Creating a Parametric Design in Sketchup with Viz Pro

Featured Image_Creating a Parametric Design in Sketchup with Viz Pro

Using Viz Pro to create a parametric design in Sketchup can seem daunting, but in this tutorial, we’ll show you how to create a parametric cylinder in Sketchup easily. We will go over the basics of creating nodes, using sliders, and exporting your final design. There are quite a few steps, and it may seem confusing if this is your first time using Viz Pro, but take your time and watch the video below if you need help! Ready to jump in? Let’s get started!

Open Viz. To begin creating your parametric design in Sketchup, you’ll first have to open the Viz window. Select the Viz Pro icon in the upper left corner of your toolbar. The left side of the window is the node area, and the right side is the preview area. If you don’t have Viz pro you can get a 15-day free trial here: (support us by using this affiliate link)

Primitive > Cylinder. To begin, hover over the “primitive” tab and select “cylinder” from the dropdown menu. A cylinder will appear in your preview area and a node will pop up in the node area. This node gives you options to customize such as preview, plane, radius, height, and cylinder output.

cylinder node of parametric design in Sketchup

The next thing you want to do is change the radius and height so they will dynamically change with the cylinder. If you double click on the “radius” or “height” button in the nodes area, you can use the slider to increase or decrease the size of each. Another way to do this is by adding sliders into the node area.

Input > Slider. Navigate to the “input” tab and select “slider” from the dropdown. A slider box will appear in the nodes section that you can now customize. Copy and paste the slider. Double click on the first slider and rename it “Radius.” Do the same for the second slider and rename it “Height.”

rename sliders for parametric design in Sketchup

Click and drag the white semicircle from each slider to its respective button on the cylinder node.

drag sliders to node for parametric design in Sketchup

Create Fillet Node. Hit the spacebar on your keyboard to create a new node. Type “fillet” into the search bar and double click on the “fillet” option. Click on the “cylinder” node and drag it to the “Brep” (B) section on the “fillet” node.

Create Fillet Slider. Copy and paste one of the previous sliders you created and click once on the white line to get rid of the node link. Rename this slider by typing “Fillet Radius” in the name box. Click and drag this slider to the “radius” (R) section on the fillet node.

drag fillet radius to fillet node for parametric design in Sketchup

If you drag the “fillet radius” slider now, nothing will happen to your cylinder. To fix this, you will need to add another node.

Create a Brep Node. Hit the spacebar on your keyboard to create a new node. This time, type “Brep” into the search bar and select “Brep components.”

search for Brep for parametric design in Sketchup

Click and drag to attach the “C” on the cylinder node to the “B” on the Brep node. Then, change the “type” on the Brep node by double clicking on the “T.” Select “edges” from the dropdown menu.

change Brep type for parametric design in Sketchup

Then click and drag the “components” (C) section on Brep to the “edges” (E) section on the fillet node.

connect Brep and fillet nodes for parametric design in Sketchup

If nothing happens when you use the fillet radius slider now, it’s because Viz is generating a preview for both the filleted and unfilleted cylinder and the filleted cylinder may be too small to see.

Double click on the cylinder node and adjust the fillet radius slider so it has a different radius. If you want to make the fillet smaller, click on the slider to edit the properties. Try typing a “1” or “2” into the “max” box to change the maximum amount your slider will fillet to. If you want to get rid of the red line in your preview, double click on the “preview” (PR) button on your Brep node.

edit radius settings of parametric design in Sketchup

Exporting Your Parametric Design in Sketchup

Sink > Shell Sink. The final step is exporting your parametric model into Sketchup. To do this navigate to “sink” and select “shell sink.” A new node will appear. Click and drag the “filleted” (F) button from the fillet radius node to the “shell” (S) node. Now, when you look at your Sketchup window, your parametric model will appear there. When you change the width or height in the Viz window, it will also change in Sketchup.

exporting parametric design in Sketchup

Make sure you only create the shell sink when you are done creating your parametric design in Sketchup! Bad parameters are a surefire way to crash SketchUp.

If you’re looking for more helpful Sketchup tutorials, check out our full list here!

