Chapter 1

Is SketchUp The Right Tool For You?



SketchUp is used by over 38 million people to create 3D models of their design ideas. That makes it the most popular 3D design tool in the world.

But is it the right tool for you?

This chapter will help you figure that out.

Read on to find out if professionals are using SketchUp to do what you need to do.

Chapter 1 icon

If you're a professional in any of the following fields...

architecture

Architecture

interior design

Interior Design

kitchen & bath design

Kitchen & Bath Design

home building

Home Building

construction

Construction

landscape architecture

Landscape Architecture

commercial interiors

Commercial Interiors

engineering

Engineering

urban planning

Urban Planning

film, stage & entertainment design

Film, Stage & Entertainment Design

product design & manufacturing

Product Design & Manufacturing

woodworking

Woodworking

event design

Event Design

graphic design

Graphic Design

game design

Game Design

...OR if you’re interested in using SketchUp for any of the following purposes...

conceptual & schematic design

Conceptual & Schematic Design

design development & presentation

Design Development & Presentation

photorealistic rendering

Photorealistic Renderings

Drawings & Construction Documents

Drawings & Construction Documents

3D printing

3D Printing or CNC Machining

Virtual & Augmented Reality

Virtual & Augmented Reality

...then SketchUp is right for you!

In the next chapter, we'll help you decide which version of SketchUp is best for your specific needs.

Ready?

Ok! Let's dive in.

Chapter 2

SketchUp Pro vs Free vs Shop vs Studio

(How to Choose the Right Version)


As a professional, do you need SketchUp Pro? Or can you still get the job done using SketchUp Free?

In this chapter, we'll show you why SketchUp Pro is the right choice for professionals by highlighting the key features you'll need to use on the job.

We'll also show you why SketchUp Free and SketchUp Shop are more suited for DIYers and hobbyists by comparing their features to SketchUp Pro.

By the end of the chapter, you'll know for sure if you need SketchUp Pro.

Chapter 2 icon

If you’re a professional, you need SketchUp Pro


SketchUp Pro has all of the tools and features that you're going to need to do your job.

If you're not sure you need Pro, just check out the video below.

It covers the 10 SketchUp Pro features that design professionals depend on to get the job done.

If you see a feature you need, then you know you need SketchUp Pro.

Super easy.






How much is SketchUp Pro going to cost you?

There are a few costs to be aware of when you're thinking about buying SketchUp Pro:


SketchUp Pro Costs

1) Initial Purchase ($695)

SketchUp Pro costs $695 for a license that never expires. With the license, you also get any updates to SketchUp Pro for one year, plus help & support from the SketchUp team.

info Note: You might qualify for discounted pricing if you are a student ($49/year), educator (free), or work for a nonprofit ($39/year).


2) Future Upgrades ($120/year)

Each year, SketchUp releases a new version of SketchUp Pro. Existing users can upgrade to the newest version for $120.

info Note: After 30 days, the upgrade price increases to $180. And after 1-year, it increases to $240.


3) Extensions (some free, some paid)

Extensions save you time or allow you to do things you otherwise couldn't.

Want to know what extensions you should install? Tell us what you're using SketchUp for and we'll make some recommendations.




4) Training (prices vary)

If you’re going to invest in SketchUp Pro, plan on investing time and money into learning how to use it correctly.

For advice about how to learn SketchUp, jump to Chapter 3.





Is a free trial available? (Yes, a 30-day free trial)

Yes! SketchUp offers a 30-day free trial of SketchUp Pro.




What are the recommended hardware & software requirements?

First, it's important to note that SketchUp Pro works on desktop or laptop computers that are running either Windows or MacOS operating systems.

SketchUp Pro does not work on mobile devices running Android or iOS operating systems.

Whether you have a desktop or laptop computer, here are the recommended specifications for running SketchUp Pro:


SketchUp Pro Hardware Recommendations

  • CPU: 2.1GHz+ processor
  • RAM: 8GB+
  • GPU: 1GB+ memory. Make sure it's 3D class and supports:
    • hardware acceleration
    • OpenGL 3.0+
  • Plus a 3-button scroll wheel mouse (Highly Recommended)

If your computer doesn't meet the recommended specifications above, check the SketchUp website to see if it meets their minimum requirements.




Where do I go to download and install SketchUp Pro?

After you’ve confirmed that your computer meets the requirements, go here to download SketchUp Pro.

If you need any help installing or authorizing SketchUp Pro, go here.

What about SketchUp Shop?


SketchUp Shop is a version of SketchUp specifically for DIY designers, makers, and woodworkers.

It has a feature set designed to meet their needs (e.g. interface with 3D printers, CNC routers and other shop machines).

A major difference between Shop and Pro is that SketchUp Shop is a web application that you run in a browser while connected to the Internet whereas SketchUp Pro is a downloadable application that you can use offline.

While SketchUp Pro has all of the features that SketchUp Shop has, SketchUp Shop lacks many features that come with SketchUp Pro. Here's a list:


SketchUp Pro vs SketchUp Shop

FEATURE SKETCHUP SHOP SKETCHUP PRO
Build 3D models
Geo-Locate Models
Import & Export STL files
Import & Export Images
Use Commercially
Import & Export CAD and 3D files
Use solid modeling tools
Use Outliner
Watermark-free
Unlimited Projects
Technical Support
Use Offline
Import & Export PDF files
Create multi-page presentations
Produce construction drawings
Give Full-screen presentations
Export Animations
Create Dynamic Components
Use Advanced Cameras
Use Sandbox Tools
Generate lists & reports
Import, Export, & Create IFC Files
Make hand-drawn rendering styles
Model from Terrain & Satellite Imagery
Add Extensions



What's the price difference?

Here are the costs associated with using SketchUp Shop:


SketchUp Shop Costs

1) Annual Subscription ($119/year)

For more info about buying the subscription, go to SketchUp’s website.


2) Training (prices vary)

If you’re going to get the most out of your SketchUp Shop subscription, plan to invest in learning how to use it well.

For advice about how to learn SketchUp, jump to Chapter 3.




Is a free trial available? (No, but...)

No, not for SketchUp Shop. However, you do have 14 days from the date of purchase to request a full refund for your SketchUp Shop subscription.

Also, you can try out the core 3D modeling tools & functionality by using SketchUp Free. You'll lack some features that come with SketchUp Shop, but can get an idea of what it feels like to create a 3D model of your project. (Check the table below to see the feature differences.)




What are the recommended hardware & software requirements?

