Creating 3D-models in SketchUp for THRONE

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To create THRONE building automation interface in T-Studio application it is necessary to upload three-dimensional model of the object. It is made in COLLADA format file (the extension .dae), containing constructions, as well as engineering devices and navigation areas named in certain way.

For creating the necessary 3D-models we recommend the SketchUp editor which is a simple, intuitive and easy to learn. For creating the models it is best to use the template of 3D-model from here. You can also use these files for training and as examples.


Graphic editor SketchUp is available in free (SketchUp Make) and paid (SketchUp Pro) versions. Free version is sufficient for use with the T-Studio. Download the latest version of SketchUp 8 (choose Personal Projects for free version download).

The materials for training to work in SketchUp can be viewed here:

Rules, tips, tricks and special techniques on preparing files for T-Studio in SketchUp

WARNING! T-Studio doesn't import texture fills. When you assign a material in SketchUp, use only solid colors, e.g. from the folder 'Colors' in the palette 'Materials'.


A set of files with 3D-models for a specific project

Depending on the type of the automated object a different number of 3D-models is required. Examples of the most common types of projects:

  • 1-Level apartment. One model with a layout of the entire apartment.
  • Maisonette. Two models with the layout of each floor.
  • Building without the appearance and without a location nearby (only internal automation engineering is considered). Model for each floor of the building.
  • The building and the land on which it is located (there are devices outside the building). Site model with the building on it, and the model for each floor of the building.
  • Site with several buildings. A model of the whole area shown with all buildings, models for each floor of all buildings.

Composition of 3D-file

3D-model file may contain 3D-object types described below:

  • Building elements - walls, floors, roofs, fences, stairs and other architectural elements of the object.
  • Navigation areas - objects not visible to the user of the touchscreen panel THRONE. These areas appear when they are pressed by user, thus he navigates in the building; area corresponding to the floor of a room or the floor of a whole storey (going into the room and on the floor accordingly) and the invisible volume area around the building (when user goes inside the building).
  • Engineering equipment - objects, visually representing devices on the touchscreen panels; these devices are controlled by the THRONE system.

Objects of navigation areas and engineer equipment must be properly named. Building elements are not named.

The rules for naming specific items described below, noting that:

  • The object needs to be included in a group before naming: select the object, Right mouse button -> New Group.
  • To work with the group structure used in SketchUp the Structurer is used (Window -> Structurer).
  • Naming the group is performed in the Object Data window (Window -> Object Data).


When creating 3D-model in SketchUp you should keep an eye on the orientation of faces. Faces oriented incorrectly may not display correctly on the touchscreen panel. Especially for lighting zones and zones of triggering of fire alarm sensors. To change the orientation of the face you need to right-click on the face and in the drop down list, select Reverse Faces. Image below shows a cube with one incorrectly oriented edge.

Unfortunately in SketchUp you can visually determine the orientation of the faces only for objects of default material. After an appointment of a different material each side faces has the same color.

Building structures

Walls, roofs, stairs, etc. are sketched by a designer in SketchUp with a sufficient degree of details, but without exceeding details in real scale. It is allowed to make slight change of height and thickness of walls, the size of window and door openings, etc. to unify and simplify future integration of the engineering equipment into them.

Building constructions are displayed to the user in that colors and with that degree of transparency which were assigned by designer in SketchUp, while the navigation areas are invisible on the touchscreen panel and for engineering equipment colors are adjusted in the application for the THRONE touchscreen panel.


Building constructions are better displayed in shades of gray in order to avoid distracting the user's attention from the engineering equipment.


The model with the appearance of the automated object, if required (if the subject is not an apartment) usually contains one or more buildings, fence and some elements of the territory of the site (for example, lawns and gazebos).


From an aesthetic point of view it makes sense to make the buildings from a number of elements with different colors (shades of gray). For example make the building’s base, walls, roof and windows of different colors.

Floor models

Floor models consist of walls with windows and door openings and other objects (stairs for example) if they ease the object navigation for user. These structures should be grayed out and be translucent.


