Building a car



Is it possible to build an car without using an picture of an car and than taking lines around the car.
When you search on Internet i can’t find any good solution.
I think the car makers on factory’s are not using pictures to make an new car.
Is it possible in Sketchup Make 2017 or whit an other program?


What did I just read?


Most car manufacturers use Nurbs-software, in the range from Rhino to Catia and can cost a fortune if used for hobby only, I guess. But a car designer has the most valuable software-program there is:
Imagination (from BRAIN-solutions)
With that, you can use a Mesh/surface model program like SketchUp to accomplish almost everything.
The stickyness off the geometry can be used to stretch/scale or move lines, vertices and faces.
It is usefull to practice the ‘native’ tools first, so you will get a grip on how extensions can work for you.

(I do not know how long it took to draw this car @thomthom ?)
If you wanna speed up the process, you can use extensions to draw faces between lines or manipulate (solid) objects.

Round Corner
Sandbox tools
Vertex tools


Geen idee.


Dag @Eric1959 en @kasp422d, dit is een publiek forum, als je elkaar een prive bericht wilt sturen, klik dan op de Avatar en vervolgens op ‘Message’


Its possible but you need to use plugins, I make vehicles sometimes and as @MikeWayzovski says you need to rely heavily on Plugins, I also use Artisan Organic Toolset plugin alongside SubD.

It can be tricky to make certain components in SketchUp so it’s good to have a companion tool like Blender or Rhino to help with some complex parts.

Also as Mike said, SketchUp is more of a visualisation tool, the actual vehicle files will need to be made in a Nurbs based software, Catia and Alias are the usual suspects but very expensive, with a few automotive based plugins you can easily be running over $50,000 per user per year.


Whilst extensions have their uses [I do write many of them !], it is possible to model an entire car using native tools - like line, move and scale…
There are many tutorials if you invest a little time on Google…

You will need to have some basic 2d outlines for the car, otherwise you are working in a vacuum !
These need not be ‘real’ cars, you could draw your own 2d elevations and plan in SketchUp ?

Tip: model just one half of the car and mirror the other half later, to make the final form…

Make reusable components like wheels, mirrors etc.

Finally, always remember that it’s a model - don’t try to replicate every screw and atom…


I’ve been wondering how successful an iPad and Canvas attachment might be at capturing a car into SketchUp, not that you’d still want the usual plugins mentioned above.

I also wondered about using a camera on a tripod in the dark, a plumb line laser level and multiple exposures to get a photo to use in photomatch that has what amounts to a series of glowing contour lines drawn on the body to trace off and then loft with sandbox tools. You could only do one quarter or so from one picture, and I’ll bet trying to mesh two such parts together wouldn’t be easy.


But what i see with searching i see only using an picture or blueprints.
So it means there is no other solution?


The other solution is to use your imagination.
What sort of solution other than, picture, blueprint or your own imagination are you expecting?
There is no automated ‘make me a car’ method.


I want to use my imagination,but how to start?
That is what i have asking a lot of times.
But nobody can or knows how to start.


The video @TIG linked to is the best way to start. In the video, the picture is just used as reference.
You can start blanc and reference the image in your imagination…

You can also use modeling clay to build the body, take a picture and import that in SketchUp.

The only one who knows, has to start.:smiley:
Show us your attempts and then ask for additional help or guidance.


the hardest thing in the world to do, is whatever you want…

start by setting some restrictions based on [imagined] end usage…

where will it be used, how many occupants, how many wheels or does it hover, etc…

or start out easy and design a single seat gravity racer that you would fit into…

there’s a test dummy in 3D WH that you could build around…



Alternatively take apart some other cars by finding the blueprints online to see how they are put together, this will educate you on what is needed and how it can most easily be constructed.




nee !


Blender - it’s free.

This tutorial isn’t free but would show you how its done… a lot to learn.


… just draw it. No pictures necessary. All objects are just a collection of shapes … so, put the shapes together in a way that pleases you, and call it a “car”.


… just start drawing. That is how to “start”.


Thanks for this nice answer.