First, it's important to note that SketchUp Shop is a web application that runs on most internet-connected computers via a recommended browser (e.g., Chrome 59+ or Firefox 52+).


SketchUp Shop Hardware Requirements

Minimum Recommended
2.1+ GHz Intel processor 2.8+ GHz Intel processor
4GB RAM 8GB+ RAM
700MB of available hard-disk space 1GB+ of available hard-disk space
Intel HD integrated graphics card with 512MB+ video memory Discrete Graphics card (e.g., AMD Radeon R9 M37X 2048MB)

What about SketchUp Free?



You may be tempted to see if you can get away with using SketchUp Free, because, well, it’s FREE!

For a professional, that would be a mistake.  

Because while SketchUp Free has the same core 3D modeling tools as SketchUp Pro and SketchUp Shop, it's missing a number of features you'll eventually need.

Take a look:


SKETCHUP FREE vs SKETCHUP SHOP vs SKETCHUP PRO

FEATURE SKETCHUP FREE SKETCHUP SHOP SKETCHUP PRO
Build 3D models
Geo-Locate Models
Import & Export STL files
Import & Export Images
Use Commercially
Import & Export CAD and 3D files
Use solid modeling tools
Use Outliner
Watermark-free
Unlimited Projects
Technical Support
Use Offline
Import & Export PDF files
Create multi-page presentations
Produce construction drawings
Give Full-screen presentations
Export Animations
Create Dynamic Components
Use Advanced Cameras
Use Sandbox Tools
Generate lists & reports
Import, Export, & Create IFC Files
Make hand-drawn rendering styles
Model from Terrain & Satellite Imagery
Add Extensions

Of course, you might still want to try SketchUp Free for yourself before committing to SketchUp Pro or SketchUp Shop.

If so, first check that your computer meets SketchUp’s hardware and software requirements:


SKETCHUP FREE HARDWARE REQUIREMENTS

Minimum Recommended
2.1+ GHz Intel processor 2.8+ GHz Intel processor
4GB RAM 8GB+ RAM
700MB of available hard-disk space 1GB+ of available hard-disk space
Intel HD integrated graphics card with 512MB+ video memory Discrete Graphics card (e.g., AMD Radeon R9 M37X 2048MB)

Once you’ve done that, click here to launch SketchUp Free.

What about SketchUp Make?

SketchUp Make is no longer supported, but you can still download SketchUp Make 2017 here.

Still not sure which version is right for you?  

We can help you figure out which version of SketchUp you need. Just click here for help.


Chapter 3

The SketchUp Tutorial Every Beginner Should Watch First

(Plus, tips for how to master the fundamentals)


Want to avoid struggling needlessly?

We've all heard somebody say that SketchUp is ridiculously easy to learn.

Unfortunately, this is an exaggeration.

The truth is that if you plan to use SketchUp professionally, you should plan to invest some time and money into learning how to do things the right way.

This chapter will help you invest wisely.

Chapter 3 icon

Watch This First!



We created a free SketchUp tutorial that we recommend you watch before you get started with SketchUp Pro.

The video tutorial covers 5 critical concepts that self taught users either don't know or have had to learn the hard way.

Watch it, and your future self will thank you.  



Now, let's talk about how to master the fundamentals.

Before we do that, we want to share a story that one of our former students, a Residential Architect named Tom, told us before he took a class with us:


Everybody told me that SketchUp was easy to learn.

So I downloaded it, and immediately tried to model my own house.

And I was doing pretty well at first.

But the closer I got to completing the model of my house, the more often I got stuck and had to search the Internet for help.

Eventually though, I got to a point where I decided my SketchUp model was done and felt good about what I had accomplished.

BUT the first time I used SketchUp on the job...

I was on a deadline, everything in the model needed to be right, and when design changes came up, I needed to be able to make them.

And I couldn't do it. It was a total disaster.

I was in way over my head.



Lots of people make the same mistake Tom made. But it's completely avoidable.

You just need to invest in some training.

If you’re serious about learning SketchUp...

You need take a well-structured class with a curriculum designed to give you a comprehensive introduction to SketchUp.

Good news: We have a course called The Complete Intro to SketchUp that does exactly that!  

It's in our Video Course Library, along with other courses on more advanced professional topics. All of the courses are based on in-person classes we teach that cost between $1200 and $1500 to attend. We've just broken them down into bite-sized video tutorials that provide a more convenient and economical way for professionals to take our classes.

You can find out more about our Video Course Library here.

Now, if you're the kind of person that needs to be sitting in a classroom with an instructor, tell us where you're located and we'll see if we can make a recommendation.


If you can't afford to invest in professional training...

We'd recommend starting with the free tutorials on SketchUp's website.

You might also want to check out YouTube. Just be careful: When you're new to SketchUp, it's hard to tell the difference between a good tutorial and one that teaches you the wrong way to do something.


Once you’ve got a solid foundation, you’re ready to build professional skills

That’s where Chapter 4 comes into play…

Chapter 4

SketchUp’s More Advanced Features

(An Introduction)


Planning to use SketchUp professionally?

You're going to need to know about some of SketchUp's more advanced features.

This chapter can help.

Chapter 4 icon
SketchUp Free SketchUp Shop SketchUp Pro

Import As-Built Drawings or Reference Files



Often, at the start of your project, you’ll need to reference other sketches, drawings and files.

SketchUp has an Import feature that allows you to bring these sorts of reference files right into your 3D modeling environment.

This helps you do things like:

Bring-in a site plan or a floor plan and build your SketchUp model right on top of it.

import floorplan

Add images that you can trace over or just use as a reference right inside your 3D model

import image

Or work with folks using other CAD programs by importing files they created in another application.

import cad

Here’s a complete list of the file types you can import:


IMPORT FILE TYPES

  • Image Files (.jpg, .png, .tif, .bmp, .psd, .tga, .pdf, .eps)
  • CAD Files (.dwg, .dxf)
  • STL Files (.stl)
  • Collada Files (.dae)
  • 3D Studio Files (.3ds)
  • DEM Files (.dem, .ddf)



SketchUp Free SketchUp Shop SketchUp Pro

Import Real World Terrain



When you’re designing something with a location in mind, it can be helpful to build a 3D model in the context of its environment.

SketchUp’s Geolocation feature allows you import a real-world location into your 3D model.

Specifically, it will pull-in a 2D satellite image AND a 3D terrain model.

2d satellite image
3D terrain model

This allows you to build your 3D model on the satellite image to make sure you’ve oriented it properly,

model on satellite image

and then position the model into the 3D terrain to see how it fits into the environment.

model positioned on 3D terrain

Also, SketchUp knows exactly where the sun will be shining for any date and time given the location you choose.

