SketchUp Projects | Desk Setup

My current computer setup is a in a corner with very little workspace for other projects. So I decided to design a new one that will fit in my current place that will optimize the space and provide me with the best arrangement.

I have a computer desk setup with my two monitors on it and the desktop computer on the ground below the desk. While designing it I realized I could add more features like shelving and a side bar for personal projects. 

Trying to keep down the cost I decided to design it with 2x4 and pallet wood boards (cleaned up of course) for the top of the desk. Eventually I came up with this design:

The next step is to separate it all into different sections to make it easier to build afterward. This consisted of taking each 2x4 and grouping them with other ones into smaller sections like this:

To then organize the project and create a stable foundation for the workspace. I was considering adding a backing to the frame but decided against it in case I decide to add onto it. Each section would be built separately and then put together all at once before making sure each piece fits in its correct place.

I was originally going to have 6 2x4's as legs but ended up doing 12 and having each connected to each other for a more secure standing.

I have yet to build this and will probably make more changes as I start the project.

SketchUp & Layout for Architecture | Introduction

Working through the book SketchUp & Layout for Architecture by Matt Donley and documenting what I am learning.

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Organization

While designing in SketchUp its important to organize your model. Doing this in the fashion of making groups and components as well as layers is really helpful.

Organizing is very important. Using layers is really helpful in modeling. You can create groups and components from objects and then assign those to layers and then toggle the visibility of those layers for ease of designing. Keeping track of each layer is key. For naming layers, you can use letter acronyms. Such as: 

  • Location layers: LO etc. so for the first floor you would put LO_1ST-FLOOR signifying the first floor. You would do the same for each level such as the basement, first floor, second, and roof.
  • Other things such as walls, doors, and furniture you would have Object Layers, OB, so for a cabinet you would put OB_CABINET. 
  • Then you would have layers for anything other than location and objects. This you would title SP, special layers. So for let's say a 2D look, you would put SP_2D and so on.

Designing Phases

While designing a home or building you will go through a few different phases:

  • Schematic Design Phase, in this stage you are working with the client designing the home, placing the rooms and general layout of the house.
  • Design Development Phase, this stage is designing the house with detail and finishing it up for rendering and documentation. Finishing up the main design of the house and set it in concrete.
  • Construction Documentation Phase, in this stage, you are cleaning up the model and documenting it with Layout and preparing to send it to the contractors.


SketchUp Tutorial | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Throughout modeling in SketchUp using shortcuts can speed up things and be more helpful than finding the tool you need. We will start by opening the shortcuts tab. Go to Window->Preferences this will bring up this tab: 

  • Select the Shortcuts tab from the side list of tabs. This will update the tab so that looks like this:

  • You cannot use numbers as a preset. The reason you cannot set keyboard shortcuts to numbers because it would interfere with the measurements when modeling. You also can't use shortcuts that SketchUp has set aside for other tools. You can, however, change those in the shortcuts tab.
  • To add shortcuts simply search in the filter bar of the Shortcuts tab for the tool you wish to add a shortcut. To the left of the tab type the key you wish to use as a shortcut in the Add Shortcut box:
  •  Then select the + icon and this will add the shortcut to the Assigned box:
  • This, signifying that it has already been assigned a shortcut.
  • You can search for any tool in SketchUp and add a shortcut. The most common and most used tools will already have a shortcut assigned to them but you can change it by adding a new one in the box above.

SketchUp Tutorial | Getting Started Toolset

  • Getting started toolset, These are the tools you will start out with when launching SketchUp and are very important to know before starting to 3D model an object. We will start by adding the view toolbar (if they are not already activated), View->Toolbars, then select the Getting Started box. This will bring up a tab that looks like this:
  • Selection tool, this tool is used to select objects, lines, and faces. To use select the icon and left click the object you want to select. Or hit your spacebar on your keyboard for a keyboard shortcut. Icon:

  • Eraser tool, this allows you to erase lines, components, and groups with ease. To use select the eraser icon from your toolbar and hold left click over the lines you wish to remove. Icon:
  • Pencil tool, this tool allows you to create line segments from point a to point b. To use select the tool and hold left click and drag until you get the length you want. Or left click once to start the line and left click again to finish it, then click escape if you are not going to continue the line segment.  Icon:

