketchUp. This won’t change your workflow…but we want to make sure you know we are saying a few things differently now. 

Here’s the run-down! Objects are now a collective term for: groups, components, and dynamic components. This just means we don’t have to say “groups (slash) components” anymore. Also, Layers are now referred to as “Tags”. Keep in mind that these two terms are merely naming conventions and won’t influence your workflow. 

LayOut 2020: document control

It’s all about taking back control…document control that is! The focus for LayOut was on improving the interaction between SketchUp & LayOut to save you time and [brain] energy. This means way less back and forth in SketchUp updating scenes to ensure your drawing comes out perfectly. Now you have more editing ability, directly in LayOut.


More power to adjust model views
LayOut now understands a lot more about your SketchUp model and what you’ve overridden. This means you can safely change a style or camera angle directly in LayOut without accidentally losing your changes (!!). 

How do you know what’s different in your LayOut viewport versus your model? When you make changes in LayOut, parts of the menu bar will go dark grey, alerting you that you’ve made an override. Keep in mind: just because you made some changes in LayOut, doesn’t mean you’re stuck with those. You can always resync your viewports back to your SketchUp model if needed.

Improved customisation of your drawings 

Take those LayOut docs to the next level with different models and views. If you have one SketchUp model that exists across several viewports, you can now relink just one of those viewports to another SketchUp model. Previously, you had to delete that viewport, insert a new SKP model, and reset all your scale settings and viewport sizing. More efficient now? Yes!

And that’s not all! You also have the ability to toggle Tag visibility — straight in your LayOut doc! What does this mean for your workflow? You don’t have to create extra scenes just for your LayOut files, saving you a ton of time going back and forth between LayOut and SketchUp.  Watch this SketchUp Skill Builder to learn how this will speed up your LayOut workflow.

Start using 2020 today!

We hope that the latest changes in SketchUp 2020 offer a few tweaks that will have a big impact on improving your workflow. Happy Sketching!

Ready to go Pro? We have SketchUp Pro 2020 solutions for business, schools and colleges, students, educators, non-profits and charities.

Buy SketchUp here. And don’t forget place your order for a SketchUp Pro or SketchUp Studio 2020 Annual Subscription and we’ll throw in real-time renderer Twinmotion for FREE! To claim your Twinmotion license simply complete your order for SketchUp Pro or Studio 2020. Once your order has been processed we’ll send you an email containing your Twinmotion activation.

Please note, these new features are available to users with an active SketchUp Pro and SketchUp Studio subscription as well as Classic license holders that are active with Maintenance & Support. Updated learning resources will be displayed in the welcome window of SketchUp Pro for Desktop and LayOut.