Builder Free
2D and 1D automatic nesting, cost calculation and cutlist generation
Builder Free

Builder is an automatic 2D and 1D nesting extension for Sketchup. Use Builder to help you build your next project quickly and efficiently, and get instant cost estimates as you draw. Builder will also produce graphical cutlists for sheet materials and strip materials to make construction quick and efficient.

Builder Free is limited to 50 input parts. To use Builder with unlimited input parts, please purchase Builder Pro.

Using Builder

To use Builder, simply enter all the materials used in your project in the 'Edit Materials' window and Builder will automatically assign them to components in your model based on their dimensions. Builder will also find any dimensioning errors in the model or components without a matching material. Types of part supported are sheet materials, strip materials and unit parts that can be set via the component name (e.g. bolts, one-off items etc.). For more information click on the help icon within the Builder toolbar.

Output Options

Once you have setup your model and you materials list, you can run Builder. Select the parts of your model you want Builder to process and click the 'B' button in the toolbar. It has 3 output options:

 

  1. Quick View: this produces a quick costs overview within SketchUp, so you can see how much your project costs so far.
  2. HTML: this section is designed for printing and for when you have a more finalised version of your project. An HTML document is produced with an overview of costs and optimised graphical custlists for both strip materials and sheet materials to make cutting your parts easy.
  3. XLSX: this outputs a spreadsheet with formulas built in to be used for ordering and budget tracking once your design is complete. 

***Please note - Builder Free is limited to 50 parts***

Reviews

I see great benefit of the program for the types of projects I am doing, but am having trouble editing the Builder Settings so it can recognize the components in my model. Works fine whey I use your sample components with the default settings but I can't seem to edit the Builder settings to match the materials in my model. It won't save the settings I insert, won't let me change the currency from Pounds to Dollars, and won't let me assign costs no matter the currency.

I am usinsg Sketchup 2017 on a Mac if that matters.

Any suggestions?

Thanks

Jack S.'s picture

Hi John,

I'm afraid the plugin isn't compatible with Mac at the moment for precisely this reason, sorry!

Thanks,

Jack

Thanks for the reply Jack. I should have noticed that the Extension description notes that is for Windows only. I will certainly use this if it is every modified for MAC OS as it is a very useful tool. Too bad Extension Warehouse does not allow a filter for Windows versus MAC OS when browsing available extensions but now I know to look at the extension description a bit more carfully before trying to make it work.

Brian

Stuwee S's picture

Hi Jack S.

I've installed Builder and restarted SU 2015 several times but only get the following error code, "Error Loading File builder/builder-code
Could not find included file 'builder/builder-code"

Please assist...

Regards,

Jack S.'s picture

Hi Stuwee,

The plugin uses the new encrypted format that is only compatible with SU 2016 and above. I would suggest you upgrade to the latest version - its free! http://www.sketchup.com/download

Thanks,

Jack

Makram A's picture

Hi
Is this work in Sketchup 2017?
Nice plugin

Jack S.'s picture

Hi,

It does indeed - I have updated the extension page to reflect that!

Thanks,

Jack

Hi Jack, when it says the free version is limited to 50 parts, does that mean 50 parts per file/project? Or 50 parts total?

Jack S.'s picture

Hi Brian,

It is limited to 50 parts per file/project, i.e. if you try to run Builder with more than 50 parts selected in your model it won't run (with the free version).

Thanks,

Jack

What am I doing wrong? I downloaded and installed this plugin through sketchup not browser but nothing shows up. Does it require Sketchup pro? No matter what I do I cannot get builder tools to appear or anything other than the name to show in the extensions list.

Help me out here.

Thanks,

Jack S.'s picture

Hi Sam - SketchUp Pro is not required, a toolbar should appear once you install the extension. Have you tried restarting SketchUp?

Thanks,

Jack

Randy H's picture

Excellent extension ! However, I am having a bit of difficulty using it, and I was hoping for a smidgen of help.

I want to use dimensional lumber as stock to rip strips out of, and would like Builder to lay out the cut sheet for those components. I have defined a material for those components as "2by6Rip", which I have in the component definition. It does correctly identify the material for those components, however it reports all of them as having an error.