What does that mean?

Read about SketchUp’s Shadows feature next...




SketchUp Free SketchUp Shop SketchUp Pro

Visualize exactly where the Sunlight and Shadows will be



Beyond knowing how your 3D model will situate into the environment around it, it can be important to know what will be in sunlight or in shadows for a given date and time.

Once you’ve geolocated your model, you can use SketchUp’s Shadows feature to set the date and time.

sketchup's shadows feature

And then you can make design decisions that will provide more shade, or let more sunlight in.

Want to see how sunlight and shadows will track across the environment over the course of the day or year?

No problem:

You can create shadow studies that animate the path of the shadows from morning to evening.




SketchUp Free SketchUp Shop SketchUp Pro

Style your 3D Model for Presentations



You probably have an app on your phone that comes with photo filters, where it takes just a single tap to give your picture a whole new look and feel.

SketchUp’s Styles feature is similar, only a lot more powerful.

Want to present your 3D model as more of a conceptual sketch?

conceptual sketch style

No problem.

Or you’d rather give it a more artistic, watercolor-like look?

watercolor style

Done.

Or maybe you need to generate a more technical looking drawing?

technical style

Simple.

You can pick from a gallery of pre-made Styles. And, if you have SketchUp Shop or SketchUp Pro, you can custom create your own, editing the look of your model's Edges, Faces, Background and more.




SketchUp Free SketchUp Shop SketchUp Pro

Download free, pre-made SketchUp Models from the 3D Warehouse



In SketchUp, you don’t need to draw everything from scratch. Not when you can grab 3D models of almost anything you could possibly need from the 3D Warehouse.

3D Warehouse is a website that contains millions of SketchUp models that are free to download directly into your 3D model.

3D Warehouse Homepage

For example:

If you’re modeling a building, you can search for all of the products and materials you’d like to include.

You can even search for brand names - many companies offer their entire product catalog, and other SketchUp users contribute real-world products as well.

So you can go from your bare 3D model,

model without products

to one that’s all dressed-up and ready to go without having to create everything yourself.

model with products

But the Warehouse isn’t just for building products:

If you can dream it, it’s probably already on the 3D Warehouse.

To start browsing and downloading 3D models, you can visit the 3D Warehouse website, or access it directly inside SketchUp:

3D Warehouse Menu Item (Window > 3D Warehouse)



SketchUp Free SketchUp Shop SketchUp Pro

Export your SketchUp Model to use in another Application



One of the things that makes SketchUp so popular is that it works well with other tools you or your colleagues are already using.

Specifically, SketchUp can export many different file types that can be used by other applications.

sketchup export menu item screenshot (File > Export > 3D Model)
sketchup export options: COLLADA (.dae), VRML (.wrl), AUTOCAD (.dwg and .dxf), Google Earth (.kmz), 3DS (.3ds), STereoLithography (.stl), FBX (.fbx), XSI (.xsi), OBJ (.obj), IFC (.ifc)

So an architect can export a .dwg file to open in AutoCAD or Revit... while someone interested in 3D printing their model can export a .stl file to send to the printer.

If you need to get your SketchUp model into another program, this feature will be especially important for you.




SketchUp Free SketchUp Shop SketchUp Pro

Give SketchUp Superpowers with Extensions



With your phone, you’ve been told “there’s an app for that!”.

Well, with SketchUp, you have a similar situation:

You can add apps called “Extensions” to give SketchUp new powers to solve a wide variety of problems.

You can add Extensions that do simple, useful things like round or bevel corners.

before using round or bevel corners extension
after using round or bevel corners extension

Or you can find ones that do harder things like create complex, organic shapes.

before using artisan extensions
after using artisan extension
sefaira extension

Basically, anytime you run into a problem you can’t seem to solve with SketchUp’s native tools, there are two main places to search for extensions that can help: SketchUp's Extension Warehouse and Sketchucation's Plugin Store.




SketchUp Free SketchUp Shop SketchUp Pro

Create Fly-through or Walk-through Tours of your Model



As awesome as it can be to orbit around your SketchUp model, it’s a little more cumbersome to try to fly around it during a client presentation.

To give your clients a better experience, you can use SketchUp’s Animation feature to create engaging walk-through or fly-through tours that you either click through like a 3d slideshow, or that you save as a video file you can share or play on the big screen.

One of the most popular kinds of animations to create is a walking tour through each room in a building, guiding a client to imagine what it would feel like to walk through the real space.

But some SketchUp users really push the boundaries, creating animations that show changes in the model - for example, showing the phases of construction over time.




SketchUp Free SketchUp Shop SketchUp Pro

Turn your 3D SketchUp Model into 2D Presentation Documents with LayOut


sketchup model to 2d presentation

Once you’ve created a 3D model in SketchUp, chances are that you’ll need to produce a set of scaled drawings or presentation documents.

And whether you need to create a dimensioned floor plan, a series of labeled diagrams and details, or a full set of detailed construction documents - LayOut is the tool for the job.

Here's how it works:

In SketchUp, you set-up a scene of your model - a plan view for example.

before set-up scene
after set-up scene

Then in LayOut, you document that view by adding dimensions, labels and text.

document view in LayOut

And in LayOut, you also have tools for creating custom graphics, importing photos, creating title blocks... and basically anything else you might need to create a compelling presentation.

(Note: If you want to learn more about using LayOut to create detailed construction documents, jump to Chapter 6)

LayOut is a powerful application in-and-of-itself and we highly recommend that you invest time into learning the fundamentals well.

As with learning SketchUp, if you’re serious about using LayOut on the job, you should either search for a class from a trusted instructor, or opt for an online video course library membership (which includes LayOut classes).




SketchUp Free SketchUp Shop SketchUp Pro

Visualize and Design the Landscape with Sandbox Tools



When your job calls for a SketchUp model that includes the landscape - either the existing features or the stuff you are designing - you’ll be thankful for the Sandbox Tools.

With the Sandbox tools, you can create 3D terrain from scratch or generate it from imported topography files.

And then use them to overlay site elements.

overlay site elements

Clearly the Sandbox tools were made with Landscape Designers in mind.

But they can also be used to create other organic or undulating surfaces, making them useful to SketchUp users across most industries.




SketchUp Free SketchUp Shop SketchUp Pro

Create Watertight Models with the Solid Tools



Some jobs require you to create a “Solid” model. A solid model is commonly described as a watertight model.

