All posts by Randy Maxey

Learning the SketchUP Ruby API — Part 1

I’m a big fan of SketchUp. Having grown up using AutoCAD from version 2.5, I made a living for a lot of years using, teaching, and programming AutoCAD.

I’ve been out of the “AutoCAD stream” for about ten years, I’ve sadly lost touch with its latest versions and upgrades. When I first learned about SketchUP (just after Google bought it from @Last Software), I got pretty excited. Here was a free 3D drawing package that was easy to learn and use. (The online video tutorials are priceless.)

Since I’ve been using SketchUp for a number of years, I’ve come to rely on a few plugins. Then the geeky side of me wondered about how to go about writing plugins. I spent a lot of years programming AutoCAD using AutoLISP and Visual Basic. But I had never heard about this new scripting language called Ruby.

I never really learned the C or C++ language, though I’m familiar with its concepts and can pretty much read the code. So using the native SketchUp SDK (Software Development Kit) would be too daunting for me at this point.

That brings me back to learning the SketchUp Ruby API (Application Programming Interface).

I want to warn you that I am not a professional programmer. I can hack my way around pretty well, but my skills are limited.

So stay tuned as I dive into this adventure.