The Soap Skin Bubble Tool created by a German Engineer, Josef Leibinger. It is a plugin that allows you to apply a skin over an object to create complex curved surfaces in just a click of a button. Well, you do need to input the amount of divisions first and then its as easy as a flick of the Enter button. The amazing part of the plugin is that you see the surface being built in realtime! Makes for a pretty slick animation.
This plugin is made based off of real physics and initially creates the surface at 0 psi, I believe, do not quote me on that. The user also has the ability to apply a certain pressure to the surface. Adding a positive pressure inflates the surface like a balloon and applying a negative deflates it, as you would expect. The program’s physics does have a limitation based on the fact that it does not take into account the surface tension and environment conditions. But regardless still an amazing plugin! See below for a great tutorial from The SketchUp Show.
Overall, the soap skin bubble tool by Josef Leibinger is an essential plugin to have if you are designing complex curves and works great to design aerodynamic projects such as cars. But architects and Frank Lloyd Wright fans, your not left out, this is great for designing 22nd century curvy architecture with ease. At the time of this review this plugin is free and is available at tensile-structures.de. I give this plugin 5 out 5 stars!! A definite must for SketchUp users.