Teaching SketchUp to My Teenage Students with Autism (What Do They Need to Know?)

Hi everyone,

I was wondering if I could get your opinion about the uses of Sketchup in business. I work with a teenager with autism who enjoys 3D modeling. I didn’t know much about it, but I’ve been learning about it over three years of working with him to help him learn it. We started with TinkerCAD and now he’s working in Sketchup. Since I’m a special education teacher and don’t use Sketchup professionally, I’m wondering what I should be teaching him about Sketchup. That is, what does he need to learn how to do with the program to possibly get a job someday? What is Sketchup used for in industry and what should I be teaching him to help him prepare? He’s pretty proficient using the individual tools; I’m just not sure what I need to be working with him on…is it taking a blueprint and building a 3D model of it or things like this?

Thank you very much for your time.

There is a program called ‘Spectrum’:


Start there, then ping @Barry or @CaseyG

1 Like

You could do just that but start with a simple plan. Also one can get very creative. I introduced SU to such a kid and he just took off making a house of his own. But the things one makes can be sculptural or mechanical, or it could be furniture, a town, a spaceship etc.–anything really Model a game environment and put people in it. You can find many examples in the gallery here or on Sketchucation.com.

Although Sketchup can be used to model all kinds of three dimensional objects, it is particularly good when it comes to things that are rectilinear. By and large, buildings tend to be and things that go in them (like joinery items, kitchen units, etc.).

A lot of architects and building designers (like me) will have migrated from two dimensional CAD to Sketchup which allows you to work in both 2 and 3 dimensions. So, working towards being a technical draftsman would certainly be one line your pupil could pursue.