Take a cube for example:

cube

If it has all six sides in tact, and they are all attached at the edges, it’s a solid.

But if it is missing a side,

cube missing one side

or the edges don’t meet up,

edges don't meet up

water would leak out (if it was filled with virtual water!), which means it would not be a solid.

This sort of thing is important when you want to create a 3D model that can be 3D printed.

Or when you’re relying on getting accurate volume calculations.

Enter the Solid Tools: They help you take existing solids and combine them to create more complicated solid models.

For example:

You can use one solid to cut another to create accurate joinery.

Or you can take an object made of several parts and combine them into a single, solid outer shell for 3D printing.

birdhouse with several parts
3D printabe birdhouse

(Note: For more information about 3D printing, jump to Chapter 8: Creating Models for 3D Printing)




SketchUp Free SketchUp Shop SketchUp Pro

Work with smart, Dynamic Components that change size, color and more



In SketchUp, objects that you might use more than once, in the same 3D model or in a future project, are typically turned into Components.

The types of objects that become components might even represent real-world products - things like cabinets, fencing or sliding glass doors.

In the real world, those sorts of products usually come in a variety of configurations of color, shape, size, material and more. But SketchUp components can only represent one configuration.

Take a cabinet for example:

dynamic component model of cabinet

A SketchUp component of a cabinet might be for the 36” wide option. If you wanted to use the 48” wide option instead, you’d need to have an additional component to represent that size.

Unless the cabinet was made as a Dynamic Component...

A Dynamic Component of the cabinet can be programmed to be shown in either the 36” or 48” wide configuration.

At the same time, it can also be programmed to show different color and material options, different door and drawer configurations and even different styles.

It gets better:

You also can program behaviors that tell the doors to swing open or the drawers to open when clicked.

And you can add information like the product name, price, description, links to the product website and more.

But the cabinet is just one example.

A fence might be programmed so that when someone uses the Scale tool to stretch it across the yard, it automatically adds extra slats and posts (rather than warping).

And a Dynamic Component of a sliding glass door system might let the user enter a custom width and height that will dynamically change the component to fit the opening in their house model.

There are just a couple things to understand about Dynamic Components:

1) You can use Dynamic Components someone else created

Many people and companies have uploaded their Dynamic Component models to the 3D Warehouse. You can download them into SketchUp Pro just like you would with a regular component, then use the Dynamic Component tools to interact with and configure them.

To find Dynamic Components in the 3D Warehouse, start by opening the 3D Warehouse dialog

3D Warehouse Menu Screenshot

Then search for something like “cabinet”.

3D Warehouse search screenshot

Then click the switch next to Dynamic Components.

3D Warehouse dynamic components filter

And download the one you like.

2) Or you can create your own Dynamic Components

It’s definitely a more advanced skill to learn, but worth the time if it will save you or your customer a bunch of time.




SketchUp Free SketchUp Shop SketchUp Pro

Know exactly what will be in the frame of your shot with the Advanced Camera Tools



When you’re working in SketchUp, you’re essentially looking through a camera at your 3D model.

But what kind of camera?

And where exactly is it located?

If these questions are important to you, then you need the Advanced Camera Tools.

These tools allow you to specify the exact camera type you want to look through - say a 35mm digital camera for example.

Then you see black bars that indicate which parts of your model will be in the shot given the position of your camera.

black bars when using advanced camera tools

And they place a physical camera in your model so you can actually see where the camera would sit.

camera in model when using advanced camera tools

This feature is incredibly useful for Production Designers, Art Directors and Set Designers in the Film, Stage & Entertainment industries as they can visualize which elements of the set will be seen on camera before having to build it out.

There are two ways the Advanced Camera Tools help you specify which type of camera you’ll be using:

1) You can select from a list of cameras

camera options with advanced camera tools

2) Or, you can create your own custom camera, specifying the Focal Length, Aspect Ratio and Image Width

create custom camera with advanced camera tools

Once you’ve selected your camera, you have access to traditional camera moves such as Pan, Roll, Tilt, Dolly, Truck and Pedestal.




SketchUp Free SketchUp Shop SketchUp Pro

Build a 3D Model from a Photo



When you’re designing something new, or remodeling an existing space, it can be really helpful to show what your design will look like in the real-world.

That’s where SketchUp’s Match Photo feature comes into play:

You can take a photo of the existing condition and then use it to help you overlay your 3D model into the context of the environment.

This is a huge win for someone who’s an Interior Decorator looking to help a client visualize how furniture will look in an existing space.

interior design example before
interior design example after

And it’s also awesome for a Builder who wants to show how a new building will fit into the existing neighborhood.

builder example

And the fun doesn’t stop there: Match Photo allows you to take the opposite approach and use a photo as the basis for creating a 3D model of something in it.

For example: Let’s say you’re a Set Designer and you want to create a 3D model of a real-world building so you can re-design it as part of your film set. You take a picture of the building, then use Match Photo to set-up the photo so you can quickly build a 3D replica.

picture of a building
3D model of a Building

And then design-in your set elements!

car next to building



SketchUp Free SketchUp Shop SketchUp Pro

Add useful Information to your Model & create helpful Reports



When SketchUp looks at this model, what do you think it sees?

dresser drawers
MESSAGE

Hey SketchUp, check out my model! Can you tell what it is?

  HUMAN

Geometry!

sketchup's logo
  SKETCHUP

Huh?

  HUMAN

You know, a bunch of endpoints, edges and faces.

sketchup's logo
  SKETCHUP

Don’t you mean "a dresser"?

  HUMAN

Huh?

sketchup's logo
  SKETCHUP

SketchUp is a tool for creating geometry. We use SketchUp to create geometry that represents real-world stuff. And naturally, we desperately want SketchUp to understand what our 3D models represent!

But out of the box, SketchUp doesn’t know anything about what we’ve created. It thinks the dresser is just a bunch of geometry.

Fortunately, SketchUp’s Classification and Reporting features can help us bridge the communication gap.

These features allow you to label objects with information about what they are.

Then, you can generate a report of the objects in your model and it will include the information you added.

  • Interior Designers can use these features to create product and materials schedules.
  • Contractors can use them for creating estimates and job quotes.
  • Woodworkers can use them to general a materials list.
  • Civil Engineers can perform quantity takeoffs.
  • Architects can add IFC classifications and share the model with colleagues who use sophisticated BIM (Building Information Modeling) software.

And the list goes on.

Really, how you use these features will depend heavily on the type of work you do. So long as you input the right kind of information into your model, you can output reports that help you get the job done.

