Plan drawing

Where can one create tech plan drawings to be used as base info in Sketchup?

What kind of “tech plan drawings” are you talking about? What sort of thing are you modeling? Generally you shouldn’t need to create “base info” in another application before going to SketchUp. And LayOut, since you posted this in the LayOut category, would be used to create plans from your SketchUp model. You don’t need to start in LayOut to create info for SketchUp.

Probably as soon as you explain what you mean by “tech drawings”.

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As a start: SketchUp 's 3D model (+ section cuts) > in any of the ortho views > create scenes > export to LayOut > in LayOut apply these scenes.

Be more specific in what you need please.

Your lack of specificity encourages a facetious response such as “Italy, amongst many other places”.

It would help to know what field you work in and whether you are referring to some kind of template drawing.


Tks. Just interestd in making ‘old fashioned plan drawings’ which I then can use as a base for my 3D model in Sketchup…

Of what? You don’t need to make a plan drawing to model something in SketchUp. Just model it.

Old fashioned plan drawings… the ones made before IT was invented…!

Time to move into the current century.


Long time retired industrial designer. Presently interested in making plan/elevation drawings prior to 3D conception. Old habits dye hard. Otherwise, new-comer to Sketchup.

Another participant to this dialogue suggests I move up a century. On my way…

You know, if you’d tell us what it is you are planning to model in SketchUp we could easily show you examples and give you a good workflow.

Nothing has really changed since you asked back in Jan last year.

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Almost a century went by since.

Sounds like architectural drawings but could be industrial components. How you make us guess, Mr Bond.

So here’s another stab in the dark (where you insist on leaving us): most of us use templates in both SU and LO. So, for example, I have standard layers set in SU and a page layout template in LO. That’s just for starters.

Some people who post here think that SU is set up to have ready made solutions for their specific areas of work or problems they are trying to solve. It doesn’t. The whole point of the software is that it does the basics very well and very intuitively. Rather like a cowboy’s part broken hoss. But the rest is up to the rider.

johnybgood, maybe let us know about your learning style and your project type, so that we might recommend some adequate and suitable resources for/to you.

You are looking to import an image (or images) into SketchUp? Reference images can be found online. And/or, if you have access to a scanner, then a manual sketch could be digitized as an image file. For what it sounds like you want to do, manually sketching on paper will probably be of more use than sketching in LayOut. Also, there is free drawing software (more artistic over technical) that can be downloaded. A drawing should be able to be saved or exported as an image file.

(I don’t know if you are using a Mac or Windows operating system.)

Very interesting question. I don’t think that many people can understand it, so are the developers that are working on SketchUp.

I have the same issue. First I study, find solutions and, based on legal and technical constraints, dimension the project in 2D, like it has been done for ages (+2000 years). The skill needed to be able to do that is the ability to see in space.

The name “SketchUp” say it all. This program is though to make some sketchs, not technical plans. Though it is possible to make them, the time it takes and the graphic result is a waste if you need to be productive.

So this is the way I work : I draw my whole project, execution plans and details with a 2D program that can export dwg / dxf files.

Then, because my clients are unable to understand anything without 3D, I import dwg / dxf files into SketchUp. Be aware that SketchUp is not able to import in correct scale, you will have to ajuste it, thus creating some precision issues.
To me, it’s not so important since the execution plans will never be delivered thru SketchUp.

SketchUp is interesting in many ways, its concept, its price (until now, now they start to be “like everybody” with their licence rental) and its ease of use. But frankly, forget using it in a serious architecture or engineering office. Maybe, interior architects, why not…

‘Old fashioned plan drawings’ don’t existe. There is “drawing plans” and “sketchs”.

SketchUp is a great program for amateurs or lazy people like me who don’t wish to spend a whole life learning something not justified. Don’t forget that the Concord was drawn without computers… And it flew…

In the example below, I did few projects just to pre-solve some technical and space usage issues. I used CadWork (swiss way of thinking). Then I did what I needed to propose to my client something he could understand. What ever he chooses, I will never waste my time trying to use SketchUp to make execution plans. One of the reason is purely graphic.

So my advice : use what ever 2D program you’re confortable with. Once you know where you go, use SketchUp to illustrate the project for dummies ;o)

Octogone.pdf (380.9 KB)

Pentagone.pdf (243.2 KB)

I couldn’t disagree more. We live in a 3D world. Why in this day and age convert what is around you or what is as an idea in your head into 2D first and only then into a 3D model.
2D has been (and in some circumstances will still be for some time) a necessity due to lack of computers and programs to model in 3D. And then SketchUp models for dummies? I think you need to come up with something else that makes more sense.

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The invention of the infernal combustion engine will have little effect on the horse drawn carriage building business.

“Why in this day and age convert what is around you or what is as an idea in your head into 2D first and only then into a 3D model”

For rational and time matters. Rational because it would be “not so smart” to make some execution plans in 3D and then in 2D to meet standards in graphique communication. Time because 2 is longer than 1. Why spend twice (or more) the time needed to do something that either is not necessary, or because we are dealing with incompetents that are not able to read a 2D plan?

Below an example of an execution plan, supposed to be used by more than 1 contributor. To make this kind of plan in a reasonable time, forget about SketchUp. On the other hand, if the companies supposed to dig, instal drainage and other technical matters are unable to understand anything with a 2D plan, maybe SketchUp could help if they are that dumb, but, between you and I, am not really convinced…

541-012-6 161028 Etude des canalisations.pdf (1.3 MB)

Computers are great and can really help, I use it for all I can, but it will never replace the first three pencil strokes, as by hand it take few seconds while with a computer, the idea can be lost just the time to turn it on…

As long as you live in your “3D world” with efficiency, speed and precision, meaning rational cost for quality objects realised in a reasonable time, why not, great for you and your clients. But for me, that you disagree or not is irrelevant as you do not participate to solve or propose anything.

Why don’t you explain to all of us, building professionals, how to use 3D to be better, faster and cheaper constructors ?

As I always said, SketchUp is a great 3D program for certain applications (I pay since the beginning of its existence) but, to make it a professional tool for my need, as a general builder, forget it, it’s not “though” in this approach.

I would add “too bad”, because if the SketchUp team could understand that simple matter “how to do the first drafts in 2D”, it could make out of it one of the most powerful tool on the planet. Unfortunately, they think “in a 3D world” only…

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All your posts are telling me is that you have never learnt to use the program fully.
That is your choice.
I work with a guy who uses 4 different applications to achieve what he wants, he doesn’t criticize any one of those programs. He imports, exports, copies, pastes at great speed and manipulates 2d and 3d files with great skill. He produces fantastic results.
The reality of what he is doing is using 4 different applications because he knows how to do certain things in one app but not in another. He knows that he can use a bucket to collect water, a bag to obtain some cement powder, a shovel for some blue metal and sand then combine them in a mixer, rinse and repeat.
Just think how he could progress if he understood the concept of a convoy of concrete trucks and a concrete pump.