Sandbox Tools 

Time to play in the Sandbox

The Sandbox tools come from a Ruby script language extension that ships with SketchUp.  Several of the tools can be used on all types of geometry besides topological terrain.

To use these tools for the first time, enable Sandbox in Window (SketchUp in Mac) > Preferences > Extensions.
Also visit Tips & Tricks.  The Organic/Sculpting section has some tutorials that also use Sandbox tools as demonstrated below.

 Smoove Tool

Smoove going - kitty pregnant now
By design, Sandbox's Smoove tool will lift geometry along the Z-axis.  But if you HOLD DOWN the SHIFT key while the tool is active, the geometry will move Normal - perpendicular - to the selection. 


  • Set the tool to a small radius for the greatest control.  A small enough radius will lift individual segment ends.
  • Do not have any geometry pre-selected before activating the tool.
  • Note:  This works best with "organic" models.  The Smoove+Shift feature may select the opposing model faces (like the opposing side of the kitty geometry being worked on in the animation on the right) if that triangulated geometry is distributed in a mesh pattern similar to the front faces.  If this happens, use the Scale tool (demonstrated on some bunny ears).  Select the geometry you wanted to Smoove - edges and/or faces - and use the Scale tool instead.  The Artisan plugin has a Sculpt tool which work like Smoove + Shift.  That tool only modifies the surface the tool touches.

 Add Detail Tool

 This a a nice Sandbox tool to selectively add detail anywhere extra geometry is needed. 
The tool first adds geometry, then move it along the Z-axis or perpendicular - normal - to the surface, if Shift is press once the tool is in motion.
More on Add Detail sculpting coming soon-ish.

 Flip Edge Tool

Flippin' Good Pedicure
Before adding a bunch of extra geometry, try using the Flip Edge tool to re-contour the surface.
To readily see how edge direction affects the surface, check Use sun for shading in the Shadow Setting browser palette.


 Relevant Plugins

Note: To download plugins from SketchUcation, join the forum and logon.
  • Artisan  Dale Martens - Subdivision modeling with additional sculpting and soft transformation tools.
  • AutoSmooth  ThomThom - Automatically softens and smooths autofolded edges created by the native tools.
  • Bezier Surface  ThomThom - WIP
  • Curviloft  Fredo6 - Loft and skinning.
  • ExtrudeTools - Zippered Set  TIG -  Extrudes a faced-mesh group along various polyline rail-curves.
  • HoverSelect  Fredo6 - Multiple selection of lines.
  • Joint Push Pull  Fredo6 - Push/Pulls a curved surface.
  • Nudge  Todd Burch - Nudges, moves, selected geometry with the keyboard arrow keys. 
  • Point Merger Tools  BTM - developed tools to merge multiple edges.
  • RpTools  Render Plus Systems - Suite of tools including a move wizard which nudges geometry.  Windows
  • Sculpt Tools  BTM - Suite of sculpting tools.
  • Shape Bender  Chris Fullmer - bends a model to a curved path.
  • Sketchy FreeForm and Deformation  Chris Phillips - Deforms a model.
  • Subdivide And Smooth  Dale MartensOrganic modeling with a Push/Pull-like workflow.  This plugin can add excessive geometry, but many people find it useful.  Precursor to Artisan.
  • triangulateFaces  TIG - Triangulates faces so the Sandbox tools can be used.
  • Vertex Tools  ThomThom - Selection tools for organic modeling. - Fee