Happy Hacking!


  1. allstarcarpetandtiles June 24, 2019 at 10:31 am #

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  2. hamzakhan17826 May 19, 2019 at 7:16 am #

    Ok sure, I will follow your steps before going to do exams. I hope your article will help me more.

  3. karlmistos May 14, 2019 at 10:41 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this. I’ll definitely share this with my classmates at de la salle zobel.

  4. classboat01 October 17, 2018 at 7:37 am #

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  5. mikemoreno September 5, 2018 at 3:48 am #

    thank you very much, verry helpfull…

  6. jogesh12345 August 14, 2018 at 1:55 am #

    Very effective and informative article.Thanks for sharing such an important tutorial.

  7. FLMIMA August 11, 2018 at 9:20 pm #

    Really helpful website

  8. Rumi July 15, 2018 at 7:16 am #

    I feel very grateful that I read this. It is very helpful and very informative and I really learned a lot from it.

  9. RJennings April 28, 2018 at 6:12 pm #

    Thank you for this website. The practice questions are helpful.

  10. Scott March 22, 2018 at 1:50 pm #

    Taking this test on Saturday. Last 4.0 exam to complete for the trio, then on to 5.0. This site is my go-to place when organizing what materials I’ll be studying

  11. shozab January 30, 2018 at 2:22 pm #

    Hi , very good article.

    thanks for sharing, keep up the good work

  12. dyba January 27, 2018 at 1:08 am #

    Good advice. Best of luck to all!

  13. KendraShirley January 16, 2018 at 4:04 pm #

    This is my favorite site for practicing for my tests! Great advise and super helpful.

  14. reximagetrim January 16, 2018 at 10:37 am #

    Nice post to read. A complete guide that can help all of us.

  15. tylerstockholm December 17, 2017 at 9:37 pm #

    Nice one… very helpful! Thanks!!!

  16. Aartiwalvekar November 21, 2017 at 8:56 am #

    Nice post

  17. Aartiwalvekar October 9, 2017 at 9:45 pm #

    Great post!

  18. Tony August 30, 2017 at 7:07 am #

    In the NCARB ARE 5.0 handbook they reference Fundamentals of Building Construction: Materials and Methods in both of their example questions for cost estimating. Unfortunately there isn’t a specific chapter on cost estimating, it’s woven throughout the content.

  19. Spencer August 30, 2017 at 1:15 am #

    What is the best reference for cost estimating for PDD.

  20. Amy July 26, 2017 at 3:24 pm #

    Thanks! Great advice

  21. Tony June 29, 2017 at 7:23 am #

    Deciduous trees should only be used for shade (especially in temperate climates). Deciduous trees lose their leaves in the fall and will have little protection against wind in the winter when it is most needed. Likewise, the leafless trees allow solar heat gain in the winter when it is desired, and shade in the summer.

    Coniferous trees are only to be used to block wind and views. Since they don’t lose their needles, they work great for these two items year-round.

  22. Shahid Logan June 28, 2017 at 4:50 pm #

    Hello. My name is Shahid. This comment is for anyone who would like to reply. On the Siteplanning test. To block the wind, can you use a Deciduous tree or must you use a Coniferous tree?

  23. Mike January 4, 2017 at 11:04 am #

    Hi Tony,

    I need to take 5.0 PPD & PDD. Do you plan on posting notes such as “Caroline’s Notes” that you had posted for the various 4.0 exams for either of those sections? I found those notes to be some of the best resources in studying for the 4.0 sections. If so any idea when? Thanks

  24. Stephen October 17, 2016 at 9:30 pm #

    Hi Tony,
    Any updates on the SS exam ? If there’s an expected release date ? Thanks

  25. DesignerHacks October 4, 2016 at 12:11 pm #


    We are releasing practice exams for the SS exam later this fall.


  26. Paige October 4, 2016 at 11:34 am #

    Will you have SS questions on here at some point?

  27. Daniel September 9, 2016 at 8:47 am #

    Great post, very helpful with the lists of suggested materials, I just passed CDs in July and am taking PPP in November so I definitely needed the list.

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