In most cases it makes sense to set the height of the walls of the layout less than their real height in order to avoid turning small space areas in the ‘wells’.

The easiest way to begin work on a floor model is as follows:

  • To import image with a plan of the building in SketchUp (File -> Import ...) in one of these formats - jpg, png, tif, bmp.
  • Scale the drawing of this picture in such way that scales in original file corresponds to the size scale of SketchUp.
  • Lock in the drawing, creating before a group from image (Edit -> Block), outline the walls of the plane and size the walls to the desired height.

Navigation areas

3D-objects in navigation areas are of two types:

Flat objects. They lead to the floor, group of rooms or location. They are drawn on the floors of a storey, group of rooms, location, respectively, in the form of flat areas.

Objects with volume. They lead into the buildings. They are displayed around the buildings repeating their form approximately.

The navigation areas are named in SketchUp like N-XXX, where XXX is the number of location (taken from the T-Studio), where the user is taken by pressing on this area. For example: N-2.

For the ease of use, it makes sense to combine all the navigation areas within a single model into one group, naming it according to the purpose, for example Navigation. When user uploads a file to T-Studio, this structuring is discarded, and only the navigation areas labeled as N-XXX are included in the program of the touchscreen panel THRONE.

Engineering equipment

3D-objects of engineering equipment installed in the building usually have a more complex structure than the navigation area. Often they are as complex as group that has nested subgroups. For example, the group of undimmed lighting units are shown on the model as a zone on the floor, which includes two subgroups: the outline and filling.

Engineer devices are named in this way: D-XXX, where: XXX - device number, under which it is listed in the T-Studio. For example, D-125.

If 3D object of a device or a group of devices has a subgroup, they are named in capital letters of Latin alphabet: S, Z, L, etc.

Sometimes the following situation is possible: lights in two corners of the room are operated simultaneously, i.e. in terms of THRONE it is one device. In that case these lamps are shown in the model as two sectors, each of them has its own outline and its own filling. In that case, the digits are added to the name of the group corresponding to each outline and filling: _1 (for the first light) and _2 (for the second light).

It is possible to solve similar conflicts with another devices types in such a way.

It makes sense to combine devices into groups having the appropriate functional purpose. For example: Light, Alarm, Intercom, Climatics. When the file is uploaded to the T-Studio, this structure is discarded and the program for the touchscreen panel THRONE will only include names like D-XXX.

Types of engineering devices, corresponding 3D-objects and their naming rules

Switching and dimmable lighting group

This group is depicted as an filling.

Naming subgroups: S - filling.

RGB light

Displayed as an filling and RGB-field, which will show the current color.

Naming subgroups: S - filling, R - filling of RGB-area.

Fire sensor

Depicted as a region.

Naming subgroups: Z - region.

Intruder sensor

Depicted as a region.

Naming subgroups: Z - region.

Temperature sensor

Depicted as a region.

Naming subgroups: S - region.

Leakage sensor

Depicted as a region.

Naming subgroups: Z - region.

Fan without speed regulation

Depicted as a region.

Naming subgroups: S-region.

Unregulated heated floor

Depicted as a region.

Naming subgroups: S - region.


Depicted as a region.

Naming subgroups: S - region.

Surveillance camera

Depicted as the camera body and the beam, indicating the direction of the camera.

Naming subgroups: F - body, Z - beam.

Curtain, jalousie, rolling shutter

Depicted as the window opening and the curtain.

Naming subgroups: F - window opening, R - curtain.


After importing the model in T-Studio you can change all the names of devices and navigation areas in the way you want the user to see them. Foregoing system of naming is needed only for correct import of the model from SketchUp to T-Studio.


The simplest way to create new models, both in terms of the geometry of objects, and in the sense of naming is to use as examples of finished projects. You can use as an example these SketchUp files.

Export to COLLADA file

Before loading the model in T-Studio it is necessary to export it from the SketchUp format to COLLDADA: File -> Export -> 3D-model

At the same time it has to be checked ‘Break all the faces into triangles’ in the export settings.

Next >> T-Studio: What Is It and How To Work In It?