Modeling a multi level structure with combined model and floor by floor plans

I’m wondering if anyone has any suggestions on how to best model an existing building inside and out with easy access to each floor and a final model that doesn’t look chopped up from the outside.

I imagine this comes up a lot, but I didn’t see anything in the forums (though I likely wasn’t using the right search terms),

Here’s a screenshot of the structure I’m working on. I’d like to had detailed interior floorpans and a detailed exterior without having to do either twice.

55 PM

I’m attaching the file as well for convenience.

7432 Brush .skp (2.6 MB)

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(I haven’t looked at your model - can’t download it at work.) Assuming that the exterior walls are components or groups, they can be assigned to a layer named something such as “Exterior Walls”. Then you can toggle the visibility of that layer in order to show or hide the associated geometry. The same technique could be applied to an entire floor - assigning all of the floor’s components and groups to a layer such as “Floor 2” etc.

I have not done much with cases where a given object is affected by multiple layers (for example an exterior wall component that is directly associated with layer “Exterior Walls” and also part of a group or component named “Second Floor” that is associated with layer “Floor 2”). I think all relevant layers need to be toggled visible in order for such objects to be shown.

You could also make each floor a component, and then place multiple instances of that component in the model file - one copy in-place forming the total building, and another instance off to the side as seen in your screen-capture. That way you can edit either instance of the floor and the other(s) will stay in sync automatically. (Components can be nested, so the “Floor 2” component can have wall components, furniture components, etc.)


On a more basic note, it looks like you are not using layers according to best practice. All edges and faces should be on layer 0. Groups and components can be on layers. The “cornice” blocks contain such geometry. These blocks would also be better as components.
Elsewhere, there seem to be very many unnecessary lines inside walls and so on. You could keep these cleaned up as you go. Also, there are many reversed faces. These can be oriented as you model as well.



The actual modelling is almost incidental, it’s all about model organisation. Absolutely keep actual geometry on layer 0 and then use nested groups / components assigned to a logical layer schema.

Read Mike Brightmans book. -A SketchUp Workflow for Architecture, I don’t use his plugins and layout templates anymore but the system of model organisation is excellent (for me) and as you mentioned, allows you to work on multi storey buildings quickly and easily by isolating/ hiding / displaying the geometry you need to see when you need it. It’s second nature now (been using it a few years) and is really a very simple and sensible way of model organisation. You can download a basic SU template containing his standard layer schema for free. As I said I don’t use his plugins and layout scrapbooks anymore as I use a Skalp,based display model now but I still use the organisation method, it’s great.

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