iPad SketchUp Tutorials for SketchUP Dummies

I am a completely newbie to architecture, and just purchased sketchup for iPad with the hope of working on building a 3d model of a 300 sqfoot home, given I have the 2d plan I collaborated on with an Architect. Even though I went through all the iPad SketchUp YouTube videos, the past 3 days of actually using the app has been mind-blowingly frustrating. For example, just trying to retrace the simple 2d plan in sketchup as a starting point seems impossible to do accurately given the pen line jumps around and tries to snap in places I don’t want it to. When I finally got the 2d shape as close as I could get it, I spend the next couple days trying to build up walls with windows which has been another torturous process. For example, when I finally managed to make a rectangle for a window spot, I was unable to punch a hole in the wall because the push tool kept pushing it out with no obvious way to delete it. Is there any tutorial that goes through sketchup for the iPad, and assumes no knowledge of sketchup? The learning SketchUP tutorial I found online all seem to be geared to the desktop, and the free YouTube videos aren’t really hands on or cohesive in a way that helps me, given that I already watched them all. Any tips on how a person brand new in design, but comfortable with computing and software might learn how to use this app? I’ve given myself a month to keep trying before I give up - but I’m not sure if I can really get the hang of this without some help from experienced users. Does anyone recommend going through the desktop tutorial to help with the iPad, or are they too different? For example, I see how people make holes in the walls on the desktop version, but it doesn’t seem to work on the iPad version.

Here is the room I’m trying to design in 3d. I wonder how complex people would rate this kind of project and how long it would take an advanced user to make.

There are a lot of people that can do great thing with the iPad app, maybe someone can give you some tips or resources for learning.

Personally I don’t really like the iPad app for modeling, I use it just for visualization with clients. I’ve used the desktop version for over 10 years and it’s a lot better and more professional focused imho, the best features of the desktop versions are layout and the option to install extensions, you can do almost everything with native tools, and it’s better for a beginner to learn how to model properly using just native tools, but with plug-ins you can do a lot more things faster or model complex things that with native tools would be either impossible or it would take a lot of time.

You can try it for free for 30 days, If you got already the Go license and after trying the desktop version you like it better, it’s possible to upgrade just paying the difference.

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I made this video one year ago, is in spanish but you can activate subtitles. I hope it helps you.
The iPad app is better and better each day, I hope you don’t give up because it is very worthwhile and very interesting news are coming in the next versions.


Thanks for the advice, but I actually don’t own a traditional computer - i just have an iPad. Hopefully it’s advanced enough for this particular project.

Thanks, I glanced at your video but english translation is not available for it. I’ll give it a shot anyway since you seem to have done good visuals which might help.

Using SUPro could model this in about a half hour. What are the wall thickness and what are the wall heights? I have the iPad version but find it better for field verification and presentation. do you have the window sizae for P,Q,R, T, U, W and X?

Since I have the Desktop version, I choose to use that first. If I didn’t have a computer like you, I would recommend getting a keyboard and mouse for your iPad so that it mimic’s how the Web/Desktop apps function. The bonus is you can still use touch when it makes sense to but aren’t locked into only that method.
See example set up that came from this video.

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A few tips that may help you here are: (*note I’m suing the Web version which is closer to the iPad version than the Desktop. Please let me know if it is significantly different that I’m showing since I don’t have access to iPad at the moment):

  1. Right-click on the Axis and choose ‘place’ and align to the angle of your walls so that everything you draw stays at parallel / perpendicular. Alternatively you can rotate your reference image but moving the Axis is good to know how to do.

  2. Under the Scenes panel. Make sure to set to Ortho / Parallel projection. Then the roof or ‘Top’ view so you’re looking straight down. That’s a preference I have when tracing plans but you can trace at an angle or tilt if preferred.

  3. optional but if you go to Styles panel, then Edit you can set the face style to ‘X-Ray’…this will help you see your lines you draw over your reference image easier.

  4. Note the dimensions in the plan don’t necessarily add up to what is shown in the text. See here where I sized the plan so that the length of the wall is 23’…and when I drew a line 10" it is longer than what is shown in the drawing.

room.skp (97.8 KB)
Just used the dimensions listed on the image. Don’t know window sizes so they are not included. Exterior walls are 6" and interior walls are 4.5". Walls are 8’-0" high and door heads are 6’-8". This should be able to be opened in the iPad version.

Wow, the model you sent me is amazing! I was hoping to model it out in 3 months and spend another few month detailing it! I’ve attached are all the dimensions for the doors and windows. The ceiling is 9’ tall. The wall thickness is 5.5”. I’m extremely grateful for any help on this!

This is concerning - you’re saying the architectural drawings are inaccurate? I’m going to look into this.

Yes, I have an iPad Pro and use it with the Magic Keyboard. I’m pretty adept with it doing photo/video editing as well music making. The app looks sophisticated enough to do what I want to do, it’s just my skill in using the app is not up to par. I saw some videos of people doing some pretty advanced SketchUP with the iPad.

Your tips are extremely helpful. I’m going to start over using your tips. The first thing I did wrong I think was not align the walls to the axis.

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For what it’s worth at this point, the iPad works just the same as the web version or desktop without extensions.

The way I learned was to familiarize myself with the tools briefly, and then just go through the regular tutorials for desktop. If the desktop does it natively, then chances are the iPad version does it as well.

If you’re picking up the iPad version before the desktop version, then you’re in a unique position to really like the iPad. I have a strong suspicion that more people would like the iPad version if they weren’t already used to the desktop.

If you have specific questions, I’m sure I can help you with them. :slight_smile:


I can see two hash marks there between the 10" and the 3’-1" meaning one of them isn’t snapped right. I would suspect the 3’-1" box bay.

Good advice and I think I’ll go this route - back to the basics using the desktop tutorials while I work on the project and ask for help on specific roadblocks along the way if I encounter them. I have several months to get the 3d model kicking anyway before the construction starts.

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Yes, I’m in that boat. I actually do like the iPad version a lot, but I’m just much faster with desktop, and when time pressures on real world projects come into play, I just have to do whatever works the fastest.


Which amuses me, because I’m the exact opposite. I’m so much faster and more efficient in the iPad, that I really only jump into desktop to model upholstery… And then begrudgingly so!

I do like the desktop though.

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When I started I also had a problem with punching out windows. In the video I watched, the instructor moved the cursor around so quickly I couldn’t always catch where it landed or what he did with it. I started out with my windows turning into a big box sticking through the wall to the other side. Turns out I never noticed that the instructor clicked on the edge of the secondary wall to define where the “punch out” stopped. I felt pretty dumb when I discovered the mistake. I find that a lot of hosts of instructional videos move so quickly I have to keep stopping the video. This is particularly true when they pick out a very small cursor.

I made a bunch of videos some time ago when i started using the SU for iPad. Hopefully they are of use. https://youtu.be/MtTrPITiNt8?si=PxkJ70hoBJn_bvo2