This tutorial will walk you through the basic workflow from setting up your model to using the Full Floor Plate Daylight Feature. It highlights the use of cove.tool's 3D Mode to upload building geometry with the SketchUp plugin v.2.0.0 or later. The plugin is compatible with SketchUp 2017 through 2021.
Before you Begin:
1. Download the latest version of the SketchUp Plugin
This feature requires the latest version of the SketchUp Plugin (v.2.0.0 or later) from the SketchUp Warehouse or cove.tool Plugins Page. This update contains additional export categories, different from the previous plugins, such as interior walls and shading devices. Also to install the plugin, check this article for step-by-step instructions.
2. Create a new project in cove.tool
Create a project in cove.tool, before starting the export process. If you have not started a project, then the SketchUp Plugin will not have a project location to reference for your geometry export. Start a project, complete the project-details page, then click save and continue. The next step will be the Geometry Page, this is where the new SketchUp Plugin will come in handy.
Copy building geometry to a new SketchUp File
Once you have launched your project, open a new SketchUp file. Copy only your building geometry over to the new file. If you have building context you would like to see imported for the daylight analysis then that may also be copied to the newly created file. As you paste your building geometry, make sure the project is located near the SketchUp origin axis (coordinates: 0,0,0). Placing your geometry here will ensure your building will accurately display once inside cove.tool.
2. Move all geometry to Layer0, and create an active layer
Placing all building geometry in Layer0 (default SketchUp layer) will be crucial for using the tools in the cove.tool toolbar. Only objects located in this layer will be filtered out into the different cove.tool export categories. Also, create another layer which you will set as the active layer (pencil icon) throughout the entire export process. This will become very useful while toggling visibility for quick geometry spot-checks.
3. Explode all Grouped Objects in your File
Using the bomb icon button in the cove.tool' tool bar, use your mouse to highlight all of your building geometry and click the explode button to un-group and simplify everything in view to single-surface objects. This is the category necessary for an geometry export. Grouped objects, and geometry with model thickness (six-surface polygons) will not be exported into cove.tool. Check out this article on the topic.
4. Create cove.tool layers
Now that the model is ready, click the create cove.tool layers button. 7 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 exporting your geometry to cove.tool. Misplaced objects are the #1 cause of inaccuracy in the plugin.
5. Check for flipped-face geometry
Using the flip-face button, this tool will activate a custom view-style which will apply a high-contrast material property to all the front and back face building geometry in the SketchUp window. White surfaces representing front facing planes and green surfaces representing back facing planes. It is crucial to have all building envelop geometry displaying front facing surfaces outwards, and all horizontal plane geometry have their front planes facing upwards. This step ensures all of your building components are imported with accurate cardinal directions, i.e. that your building geometry falls into the correct orientation (N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW). Once everything is correctly oriented, you are ready to export your building geometry.
6. Sign into cove.tool
Sign into your cove.tool account by selecting the Update Login button, use the same login credentials you use to access your cove.tool project list.
7. Select your project from the selection drop-down list
Use the Switch Project button to pull up your project list. Scroll to find your cove.tool project. If you have a mixed-use project, then begin try to follow the display order of cove.tool for your export procedure. Once you have selected a project, that selected project will be the receiver of all the geometry information. If your project list does not have the project you are looking for, check that you have the project in your cove.tool account in a web browser, or that you have click save and continue and are now on a geometry page in your cove.tool project.
8. Export your Building Geometry
The cove.tool project is now ready for export. Using the export button (upload to cloud icon) export all the building areas to the cove.tool page. If you are unable to export and receive an error, "Undefined Method: ...NilClass" check out this article for troubleshooting the export button.
9. Refresh Geometry page and go to cove.tool
Next, you will navigate to the cove.tool geometry page in a web browser, here you will refresh the page and see the building import. 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 an object that is mis-assigned to a layer 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 the daylight page.