To create a 3D model in SketchUp, you’re constantly switching among the drawing tools, views, components, and organizational tools. In this article, you find several examples that illustrate ways you can use these tools together to model a specific shape or object. The examples illustrate a few of the different applications for creating 3D models in SketchUp: woodworking, modeling parts or abstract objects, and creating buildings. The examples are loosely ordered from the simple to the complex.
In SketchUp, you can copy geometry by using The Copy and Paste commands The Move tool () The Rotate tool () When you copy and paste with the Move tool, you can make a single copy or create multiple copies and tell SketchUp how to space them — if you know the secret keystrokes.
The Select tool () specifies what entities you want to modify with SketchUp’s other tools or commands. If you want to change the length of a line, first select the line. If you want to scale a box, first select that box. If you want to move a line and a box, you start by selecting both, creating what’s called a selection set. Here’s where you find the Select tool in SketchUp:
When you first run SketchUp, the Welcome to SketchUp dialog box appears, as shown here. This dialog box is your starting point for creating a model and appears every time you start SketchUp (unless you deselect the Always show on startup check box).
To create a professional document, entities need to be arranged and sized just right. To help you do that, LayOut includes several tools and features, including a grid, inference cues, and an Arrange menu. When you select an entity, its bounding box has tools for moving, rotating, and scaling the entity, or you can use the keyboard or the Measurements box to enter precise changes. See the following sections for details about nudging your entities into the right position.
When you need to label a distance or angle in your LayOut document, check out LayOut’s Linear Dimension () and Angular Dimension () tools. In the following figure, you see an example of a linear and an angular dimension.
In LayOut, you can bend lines and shapes — no telekinetic powers required! All you need is LayOut’s path editor. Okay, that might be a tiny fib. You need the path editor and a little knowledge about editing vector graphics and Bézier curves. After you know the tricks, however, bending lines and shapes is easy, and this article explains all the basics to help you get started.
Do your shapes seem a little empty inside? To help your ideas stand out on-screen, use LayOut’s Fill features to add a pop of color, and use the Pattern features to create hatches, which symbolize materials in architectural drawings, as shown in the following figure.
LayOut’s Split and Join tools have something in common with the typical love interests in a pop music album. The Split tool tears shapes apart, and the Join tool brings them back together. Fortunately, in LayOut, splitting and joining shapes involves very little drama. To split a line or shape,
To select an on-screen element in LayOut, you just click it with the Select tool (). You can then move, resize, rotate, or otherwise edit the selection. If only changing an actual building were that easy! Like SketchUp, LayOut has a few tricks for selecting multiple entities, too: