Please check my project

Hello I’m very new to using Sketchup. I am trying to make a model of my van to help design a my camper conversion.
I have a basic model and idea of what I want. I plan on making it more detailed as I go along. I just wanted someone to check over my project make sure there are no obvious issues. I will want to put in some animations eventually too. Any advice tips and resources would be really appreciated.
I have uploaded the project and the system info for the laptop I’m running.
Vauxhall Movano.skp (8.8 MB)

What’s visible is looking fairly good, but could do with some significant improvements before you go further.

the Component browser shows components for door and floor. But in the model, they are still ‘loose geometry’.

I wonder when you drew them if you didn’t have the checkbox in Make Component ticked, that says ‘Replace selection with Component?’

And you have a lot of (so far unused) Component(2)#1, …, #5 which it would be helpful to rename (in Entity info, or the component browser) with names that will help you remember what they are.

And you aren’t using Layers (Tags in v2020 onwards) properly.

You have Doors set as the default Layer/Tag. DON’T DO THIS! (and yes, I know I’m shouting with capital letters!)

It’s a cardinal sin (in Sketchup, anyway, if not the Roman Catholic Church).

ALWAYS, ALWAYS have the default tag or layer set to Layer0 (up to SU 2019) or Untagged in 2020 and later (with very rare exceptions later when you know what you are doing). ALWAYS draw your geometry on Layer0/Untagged, and make each object you draw into a component as soon as you have finished drawing it. Give it meaningful name when you make it, before you move on to draw the next part. It’s much easier to give a name to a Component than a Group, and it isn’t helpful to have the Outliner or you model filled with a whole lot of anonymous Groups, even if there is only one of each in your model.

Layers or Tags should ONLY be applied to components, groups (and later to dimensions or text), NOT to edges and faces (raw geometry). Otherwise you will get nasty surprises later when things you didn’t expect become invisible, or tangle with other geometry.

What are all the components named UG SURFACE (something)? Nothing visible appears when I drag one into the model.

If you haven’t already, please view the Sketchup Fundamentals at, to learn the proper use of components, groups, and layers or tags.

Other points:
Your horizontal yellow bars aren’t very precisely located in your model.

And their axes aren’t on a corner, as they normally should be (occasionally a centrepoint for a round or symmetrical object may be better).

The vertical reinforcing square tubing could be made in one piece using the FollowMe tool.

I’ve redrawn one as an example.

Draw a series of lines down the outside of one of your existing tupes, all connected to each other.

Copy or redraw the square cross section, and move a corner of it to the bottom of the lines. Select all of the connected geometry by a triple click, then deselect the square (or rectangle for the wider tubes). That leaves the lines along the profile all selected.

That got me this:

Select the FollowMe tool, then click on the square. The tube will be drawn in one go, following the selected lines (blue in the image). Select it all, R click and Reverse faces if needed, then make it a component.
Middle reinforcing tube.skp (18.4 KB)
When I Zoom Extents, I see an object way off in the distance:

When I zoom in on it I see this component called UG SURFACE 001, on Layer/Tag Doors. Its geometry is correctly drawn on Layer0.

The file size for your model is very large, because of all the unused components in it. That makes working in it quite sluggish, considering how little geometry is in it.

It looks as if you have downloaded a lot of objects, some unnamed, from the 3D Warehouse.

When you do that, open each one in a new blank model, and check it over. Many are grossly over-detailed, badly drawn, use over large textures, or are full of Layers you don’t want. Clean them up, or look for low-poly, lightweight versions. Sometimes it’s better to make it into a component, then redraw a simplified version over it.

THEN, and only then, see if it’s worth including in your model, but not until you need it.

And do most of your drawing without the clutter of as yet unused components or groups in your model.
Go to Window/Model info/Statistics and Purge unused from time to time.

Happy future modelling!


Wow. Thank you for such a detailed response. There’s a lot in there. I will work my way thorugh it. Do you think I’d be better off starting over with these things in mind? It didn’t take too long and I would be a lot more efficeint.
Thanks again.

If all you’ve really done so far of you own drawing is this much, it wouldn’t be difficult to fix the van side, tubes and doors. The floor and doors only need to be made into components, or if they are the same as in the Component Browser, delete the existing and drag new ones into place.

And the stiffener tubes, even without replacing them with FollowMe drawn ones, show you where they are.

And you don’t really need more of the inside of the van to design the new interior.

You could get it more polished looking than it is now, but that may well not matter for practical purposes, to see what will fit in, and how you could lay it out.

Judgement call on your part to decide what to do,

I think if it was me, I’d copy over your van side, floor and doors into a new model, make it all have component parts, then a new component of all of it. Keep the old model saved with a different name - you might want to refer back to it later, or grab some of the components from it (or better, draw your own lightweight ones or find better low-poly ones from the Warehouse)

But if it is carefully drawn from measurements of your real vehicle, it’s probably good enough now to use for your remodelling project. You shouldn’t need any more of the van structure to see what will fit.

Right I think I’m going to transfer it into a new model and clean it up from there. I would like it to look good even if that isn’t necessary for deciding layout. Its really helping me to design and think about clever solutions for storage and such. I just need to improve my Sketchup skills.
Thanks again.

It’s always satisfying to get a good looking result.

And one of the great uses of SU is to visualise things in 3D before you start to make them, or to explain things to other people.

I do it all the time for local amateur theatre sets. Greatly helps the director and cast to see how it will work, and is the basis for our workshop team to build and assembly the set.

Alas, lockdown means we won’t be re-opening for a long time I think.