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Before You Begin

Cove.tool’s newest addition is the SketchUp Plug-in. Like our other plug-ins, cove.tool uses 3D model geometry from SketchUp to auto fill the geometry input page to complete your building‘s project profile. Unlike our other plug-ins, the SketchUp plug-in differentiates itself by being the only geometry export process which auto separates the different geometries into cove.tool‘ layers. This step makes sure all the objects area accurately categorized for final calculations.

Find corresponding video tutorial here:

Step 1. Clear Up 3D View
The first step is isolating the geometry that will be used during the export process. No context or extraneous objects should be left in the view. Pending on the users preference, there are two option to pursue when setting up a model. First, a user could export the building simple geometry and start a fresh new file with only the building as it’s content, or one could just hide everything else in view so that only the cove.tool project is left in view. 

Step 2. Match the Ground Plane
Once the view is clear, the next step is to make sure you match your building ground level to the SketchUp ground plane. Depending on the stage of the model, the complexity of the file may vary. Models that are further developed, tend to have various changes such undulating contoured sites, this would cause the model to float in space once the context is hidden or removed. If your model ground doesn’t match project ground this could cause inaccurate calculation once you begin the geometry export process. Matching ground planes  can be done be switching to a front view, and moving the building to line up with the ground plane, see left image. 

Step 3. Convert to Single Surfaces and Move to a single Layer
Next to make sure cove.tool’s plug-in can identify each building geometry object, make sure the objects are on the same layer and that the geometry is made up of single surfaces. Objects which belongs to groups or blocks will be skipped once the export process begins. The easiest way to make sure your geometry is all single surfaces is to highlight the model, then “explode.” The remaining geometry is ready for the next step.

Step 4. Create cove.tool layers
Now that the model is ready, it is time to use the plug-in. Once the plug-in has been installed and enabled, a new tab entitled “Extensions” will appear. Go ahead and click the tab and continue to select “Create cove.tool layers.” 11 new layers will appear at the bottom of the layers menu. Makes sure all the objects have been sent to their correct category. Misplaced object can be normally swapped between layers, so make sure this is done before launching cove.tool. Misplaced objects are the #1 cause of inaccuracy in this plugin. 

Step 5. Launch cove.tool
The file is now ready for the geometry export. Again in the “Extensions” tab, select “Launch Cove.tool” to open a web-link inside the plug-in. Cove.tool’s login page will appear, as usual log into your account and navigate to the project you would like to connect to your SketchUp geometry. Inside the plug-in link, you have the option to either create a new project, or you can search through your project list to find the project you want.

Step 6. Sync with SketchUp
The cove.tool project has now been created/selected. Next you will navigate to the geometry page, here you will find a new option at the top of the page where you will be able to auto-fill the geometry details with the “Sync with SketchUp” button. Click this to see a comprehensive area calculation of your building. If you notice some of the information does not look accurate, flip back to SketchUp and double-check your model’s measurements. Likely there might be a object that is mis-layered and has added up to a calculation in the wrong category. Once everything looks good, click continue to save the geometry export and move forward to see how your building performs. 

Find Additional Tutorials on Cove.tool Vimeo Page and use your Plug-in Help Document for other tips, tools, and guidance. 

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