PART VII: Must Have SketchUp Plugins

7. Must Have SketchUp Plugins
Author: bac9-flcl

While SketchUp tools are pretty much sufficient for work, there are several plugins that can greatly help you.

First, install LibFredo6 - important shared Ruby library required for lots of plugins mentioned below. It is available there, detailed instructions on installation provided: ... 47#p144178

Now let's get see the plugins.

7.1. RoundCorner


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Author: Fredo6
Thread: ... 23&t=20485

Excellently executed plugin, allowing you to round, sharpen and bevel edges of any configuration and complexity. Detailed documentation and intuitive interface. Greatly helps in modeling workflow, both when working on optimization (e.g. chamfering edges to reduce smoothing groups count) or on complex props (e.g. various machinery with complicated metal parts).

7.2. Joint Push/Pull


Author: Fredo6
Thread: ... 180&t=6708

Another great tool. The .gif is self-explanatory - it is extending the well-know Push/Pull tool functionality, so that the same operation can be performed with multiple surfaces at once, and, practically, with a surface of almost any configuration. Very useful for architecture, e.g. for creating volumetric solids curved in multiple axes or building elements extruded along the walls.

7.3. FredoScale


Image Image

Author: Fredo6
Thread: ... 180&t=6708

A set of purely awesome tools from the same all-mighty Fredo6:

With FredoScale you can orientate the selection box around a set of objects and interactively apply a number of geometric transformations, such as Scaling, Tapering, Stretching, Plane Shear, Twisting, Bending and Rotation. By extension, some transformation can be done without a selection box.

The .gif is self-explanatory. The plugin can be very helpful for working with deformed/destructed objects and complicated surfaces.

7.4. TriangulateFaces

Author: CPhillips; TIG; ThomThom
Thread: ... es#p288957

A simple but really handy tool that triangulates the selected area of the mesh. As you know, you're working with non-triangulated geometry in SketchUp, but sometimes it's needed to look at the triangulation structure to check it, or even to manually set the proper triangulation in some problematic areas prior to the export process. Also, even though it is not actual for PlayUp users (errors are fixed in it's own pipeline), 3ds Max users can find it helpful: fully triangulating your model with this plugin prior to export is fixing all invalid faces your model may contain.

7.5. Tools On Surface



Author: Fredo6
Thread: ... 80&t=11212

Tools on Surface is a Suite of Tools drawing on curved surfaces, with lines, various shapes, offset and Freehand / Polyline. It provides an inference mechanism, a Contour Editor and a dedicated Eraser. 

7.6. BezierSpline

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Author: Fredo6

BezierSpline draws a variety of Polylines, Bezier and Spline curves, all in 3D. All curves are based on a sequence of control points, which is entered by the user in interactive mode. Handy when you need something more complex than default SketchUp circular curves.

7.7. Cleanup

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Author: thomthom
Thread: ... 23&t=22920

This plugin does it best at optimize and clean up a model. Features include fixing of duplicate component definition names, purging of unused items, erasing of hidden geometry, duplicate faces, lonely edges, removal of edge materials, repair of split edges, relocating geometry to Layer0 and merging of identical materials & connected co-planar faces.

7.8. SketchyFFD


Author: CPhillips
Thread: ... 180&t=6029

Powerful transformation tool that can be used with FredoScale.

7.9. Sculpt Tools

Author: BTM
Thread: ... 23&t=20781

Set of sculpting tools that can be used where the usual Sandbox toolset isn't powerful enough. Includes Bulge, Push, Smooth and Smudge, along with Planar Lock. Stability of work on latest SU versions is not confirmed.

7.10. Shape Bender


Author: Chris Fullmer
Thread: ... 23&t=18210

This script will bend an existing group to match a curved line or series of connected lines. Can be useful for modeling of some geometry, e.g. serpentine roads.

7.11. Follow Me and keep

Author: wikii
Thread: ... 23&t=16465

Enhancement for Follow Me tool that is preserving the orientation of profile on 3d paths. Useful for some cases of spline-based modeling.

7.12. Extrude Tools

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Author: TIG
Thread: ... 23&t=25362

A powerful set of Extrude tools with various output. Useful for work with curved surfaces.

7.13. UVTools/UV Bridge

Author: Whaat
Thread: ... 23&t=23725

Beta version of a very promising plugin with basic UV mapping functionality, and, most importantly, UV Bridge feature that's allowing you to export certain geometry to external software (e.g. 3ds Max or UVLayout), create complicated mapping layout there, and then import it back into your SU model.

7.14. Perpendicular Face Tools

Author: Chris Fullmer
Thread: ... 23&t=17396

Helps to create faces perpendicular to the end of lines, can come in handy when working with complex irregularly oriented surfaces that require reference plane; or in cases when complicated rotation orientation is required.

7.15. Curviloft 

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Author: Fredo6
Thread: ... 23&t=28586

Curviloft is a script dedicated to Loft and Skinning, that is, generation of surfaces from contours.
Loft by Spline joins separate contours, open or closed, by smooth splines; Loft along Path joins contours, along a given rail curve; and Skinning create surfaces bounded by 4 or 3 contiguous contours. Very powerful tool, the best for closing any hole in any model or for spline skinning.

7.16. PlayUp

And, of course, PlayUp Tools. :)
Be sure to use the latest version that you can get here:


I should say that installation and usage of aforementioned plugins is not mandatory nor critical in most cases, they are mostly for enhancing your workflow in some specific cases. Don't rush with installing them if you're not sure if you really need them. Enjoy! )

The list does not pretend to be complete, so feel free to check this forum for other interesting plugins that can be out there: ... 23&t=16909

I'd recommend to register on that forum and keep an eye for the Plugins section, as something new and awesome appears there literally every day, so who knows, maybe you'll find a UVW plugin or something that awesome there tomorrow. )