  • Freehand, (found in the dropdown from pencil tool) this tool allows you to draw freehand, it is very hard to work with and I would not suggest it if you are trying to be accurate. To use select the tool from the toolbar or hit "L" on your keyboard and hold left click and drag. Icon:
  • Two point arc, (Found in the dropdown from arc tool) this tool allows you to create an arc from two points and then lifting up the arc. To use select tool and left click two points in your model then lift up to the desired height. Icon:
  • Three-point arc, (Found in the dropdown from arc tool) this tool allows you to create arcs from the midpoint then creating a partial or full circle. To use select tool and left click to place the midpoint of the arc, then pull out to create the radius of the circle. Now simply pull mouse and left click when you have the satisfactory arc. Icon:
  • 3 Point circumference, (Found in the dropdown from arc tool) this tool allows you to create a circle from two points then will bulge out the arc. To use select two points in your model and drag out until you get the desired arc. Icon:
  • Closed arc from a center, (Found in the dropdown from arc tool) this tool allows you to create a closed arc from the midpoint. To use select tool and left click once to create the midpoint, then select another point to create the radius, next select another point to determine the how much of the circle you are going to use. Icon:
  • Rectangle tool, (Found in the dropdown from the rectangle tool) this tool allows you to create rectangles/squares. To use select the tool and left click once where you want to start the corner of the rectangle and left click in another location to finish the rectangle. Icon:
  • Rectangle face, (Found in the dropdown from rectangle tool) this tool allows you to make a rectangle from three points rather than two and can be more accurate. To use select tool and left click to start then left click again up or down from your starting point to make the length/width and finally finish the rectangle by going the opposite direction from the second point. Icon:
  • Circle, (Found in the dropdown from the rectangle tool) this tool allows you to create a 2D circle. To use select tool and left click to create the mid-point for the circle, then select another point to finish the circle. Icon:
  • Polygon, (Found in the dropdown from the rectangle tool) this tool allows you to create any sort of polygon you want. To use select tool and type in the number of faces you want for your polygon and click enter. Next left click to create the mid-point for the polygon and select another point to finish the polygon. Icon:
  • Push-Pull tool, this tool let you make 3D objects from 2D faces, for instance, you can pull up a rectangle and make it into a 3D one. To use, select the push-pull tool from your toolbar, or press "p" on your keyboard for a shortcut, and select the face you wish to extrude. Then drag your mouse and click again to finish. Push-pull icon:
  • Offset tool, this tool allows you to offset 2D faces, for instance, if you want to create a square inside of another square you can do this very easily. To use select the offset tool from your toolbar, next select your 2D face and move your mouse in or out to offset the border, or type the angle you want. Offset icon:
  • Move tool, this tool allows you to move objects in any axes of your workspace. To use select the move icon, or press "m" on your keyboard for a shortcut, and select your object, then move your mouse to where you wish to place it. Icon:
  • Rotate Tool, this tool allows you to rotate objects quickly and easily. To use select the rotate tool from your toolbar and select the objects you wish to rotate. If you want to rotate 90d you can start the rotation and then type in "90" and hit enter. Rotate Icon:
  • Scale tool, this tool allows you to scale objects to make them larger or smaller. To use select the objects you wish to enlarge or decrease and select the scale tool from the toolbar. Select one of the yellow boxes that will appear around your model and move your mouse out or in to scale your model. Scale icon:
  • Measuring tape, this tool allows you to create dotted construction lines along your model to then use as a pattern to draw lines. To use, select the tool from the toolbar and left click once on a line segment to start the construction line, then select another point/line segment to finish it. Icon:
  • Text string, this tool allows you to add notes to your model that has a line segment from what you attach it to with a note box at the end. To use, select the tool from the toolbar and hold right click from a point you want to add a note to. To change the text box double tap left click and this will let you change the note. Icon:
  • Paint bucket, this tool allows you to texture objects in your model. This will give you perspective and speed up the designing aspect of your model. To use, select the paint bucket icon from the toolbar and it should open up a tab on the left side of your workspace titled "Materials":
  •  You can select preset materials from the dropdown or upload your own. To upload your own select the icon: 
  • This will bring up another tab entitled "Create material..." you can edit textures here too. To upload your own textures select the folder icon: 
  • Next, select your filetype. Once uploaded, you have several options. You can set the size of the image texture as well as the Opacity, color, and basic patterns. Select OK when finished. Another option you have is to pick color tool, this will allow you to select pre-existing texture colors in your model. To use, select the dropper icon and select a face. Dropper Icon location:
  •  To paint your objects select the texture you wish to use and right click the faces you want to texture. Bucket Icon: 
  • The most common is the orbit tool. To use hold your middle mouse button down and slide mouse around to get different perspectives of your model. Or select orbit icon from the view tab and hold and drag left mouse button to move perspective. Icon:
  • Panning tool, the panning tool is to move across the view face in a left, right, up down way. To use this tool hold shift+middle button and slide mouse across the screen. Or select the hand icon from the view tab and hold left click and drag to move your perspective.  Icon:
  • Zoom, the zoom tool is to get a close-up or zoom out of a model. To use, scroll middle mouse button forward and backward to zoom in and out of your model. Or select icon from view tab and drag left mouse button up and down to zoom in and out. Icon:
  • Zoom fit, this tool allows you to zoom out until the model fits your perspective screen. To use, select tool from the toolbar and will bring the perspective to see everything in your model. Icon:
  • Open Warehouse, this will bring up another tab called the warehouse, you can find models that other people have uploaded by using the keyword search at the top. To import models, select the model you want and select the red download button at the bottom. Open warehouse icon:
  • Extension warehouse, this allows you to download extensions other people have made for SketchUp, such as exporting to certain file types that SketchUp doesn't normally do. This speeds up the process of doing menial tasks as well as creating something that isn't even in SketchUp naturally. To use, select the extension warehouse tool from the toolbar and it will bring up the extension warehouse tab:
  • Search the extension you wish to add. Then press the download button to upload it to SketchUp. Extension warehouse icon:
  • Send to layout, this tool allows you to send your current model to layout for further documentation. To use simply select the send to layout tool from the toolbar and this will open layout with your model already imported. Icon:
  • Extension manager, this allows you to view your current plugins installed and managing them such as removing and updating. To use select the extension manager tool from the toolbar and this will bring up a tab showing the current extensions installed. Icon:



SketchUp Tutorial | Standard Tools

  • These tools will are standard when working with your model, you can open models, create new ones, save, copy-paste, undo and more. We will start by adding the view toolbar, View->Toolbars, then select the Standard box. This will bring up a tab that looks like this:
  • New model, this tool will create a new model workspace, it will save your current file and start from the beginning. To use, save your current model and select the new model icon:
  • Open file, this tool allows you to open models from your files. To use, save your current model and select the open file's icon. This will bring up your files and you can select the one you wish to open. Icon:
  • Save, this simply saves your model. To use simply select the save icon or hold "Ctrl + s" if on pc and "command + s" on mac to save your model. Save icon:
  • Cut tool, this tool allows you to cut whatever you have selected and kept in your clipboard to be brought out at another time. To use select the entities you wish to cut and select the scisors icon:
  • Copy tool, this tool allows you to copy whatever entities you have selected and store it in your clipboard. To use select the objects you wish to copy and select the copy icon:
  • Paste clipboard, this tool allows you to paste what you have in your clipboard. To use, select the paste clipboard icon and move your mouse to place the entities. Paste clipboard icon:
  • Delete entities, this tool allows you to remove entities from your selection. To use select the entities you wish to remove and select the remove entities icon:
  • Undo tool, this tool lets you undo the last command you entered. If you removed an object by accident you can use this tool to bring it back. To use select the undo icon or hold "Ctrl + z" on pc and "command + z" on mac. Undo icon:
  • Redo tool, this tool allows you to redo the last undo you made. To use, select the redo tool from the toolbar and this will redo your last undo. Redo icon:
  • Print, this allows you to print views from your model. To use select the print icon and this will bring up this tab:
  • You have many options to choose from, such as views, scenes, page numbers, size and more. Print icon:
  • Model info, this tool allows you to modify info related to your model. To use select the model info tool from the toolbar and this will bring up a tab:
  • You have many options to choose from to customize your modeling experience, you also have tabs on the side such as animation, classifications, components, credits and more. Model info icon:


SketchUp Tutorial | Warehouse

  • These tools will help you with bringing in objects such as interior decor to help with visual representation, uploading your own models and components, and adding extensions to SketchUp to optimise your time and workflow. We will start by adding the view toolbar, View->Toolbars, then select the Warehouse box. This will bring up a tab that looks like this:
  • Open Warehouse, this will bring up another tab called the warehouse, you can find models that other people have uploaded by using the keyword search at the top. To import models, select the model you want and select the red download button at the bottom. Open warehouse icon:
  • Warehouse tab:
  • Upload to the warehouse, this allows you to upload your model to the warehouse for public use. To use select your groups/components and select the upload icon:
  •  This will bring up the 3D warehouse tab and will ask you to sign in before uploading:
  • Once logged in you have the title to fill out and description of the 3D model:
  • You can also have the option of making it a private model which makes it so only you can view it. Once finished filling it out select upload. 
  • Upload component, this will allow you to upload your components to the warehouse, in a  similar fashion to upload warehouse. This is specifically components and for personal use more than publicly sharing it. To use select your component and select the upload icon:
  •  This will bring up the 3D warehouse tab and will ask you to sign in before uploading:
  • Once logged in you have the title to fill out and description of the 3D model:
  • You can also have the option of making it a private model which makes it so only you can view it. Once finished filling it out select upload. 
  • Extension warehouse, this allows you to download extensions other people have made for SketchUp, such as exporting to certain file types that SketchUp doesn't normally do. This speeds up the process of doing menial tasks as well as creating something that isn't even in SketchUp naturally. To use, select the extension warehouse tool from the toolbar and it will bring up the extension warehouse tab:
  • Search the extension you wish to add. Then press the download button to upload it to SketchUp. Extension warehouse icon:


SketchUp Tutorial | Edit Tools

  • These tools are ones that you will be using probably most often while drawing, you can make simple and easy edits throughout your designing experience. We will start by adding the view toolbar, View->Toolbars, then select the Edit box. This will bring up a tab that looks like this:
  • Move tool, this tool allows you to move objects in any axes of your workspace. To use select the move icon, or press "m" on your keyboard for a shortcut, and select your object, then move your mouse to where you wish to place it. Icon:
  • Push-Pull tool, this tool let you make 3D objects from 2D faces, for instance, you can pull up a rectangle and make it into a 3D one. To use, select the push-pull tool from your toolbar, or press "p" on your keyboard for a shortcut, and select the face you wish to extrude. Then drag your mouse and click again to finish. Push-pull icon:
  • Rotate Tool, this tool allows you to rotate objects quickly and easily. To use select the rotate tool from your toolbar and select the objects you wish to rotate. If you want to rotate 90d you can start the rotation and then type in "90" and hit enter. Rotate Icon:
  • Follow-me tool, this tool will allow you to create a 3D object from a 2D face and a path. To use, (note: you must already have a 2D pattern already set as well as a path) select the path you wish the 2D face to follow and then click the follow-me tool from the toolbar, next select your 2D face and it will follow the pattern you lay out. Follow-me icon:
  • Scale tool, this tool allows you to scale objects to make them larger or smaller. To use select the objects you wish to enlarge or decrease and select the scale tool from the toolbar. Select one of the yellow boxes that will appear around your model and move your mouse out or in to scale your model. Scale icon:
  • Offset tool, this tool allows you to offset 2D faces, for instance, if you want to create a square inside of another square you can do this very easily. To use select the offset tool from your toolbar, next select your 2D face and move your mouse in or out to offset the border, or type the angle you want. Offset icon:


SketchUp Tutorial | Principal Toolbar

  • These tools are essential to learning how to use SketchUp and are tools you will be using all the time throughout SketchUp. We will start by adding the view toolbar, View->Toolbars, then select the Principal box. This will bring up a tab that looks like this:
  • Selection tool, this tool is used to select objects, lines, and faces. To use select the icon and left click the object you want to select. Or hit your spacebar on your keyboard for a keyboard shortcut. Icon:
  • Make Component from selected entities, this tool will create a component from your selected objects, lines and, and faces and turn them into a component. This will create ease of use throughout your modeling experience. To use select your objects and left click this icon from the toolbar:
  • Paint bucket, this tool allows you to texture objects in your model. This will give you perspective and speed up the designing aspect of your model. To use, select the paint bucket icon from the toolbar and it should open up a tab on the left side of your workspace titled "Materials":
  •  You can select preset materials from the dropdown or upload your own. To upload your own select the icon: 
  • This will bring up another tab entitled "Create material..." you can edit textures here too. To upload your own textures select the folder icon: 
  • Next, select your filetype. Once uploaded, you have several options. You can set the size of the image texture as well as the Opacity, color, and basic patterns. Select OK when finished. Another option you have is to pick color tool, this will allow you to select pre-existing texture colors in your model. To use, select the dropper icon and select a face. Dropper Icon location:
  •  To paint your objects select the texture you wish to use and right click the faces you want to texture. Bucket Icon: 
  • Note: When uploading your own textures the system will create the size of you pre-defined when creating the material texture. And multiply that image side by side covering your face.
  • Eraser tool, this allows you to erase lines, components, and groups with ease. To use select the eraser icon from your toolbar and hold left click over the lines you wish to remove. Icon:


SketchUp Tutorial | Section Cut Toolbar

  • These tools will provide you with some quick ways of opening up your model without changing the geometry of it. There is one tool and two options we will go into. We will start by adding the view toolbar, View->Toolbars, then select the Section box. This will bring up a tab that looks like this:
  • Section Cut, this tool allows you to create section cuts of your model. Let's say you are designing a 3D house and you want to see it cut in half so you can see the interior. This is the tool for the job! To use, select the following icon and select a face to place it on:
  • Show section cut placement, this option can only be used once you place a section cut on one of your faces. This option allows you to view the section cut outline. To use, select the section cut that you placed and select the following icon to toggle:
  • Show section cut, this option allows you to toggle on and off your section cut. This allows you to quickly move about your model and see through walls without disrupting your geometry. To use, select the section cut that you placed and select the following icon to toggle:


SketchUp Tutorial | Styles

  • These tools will provide you with some quick ways of getting around your model by making objects transparent, x-ray, and more. We will start by adding the view toolbar, View->Toolbars, then select the Styles box. This will bring up a tab that looks like this:
  • Transparency style, this option allows you to make your entire model transparent. It can be used to see hidden objects and to clean up your model with ease and speed. To toggle, simply select the icon that looks like this:
  • Display with dashed back lines style, this style gives you essentially the same effect as the transparency, however, it adds dotted lines for everything that is behind the front of the model. This is really helpful when you have very detailed components and you can't tell what line goes where. To toggle, simply select the icon that looks like this:
  • Wireframe style, this style makes your model only show lines. This tool is really good for cutting out lines that have no use in the model. However, it doesn't show you any face planes which can cause problems. To toggle, simply select the icon that looks like this:
  • Non-Shaded style, this tool allows you to view your model without any textures or shaded faces. This is good if you don't want to see the textures but simply the model itself. To toggle, simply select the icon that looks like this:
  • Single color style, this tool allows you to view your model with straight color textures. This does not remove or replace the textures, it simply takes the dominant color of the texture and set all the faces textured with that color. This is good if you don't want super advanced textures messing with modeling. To toggle, simply select the icon that looks like this:
  • Default style, this is the standard style that you will see when modeling. This style allows you to see things as they are with no looking through face planes. This is really good for getting a perspective on your model. To toggle, simply select the icon that looks like this:
  • Front and back style, this style allows you to see your model only viewing the front and back of each face. Default is white = front, gray = back. This tool is really good if you are making groups and components and helps with organization. To toggle, simply select the icon that looks like this: