2D Educational Resources

Our firm uses Sketchup to produce 2D plans first and then creates 3D models for clients when necessary. Are there resources out there that help people create 2D plans and then import them into layout to make construction documents? I’m a new user and I’m trying to wade through all the instruction on 3D capabilities so I can glean the important concepts that will help me in 2D. I love all the possibilities, but I need to target my learning time to what I need to do right away.

Technically speaking there are no 2d educational resources for Sketchup as it is a 3d application. Even when you are drawing in 2d it is within a 3d environment. So you need to understand the fundamentals of the program or you will run into difficulties.
When drawing in 2d you need to be aware that there are no layers in the 2d sense, everything interacts as it would in the 3d world, so there is no ability to tell something to be infront of something else, it needs to physically be in front. But that leads to issues as well due to geometry fighting to be visible. Called Z-fighting. When two faces occupy the same 3d space and the graphic card fights to make one or other visible.
It is also possible to be drawing something and think it is a 2d shape but is actually 3d and will not enclose a space.
I could go on but it all boils down to, yes I can understand that people think sketchup is good for 2d drawing due to the ease of use of the tools, but, you need to understand the program properly and there are more appropriate 2d drawing programs out there.

But if that is the tool you need to use, run through the fundamentals in the Campus and then start your drawings with a large rectangle as a group so you have a chance of keeping your geometry ‘on face’ and therefore flat. Use groups and components to separate geometry, learn about Tags and their correct use, not to be used on raw geometry, only groups, components, dimensions etc.
Get an understanding of Z-Fighting and how you want to deal with it.
So many things are relevant, it’s just that you are only wanting to work on one axis.
Personally if I need a 2d drawing in SU I still treat it as 3d and orbit around it, trying to keep the camera oriented to one plane is nearly impossible, you can set it to Top and Parallel Projection and then attempt to only Pan but it isn’t comfortable.
Try and accept it is a 3d environment and you are drawing a plan on a big sheet of paper on the floor and treat it as such.
Use Scenes to set up specific Views so you can move around comfortably and then snap back to a specific camera angle, top down for example.
I’ll stop rambling now.


Thanks. I totally get that. I actually have been using Vectorworks for years and it is a very good choice for 2D. Unfortunately, Sketchup is the software this new firm I’ve started working for uses. I’ve been trying to deal with the z fighting by putting objects at different heights, but then, of course, I end up drawing a shape on different planes and can’t close it. To keep that from happening I’ve been using layers and turning some things off when I need to draw on the ground plane. It requires a lot of work arounds and I was hoping that someone may have already found an easier way they could share. I’ll try the tips you’ve suggested.

Thanks for taking the time to respond.

One option to avoid z-fighting is to use Components and set them to ‘glue to’ and ‘cut opening’. This Graphically removes the face under the component and will move around with it, and the face is still there if you remove the component.
The Cutting component needs to be placed on the ‘Face’ not the ‘Container’.

Cut opening

I think you should talk with your colleagues about what your company expects your models and output to be like, and if they too are using SketchUp as “2D CAD”, how they go for it. There is probably a need for others to work with files produced by you, and you to work with things produced by others.

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Thanks! I’ll try that.

Yeah, that’s exactly the case. If I didn’t have to worry about others accessing my files, I’d be using something else for 2D. My supervisor has been showing me his process, but I was hoping there might be more resources out there to supplement my training.