There are a few ways to input data:

1) Add data to Components via Advanced Attributes

advanced attributes

2) Add data to Dynamic Components

dynamic component info

3) Create your own Schema and add via Components Advanced Attributes

SketchUp comes preloaded with the IFC 2x3 schema. (IFC stands for Industry Foundation Classes, an open data model standard for building information.)

What’s a schema, you might ask?

It’s like an outline of how a group of things fits together.

So the IFC 2x3 schema allows people involved in Building Information Modeling to share data in a standardized way - where a “door” in one software can be understood to be a “door” in another software.

If that’s important to you, you can classify objects via Advanced Attributes since the IFC 2x3 schema comes preloaded.

But what if you have another classification system, or schema, in mind?

Let’s say you have a catalog of Furniture and inside you have the furniture types of bed, dresser and nightstand. You could create a Furniture schema that allowed you to standardize the tagging of objects.

After adding data, create your report

When you've finished adding data to your SketchUp model, you can create a report template and generate a .csv report. It will contain all of the information you added, plus other things SketchUp already knows about your model such as quantity, length, volume and more.

spreadsheet

(Note: For more information on reporting, jump down to Chapter 7: Creating Estimates, Takeoffs and More)




SketchUp Free SketchUp Shop SketchUp Pro

Share the full 3D experience of your Model with the SketchUp Viewer app



Sometimes, it’s best to let others experience your 3D model for themselves.

If they have the SketchUp Viewer app, they can take the controls and orbit around, walk through or fly over your model anyway they like.

The SketchUp Viewer app is available for three different devices:

1) Desktop app (free)

Email your model to a client who has the SketchUp Viewer app installed and they can navigate around your design on their own time.

SketchUp Viewer app

2) Mobile app (free)

Upload your model to the cloud and your client can view it on their Android or iOS device while they’re away from their desk.

SketchUp Mobile Viewer

3) Hololens app ($1499)

If you own the Hololens device, you can purchase the SketchUp Viewer app for Hololens and use them together to step into an Augmented Reality (AR) version of your SketchUp model and walk through it at 1:1 scale.

Hololens AR Mode

Or you can project it as a scaled down “hologram” on a table as a replacement to a foam core model.

Hololens tabletop mode



SketchUp Free SketchUp Shop SketchUp Pro

Program SketchUp to solve harder problems with the Ruby API



As you can probably tell by now, SketchUp is a very powerful tool that can do a number of amazing things.

If you take a closer look underneath the hood, you’ll see that SketchUp is equipped with a powerful plain text programming language called Ruby

Ok, but why should you care?

In SketchUp, you have access to a Ruby API (Application Programming Interface).

SketchUp's Ruby API documentation

That means you can write lines of Ruby code that program SketchUp to do things.

What kind of things?

Well, there are three general types of problems the Ruby API can help you solve:

1) Automate repetitive tasks

For starters, you can program SketchUp to automate the kinds of tasks where you find yourself clicking hundreds of times in a fairly repeatable pattern.

For example, a project might require you to Push Pull thousands of shapes to various, specific sizes. A little bit of Ruby code could save a ton of time.

2) Customize data & reporting functions

You could also write some Ruby code to augment data reporting efforts.

For example, an contractor might want to program SketchUp to push bill of materials information into another project management software.

3) Create Computational Geometry

Finally, you can write Ruby code to help you produce "computational geometry" or 3D shapes and patterns that are nearly impossible to create by hand.

For example, an Architect might want to create and use mathmatecally derived patterns in their design.

Rather than figure out how to create these types of complex patterns by hand, it's far easier to write Ruby code that uses math functions to automatically create perfect patterns.

But these are just a few examples. You are only limited by your imagination.

If writing custom Ruby scripts is your kinda thing, be sure to take a look at the SketchUp Ruby API documentation and this list of helpful learning resources.





You're done with Part 1!

(Ready to dive a little deeper? Check out Part 2 below...)

Chapter 5

Creating Photorealistic Renderings

(with extensions like V-Ray, Shaderlight, Podium, etc.)


This chapter will give you a clear idea of how rendering in SketchUp works, will help you choose the right rendering extension, and includes some helpful advice about an important step in the rendering process that people often miss.

Chapter 5 icon

How Photorealistic Rendering works in SketchUp



Whenever you need to see more realistic light and reflections in your model, you’ll need a rendering extension.

An extension helps you turn a less realistic looking 3D model like this…

SketchUp model of residential exterior

...into a photorealistic picture like this!

Photorealistic rendering of SketchUp model

Want to learn how to render your SketchUp models?

We made a video that gives a solid introduction:



After you watch the video, you'll be ready to give rendering a try but you'll be faced with a challenging decision.

Which rendering extension should you buy?

The next section will help you make the right choice.

Which rendering extension is right for you?



When you’re new to rendering, choosing the right extension is ridiculously hard.

To start, you have 30 different extensions to choose from.  

And they range in price from Free to $700.

Here's the list:


Every one of them also comes with a long list of features.

But since you're just getting started with rendering, you won't know which features are important.

And to top it off, you won't be able to easily evaluate the kinds of factors that will make a big differences to you.

Like how easy an extension is to learn...or whether you're likely to struggle with it on a deadline.

So how do you choose?!?  

Over the past 10+ years, We've helped a lot of our students make this choice and we'd be happy to help you too!

Want some advice?

Tell us about your situation and we’ll have a member of our team make a recommendation.

Once you've figured out which extension you're going to use, you'll be ready to give rendering a try.

Keep reading for our advice on that topic below.

Watch this BEFORE you create your first rendering



We created a free SketchUp tutorial that you should watch before you start rendering.

We talk specifically about V-Ray for SketchUp in the video but it applies to all rendering extensions.

(It covers an important step that people often miss)

Watch it and you'll learn 5 things to do in this step to avoid getting underwhelming results.  



Now, let's talk about how to master your rendering extension.

As you set out to learn your rendering extension, I want to share what our students say they wished they knew when they first learned how to render:

Be careful not to make the mistake of heading down the wrong path and trying to learn everything on your own.

Watching free tutorials on YouTube and elsewhere will make you feel like you know how to use your extension's tools and features.

But when it's time for a real project, you'll run into issues.

And you won't find tutorials for every unique issue you run into. Worse, you end up wasting a ton of time watching videos only to find that you are still struggling.

Luckily, there is a different path.

If you’re serious about learning your rendering extension...

You need to take a well-structured class with a curriculum that not only gives you a comprehensive introduction to your extension but also teaches you how to apply that knowledge when you are on a deadline on a real world project.

