3D Modeling with SketchUp

William Jeffree

3D Modeling with SketchUp

We’ve been doing Sketchup modelling for various architectural firms for nearly 10 years now. What started as something of a fun hobby quickly turned into a valuable skill, which has proven useful for wide range of design projects – not just architectural modelling, but also three dimensional logo creation and identity design. Sketchup is a wonderful program that makes 3D modelling incredibly easy to get to grips with. You can download Sketchup for free (for educational use) and even the Pro version is very reasonably priced considering how powerful it can be. Sketchup also has a massive online community offering support and guidance for those just getting started, as well as the more advanced users who are pushing the boundaries on what can be done with the package.


The Workflow

Most recently we’ve been utilising Ruby Scripts to speed up component manipulation, and found some fascinating auto generation tools from firms like Vali Architects to make awesome railings and roofs nice and quickly. The complexity of the models we’ve created has ranged dramatically depending on the clients’ needs – some people are just looking for a rough ‘blocked out’ conception of space, while others have wanted to go into the painstaking details of a custom guttering solution! It’s all good fun though, and once you’ve learnt it’s idiosyncrasies, the Sketchup workflow actually becomes incredibly enjoyable, natural and satisfying to work with.


Great For Visuals

The Sketchup models shown here were made for a couple of different architects, who had extensive CAD and PDF drawings, but no in house team to support 3D visualisation. For a lot of firms the need for making 3D models isn’t consistent enough to warrant having a dedicated member of staff for the job, so outsourcing to a nearby individual or small team that can read their drawings and whip up some decent visuals is a great help.

If you’re intrigued by Sketchup, or have the need for some 3D visuals, get in contact here and let us know about your plans.