Creating and Editing Models

If you’re used to using the desktop version of SketchUp, creating 3D models in SketchUp for Web may give you a case of deja vu. You see most of the same tools and features, but they’re in slightly different places. If you’re new to creating 3D models in SketchUp, learning where to find the tools and panels is a helpful starting point.

This article orients you to creating 3D models in the SketchUp for Web interface. Find out how to create a new model, changes its units of measure, and geolocate it. You also find a brief intro to SketchUp for Web tools and panels and references to articles that explain how to use them.

Tip: The performance of SketchUp for Web depends on your hardware, your browser, and the model’s file size. Your graphics hardware and the amount of memory your browser allocates to each tab can impact performance. Generally speaking, SketchUp for Web can work with ~40MB files. See SketchUp for Web Hardware Requirements for more details.

Creating a model from a template

To create a new model in SketchUp for Web, you start with a template. Follow these steps:

  1. In SketchUp for Web, click the Open Model/Preferences icon (image).
  2. On the panel that appears, click the New Model icon (image). The following figure shows your template options.
  3. Select a template that reflects your desired units of measure. Your options include feet and inches, meters, or millimeters. After you click an option, your new model opens in SketchUp for Web, ready for you to begin 3D-modeling.
Selecting a template in SketchUp for Web

Setting a model’s units of measure

If you want to change a model’s units of measure, follow these steps:

  1. In SketchUp for Web click the Open Model/Preferences icon (image).
  2. On the panel that appears, click the Model Info icon (image).
  3. On the Model Info panel that appears, select an option in the Format area. In the following figure, 1/2" is selected.
  4. In the Precision area, select your desired level of precision.
  5. Click Return in the upper left to return to your model.

In SketchUp for Web you can change a 3D models units of measure

Inspecting entities

To see details about an entity in your model, select it and click the Entity Info icon. As shown in the following figure, the Entity Info panel that appears shows details such as the type, instance, definition, layer, shadow settings, and visibility setting.

The Entity Info panel in SketchUp for Web

Introducing the SketchUp for Web tools

As you create a 3D model in SketchUp for Web, the tools look a little different but work just as they do in SketchUp Pro. In the SketchUp for Web interface, you find the toolbar of tools on the left. Some tools display a little arrow, which means that clicking the tool displays a flyout menu of several related tools, as shown in the following figure.

The toolbar in SketchUp for Web has flyout menus of tools

In the following table, you find an introduction to each tool and a link to the SketchUp Pro area of the Help Center, where you find more details about how to use the tool.

Herramienta Qué hace Más información
image Use Select to select entities. Seleccionar geometrías
image Eraser removes lines, faces, or other entities. Erasing and Undoing
image Paint Bucket applies the active material to faces . Añadir colores y texturas con materiales
image Sample makes any material you click the active material. Añadir colores y texturas con materiales
image Line draws straight lines. Introducing Drawing Basics and Concepts
image Freehand mimics drawing with a pencil or pen. Drawing Freehand Shapes
image Arc creates a basic arc. Drawing Arcs
image 2 Point Arc pulls an arc from a straight line. Drawing Arcs
image 3 Point Arc bends an arc on a pivot point. Drawing Arcs
image Pie creates a closed arc that’s a pie shape. Drawing Arcs
image Rectangle creates a basic rectangle or square. Dibujar formas básicas
image Rotated Rectangle helps create a rectangle at an angle instead of aligned with an axis. Dibujar formas básicas
image Circle draws a circle. Dibujar formas básicas
image Polygon creates a polygon with any number of sides. Dibujar formas básicas
image 3D Text creates 3D-style text in your model. Adding Text, Labels, and Dimensions to a Model
image Push/Pull drags a face in 3D space so it expands or disappears. Empujar y tirar de formas a 3D
image Follow Me creates an entity along a path. Extruding with Follow Me
image Offset creates an entity that’s offset a distance from another entity. Offsetting a Line from Existing Geometry
image Outer Shell leaves only the outer faces of overlapping solids. Modelar formas 3D complejas con las Herramientas de sólidos
image Move can move, copy, or stretch entities. Mover entidades
image Rotate moves entities at a specified angle. Flipping and Rotating
image Scale resizes entities. Escalar el modelo o partes del modelo
image Tape Measure measures entities and helps you model precisely. Measuring Angles and Distances to Model Precisely and Scaling Your Model or Parts of Your Model
image Dimensions marks a length or angle. Adding Text to a Model
image Section Plane cuts through a model to show a plan and/or side view Slicing a Model to Peer Inside
image Protractor measures angles. Mide ángulos y distancias para modelar con precisión
image Axes moves or sets a model or component’s axes. Adjusting the Drawing Axes
image Walk simulates walking through a model Walking through a Model
image Position Camera allows you to view your model at a specific height relative to the surface of your model. Walking through a Model
image Look Around allows you to move the camera from side to side, sort of like turning your head. Walking through a Model
image Orbit enables you to fly around a 3D model. Vista del modelo
image Pan moves your view up, down, left, or right. Vista del modelo
image Zoom enables you to view detail or your overall model. Vista del modelo
image Zoom Window zooms into a specific rectangular portion of your model. Vista del modelo
image Zoom Extents displays the whole model in the drawing area. Vista del modelo

