New to SketchUp any words of wisdom


I just recently downloaded SketchUp Pro, I have been using the program for a few days now. Are there any extensions I should get? Any advice?

I am a college student. I will be using the program fo site modeling and to model building layouts.

Welcome Evelyn. There are loads of extensions out there but before you get any of them I would suggest you get really familiar with the native tools. There is a whole that can be done without adding any extensions. Even when you do start adding extensions into your workflow it’s a good idea to understand what is going on with SketchUp so you can figure if the extension is doing what you need it to do.

Avoid falling into the trap of collecting extensions just to have extensions. They can just get in the way. If you find you are wanting to do something specific, feel free to start a new thread and ask. It might be that it’ll be an extension you need or maybe just a different approach with the native tools.

If you haven’t done it yet, you should go through the Fundamentals at

Thanks. Can I ask a question? I am currently creating a model and I am trying to download a tree from the 3D warehouse but it’s so small. The tree does not appear on the model but it actually is. Why are the models small?

There are two probable causes. The first is that your model is giant and not drawn at full size. The other is that the author of the tree component modeled it as very tiny. Can you share the title of the component so I can try inserting it into SketchUp myself?

I have tried downloading other models from the warehouse and they all come out tiny. Is there way I can adjust the size of the tree so that it is bigger when I download it onto my model? The tree is by Firdes K.

That tree is already 33’ tall. You could scale it up after importing it but if everything you import from the Warehouse is coming in small, that would imply that you’ve modeled your house too big. Instead of scaling up all these added components, you ought to correct the size of your building.

Here it is inserted into one of my models with a building.

How can I rescale it? What if I am building a site analysis model where I have multiple lots with area up 100,000 sq feet. Why are the models from the 3D warehouse coming out small as well?

As I said, if the things you are getting from the 3D Warehouse are showing up as way too small in your model, it’s probably your model is drawn too large. What units are you working in? (See Window>Model Info>Units)
Get the Tape Measure tool and measure something of known size that you modeled. Does it measure correctly?

Or upload the .skp file so we can take a look at it.

As ever, @DaveR’s advice is sound. Besides avoiding too many extensions, I would also suggest caution with downloading ready made models from the 3D Warehouse. Newbies tend to think of the 3DW a bit like a model store where you might go to get parts for your model railway or doll’s house. In the Sketchup world, there is a big difference in model quality and in how well they are constructed. In particular, models or organic shapes (like trees) can bloat a drawing very quickly indeed. So the advice would be to take a close look at the model before you do decide to download it and to ask whether you really need it in the first place.

Two other important bits of advice:

  1. Your profile information is really important if you want detailed help (and you certainly will!). You log your operating system as Acer but that is just a hardware brand.

  2. Uploading the file you are working on is super important if you can. People tend to try explaining a problem but it is so much easier to see it in the flesh. Try describing two faces as opposed to sending photos and see how far you get!

Good luck with learning. Sketchup is a fantastic tool once you master it.

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I checked the model info and it is huge. I am using inches. How do I rescale the entire model?

Draw a line, then use the tape measure tool to measure the line. After finalizing the command, type in the length it to resize the model, tap enter.

Click yes.

You can also scale geometry to an arbitrary size with the scale tool, then type in the size you want it to be.

I created a google drive because the file was too big to upload. The link is

You’re right. The model is huge. It’s no wonder components you bring in from the Warehouse are so tiny.

That building is 13,449 miles wide. That’s thirteen thousand…

Use the Tape Measure tool and measure some distance that you know making sure to click on both ends. Then type the dimension it’s supposed to be and hit Enter.

By the way, you’ve got the axes oriented incorrectly in your model, Solid blue should point up. With the axes screwed up like this, elements you import from the Warehouse are going to be positioned incorrectly.

Right click on one of the axis lines and choose Reset.

And it wouldn’t hurt to purge unused stuff from your file. 10 of the 114 component definitions and 188 of the 273 materials in your file are unused. That’ll know about 46% off the file size.

How do you do that? Can you also help with the sidewalk located behind the intended white castle? If you have noticed the sidewalk is not leveled, I tried multiple times to fix it.

How can you do what?

Maybe there’s old tree roots under it?

Frankly I think the easiest thing to do would be to first reset the axes so they are correct then erase the sidewalk and redraw it. That’ll be faster and more straightforward than trying to repair it.

You need to take some time to learn about using groups and components. All of your geometry is in a single ungrouped mass which will make it difficult to work with and prone to errors.

You should also learn about modeling things to correct dimensions instead of just eyeballing them. If you need an accurate model for site planning, you need to use accurate modeling from the beginning.