Full scope of Sketchup use in architecture

Hello everyone,

I am sure that this has been aired 1000 times probably… if so please just direct me to where and exactly how I can find all of the relevant threads. (I have to say that his forum does look a little too complex possibly for simple questions and relevant answers?)

So, firstly I am an architect using CADD for all of my design work, which is generally at the lower domestic level of building and technical product. I do all of my design currently in Autocad LT 2009 where I am very happy to be able to design to the millimetre in all respects, and to then explore all possibilities and options. I am of an age (60+) where I have progressed from the drawing board, but I am quite unusual in that I am more than happy to design in CADD exclusively and have no desire for pen and paper any more. My approach to date however is via the traditional 2D plan, elevation and section, and associated drawing products produced in Autocad LT all as I would have done using the drawing board. I want to be able to produce 3D visualisations to help further in the design process and examination of options, and to explain better the proposals to clients and non architects. I have just purchased Sketchup Pro 2016, so can someone please tell me if it is possible to simply design,and present most 2D and 3D information using Sketchup only, or should I continue to use Autocad for my accurate dimensional information and then import this into Sketchup to subsequently create a 3D visualisation and tinker with that?

Really the question is, can Sketchup be exclusively used as a full 2D/3D CADD tool for domestic level projects to produce all the necessary drawings and information without ever reverting to Autocad? I look forward to reading your comments and replies. Thank you in anticipation.

Yes. I use SketchUp Pro and Layout exclusively to produce architectural and engineering drawings as well as color renderings. If you want to see what can be done with SU/LO, Google “Nick Sonder” and check out his series of videos on his architectural process.

There are plenty of architects who use SketchUp exclusively. A key fact to realize, though, is that SketchUp itself is designed and intended to be used as a 3D modeling tool. For 2D presentations based on your 3D models, you should use the Pro version’s companion app, Layout.

You need to embrace the concept that you are not drawing a representation of a building: You are modeling the building in the computer - any resulting drawings are just ‘photos’ of this model taken from a specific viewpoint.

You do not draw lines that represent walls or windows or features: You model the features and the lines are a bi-product that happens when edges meet.

Drawings are traditionally used for presentation and conveying the design to others - the task of presenting your model to others in 2D format is taken up by a stand-alone package that comes as part of SU: Layout. Keep these two separate and you can’t really go too far wrong.

Good luck :smile:

1 Like

Creating drawings from you SketchUp can be done with the Skalp for SketchUp extension…

Examples of users…

Yes, and you will have fun too…:slight_smile: Just don’t try to carry your autocad methodology into SU, the SU environment is vastly superior, take time to learn it and you will be richly rewarded.

For example, almost all my design and editing is done in perspective view… very rarely do I work in orthographic view.

Take time to understand how the ALT, CNTL,SHIFT keys change commands on the fly…

Have fun again

Hi everyone that has replied and also all the other SU users. I am very encouraged and New Year resolution is going to be to learn SU and let it take over completely from my current Autocad LT 2D system. I have 2 really key questions now if you could help:

  1. Do you have 1 or 2 good Internet based sites where I should go to find the best training, whether this be paid for or free, I don’t mind, I just want a good set of training videos, or just written text. SU for dummies 2016 is not out yet but I iknow that many training centres use this book as the core of their training. Anyway, any suggestions would be great.

  2. In order to help learn SU I am going to use my own house that I have been working on for a while in 2D autocad. I have some extension and conversion proposals that would be most helpful if viewed in 3D and redesigned as necessary. I did my own survey and have all the original survey notes. My question is, will it be more useful/educational to start fresh and enter all the information into SU from the survey and build up my model that way, or should I import the base CADD 2D existing drawing (I already know that I have to strip it down to the bare minimum,) and then try to pull a 3D model off that? Whish of these will be easiest and also give me the best introduction to SU. Obviously I need to get a house model of the existing before I then try some alternative changes. Can you copy and paste any model to then muck about with it or file/save as just as with Autocad?

Thanks in anticipation.

There are many videos out there, but I would recommend starting with these:

A lot of experienced user recommend this: import your cad-file and use it to trace your model in SketchUp (with line and rectangle tool).