Steel Fabrications with Sketchup


Does anyone create fabrication level drawings (shop drawings) with sketchup for steel work?.

What sort of workflows have you developed with other software or within Sketchup?. I recently did a steel support frame for an airport project in which I modeled slimshor steel frames from scratch using a technical manual of theirs (could not find CAD catalog online).

The results using sketchup and layout I thought was really good and the time-frame to do the whole thing with the engineer was relatively short. Most of all he enjoyed having a 3D connection detail that was in the drawing set and the fabricators could better visualize the product. This is a first time I’ve done full detailing in Sketchup as opposed to combining the workflow with advanced steel in AutoCAD or even Revit.

Wanted to see some more samples out there of work or even combined workflows with something like Tekla.


I am currently working for a startup company that is detailing in Sketchup/Layout. We do mostly hi-end residential work and our website is (apologies for the hastily built website). Our workflow includes Auto-CAD for cad import from architect and engineer, we then use Trimble Realworks to clean up concrete scan data from the surveyor, then we use the Undet plugin for Sketchup to model the as-built concrete model from a point-could. From there we are able to fully model all steel components. Our documentation is then created in Layout.

Looks great!.. Have you guys looked into Tekla for the connection detailing?. Have heard a lot about Undet. Might have to try it out.