For example, one piece is supposed to be cut from a 3/4" rip off of a 2x6, and the output shows:

Name: Dresser Face Center Stile
Length ("): 6
Width ("): 1 1/2
Height (") ; 3/4
Material: 2by6Rip
Material Width ("): -
Material Height ("): 1 1/2

The 2by6Rip material is defined as a sheet material with these parameters:

Length: 96
Width: 5.5
Thickness: 1.5

I've tried swapping the dimensions around in the definition, but nothing seems to work. Am I doing this wrong ?

Jack S.'s picture

Hi Randy,

Looks like a problem with the material definition to me - could you please send the SketchUp file and your current Builder Settings (you can save them to a file from the Builder Settings window) to jack@builder4sketchup.com ?

Thanks,

Jack

Ron S.'s picture

I have just started using Builder as a replacement for the Cutlist extension and it is very promising and better in many ways. I am trying to figure out how the program selects the materials. I entered in several stripwoods along with dimensions and prices at my local lumber yard. I can get 2x6s in 8',10',12' and 16' lengths, so I added an entry for each along with their prices. Builder selected all 2x6x10s (which happens to be the first 2x6 length that I entered). I noticed that the last 2x6x10 was hardly used, with just one 20.5" cut taken out of the board. I would have expected it to select the more appropriate length 2x6x8 to minimize waste on that last board. I would have been even more impressed if the program calculated what lengths I should buy to maximize efficiency while minimizing costs. eg 2-2x6x10, 1-2x6x12 and 1-2x6x8 instead of 5-2x6x10. Perhaps the program already has this sort of logic and my initial model just didn't make it apparent. Keep up the good work. This program is already very strong.

Jack S.'s picture

Hi Ron,

Thanks for your interest - I'm afraid the software doesn't currently support different lengths of the same size lumber, and will just pick the first one in the list that matches the sizes of your components, which would be the one you entered first. In general (apart from specific selections of parts that fit perfectly onto smaller lengths) you will get more efficient usage from using longer initial pieces of lumber, so I would suggest just using the 16' piece in Builder and then looking at the resulting cutlist to see if you can buy a smaller piece for the last part.

Thanks,

Jack

Hi guys

i am currently using maxcut 2, but it doesn't present visual design of my work. do you think its wise to move from maxcut to sketchup, and do sketchup have a cutlist?

Jack S.'s picture

Hi Tot,

Using Builder with SketchUp will give your a graphical output - please have a look at the pictures at the top of the extension page for some example outputs.

Thanks,

Jack

Kris D's picture

Just a question. I have tried using Builder on a single part using any of the 3 options and it sits there until I force quit. The pieces are not complicated.

Thank you

Jack S.'s picture

Hi Kris,

If you send me the file you are working on I will take a look - otherwise it is very difficult to work out the problem!

Thanks,

Jack

Helmut K.'s picture

Hello,
Builder (per) would fit well in concept in my work. Only there seems to be something missing any handling:

I create:

"Insert Frame"
"Insert Strip Wood"
"Insert Sheedwood"

I leave it unchanged, and then copy 2 times, so have 9 parts. I highlight this, and Create Builder (free). The message that the parts are ignored by the Cutlist, etc. The parts are listed in the "QuickView" without number, the .xlsx file remains empty. "Builder Settings" does not accept the changed dimensions of the "Component Options". Would it be possible to obtain a sample file, in which the values are consistently included in the .xlsx file. I look forward to your reply,

best regards
Hking

Jack S.'s picture

Hi HKing,

I'm not quite sure I understand the problem you're having - could you please send the SketchUp file and your current Builder Settings (you can save them to a file from the Builder Settings window) to jack@builder4sketchup.com ?

Thanks,

Jack

Hey Jack,
how can I show the selected unit parts like screws or dowels in my .xls spredsheet so I can automaticly add them to my budget?
Cheers
Gerold

Jack S.'s picture

Hi Gerold,

If you add an entry in Builder's Materials Settings under the Unit Parts section for each thing you want to include, any components in your model with the same name as an entry in the Unit Parts section will show up in the output as that part with your defined price.

Thanks,

Jack

Manuel Furio F's picture

It's a great plugin, but I can't make it work with different materials.
I added two different materials, they are:
WoodA sheet 3000x1250x15
and
WoodB sheet 2000x1000x15

My drawing is made of components 15mm thick and if I select all the components and press builder button it always use the first material in my list.
I tried to write WoodB in the component description, but it still uses the WoodA.
what am I doing wrong?

Jack S.'s picture

Hi,

Just put the name of the material somewhere in the Component Definition, not the description!

Thanks,

Jack

Ian H.'s picture

Hi Jack

This is the plugin I have been searching for, it worked well for awhile, then I started getting a "Please select components before running Builder" command, even though all the components were highlighted. I started a new model it worked for awhile then i got the command again. Please help..... i love the plugin. Are there any tutorials online?

Ian

Jack S.'s picture

Hi Ian,

Glad to hear you like it! Sounds like a very strange one - could you possible send me any .skp files that cause the error using the contact me link on the extension page?

Thanks,

Jack

Lydia C's picture

Love this extension! I find it really easy to use and customise to my needs. So much better than some of the other cutlisting extensions out there!

Neto L's picture

The extension is not saving my materials list, it just disapear everytime I close and open the materials dialog. It does not work even if I save and load the settings. Is the developer aware of that?

Jack S.'s picture

Hi,

Have you made sure you have filled in all the fields? The 'Save/Not Saved' box in the top right will be red if you have forgotten any fields or filled number fields with letter etc. and nothing will save. If you are still having problems feel free to email me some screenshots and I will take a look. Can I also ask what system you are running? The plugin is not currently supported on a Mac.

Thanks,

Jack

Neto L's picture

Oh, I didn't know it does not support Mac. That's the system I use. If you need someone to test an update that supports OS X, I would love to help.

Hi,

Why does it need acces to my file system on may machine?

Jack S.'s picture

Hi,

The plugin only accesses settings files within the Sketchup directory to store the materials properties you put into the settings window. However that prompt when you install the plugin happens with every plugin, regardless of whether or not the plugin does or not!

Thanks,

Jack

Christopher K's picture

Great! But... is there a paid version somewhere?

Jack S.'s picture

Hi Chris,

Builder Pro is now available on the extensions warehouse: https://extensions.sketchup.com/en/content/builder-pro-0 . Please do feel free to contact me if you have any comments/questions!

Thanks,

Jack

Jack S.'s picture

Hi,

There will be as soon as Trimble sorts out my vendor account - I have had so many people ask me this already and I have been waiting 4 months to sort out my account! Apparently it should be sorted soon...

Jack

Tibor C's picture

Very nice plugin. But, it could be more universal? It would be helpful if the summed area of sheets of the same thickness and the same material etc. Resolution type would be better by name, not by definition components. And according applied material. For such a plugin would pay something ...

for example:
18mm ... 500 x 1000 5x material wood_XX 2,5m2
18mm ... 1000 x 1000 4x material wood_XX 4m2
18mm ... 1000x1000 1x material wood_YY 1m2
etc.
total:
material wood_XX 6,5m2
material wood_YY 1m2

Jack S.'s picture

Hi Tibor,

I think you'll find it does do that if I'm interpreting your comments correctly. Builder will tell you how many sheets/lengths of each material you need that is in the Builder settings to build your model. If this is not what you mean please do say - I also suggest you have a look at the help section (? on the plugin toolbar in Sketchup) which gives you a step by step guide on how to get started with the plugin.

Thanks,

Jack

Tibor C's picture

Hi Jack,
thank you for the quick reply. I did not say it exactly. I'm sorry for my bad english.

Our supplier of furniture consists of a price based on the actual surface dimensions (accurate area) of the individual parts (slots), not by consumption of standardized plates. The waste then gives the board should be another customer. This directed my idea for an extension of your great plugin. So they do not always need cutting plan standardized plate.

It would also be useful to classify boards both by the type and according to the material used. For example, I use a laminated boards with a thickness of 18 mm. The project will use three different decors that are applied as textured materials to Component. It would be another table settings.

In the properties of the components figuring two items: 1. "Definition name" (must be unique) and the only "name" (which may be the same for multiple components). Using only the name to distinguish types of products would make it easier, I think.

Another thing is just a small thing - to determine its own financial currency.

Better example:

individual items:
18 mm laminate price group A | decor U112 | the exact size of 1180 x 654 mm | Pieces 1 | area of ​​0.77172 m2 | unit price of CZK 800 | A total of CZK 617.38
...
an overview by material:
18 mm laminate | decor U112 price group A | area of ​​5.70 m2 | unit price of CZK 800 | A total of CZK 4,560.00
18 mm laminate | decor U114 price group A | area of ​​6.00 m2 | unit price of CZK 800 | A total of CZK 4,800.00
18 mm laminate | decor U574 price group B | area of ​​3.00 m2 | unit price of 900 CZK | A total of CZK 2,700.00
etc.

There are definitely other options for improvements. What is important, however, to maintain simplicity. There are plugins (focused on BIM), which can do more things, but they are too difficult to use. They are expensive and in fact it does work well, one must spend a lot of time adjusting. It should be simple and carefree. I like that the plugin itself will find material depending on thickness. Pretty simple spreadsheets and ease of use.

I hope it is already understandable :-)
Tibor

Jack S.'s picture

That makes more sense - would just an output of the total used area over all the sheets of each material in the output be useful in your case?

Thanks,

Jack

Tibor C's picture

Definitely, it would be helpful, thanks.
Tibor

Jack S.'s picture

Hi Tibor,

I have now added a display of the total area used for each type of sheet material in the HTML output. The paid version is also up now on the extensions warehouse (Builder Pro) https://extensions.sketchup.com/en/content/builder-pro-0 . Please do feel free to contact me if you have any comments/questions!

Thanks,

Jack

Autoline Slotpro's picture

We cut and manufacture slotted aluminium profile systems and have previously used the cutlist plugin to extract the lengths and sizes of profiles to load into our own cutlist spreadsheet. Your builder plugin would do both those operations in 1 step.

When will you have the paid version available so we can use this properly as 50 pieces is simply not enough for most of our constructions.

Jack S.'s picture

Hi,

Builder Pro is now available on the extensions warehouse: https://extensions.sketchup.com/en/content/builder-pro-0 . Please do feel free to contact me if you have any comments/questions!

Thanks,

Jack

Jack S.'s picture

Hi,

Thanks for your interest, its very encouraging! I am still waiting after 4 months to finish getting my vendor account setup with Trimble, so that I can release the paid version. However I believe it is in the final stage now so hopefully I will be releasing the Pro version very soon.

Thanks,

Jack

Jonathan M's picture

Hell I Just down loaded the program but it seems that everytime I try to modify or add to the the materials list it changes from green to pink and says not saved. then when I try to run it it reverts back to the default materials and doesnt recognize the materials in my model. I read the post whrer you stae that the program auto saves but I have not experienced this

Jack S.'s picture

Hi Jonathan,

The materials list won't save if you have made any mistakes or not filled in any of the fields in the Builder Settings. For example number fields containing text or blank fields. The settings dialog will highlight any fields with errors automatically in red so you can fix them - once they are all fixed the settings will then save automatically.

Thanks,

Jack

Naranbaatar E's picture

First of all, this plugin is great for Woodworkers.
But is there any step by step guide how to use it? Because I got some technique problem that I'm doing something wrong. When I use Wood Bamboo as material and applied to my components, then I use Builder run, then it shows the main page. If I click any of three button it stops working with message "Builder is running - please wait", also I see "Wood Bamboo, 454647% done" in status bar and it is not responding now. When I remove Wood Bamboo from Builder settings Sheet materials, it reports that I'm using "12mm Ply".
Please guide me how can I set up my materials. Thank you.

Jack S.'s picture

Hi,

Glad to hear you like the plugin! There is a step by step guide in the help section of the plugin, just click the question mark on the toolbar. If you're still having problems, please feel free to send me your Sketchup file and a screenshot of your materials list using the contact me link on my profile.

Thanks,

Jack

Dirk M's picture

dirk , here, i have tried this program and had a coouple of issues. When i posted them, Jack the developer responded very quickly and professionally. We sent a couple of emails back and forth and the issues i had were resolved. I learned a lot about the program and I will be using it when i design new projects.

I think the layout of parts when using "plywood" will be very helpful in getting the best use of the material and not having to lay it out by hand.

I want to thank Jack for the good program and responding as quickly and completely as he did
dirk

8759 users
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Version:
Builder Free (2.4.1); February 25, 2016
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