Good news: For several rendering extensions, we have courses that do exactly that!  

(V-Ray, Shaderlight and Podium specifically)

They are all in our Video Course Library, along with other courses on professional topics. The courses are based on in-person classes we teach that cost $1500 to attend. We've just broken them down into bite-sized video tutorials that provide a more convenient and economical way for professionals to take our classes.

You can find out more about our Video Course Library here.

Now, if you're the kind of person that needs to be sitting in a classroom with an instructor, tell us where you're located and we'll see if we can make a recommendation.


Chapter 6

Creating Design Presentations & Construction Documents

(with SketchUp Pro & LayOut)


Are you already using SketchUp?

If you need to create design presentations or construction documents, you're going to want to use LayOut.

It has all of the features you need to get the job done and its tight integration with SketchUp will save you A TON of time.

This chapter will give you a quick overview of how SketchUp Pro and LayOut work together to make your life easier, and help you figure out if LayOut can do what you need it to do.

Chapter 6 icon

How SketchUp Pro and LayOut work together



At the end of the day, you’re required to produce design documentation and drawings that people around you depend on to get the job done.

SketchUp Pro makes that kind of stuff a breeze. Here’s how it works:

1) Create a 3D Model

You start by creating a well-organized, 3D model in SketchUp.

Well-organized SketchUp model

2) Set-up Scenes

While still in SketchUp, you set-up the exact views of your model that you need to document, and you save those views as Scenes.

set-up scenes

3) Send to LayOut

Once you've dialed-in all of your Scenes, you're ready to send your SketchUp file to LayOut.

send to layout

4) Set-up Viewports

In LayOut, you'll have a Viewport that's linked to your SketchUp file.

set-up viewport

You can set-up as many Viewports as you need, making sure to set each to show one of the Scenes you set in SketchUp.

set-up multiple viewports

And while you're at it, you set the Scale of your floor plan and elevation Viewports too.

set Scale of floorplan

5) Document your SketchUp model with LayOut's tools

Whether you need to produce simple 2D plans and drawings, or a full set of detailed construction documents, LayOut has all the tools you need to get the job done. And, for many of you, there are extensions you can use that will make your workflow even easier.

document SketchUp model

Is LayOut the right tool for you?



LayOut works great with SketchUp but can it do what you need it to do?

Have a conversation with us. Tell us what you’re needing to be able to do and we can help you decide whether LayOut is the right tool. We can also let you know if there are extensions that you may want to take a look at.

As soon as you are sure LayOut is right for you, you're ready to give it a try.

Next chapter has some helpful tips for how to get started.

7 things you should know before you start using LayOut



There are 7 features you need to master in SketchUp first to be successful in LayOut later:

  1. Groups & Components
  2. Layers
  3. Styles
  4. Camera Settings
  5. Shadows & Fog Settings
  6. Sections
  7. Scenes

Once you know the ins and outs of these key features, you'll be ready to take LayOut out for a test-drive.

Now, let's talk about how to master LayOut

Like SketchUp, LayOut feels very approachable.

So much so that you're likely to think you can just figure it out on your own.

But, also like SketchUp, as soon as you try to use LayOut on a real project you'll discover that doing things the wrong way sends you down a path you'll wish you had avoided.

If you’re serious about learning LayOut...

You need to take a well-structured class with a curriculum designed to give you a comprehensive introduction.

Good news: We have a course called The Complete Intro to LayOut that does exactly that!  

It's in our Video Course Library, along with a number of other courses on professional topics. This course is based on an in-person class we teach that costs $1500 to attend. We've just broken it down into bite-sized video tutorials that provide a more convenient and economical way for professionals to take the class.

You can find out more about our Video Course Library here.

Now, if you're the kind of person that needs to be sitting in a classroom with an instructor, tell us where you're located and we'll see if we can make a recommendation.


If you can't afford to invest in professional training...

We'd recommend starting with the free tutorials on SketchUp's website and then check out one of the LayOut related books listed on SketchUp’s resource page.

Chapter 7

Creating Estimates, Takeoffs, and More

(with SketchUp’s reporting tools)


Professionals use SketchUp's reporting tools to create estimates, takeoffs as well as all sorts of other reports.

In this chapter you'll learn how SketchUp's reporting tools work.

And we'll also show you some popular extensions that can make your job easier and save you a ton of time.

Let’s dive in!

Chapter 7 icon

What kind of reports does SketchUp create?



After creating a 3D model in SketchUp, you can use SketchUp's reporting tools to generate a report.

For example, you can produce a Bill of Materials.

bill of materials

Or you can perform a Quantity Takeoff.

quantity takeoff

But here's the thing, and this is important:

SketchUp doesn't have a Bill of Materials tool.

And it doesn't have a Quantity Takeoff feature.

What it has are general purpose reporting tools that you have to know how to use to be able to get what you want.

But, if you know what you’re doing in SketchUp, you can use its built-in reporting features to produce many different types of useful reports.

How do the reporting tools work in SketchUp?



As you’re designing in SketchUp, the software is already keeping track of a bunch of information about your 3D model.

Take this sheet of plywood, for example:

plywood sheet

SketchUp knows its length, width and height.

It also knows the surface area.

And it even knows the material that has been applied to the surfaces - plywood in this case.

So if those are the only sorts of things you need to know, you can use SketchUp Pro’s Generate Report feature to export a .csv file that can be opened in a spreadsheet program such as Excel, Numbers or Google Sheets.

Example of SketchUp's generate report feature

But what if you need more information in your report?

Let’s say you want to know the name of the sheet of wood, it’s price and a SKU code.

For information like this that SketchUp doesn’t automatically know about your model, you have to add it yourself.

You can add data to your SketchUp model in a few different ways:

For one, when you make an object a Component you have the option to add a name and open the Advanced Attributes to specify things like price or an associated website URL.

adding advanced attributes to a component

Now when the existing attributes within the Components dialog aren’t what you’re looking for, you can create your own custom attributes via the Component Attributes tool in the Dynamic Components toolset.

adding custom attributes to a dynamic component

And then you can set-up your own custom report type to generate a new report that pulls all the new information about your sheet of plywood.

creating a custom report type

To summarize: Getting the report you want out of SketchUp, boils down to:

  1. Creating an accurate, well organized 3D model
  2. Adding important information in the right places
  3. Generating a report in spreadsheet format
  4. Formatting the spreadsheet to your liking (or importing it into another program to format)

Get More Advanced Reporting Features with an Extension



SketchUp may not have a Bill of Materials tool, or tools for other specific report types. But often you'll find an extension that will have the more specific tools and features you need.

