Construction Drawings - Boat Dock

Hi @bifterx, I had exactly the same experience last week at a consultants engineering office. I had emailed them beforehand a schematic *.pdf presentation set of the project, but during our meeting, once I opened up SketchUp and they were able to Orbit around the steel framing scene in 3D, the model become the centerpiece of our remaining discussions.

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good to hear, its quite transformative isnā€™t it. we get so used to working natively in 3D, you kind of assume everyone is. I could imagine some difficulties in just a shared model approach. Controlling views and exposing details when you are not driving the model could be an issue but I suppose thats what scenes are for particularly if you animate between scenes so you can see the context.

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I just did a SU model for another architect working in 2D CAD only. Complicated roof with lots of hips and valleys needed an in person meeting to resolve some of the design. Now they want to get into SU.

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I think it would be possible in architecture in the future (maybe in the next two decades), that the contractors on the site would only have a device like an iPad, but much bigger, more stable, dirt-repellant :wink: and maybe foldable, that shows a 3d-model. Containing not only the 3d geometry, but also all informations about the quality (Bim).

Premise would be of course, that every little thing is drafted in the 3d-modell and every information about the quality is deposited in it. I started drafting in 3d 20 years ago, and I think this would be possible in the future.

Just my little opinion. Greetings, Peter


I like the way these drawings whilst being very practical show flair. The mix of 3D & 2D & the presentation style seems to generate a certain excitement that makes you feel you jsut want to go out and build it!

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An all-3D design-to-job-site process would be great but letā€™s face it, the farther from the designerā€™s desk and the closer to the job site you get and the harder it is to deploy.

Realistically - and letā€™s forget for a second the insurgency of pitchfork-wielding building officials, contractors and subs - job site delivery and use (of the 3D model that would be at the center of this digital paradigm) would present multiple challenges.

There would have to be completely standardized software incorporating strong versioning, ironclad access control and privileges management, and strong review and change tracking.

Then, at the job site, youā€™d need hardware that could somehow run flawlessly in conditions ranging from subzero to heat wave, rain, snow, impacts, drops, coffee flooding, etc. The display would have to be perfectly legible outdoors in high noon glare while covered in thick dust. It would have to be large enough to display enough information at once while remaining legible (a 17" tablet isnā€™t going to cut it). And the interface would have to be operable by folks who donā€™t read English.

I hope Iā€™m not sounding negative, because really I would love for this to happen; and I believe it will, but itā€™s going to take a couple of decades before we get to ditch paper docs for good.

In the meantime, we will increasingly see 3D (perspective) drawings being incorporated into standard 2D plans.


This is where SketchUp really shines, try creating these type of drawings with plain jane AutoCad or AutoCad LT and youā€™ll quickly realize that the 3D horse power just isnā€™t there.

Iā€™ve done a similar sort of presentation with some of my garage plans with Solid Works. The 3D certainly does add a je ne sais quoi to the overall presentation.

After doing two plansets using Solidworks it became painfully obvious that the parametric workflow of Solidworks was not well suited for this type of work. It took me far too long to generate the 3D geometry within Solidworks, not a feasible solution. A similar 3D model (using my plugins) can be generated in SketchUp within a fraction of the time and editing things like roof pitches or moving windows or doors is a breeze.

Additionally SketchUp is a much more intuitive and friendly 3D environment. So in the end SketchUp beat out AutoCad and Solidworks.


Thank you @Rightangler.
Appreciate your complements.

Very nice drawing and great presentationā€¦

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Thank you @Osman.
Greatly appreciate your complement.


yep , all valid concerns ā€¦ I am thinking though that is the individual contractors,
or suppliers responsibilities to extract the information from the modelā€¦ not the architects to provide it in the form they desireā€¦ if they want it on paperā€¦ they print itā€¦ if they want quantitiesā€¦ they extract themā€¦ the model is the design intent they need to comply withā€¦ but yes, I recognise there are many hurdles stillā€¦ It staggers me that I still have have Estimators asking for 2d prints or dwgs when I can give them a mm accurate 3d model (SketchUp of course) with volumes, surface areas, component counts etc, readily accessibleā€¦


Love it! A very professional look and feel.


Thank you @misternige.
Visited your website, fabulous models, airport +1.

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Sorry about getting up on my soapbox to espouse the virtues of SketchUp and hijacking your thread.

An amazing set of drawings, I would love to see more of this type of work done in SketchUp.

Nigel Purdy is my new idol. @Lindsey You just got a compliment from the boss.

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@medeek, no worries, I enjoy reading your posts across the forum. Your thoughts are well taken, and thought provoking. Collectively, our continuing discourses on improvements, implementations and future directions, will lead to fruitful enhancements. I am pleased my drawings are but one of those seeds. Best Regards.

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Thank you, Nigelā€™s work is fabulous.


Very nice!

Thank you @ksarch_CDG_TSA_2

yep, I understand the reaction in the officeā€¦even on large projects, eg. for 100,000m2 3 tower mixed use towers I dedicated one staff to keep an detailed SketchUp model up to date right thru the construction phaseā€¦ all the team used it to understand the overall project and support their traditional 2d autocad documentationā€¦

Furtherā€¦I used to take that 3d model to all site / client meeting to discuss design / construction issues , got to a point where the construction manager asked me to teach him SU so he could use the model to instruct his subbies on site,which I did :slight_smile: open data and less problems on site

the project

PSā€¦because we kept a concurrent 3D SU model of the development all elevations in the construction documents were actually SU views, not drawn in Autocadā€¦