Two-story apartment work flow

Hello fellow SketchUp fans,

I have another question in regards to the workflow for a two-story apartment. I first created the top floor — since this is where the main activity is like kitchen, living etc — and am now ready to move onto the bottom floor with bedrooms and main bathroom. Do I create the bottom floor in a new document or import my jpg file into the same file to trace over and create a 2D floor plan from which I later pull my 3D? If so, do I “flatten” my finished 3D top floor? Once both floors are ready do I then put them on top of each other? What’s the best way to work on such a model? Thank you!

I would model them both as they are, right on top of one another. I would use groups, tags and scenes together to create the views I need to model and present each floor as desired.

It might be easy to model it in place, with the existing floor’s geometry there as a guide. Sometimes it’s easier to model to the side and then move it into place. It really depends on your preferences.


Interesting that you would design the second floor without regard to the location of bearing walls in the lower level.

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We had to start with the main floor (which is the top floor) and I wasn’t worried at the time about building it as one unit…now I think I probably should.

Hmmm since I can’t put the bottom floor (which hasn’t been designed yet) on top of the top floor I might take your advice and model the bottom floor to the side and then move the top floor on top of it! Thank you.

To clarify: I traced the top floor from a jpeg that I pulled from an AutoCAD file, I didn’t build it from on-site measurements so no, I wasn’t concerned with bearing walls.

Don’t model from a jpeg when can use the dwg file as a base. Bring it in and group it all and then draw on top of it. You can then delete the dwg when you are finished with it. You can see my grouped dwg under my design. Well this is how I do it. This design was only for some renders so no scenes have been set up.


Thank you. Do you mean to bring it in into my existing file where I have my top floor all finished in 3D?

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Not for your existing model but I would going forward. Sorry, I wasn’t clear :wink:

Another question I have in regards to importing the Cad file into my existing SU file with my 3D top floor: the CAD file was created in millimetres, but my SU file is in centimetres. What units should I use during the import? Thanks!

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Sorry I work in inches so I’m not the person to ask. One of our metric friends can help with that one :frowning:

Sorry. I am a little confused. Since this is a two-story apartment and I already built my top floor in 3D do I bring the dwg file into a new SU document or into the document where I created the top floor and place it on the side so then later I could combine them and make it one unit?

I do like the idea of bringing the dwg file — saves me a ton of time!

OK…but if your dwg file is in inches, for example, and your SU file is in feet, how do you bring in your dwg file? In inches or in feet?

My SU file would be in inches as well.

It’s really up to you how you decide to model it, whether it’s in one file or two, to the side or right in place. There are no rules, but I would probably just model it in place and use tags and scenes to assist in navigating and presenting specific floors and views.

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^^^ This is a good answer! ^^^

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Use the same units the .dwg was created with. In your example set the import to mm.

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At least this way you know what needs bearing! :wink:

I did but then it gave me weird measurements, I guess because my top floor SU file, into which I imported the dwg file, was in cm. So I deleted the dwg and imported it again in cm this time (even though it was created in mm in AutoCAD…not by me) and now I have both my top and bottom floor in cm!!! :)) I hope it won’t be giving me problems down the line when I develop that floor in 3D.

I would recommend setting units in Model Info to the same units as the file being imported. Once import is complete, just go back to Units and change to the ones you want to use.

Overall, one mode per level or all in one file is completely your call. It may even come down to what is performant, based on the size of the building you are modeling.

In the old days, I used to model buildings top down so that I could follow the load path and make sure that everything was properly supported. That’s something you CAN do in software that is impossible in the real world!

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