Useful Tips

How to do projects in SketchUp - tips from a professional


In recent years, simple, intuitive programs for modeling objects of varying complexity [1, 2, 3] have become increasingly popular, allowing people who do not have special skills to create this or that model in the shortest possible time with a view to using it to solve various problems [ 4, 5, 6].

One such program is SketchUp, a 3D graphics editor that was released in 2000 and is currently being developed by Trimble.

SketchUp is available in 2 versions: free for non-commercial use, which has some functionality limitations, and paid SketchUp Pro.

The program’s capabilities include an extensive library of ready-made models, materials and styles, support for plug-ins and macros, the ability to work with layers and scenes, the creation of your own ready-made components of models, as well as models of real buildings and structures. The last paragraph distinguishes this program from others, which is associated primarily with the relative simplicity of creating such models.

SketchUp works with graphic files of various formats, such as bmp, jpg, png, dwg, psd, etc., and, if necessary, provides export of models to one or another format.

It should be noted that the SketchUp program interface is completely Russified, which greatly facilitates the work with it.

Consider the process of creating a simple building model in SketchUp - a one-story house with a diamond-shaped roof.

Since any building cannot exist without a foundation, first of all, we will build a regular rectangle on the SketchUp workspace, and then use the Offset tool to build another rectangle inside it with equal indents from each side.

After that, select the rectangle in the center and delete the unnecessary part with the Delete key. Next, we extend our foundation up using the “Pull / Push” tool, which is a proprietary feature (this tool is patented) SketchUp.

The “Pull / Pull” tool (from the English Push / Pull) allows you to push any plane to the side, creating, as it moves, new side walls.

The foundation created in this way is shown in Fig. one.

Figure 1. The foundation of the house created in SketchUp

In a similar way we will build the walls, using the same tools for this: “Displacement” and “Pull / Push”. The result is shown in fig. 2.

To create windows, we need tools such as Roulette, Rectangle, and Pull / Push.

Using a tape measure, set the size and location of the future window, then using the Rectangle tool, insert it along the marking lines. Next, use the Pull / Push tool to squeeze our window out to the through passage.

By the same principle, we build another window on this side and two windows on the other side of the house.

The result obtained is shown in Fig. 3.

Figure 2. Model of the house after creating the walls Figure 3. House model after creating windows

By analogy with the windows, we create a doorway.

Next, we build the roof of the house. To do this, use the Line tool. In the upper part of the house, we automatically find the midpoint and draw a line up. Then we draw lines from the top to the edges, the areas inside the resulting figures are painted over. Repeat the same steps for each side. To complete the creation of the roof, it is necessary to connect the line to its upper parts.

The result obtained is shown in Fig. four.

Figure 4. Model of the house after creating the door and roof

If necessary, you can create steps to the front door. To do this, all the same tools “Roulette”, “Line”, “Rectangle” and “Pull / Push” are used.

To create a veranda, you must first place two pillars near the house, and then build a roof, similar to the roof of the house.

Finish creating a model home. First of all, delete all unnecessary lines that were used in the measurements. Next, we will color our model by filling in its individual parts with different colors from the color palette that is in SketchUp, while applying various types of materials from the ones available.

The result of creating the model is shown in Fig. 5.

Figure 5. The result of creating a model in SketchUp

Thus, as can be seen from the example, the process of creating three-dimensional models in SketchUp is quite simple and does not require any special knowledge in the field of modeling or drawing skills from its users, which allows you to use this program to solve various problems associated with creating graphic models of objects.


  1. Sedova N.A. Computer modeling of intelligent autopilot steering for various types of ships // Bulletin of the Maritime State University. 2016.Vol. 75.S. 104-107.
  2. Antipin A.F. Organization of the effective work of teachers in the conditions of a rating educational system // Applied Informatics. 2014. No. 3. P. 48-59.
  3. Mustafina S.A., Stepashina E.V. Reduction of kinetic schemes of complex chemical processes based on the graph-theoretic approach // Bulletin of Kazan Technological University. 2014. No. 10. P. 17-20.
  4. Antipin A.F. Overview of problem situations in the program code // Modern equipment and technologies. 2015. No. 2. P. 82-85.
  5. Stepashina E.V. Optimization of financial indicators of an enterprise based on a neural network model // Information Systems and Technologies. 2014. No. 5. P. 34-42.
  6. Sedova N.A., Sedov V.A. Methods for assessing the quality of solutions // South Siberian Scientific Bulletin. 2012. No. 1. S. 88-91.
  7. Antipina E.V., Antipin A.F. The use of intelligent technologies for the analysis of multidimensional data // Young scientist. 2014. No. 19. S. 172-175.

