First time user advice please


Good morning all. I am trying to help out an older friend who uses Sketchup to design timber-framed buildings. He wants to run a small PC/screen in his workshop to view plans in his workshop. So he wants to open up existing Sketchup files, not design new ones. I have suggested he try a micro system linked to a spare monitor I have. Effectively a netbox, cheep and simple. My suggestion is the chillblast micro system which has 2GB ram running Win10 Pro. It has on-board graphics of Intel HG graphics 400. Has anyone tried running sketchup on this type of box? do any of you have an opinion as to whether it will work? Many thanks for your time


If the need is only to view plans, then he doesn’t need a PC. A cheap tablet or Chromebook will suffice. The software to use for viewing would be:

  • SketchUp Free - it’s web based and works with (almost) any common tablet browser. Or …
  • SketchUp Viewer App for Android or iOs
  • Any PDF viewer.

The creator of the 3D model would need to upload the .skp file to either the 3DWarehouse or Trimble Connect. If 2D plans are to be viewed, the creator can print them as a .pdf, then upload them to any of the common cloud storage platforms (Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.)


Ok, now that is very helpful, thank you very much. I haven’t tried sketchup myself so I am trying to learn quickly :slight_smile: So, if he exports the .skp file to a cloud can you then download it to an android device? His workshop is out in the woods (no internet) so he would need to be able to view ‘offline’. I have a tablet and could buy the App to test it assuming the app can work offline (with a local-stored version of the .skp file). Thank you for your input, sorry if i am asking dumb questions


Yes, you can. But …

The offline requirement makes it harder to not use a full fledged PC. Using Sketchup Free is right out, and (based on information in other forum threads - I don’t have Viewer so I can’t confirm) I think the SketchUp Viewer has no “Tape Measure” tool - which means that to get measurements off a 3D model, they’d have to be part of the model, not taken off it in real time. This IS something you can do in SketchUp, but the dimensions in SketchUp act in some bothersome ways - many people who need offline measurements use Layout to display them, then either print them out or print to PDF and use a PDF viewer.


viewer has a tape measure tool. Views or scenes with dims would be a better plan for the Viewer app. If I had a complex model I would use a computer.


Sketchup Viewer on Android has had the ability to use the Tape Measure tool, AND to display dimensions, for some time now (earlier versions could do neither). If the dimensions are on a layer of their own, you can turn them on or off in the Viewer (as you can with any layers), and you can choose between standard views, or scenes, to view. I find it works well for the sorts of models I build - stage sets, typically up to 10-20MB each, and workshop construction details for individual components in the set.

If you upload an SKP file to a file sharing service, you can open the viewer, select Dropbox or Trimble Connect or 3D Warehouse as the source (when you have an internet connection), then download the file to phone or tablet for later use offline.

I believe you can do the same with the Apple version of the viewer but don’t have a copy myself.

Both cost about £10 from the Play Store, or Apple App store in the UK, or roughly $15 USD in USA.

The Viewer on Android is limited in the file size it can handle - I think it struggles above a file size of a few tens of MB. For your friends models, that sounds unlikely to be a problem.


many thanks to you all, I will pass all of that along


It is the same with IOS-version


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