Introduction to Sketchup: 6 Effective Tips to Improve Your Sketchup Skills

Like any architecture student, you’ve met SketchUp, and it looked pretty easy from a distance, right? However, when you got into it, you were a little disappointed because it is hard to project what you had in mind onto an eternal virtual plane. But don’t be afraid, you’re just beginning! By following the steps below and getting into a habit, you can use SketchUp more comfortably and efficiently!

What is SketchUp?

For the ones who are eager to learn things about SketchUp online, let’s summarize it shortly. SketchUp is a 3D modelling software that is widely used by engineers, game developers, film producers and, of course, architects. Because of its easy features, you will immediately erase the questions of “how to use SketchUp?” from your minds. The other advantageous feature of it is the 3D Warehouse. 3D Warehouse is an excellent platform for those who create 3D models since they host pre-made 3D models that work seamlessly with the SketchUp layout.

Group Everything

The first habit you should learn while drawing with SketchUp is grouping! When you create a surface, immediately select it and group it. Do the upgrade later with the push-pull tool.

Are you drawing a chair? Create the seat and group it—Group the chair legs. Then, if necessary, you can regroup all the parts within themselves.

It can be easy to work with simple drawings without grouping. However, as the drawings get more complicated, you may come to a point where you cannot get out of it.

Create Component

‘Make group’ is a grouping method that exists in SketchUp. However, if you right-click on the selected parts, you will see a ‘make component’ option. This option is also a grouping tool but different from the group.

Let’s imagine you make a selection component. Then you copy 20 of this component model. But at the last moment, you realized that you had to make a change in the model. Are you going to change the 20 copies one by one now? No way! You have already created a component in order not to deal with this job one by one.

You can apply the changes you make to one copy of the model to create a component into all other copies. That’s why when you draw one of the elements that should be precisely the same, such as furniture legs, you can choose to make it a component. Thus, you save an incredible amount of time when you need to change a model’s feature, such as size or colour.

Purge Unused

SketchUp is beneficial for quickly migrating your designs to the third dimension. However, it cannot be said it is the most advanced one among architectural drawing programs. Because of that, some files become too full. (The file is filled with different models, which increases the file size.)

Working with loaded files becomes difficult; the program starts working slowlier. It starts not working very well. Even if just the file gets too loaded, SketchUp may fail and shut itself down. Nobody wants to bring a file to the point of no return. Because you never know what will come out of the recovery file. So why may a file be loaded that much?

If you’ve loaded too many ready-made models into your file, it may become packed. You are probably using many ready-made models to give your project some life while working on it, like a few mugs for the kitchen, books for the library, curtains, a magazine on the coffee table. Putting more tiny details make your file heavier. Because even if you delete them, they remain in the file somewhere behind.

You have to choose a different way to delete models that you don’t use.  You can get rid of the excess in your model with Purge Unused. To reach the Purge Unused command, you need to follow these steps; Window> Model Info> Statistics> Purge Unused.

One last warning; If your model is too full and the hardware you are using is a bit old, you may have to wait for a long time for the Purge Unused command to complete its duty.

Entering Size

When drawing any rectangle with SketchUp, you have had trouble entering the exact dimensions because SketchUp doesn’t work like AutoCad. Although you see a bar showing the dimensions of the model you drew at the bottom right, you cannot click it.

Instead, while drawing with SketchUp texture, you should start typing dimensions directly. First, select the drawing rectangle tool, click once on the plane, and it’s ready to draw. Now you can enter the dimensions of the rectangle without making the second click. (Only the width and height) However, it would help if you separated the dimensions with semicolons (;), not with commas. Otherwise, you will get a quadrilateral in different dimensions other than you want.

Segment Value in Circles 

When circling with SketchUp, you may have noticed that these are not working perfectly because SketchUp works entirely with lines. Even the surfaces you see curved are placed as short lines very frequently. The complicated curved surfaces you know when you move into the third dimension also consist of many triangles. So how can you get rid of this broken and annoying look in circles?

For a perfect round, first, draw a circle of the size you want. Then click on the outline that makes up the circle. You will see the panel where you edited the model appears on the right of the screen. At the top of this, there is a box showing the segment value of the circle. Here, by increasing the value of this segment, you can have smoother circles.

The segment value depends on the size of the circle you create. In other words, the maximum segment value you can enter for each dimension is determined. If you try to enter a value higher than you can enter, the program will warn you.

For now, we’re at the end of the tips for SketchUp components. However, these are just the necessary details of the program. As a SketchUp student, you will always have more to discover!

What is the Best Way to Learn Sketchup?

If you haven’t checked our Sketchup classes yet, I must say that you have already missed too much time! To recover the time you have lost, we have an excellent idea! You must definitely check our SketchUp tutorial page out.

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