That’s it, Google SketchUp is installed and you start to model your terrain. Unfortunately it is not flat, you have a slope or a mound. Do not like me! Do not make grades or bosses with the tools of bases. You need “Sandbox” tools. But the sandbox tools do not appear in SketchUp by default.

To enable the sandbox tools:

  1. Open the Extensions Manager (Window > Preferences > Extensions)
  2. Click the check box next to the extension that you want to enable.
  3. Click Ok
La barre d'outils Bac à sable
Sandbox toolbar

A definition before proceeding, it will be useful :

TIN = Triangulated Irregular Network = A surface comprised of triangles, each derived from irregularly spaced points.

From left to right of the toolbar :

  • Use the Sandbox from Contours Tool to create a TIN from contour lines.
  • Use the Sandbox From Scratch Tool to generate a flat triangulated TIN that can be sculpted into other forms using other sandbox tools.
  • Use the Smoove Tool to sculpt an existing TIN by allowing vertical movement of a selection of points, edges, or faces and their immediately adjacent geometry.
  • Use the Stamp Tool to create impressions in a TIN by pushing a duplicate of the base of geometry, such as a house, into a TIN.
  • Use the Drape Tool to project edges, such as the edges in a road, onto a terrain.
  • TINs do not have to consist of triangles of the same size. Use the Add Detail Tool to split triangles into additional, smaller triangles, and make small detailed modifications to your TIN.
  • Use the Flip Edge Tool to manually adjust the triangulation for any pair of adjacent triangles in a TIN. This tool is useful in removing flat spots or plateaus in a terrain generated from contour lines.

We illustrate the use of these tools through other tutorials.