Great use case: in the shop

I’m in the middle of a huge house/kitchen remodel. I had designed the entire project in SketchUp Desktop over a year ago (before SketchUp for iPad was out).

Since the model was basically done I have been using my iPad to show contractors, electricians, and plumbers the 3D model so they could get a sense of the job they had to do.

Not a whole lot of modeling was happening ON the iPad with this project.

I have been doing a lot of testing with the iPad, but these past few days I finally had a killer use case for it:

In this part of the kitchen we have a live edge slab I’m putting in. The slab sits on top of a raised wall.

Under that wall there are metal brackets that hold up the counter. The brackets need to be screwed into studs so the counter has good support. This is the wall that I built:

It’s not obvious from that one picture, but the stud spacing is critical and dictated by the random curves in the slab.

So while it looks like it’s a simple studded wall, there’s a bit more too it. I had to plan the cuts for all the 2x4s, and the plywood skin on the front and the back. I also had to account for some posts (not pictures) that are going on the end. Those posts were planed down.

I had all of the material to built it in the shop. Instead of getting my laptop out and pre-planning the whole build (as I do with a lot of my builds) I just “went for it” in the shop with the iPad.

I was able to lay out my shelf brackets, reference live dimensions I was pulling from the slab itself, some scrap building materials that I had on hand, and other one off dimensions:

The resulting model isn’t anything special, but it was so great to be able to just kinda “sketch” out what I wanted in the moment.

I was able to check dimensions as a went along building easily with the tape measure tool.

The only real point of friction is getting files in to/out of SketchUp. I am a long time Google Drive user. I know I can open SketchUp files from Drive on the iPad, but there’s friction in saving them back, I have to “share” them to Drive or move them around with Files on the iPad.

Other than that, this was a great experience in the shop @MikeTadros


Looks like the Lab tests are ongoing.


I’ve used AirDrop a lot. Then you have to think about versioning and version naming as a workflow, but when it works, it’s sure convenient.

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Airdrop is great, and Files works too but exactly as you said… you need to think about where the latest file is.

If I share back to the desktop and make a change… say create a LayOut doc from that model the one that’s on the iPad is now out of date. It would be very cool if I could edit on my iPad, save and have the changes synced back to Drive or Dropbox and then LayOut would pick up the change.

I should dig into Trimble Connect, but even if it does sync well the files are kind of orphaned on that service. My Drive folder for this project contains hundreds of docs

Ok, I was slightly mistaken, you can add from cloud storage services and sync back to them….

In the main screen of SketchUp for iPad you press “add from” and then Files opens up. If you have google drive setup in Files you can grab a file from there. Once you add it the model opens up.

If you go back to the main screen you can see that file in the list with a bookmark on it:

If you open bookmarked file, change it and then go back to the main screen of SketchUp the file gets updated. I just tested it with Drive and it seems to work!!

@ericschimel Glad to see that you found the Add From button and that it’s working for ya. For the next release, we’ve renamed it Open From to hopefully make it a little bit more intuitive.


I see what you did there!

One downside right now is that if you create a file on the iPad it looks like you have to share it to whatever cloud service you have through the files app (or in some cases directly to the app).

It looks like SketchUp keeps its copy on the iPad so you would have to remember to delete the one that is on your iPad and then open it again from whatever cloud service you want.

So I guess I’m just back to having invented native Drive/Dropbox integration :slight_smile: