Interior planner using Sketcher?

Hello everyone!
I am new to Sketcher, just started the demo. I have a question to you about the potential use of Sketcher.

I am with a company where we build robotics training modules (they look like carts with small robots or machines mounted on the working surface). These modules are used for STEM (Engineering) classes help at schools and colleges.

We thought it might be nice to allow our customers visualize their classrooms once they purchase and install our modules: how they can place them in the classrooms, how many will fit, how many students they will be able to train in one session, etc.

With this in mind, we are looking for an easy-to-use software, which would be similar to the interior design / home planner type of apps that allows us to:

  1. load the 3D CAD models of our products into the objects library

  2. Let the customer to quickly sketch their classroom with more or less correct dimensions, add doors and windows as needed

  3. Create a layout of the classroom with the essential elements including our training modules, desks, chairs, smart or white boards, etc.

  4. Be able to print or generate a pdf of the layout.

  5. Maybe, as added bonus, create a BOM list of all the elements added to the scene.

I understand that Sketchup is a powerful software and it certainly can be used to create these layouts, however the question I have it whether is can be skinned to function as light-weight layout planner tool, and not a function-rich 3D CAD program.

I appreciate your advice. Thank you!

You could create a library of SketchUp components and have your clients drag instances out onto a model of the classroom. But to draw the classroom itself would require that they learn the 3D modeling tools and techniques of SketchUp. SketchUp is easy to learn compared to many 3D modeling tools, but that does not equate to a near-zero learning curve! The alternative would be to find or develop an extension that performs only the limited tasks to rough-out a classroom. But extensions are supported only in the desktop Pro version, and would therefore require SketchUp Pro licenses that would likely be cost-prohibitive for what you want to do.

Sal1, You could try the SketchUp Viewer for mobile: SketchUp Viewer - Apps on Google Play

Your customers could load your models and view them in place. This would obviate the need for them to model their own classrooms. In lieu of creating layouts, they could take photos of the space while displaying the models. It may, however, only be possible to load one model at a time.

The Viewer has a measuring function (applicable to the model only, I believe). You could therefore have a ‘backdrop’ which would help to get relative sizes (or be scaled to wall sizes). It would be possible to step the customer through a series of models (e.g., Please scale wall 1, scale wall 2, etc.). See: Viewing Your Models in Augmented Reality | SketchUp Help

This approach misses a couple of the features you mentioned but has the advantage of being fairly simple for your end user. Another disadvantage is that customers may become discouraged or frustrated if the process doesn’t go well.

If I recall, Trimble Connect has a ‘note’ or ‘todo’ feature and would allow for loading SketchUp models. SketchUp for HoloLens has a collaboration mode -which would be ideal in terms of helping your customer with the tasks… but that is another cans of worms.