Best way to create and then modify furniture objects with specific dimensions?

Hi, I’m new to SketchUp Web and going through the intro videos. One thing I am having trouble with is creating 3D objects to the dimensions that I need. I’m working on designing an L-shaped home bar and I know the height of the bar, and length and width of its sides but as I draw starting with the Rectangle tool, it seems like you only get the chance at the beginning to set the measurement dimensions. There doesn’t seem to be a way to change the measurement once you have drawn the rectangle so if you are piecing things together to create a group, you need to have the right dimensions for every part in advance which makes it hard if you are experimenting to see how various components fit together in 3D space.

Any tips or guides on how to be able to play with dimensions so that you can experiment and tune sizes as you go instead of having to redraw every piece to change dimensions?



If you’ve create a simple 2D rectangle and want to change its dimensions later, you can use the Move tool to move a single edge or in some cases, the Scale tool will be appropriate. Keep in mind that scaling for furniture parts is frequently not the right tool, though.

If your “rectangle” is actually three dimensional, you could add Push/Pull to the tools for changing dimensions.

I frequently have to modify dimensions of parts either because I get new information or, as in the case of these tables, I need to make a different version of the first.

The coffee table was made from a copy of the side table and except for the knee brackets, everything else was modified use the Move tool. Have a look at this.

The other thing I note in your post is that it sounds as if you are drawing parts as components and then trying to place them into the model much like you’d do in the shop. While that can be done, it’s not especially efficient and it’s error prone. A better workflow would be to create components for parts that define the project’s foot print and then draw the intervening components between. This reduces the chances of errors and reduces the number of dimensions you have to keep track of. If you have the corners for your bar cabinet located correctly, you only need to make sure the parts between them actually fit and most of that is done with inferencing.

Designing is all about proportions, so sometimes I do not bother at all about Dimensions, Like @DaveR said, it needs to feel good and fit in between. That said, you sometimes want something at a specific width or thickness. While still in concept fase, you can add dimensions to edges to see specific changes and use the scale tool to set exact.
Note: selecting the right parts or faces is key in this one. You can add or increase your selection with the modifier key SHIFT
Once you got theright planes, select the scale tool and grab the right Scale handle, let go of the mouse and type the dimension you would like it to be (with Units!!)

Dave, that’s great information. I probably was making it too complicated for myself. I’m mostly trying to build a realistically sized 3D model of my bar so that I can import it into a Home Designer tool and visualize the space utilization. If I can build the majority of it using push/pull that would be fine. Since I already knew the dimensions of the bar which I laid out in 2D on my floor, I just needed to be able to draw that bar in 2D rectangles then extend it into 2D space. I am experimenting with your advice.


Mike your video demo was absolute magic! That really helped me get farther in a few minutes then I had over the last day! I’ve used the dimensions tool before so that was easy to add after the rectangles were drawn. With the scale tool am I just having to eyeball the dimensions as I scale up and down and stop when it gets to the right dimensions? I was actually able to add the first rectangle, type its dimensions then add-on the 2nd rectangle to form the L and then type its dimensions, erase the edge line and then I had my basic bar! What would be cool would be to be able to click on the dimensions labels and type over the preferred dimensions to adjust the scale.
Something else I need to figure out is the top of the bar. It is 3" thick and extends out over the front of the bar along both sides of the L by 10". I think I need some wat of pushing the base of the bar below the top inwards 3" down and then back 10". Is that possible to do or should that be down using two different sections?

Thanks, this is amazing!

Well, you can move/copy geometry (Edges and Faces ) with precise movements:
Select two edges (Hold Shift), select the Move tool and toggle copy on with the modifier key (CTRL on Win, Alt on Mac), drag (preferably along an Axe) in a direction and type the distance to move.
Pushpull can also be used to move faces exactly.