For those highly knowledgeable on sketchup and what sketchup can do --


here’s the goal:

  • you haven’t decided on the size of luggage or backpack you want, but they dont typically go over a certain xyz

  • you want to see what % of space things take up to see if they’re worth having in life – you want to see relative space

  • you want to make sure things would fit beforehand

  • one example is seeing if you should buy a large lcd and still be able to bring it when moving, etc.

what about a saucepan and its lid?

  • an ideal software/web app would just let you move ‘item B’ onto ‘item A’ - in 3d of course – or some other simple solutions

  • can sketchup do this?

for something like, ‘how many soccer balls can you fit in a backpack?’

  • it doesn’t have to ‘perfectly optimialised’ – as have learned from many other things, optimalising anything is almost always a wasteful thing to do

  • things can just be adjusted in practise after getting a general feel that things fit

if sketchup isnt good for this goal, please recommend what is good for this


The short answer to your various questions is yes.

Although it would be possible to evaluate specific volumes using SketchUp, a good amount of very specific spatial configuration would be required to develop each example with any degree of accuracy.

Each container must be modeled and its volume calculated, then the contents must also be modeled in a configuration designed to fit within the container and then that volume must also be calculated in order to confirm whether the contents would fit. A competent programmer may be able to construct a SketchUp routine for a dynamic component that could handle these tasks. So theoretically, SU is capable of satisfying this request, provided the stipulated conditions are met.


so basically this cant be done easily is what your’re saying? and that sketchup is not equipped for this task

what kind of software or is the best software for this?

im just trying to do something simple, just looking for the simpliest solution

g-sheets, excel was halfway there vert very quickly but cant do 3d


That is not what I said. I offered a very specific response that attempted to address each example mentioned. And the response did not imply an “easy” solution.


well the dynamic components are based on the “spread sheet” concept, cells, input values or other cells, string type formula after an equal sign. so you are least half way then.


I agree with fellow architect, jvlee that the answer is yes, Sketchup is great for this. Especially since you say

“optimalising anything is almost always a wasteful thing to do”

I am not sure exactly how you were going about it with Excel, but in my relatively limited experience spreadsheets are strictly mathematical and would provide you with an optimized solution limited to your input parameters. Assuming you are keeping it simple as per your requirements, the formula may not take into account practicality, priority, material properties, etc.
(For example: the volume of 3 fishing poles may be less than the volume of your backpack but it would not necessarily be a “good fit”, or it may tell you that they won’t fit due to the one long dimension but you know you could leave them sticking out the top and still have room in the backpack.)

Sketchup however would give you the ability to manipulate volumetrically accurate 3D models of the vessel and all contents. Yes you could move items onto each other, and into each other. You could arrange contents as you would in real life by simply dragging the objects into the volume, rotate objects, make outer vessel transparent, orbit, zoom, etc. quickly seeing if it is possible to fit everything comfortably and practically, leaving complexities to be decided on your own.
(For example: you know that a tshirt can be folded up very small, or wrapped around a fragile object to add extra protection, or even stuffed inside a saucepan, which would also be possible to do in sketchup)

This task would of course be even simpler if all manufacturers provided 3D models of their products, which some of them do. But you could very easily generate the basic volumes by researching the dimensions and images of the products without purchasing them first.

When I first downloaded sketchup I started modeling many of my possessions just because it is fun. Never thought to use the models in such a constructive way, great idea!

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