If you need more reporting power, here are a few extensions that could help:


SKETCHUP REPORTING EXTENSIONS

  • BiMUp: Performs Quantity Takeoff (QTO) and Bill of Materials (BOM)
  • Estimator: Provides Real-time Estimating inside SketchUp
  • PlusSpec: Enables reporting, bills of materials and estimating
  • Quantifier Pro: Creates instant Quantity and Cost Reports

Ready to invest some time in this topic?



Have a conversation with us! Tell us about what you're wanting to do in SketchUp, and we’ll make some recommendations about tools and training that can help you reach your goal.

Chapter 8

Creating Models for 3D Printing


This chapter will help you figure out if SketchUp is the right tool for the kinds of models you need to 3D print.

You'll also gain a high level understanding of how to create 3D printable models in SketchUp.

Chapter 8 icon

Is SketchUp good for 3d printing?



The short answer: It depends.

Let's start by saying that SketchUp can be used to successfully create nearly any type of 3D printable model you might need.

However, it is not the very best tool to use when you need super precise curvature or perhaps more mechanical, functional real-world objects.

To be clear:

You can use SketchUp to create curvy or organic looking 3D models to be 3D printed. And they can turn out nicely.

But if you need mathematical precision and accuracy to those curves, perhaps a tool like Blender, Rhino or 3DS Max would be a better choice.

Similarly, you can use SketchUp to design 3D models of more mechanical, functional things to be 3D printed. And they can turn out nicely as well.

But if you're an engineer, perhaps a tool like Inventor or SolidWorks would be better for the task.

SketchUp is a great tool for getting started with 3D printing

So long as you're aware of SketchUp's limitations in the more advanced scenarios above, you can be confident that SketchUp is a great choice when you're just getting started with 3D printing.

And for many, even as they become experienced 3D printers, SketchUp can continue be the right tool for all of their needs.

The key is to learn the fundamentals for how to use SketchUp to create models that can be 3D printed.

How to create a 3D printable model in SketchUp



First things first: You must have a solid understanding of SketchUp's fundamentals.

You'll run into all sorts of trouble later if you don't invest some time learning the right way to use the basic tools and features up front.

And second: You need to make sure you know the design requirements for the 3D printer or 3D printing service you'll be using.

(More on that later.)

With those things covered, there are a few rules to keep in mind for designing a 3D printable model in SketchUp:

1) Model Large, Then Scale Down

Most objects you design to be 3D printed will be somewhat small, as most printers have a limit to how large an object they can print.

In SketchUp, when you design small things, it can be easy to create issues that prevent your model from being 3D printable.

There's a trick to overcome this:

Simply create your model at a larger scale - say 100x or 1000x the size it should be - and then scale it down by the same factor at the end.

create model at larger scale

2) Create "Solid" Groups or Components

3D printers can only print "solid" models. A “solid” model is commonly described as a watertight model.

Take a cube for example:

cube

If it has all six sides in tact, and they are all attached at the edges, it’s a solid.

But if it is missing a side,

cube missing a side

or the edges don’t meet up,

cube with an edge that doesn't meet up

water would leak out (if it was filled with virtual water!), which means it would not be a solid.

To continue with the example, once you've built your watertight cube, you should make it into a Group or Component.

It's now a 3D printable solid model. You can be sure by checking the Entity Info dialog for "Solid".

3d printable model

3) Give "Walls" a Thickness

Of course, your model may need to have a hole or opening in it. To make sure that sort of a model is a 3D-printable “solid”, you just need to make sure that the walls have a thickness.

walls with thickness

4) Orient Faces

Along the way, make sure that all of your white surfaces are facing out and your blue surfaces are facing in. 3D printers don’t like models that are inside-out.

reverse faces

5) Increase Detail for Curves

Now for anything you’re modeling that has curves, you’ll need to increase your Arc or Circle segments to avoid a faceted 3D print.

avoid faceted curves by increasing segments

6) Increase Subdivisions for Organic Shapes

The same goes with more organic looking surfaces and shapes: You’ll want to increase your mesh subdivisions for smoother, less faceted 3D prints.

increase subdivisions on organic shapes

7) Use Outer Shell for Complex Objects

And for any more complex objects that you want to create, here’s a tip: Model the parts and pieces as separate Groups or Components and then use the Outer Shell tool in the Solid Tools toolbar to combine them.

before using outer shell tool
after using outer shell tool

8) Solve Problems with an Extension [Optional]

There are a number of extensions that can help you either create the shape you want, or help you turn that shape into a 3D printable solid.

If you need help finding the right extension for your specific situation, let us know and we'll gladly help.

9) Print your Model

Once you've created a 3D printable solid model in SketchUp, you can either print it on your own printer or use a 3rd party 3D printing service.


3D print it yourself:

If you plan to use your own 3D printer, your process might look like this:

  1. Export a .stl file
  2. Send the .stl file to your 3D printer
  3. Use the printer's software to tweak final settings and print!

Or use a 3D printing service

If you don’t have access to a 3D printer, you can upload your file to a 3D printing service website like Shapeways, Sculpteo or iMaterialise.

They’ll print it and mail it to you.

Ready to invest some time in this topic?



Have a conversation with us! Tell us about what you're wanting to do in SketchUp, and we’ll make some recommendations about tools and training that can help you reach your goal.

Chapter 9

Using SketchUp in a CNC Workflow


In this chapter, we'll show you how SketchUp fits into your existing CNC fabrication workflow, including how to export to a file format you can use to create your router's toolpaths.

Let's get started!

Chapter 9 icon

How SketchUp fits into your CNC fabrication workflow



As we’ve mentioned before, it’s important that you start with a solid understanding of the fundamentals. This will allow you to build an accurate, organized SketchUp model that will make or break your success later.

Also, it may be necessary to add extensions that help you design and prepare your model specifically with CNC fabrication in mind.

If you need help finding the right extension for your specific situation, let us know and we'll gladly help.

cnc boat

Once you have a sound SketchUp model, you'll need to export a file that can be imported into your CAM program.

The types of files that a CAM program will accept varies by application.

If you need a .pdf, .eps, .dxf or .stl file, you can export those directly from SketchUp Pro.

export options

Then of course, you'll bring the exported file into your CAM program, clean-up or tweak things as needed, generate your CNC control program and ultimately use it to run your machine.

cnc machine cutting plywood

In the end, you’ll end up with your SketchUp-to-CNC fabricated product!