The electronic periodical is registered with the Federal Service for Supervision of Telecommunications, Information Technologies and Mass Communications (Roskomnadzor), certificate of registration of mass media - EL No. FS77-41429 of July 23, 2010

Media co-founders: Dolganov A.A., Mayorov E.V.

A new approach to design

SketchUp is designed for users who prefer to design, rather than study computer programs. So, just one click allows you to turn a two-dimensional figure into a three-dimensional object, and a couple more clicks - create a copy of this object. You can even apply different wood textures to the model to decide which material to use to make it look better — for example, walnut or maple.

Sometimes it seems that SketchUp is reading your mind. For example, if you need to find the middle of the line, the “analytical center” of the program will display a corresponding message as soon as the cursor approaches this point. This also applies to other points in your drawing.

In fact, no program will think for you. The program will not give any warnings if the spike in the joint is 6 mm longer than necessary and does not criticize the cabinet proportions with a width of 30 cm and a height of 2.4 m. In addition, if you plan to use the sketch prepared in SketchUp when working on product, it must be accurate and detailed.

Compared to standard SketchUp colors and textures, the free IDX Renditioner Express add-on module ( represents a significant improvement. It gives realism and allows you to add natural or artificial lighting to understand how your project will look in kind. All this is done right in SketchUp.

Mastering SketchUp Basics

Download and install Google SketchUp * on your computer using the instructions on the previous page. Follow the on-screen instructions during installation.

* In the preparation of this article was usedSketchupversion 6. The later version you downloaded may look different. All versions have options forWindowsand for Mae. To find out if the new version will work on your computer, check out «RequirementsSketchuphardware and software ”, located in the“ Downloads ”section of the

When you first start the program, it will ask you to set the default settings. Select the Product Design and Woodworking template and the millimeters measurement unit. You can change these settings later with the menu command. Window - »Options. (If you are unfamiliar with this terminology, refer to the image of the program window in the upper center.)

Next, learn the basics of working in the program using guides from Google. Go to sections Training Courses - Video Tutorials and Training Courses - Walkthroughs and study the lessons they have, starting with the “For new SketchUp users” lessons. These guides will guide you step by step from the initial introduction to the program to creating complex models. For this article, you'll need to complete the tutorials right down to "For users familiar with SketchUp." If you want to see on-screen prompts depicting the action of different instruments, enable the function Okie "Textbook. From the very beginning, develop the habit of using time-saving commands called with the mouse and keyboard shortcuts listed on the right. Having learned how to create three-dimensional objects and move around them, you will be ready to apply these skills to a carpentry project.

Example robots - napkin holder

To show how to simulate a real carpentry in SketchUp, we used a napkin holder project as a model. This means that we already have the dimensions of all the parts. When designing a product from scratch, first determine its overall dimensions on paper or using a preliminary model that you can change later on. It's time to turn on your computer, open SketchUp, and get started.

We study modeling in SketchUp using an example

1. To simulate a napkin holder, first create a new modeling window using the “Product Design and Woodworking” template. Using the dialog box Model Data window, set accuracy to 1 mm. Now draw a rectangle and delete it. Note that the prompts in the status bar vary depending on the tool selected.

2. Set aside the distances from the red and green axes with the tool Roulette, to create guide lines for the legs and the top rail (or enter their values ​​in the control window Dimensions). Draw a rectangle along these guides using the tool Rectangle.

3. Using a tool Roulette set guide points on one of the long sides of the rectangle 10 mm from the corners (if necessary, increase the viewing angle). Using tool Arc, click on the guide points and slowly move the mouse pointer until the end of the arc is set to the position corresponding to a quarter of the circle.

