2D in sketch up problem

I’m not new to Sketchup but try to organise my workflow differently. I try to create furniture layout in 2d to be able to move it around, export to Layout and proceed with 3d after deciding on the concept.

But I came across the problem:

  1. I create an original floor plan. Group it. Named G1.
  2. I create extra walls I wanna add to the plan. Group it. Named G2.

And I cannot make G2 visible above the floor of G1. I need to elevate it 0,001 cm above the G1. Which makes everything meaningless as ruins further geometry.

See the attached screenshot. I want smith like this - everything is layered above the original floor. Like a layered cake. I tried with groups in outliner. With tags. Nothing seems to work.

I haven’t even started with the furniture. As I see that a simple rectangle grouped and placed on the floor dissapeares under the floor. Are there such things as layers? I constantly see tutorials where people move 2d furniture in sketchup. Don’t understand what I do wrong?


SketchUp file attached.

2d plan problem.skp (125.2 KB)

What edges are disappearing for you?

This is what I see in SketchUp:

And in LayOut:

First is that you are treating SketchUp as a 2D drawing program which it’s not. When you place two faces in the same place in SketchUp the graphics card can’t tell which one should be in front of which. Instead of Move forwardor Move to back sort of commands, that is done as it would be done in reality by moving one in space toward the camera.

In the file you uploaded that isn’t the case.

Outliner is a text representation of the objects in your model. You still need to be working in the 3D model space to place things at different levels.

Tags are mainly for controlling the visibility of objects. They do not provide separation.

As before, this will happen when you place multiple zero-thickness faces in the same place in the 3D space.

I think you would be well-served to stop thinking of SketchUp as a 2D drawing application. It is a 3D modeling application and just as in the real world, two objects cannot share the exact same location. One needs to be above the other.

If you are going to stick with drawing 2D plans and using 2D symbols for furniture in SketchUp, plan on adding some distance between the objects.

Thank you Dave! Actually I have solved my problem by turning on x-ray in my style. Now I may have different groups above each other and see them perfectly through. Even coloured. I think this is what I was looking for.

I understand that sketchup is a 3d software. Just don’t want to buy extra software for smth that seems to be possible with sketchup. And I see many people using it that way on Youtube and it works perfectly. With x-ray ON it does meet my 2d expectations as well.

As long as X-ray gets you what you need, that’s fine. I do think you are making your work more difficult than it needs to be. As long as your process works for you, though, it’s all good.

Is there any other solution on how o create multiple furniture layouts as easy as in CAD without having to deal this 3d geometry? Without buying CAD software? May be in SU Layout? Cannot figure out easiest way.

I guess I don’t understand the fixation on 2D but as I wrote before, if that’s what you are going to do in SketchUp you need to keep in mind that you are working in a 3D space. Actually its just like you’d get if you were doing this stuff with cut out pieces of paper for the furniture on a drawing laid on your desk. The cutouts have to be above the drawing.

If you make your furniture pieces as components or groups you can move them around on your floor plan. Give them some space. Here I’ve made a quickie 2D representation of a couch as a component and placed it in your floor plan. It’s placed above the plan but that’s not visibile in this view. Note that the couch component is not included inside the floor plan group. It is outside the group so it can be manipulated without affecting the plan.


You could draw stuff in LayOut although since you’ll wind up 3D at some point, I think that’s just making work you don’t need to make.

If you are going to go 3D anyway, why not start thinking in 3D from the beginning?

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Locating and relocating a lot of furniture in 3d is very troublesome. Easy to make a mistake when e.g. table will float in the air etc. You want to go with 3d only when you know your layout is close to final.

Thank you. Will try components as well.

As Dave said.

But the way you are going about your workflow wouldn’t be my workflow.

If it was, I would do it all in Layout first as a scaled drawing.

All my furniture, appliance, sanitaryware, etc. elements would be scaled drawing elements…


And then you could bring it all into SketchUp, exporting the whole lot from Layout as a DWG for SketchUp - but remember to rescale everything to 1:1 in SketchUp…

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It doesn’t have to troublesome. If you are using the tools correctly, there is no reason your table should end up floating in the air.

It’s easy enough to make modifications to a 3D model that waiting until the floorplan is close to final seems like you end up doing a lot of work more than once. I guess just different ways to work. I don’t like seeing folks working harder than they need to. Maybe I shouldn’t let it bug me. :wink:

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I am designing this simple cottage atm and use a basic set of 3d furn for initial space planning

As long as they are simple geometrically and correct dimensionally it is all you need for space planning

The attached file is just the basic furniture… I specificaly created them very low poly, as the ate often used in highrise designs with 200+ instances… (eg minimal curves surfaces) and designed so viewed in plan and elevation they create simple outline views without having need for profiles being turned on.

Back in hand drafting days we portrayed furniture in very simplistic ways for efficiency, same approach here… PS choosing an appropriate component origin and glue to surfaces also helps efficiency.

Finally, the furniture are solids so they cut correctly in sections

furn.skp (1.5 MB)


As @DaveR has pointed out, it is essential to remember that SketchUp is designed to model real 3D objects. Points, edges, and faces are mathematical abstractions that specify the location and boundaries of 3D objects, but they are not real-world objects themselves. SketchUp has such constructs so that you can draw the surfaces of 3D objects, not really so that you can do pure 2D. If you begin by drawing 2D outlines of the overlapping boundaries of what will eventually be solids and don’t isolate them via groups or components, you are sowing the seeds of confusion both for SketchUp and for yourself because you have created something in 3D that is actually impossible in the real world!


I’m your side, cause 2D drawings with sketchUp is a part of my workflow, quick, effective, easy modify… especially with a large scale plan. It’s the first attemp when I want to “digital” something that I have sketched from paper without using tool outside SketchUp before go further. If you have trouble, feel free to pm, I can help.

One of my youtube videos about that: SketchUp Tips - Đổi màu nhanh như điện - YouTube

If you really must work with 2d in a 3d environment you can easily fake it with a transparent surface.
Here I have simply painted the floor with transparent material and placed a second white panel underneath. This way you can slide the 2d elements around on the transparent face snapping to edges etc without worrying about things lifting.
Proper grouping and Tagging makes it simple.
2d floor

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What is wrong with components (2D or 3D, whatever) that are glued to the floor face and have ‘Cut Opening’ enabled? Move (or rotate) them around in ‘Top’ view any way you like.
You can even move ‘Cigarette burn holes’ around and shove them under the carpet.

Thank you so much! I was thinking that may be Layout is the best for it. I’m just not comfortable with scale drawings and scale I overall for two reasons - layout is new to me and also scale is in imperial units and metric units are really weird there. E.g. not 1:1000 but 1:7869 smith like that. Really disorienting.

But thank you so much! I will learn how to use scaled drawing.

thank you for sharing the file. will try your way as well.

thank you! will watch your video. yeah you get what I mean.

wow! smart idea!

nothing wrong. just that I’m not familiar with glue and cut openings. will google. thank you.

HI Kate _s,

I was wondering, have you seen this 2D extension tool:-

I was also wondering, if you’re not using SU as a 3D application, what enticed you to SU in the first place ? I guess you can use SU however which way you want to, but I think there may be some 2D free CAD software out there that may be equally easy to learn, just a thought. Links to some free 2D CAD software:-

FreeCAD: Your own 3D parametric modeler (3D & 2D- work-bench-tools)

This one may also be interesting for Architectural works, it looks to be in development, as free for the moment !