For what it's worth, 4 out of 5 3D models I get from architects these days
seem to be generated in Sketch-Up and a couple of large clients are actually
requiring that we generate sketch-up models of their spaces for approval by
the end users (prior to construction). Having a direct sketch-up to
radiance translator would be really great.
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I know how to model 3D with SKETCHUP ver 5.5 but I prefer to to do it with
ECOTEC 5.5, although it is not so powerful as SKP.
Unless you expect to run SKETCHUP in Linux in the future, ECOTEC ver 5.5 +
RADTOOLS (Interface to RADIANCE) + RADIANCE 3.7 (compiled for Windows,
thanks F. Anselmo) do the job very well and easily.
ECOTECT in demo version gives you two hours free to work each time you open
the software, RADTOOLS (thanks Marsh) it is not time controlled it is
If you need more than 2 hours to model, I think it`s possible break the
model in parts of the building, and then rebuild it in RADIANCE, but usually
it is not necessary.
It is also possible to import 3DS files exported from SKETCHUP, if you fell
comfortable with it.
I think that`s a very good solution to model a architectonic space and
simulate daylighting in Windows OS domain.