4. Using a tool The choice Select one of the straight sides of the resulting sector. The key Delete (not Eraser) delete it and the area adjacent to it, then delete another line. To duplicate this leg shape, you divide the rectangle and use the tool Move with pressed key Shift (on computers Mae - key Option). After you have finished with the contours of the legs and staff, pull them out with the tool Pull / Push to a thickness of 13 mm.

5. Drawing new guide lines and drawing a rectangle for the support, mark the parallel curves using the guide points and the tool Arc. Select and delete corners to get an arched shape.

6. Using the tool Lines Mark the intersections of the rectangles forming the recesses with the arc and delete these lines. Next, finish the meadow shape and make a copy of it. On one of the parts, draw the groove lines using the guide lines and the tool Line.

7. Using a tool Pull / Push pull both supports up to a thickness of 13 mm. To create grooves for the pillars in the supports, lower the sections between the lines drawn on stage 6. When the parts are ready, remove the guide lines.

8. SketchUp does not build parabolic curves, only fragments of circles. To draw this arc, add guide points where indicated and using the tool Arc stretch the curve slowly to the desired shape. Remove the excess area and extend the part to a thickness of 13 mm.

9. Sometimes it is required to obtain a mirror reflection of the part, as is the case with a napkin rack. Using tool Move and holding the key Control (on Mac computers - Option), Duplicate the rack and do not deselect. In the context menu, select the command Flip By - Red axis of the component (in this case) to create a mirror copy.

10. To round the ribs, set the guide points on two adjacent lines of one of the ends at a distance of 3 mm from the corner. Draw a quarter circle between these points. By zooming in, make sure that the arc does not go beyond straight lines. Select the corner and tool Teeny drag the corner to the opposite end where it should disappear. You see several closely spaced parallel lines, because SketchUp does not build perfect curves, but forms them from a series of flat faces.

11. To prepare the parts for assembly, first turn them to the desired position with the tool Turn. Turning the part, check that it is installed along the desired axis, in this case blue. When a match is reached, the program will display the corresponding inscription.

12. Since the prepared drawings are intended for sawing parts on them, it is useful to put down the dimensions with a tool Size indicator. (Dimensions will not be stamped on copies of parts.) To group the faces and edges that make up each part, three times click on one of the surfaces of the part and select Create Group from the context menu.

13. Now let's virtually assemble our product. The distance between the legs of the napkin holder is 102 mm, so create two parallel guide lines at the specified distance from each other and one perpendicular guide line that serves to align the legs. When aligning grouped surfaces and edges of a part, do not pay attention to the blue selection borders that designate the part - they cannot be aligned with guide lines. Zoom in on the guides and move the leg face to one of the guide lines, and the butt end to the perpendicular guide line. 11check their installation using Roulettes.Measurement result before which the tilde sign (

), means that the distance is measured approximately and the part may not be installed accurately.

14. To precisely place one part on another, use guide points and intersecting lines of grouped parts. For example, napkin holder supports are installed at a distance of 6 mm from the ends of the legs. Use Roulette to set the guide point 6 mm from the end of the leg. Using tool Move lift a copy of the extreme support and approximately put it into place. After moving the cursor to the corner of the notch, move the support until its angle coincides with the guide point. Check the position of the support on the opposite leg. You can use this technique to connect the guides to the extreme support.

15. If you want the parts to remain connected to each other, group them in the same way as previously done with the top rail using the command To create a group in the context menu. To leave a gap of 1.5 mm between the rail and racks at both ends of the napkin holder, using a tool Roulette put a guide point on the bottom of the rail, 1.5 mm indent from its end. Inserting a clip with a rail between the racks on both sides of the napkin holder, bring the guide point to the edge of the rack. Now using tools Orbit and Panorama, You can view your finished model from different angles.

16. Vivid colors used to distinguish details do not allow visualization of the finished project. Use the wood texture samples available in the dialog box. Color, or download the texture set from Right-click on each of the grouped parts and select the command from the context menu Disconnect. Assign the texture immediately with the Fill tool and group again.

17. Textures of maple and walnut (breeds recommended in the description of the design of the napkin holder) will give the model a more realistic look.