Of course, the details of the entire process depend quite a bit on what you want to make and the types of CAM software and CNC router you are using.

Ready to invest some time in this topic?



Have a conversation with us! Tell us about what you're wanting to do in SketchUp, and we’ll make some recommendations about tools and training that can help you reach your goal.

Chapter 10

Using SketchUp for Woodworking Projects


Woodworkers love SketchUp!  

From how SketchUp works, to specific tools and features that are perfectly suited to woodworkers, this chapter will show you why SketchUp and woodworking are a match made in heaven.

Read on.

Chapter 10 icon

What do Woodworkers love about SketchUp?



SketchUp is a fantastic planning tool for woodworkers. It can save you time, materials and money by letting you test your designs before you even make your first cut.

coffee table

Specifically, these are the aspects of SketchUp that Woodworkers love:

1) Work the way you do

In SketchUp, you model in a way that is similar to how you work with wood in your shop:

You can use the Tape Measure, Protractor and Drawing tools to draw a piece of wood, take measurements and make marks.

example profile

Then you can use the Push Pull or Follow Me tools to cut, drill or carve each part.

2) Preview Joinery

You can model precisely how everything fits together, right down to the half blind dovetail joints.

joinery example

3) Draw Complex Details with an extension

If you have SketchUp Pro, you can add extensions that help you draw more complex details.

curviloft example

Of course, every project is unique and may require unique tools.

If you need help finding the right extension for your specific situation, let us know and we'll gladly help.

4) Create Cut Lists with an Extension

Also in SketchUp Pro, you can add extensions that help you create cut lists.

cutlist example

Here are a few popular cut list extensions to choose from:


CUTLIST & PLANNING EXTENSIONS FOR WOODWORKING

  • Builder Pro: 2D and 1D automatic nesting, cost calculation and cutlist generation
  • Cut List: Show your model as a list of dimensioned parts. Produce a layout of parts on stock materials
  • Cut List Bridge 4: CutList Bridge exports a cut list to Excel, OpenOffice Calc and CutList Plus fx
  • CutMap: CutMap is a full-featured SketchUp extension for woodworkers and builders
  • OpenCutList: OpenCutList is an extension designed for automating the generation of cut lists and cutting diagrams for woodworking projects

5) Create Shop Drawings

If you have SketchUp Pro, you can use LayOut to turn your SketchUp model into a detailed set of shop drawings.

shop drawing of table (views and dimensions)
shop drawing of table (cutting diagram)

Ready to invest some time in this topic?



Have a conversation with us! Tell us about what you're wanting to do in SketchUp, and we’ll make some recommendations about tools and training that can help you reach your goal.

Chapter 11

Experiencing a SketchUp Model in Virtual or Augmented Reality


In this chapter, we provide a quick overview of what it means to experience your SketchUp model in virtual reality (VR) and how that differs from experiencing it in augmented reality (AR).

We'll also cover what you'll need to get started with VR/AR and SketchUp (headsets, apps, etc.).

Let's go!

Chapter 11 icon

What exactly is Virtual Reality?



When you look at your SketchUp model on your computer screen, you are essentially viewing a 3D model on a flat 2D plane (the screen). That means that you aren’t really immersed in a 3D environment. Sure, you can orbit around and fly through your model, but it’s more like looking at a picture or a movie of a place rather than actually visiting the place and experiencing it first-hand.

With Virtual Reality (VR), you wear a headset that blocks out the real-world around you and replaces it with your SketchUp model.

vr headset

Rather than orbit or zoom, you turn your head or walk to see different parts of the design.

And how is VR different than Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality (AR) is the same idea as VR, with one notable difference:

Instead of wearing a headset that blocks out your real-world environment, you wear one that allows you to see the space around you while also overlaying a “hologram” of your SketchUp model.

ar headset

This can be powerful when you want to preview what a design would look like within the context of a real-world place.

What you’re going to need to experience your SketchUp model in VR



1) A SketchUp Model

First things first, you'll need to create an accurate, organized SketchUp model.

2) A VR headset

Of course, you'll also need a VR headset. There are a few options, but which one is best?

If you’re serious about getting into VR, the two most popular options are the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. You really can’t go wrong with either choice.

On the other hand, if you’re just looking to get your feet wet, you can use your smartphone along with either Google Daydream (Android phones only) or Google Cardboard (iOS or Android).

3) A VR extension or web app

There are a bunch of 3rd party SketchUp extensions and web services that convert SketchUp models to be viewed on a VR headset, and the list is growing quickly. Here are a few notable options:


VR EXTENSIONS & APPS

  • Enscape: One-click virtual reality and real-time rendering extension for SketchUp
  • IrisVR: Instant virtual reality for the building industry
  • Kubity: Virtural & Augmented Reality for headsets, desktop, web and mobile devices
  • Modelo.io: Drag and drop SketchUp files to effortlessly create SketchUp VR presentations
  • Shapespark: Turn architectural 3D models into online walkthroughs
  • Symmetry: Turn your SketchUp file into VR experience, including scenes, layers & more.
  • VR Sketch: Edit and visualize architectural models from SketchUp in virtual reality

What about 360 degree panoramas?

There are some extensions like V-Ray for SketchUp, Lumion or SU Podium that help you create 360 degree panorama images that you can view using a VR headset.

Note: Unlike immersive VR experiences, a 360 degree panorama shows you the model from a fixed point.

So while you can turn your head to look around the space, you can’t walk through the space.

What you’re going to need to experience your SketchUp model in AR



1) A SketchUp Model

Same as VR, you'll need to start by creating an accurate, well organized model in SketchUp.

2) An AR headset

At the moment, the only supported headset is the Hololens.

3) The SketchUp Viewer app for Hololens

Use SketchUp’s AR | VR Extension to convert the model to be viewable in Hololens.

Then, through the Hololens headset, you can see your SketchUp model overlayed on your surrounding environment at either full scale or as a scaled down tabletop model.

Want some advice on this topic?



Have a conversation with us! Tell us about what you're wanting to do in SketchUp, and we’ll recommend tools that can help you reach your goal.

  You're done with the Guide!  

We hope you enjoyed our new-and-improved Guide to Getting Started with SketchUp.


  Special thanks to our friends in the SketchUp community for sharing their time and expertise on this guide:

Aerilius, Michael Brightman, Tammy Cody, Carsten Unverzagt, Matt Donley, Julia Eneroth, John_drivenupthewall, Dale Martens, Dave Richards, Bonnie Roskes, Eric Schimelpfenig, Larry Zent