Inserting an image or SketchUp file into your model

With SketchUp for Web, you can insert image files (PNG or JPG) or a SketchUp (SKP) file. When you insert an image file, you can insert it as an image or a material. When you insert a SketchUp model, the model becomes a component within your currently open model.

To insert an image file, follow these steps:

  1. Click the File Operations icon and select Insert from the menu that appears.
  2. Drag and drop a PNG or JPG file to the Insert File box. Or click the Computer icon to browse to an image file saved on your computer, and use the dialog box that appears to open the file.
  3. Choose whether you want to insert the image file as an image or as a material. For details about working with images in SketchUp, see Sticking a Photo or Texture to a Face. For help working with materials, see Adding Colors and Textures with Materials

To insert a SketchUp file as a component, follow these steps:

  1. Click the File Operations icon and select Insert from the menu that appears.
  2. Choose the SketchUp file you want to insert in one of the following ways:
    • Drag and drop a SKP to the Insert File box.
    • Click the Computer icon to browse to a SketchUp file saved on your computer, and use the dialog box that appears to open the file.
    • Click the Trimble Connect icon to select a model saved via Trimble Connect.

Geolocating a model

When you geolocate model, you embed longitude and latitude information that enables you to conduct shadow studies and more. In SketchUp for Web, you can geolocate a model by following these steps:

  1. Click the Open Model/Preferences icon (image).
  2. In the panel that appears, click the Add Location icon (image).
  3. In the Search box at the top of the map that appears, type an address or intersection where you want to locate the model. Then click Search.
  4. Click Select Region in the upper right.
  5. Drag the corners of the selection box to refine the location.
  6. Click the Grab button in the upper right, and your location’s terrain is imported into your model as a layer.

For an introduction to terrain, start with Modeling Terrain and Other Rounded Shapes. If you’re interested in studying realistic shadows, check out Casting Real-World Shadows.

Touring the SketchUp for Web panels

On the right side of the SketchUp for Web interface are icons that open a tray of panels. Click an icon to open the tray, and click any panel name to toggle it open or closed. The following table points you to a Help Center article that explains more about each panel.

Panel Más información
Entity Info Entity Info is handy in all sorts of instances. These articles explain when Entity Info is especially handy.
Instructor The Instructor is a help tool in itself. Open it for help with the currently selected tool.
Componentes Adding Premade Components and Dynamic Components
Materiales Applying Colors, Photos, Materials, and Textures
Styles Elegir un estilo
Capas Controlling Visibility with Layers
Views Viewing a Model explains perspective and parallel projection. Creating Scenes explains how to save a view as a scene.
Display This panel helps you manage hidden geometry, section planes and cuts, axes, guides, shadows, and fog.
Was this article helpful?