SketchUp and LayOut for Structural Engineering Documentation and Scheduling

Hi! As a structural engineer in East Africa, I’m new to SketchUp and LayOut. I’m interested in using SketchUp and LayOut exclusively for structural engineering documentation and scheduling.

Can anyone share their experience using SketchUp and LayOut for construction documentation? Can SketchUp and LayOut be effective as the sole tools for creating construction documents for structural engineering? Are there any recommended resources or plugins for structural engineering work within SketchUp?

Also, can LayOut refer/link to DWG files with automatic reload/updating if these files change? Lastly, is there a way to prepare structural engineering schedules within SketchUp?

Thank you!

I use sketchup and layout for modeling and construction documentation, I’ve also made a few structural documents but my field is architecture, it is possible to do almost anything with sketchup. Sketchup doesn’t have a native tool for structural calculations and I don’t know if there’s a plugin for that if you want to do that on the program, but for documentation is perfectly doable.


i also use SU and LO for design and documentation. you can define details for the structural aspects of your design – but the detailed structural analysis and engineering calculations would be in tools that are specific for your purpose. then translate those into your design details.

i use tags to define each level of my design so i can create “how to build it” images and video - from foundation all the way through finished interior. i can export the component data on each set separately if needed, but typically just sort out the data from the full reports. for schedules, i use a spreadsheet and paste it into LO documentation.

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Hello @francisquitof thank you for your response. I appreciate your assurance that SketchUp and LayOut can be effective for structural engineering documentation. I am interested in finding a tool within SketchUp that can help determine quantities of components, such as volume, length, or weight based on parameters entered. This would be useful for structural engineering scheduling and quantities.

Do you have any recommendations or experiences for such a tool?

Thank you

Thank you @glennmstanton for the assurance. I do not intend to make any structural calculations, analysis, design in SketchUp. Just the documentation. Thank you for the hope you present.

you probably want to look at some of the professional plugins which can extract the component data and map to your component specifications such as weight, costs etc. which, while SU can support attributes and tagging - but the reporting output is not great (which is why i just dump things and use Google Sheets or Excel to process it)

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Take a look to my plugin Add Ifc Quantities to Selection

It attach quantities to components (Classified as IFC) and you can read them in Trimble Connect, especific BIM5D software or you can use antoher plugin Layout Export Table to obtain CSV schedules that you can insert in Layout or open in Excel.

I hope it helps you

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I use quantifier pro, and also dynamic components to generate reports with all the information you need.

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Thank you @glennmstanton @rtches and @francisquitof

I am going to look into all your suggestions and see what works best for me and my tiny team of engineers.

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