SketchUp for Woodworkers: bring your designs to life in 3D
- 3 hours on-demand video
- 14 articles
- 15 downloadable resources
- Full lifetime access
- Access on mobile and TV
- Certificate of Completion
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- Update: link to free SketchUp basic lectures added February 2018
- Bring your design ideas to life in 3D with SketchUp
- Learn to try out different ideas quickly and easily by making edits to your models
- Go way beyond the free videos and learn how to build SketchUp models the professional way
- Cut drawing times in half, literally, with a simple mirror method
- Learn why its so important to build your model in situ
- Learn how you can model even complex shapes with a simple technique
- Learn to draw something once, and use it again and again and again, saving hours
- A computer with either SketchUp Make or SketchUp Pro installed on it
- A basic knowledge of SketchUp drawing and editing tools
- SketchUp Make 2017 is still available as a free download, on the Sketchup website with /download/all added, then login
Let me teach you the basic methods I use in SketchUp as a professional illustrator and designer with 20 years experience in woodworking magazines!
I have drawn thousands of woodworking projects for magazines in the UK, US and Europe, and currently illustrate 2 top UK titles, Furniture and Cabinetmaking and Woodworking Crafts.
SketchUp has been a big part of this process. It is a great drawing program, and although its hard to find, you can still download the FREE version called SketchUp Make.
Just in case you are having trouble finding Sketch Make, the free version you can install on your computer, search for SketchUp Make in Google and follow the instructions. This is a different and much more powerful version of SketchUp to the online browser based SketchUp Free.
Learning the basic tools is just the start though. You can save yourself so much time and effort by using a few simple methods I show you in the course.
Using these techniques, you will find it much easier to design and draw your own projects!
Drawing in 3D can be huge fun, seeing something you have imagined coming to life.
It can also be a bit daunting at first, and without a clear structure to guide you, its possible to get a bit lost. This is why you need my course.
(Update, February 2018: link for students who want to learn basics first added)
- Anyone who wants to design small scale projects with SketchUp
- Any woodworker who wants to present a project to clients and public in 3D
This lecture is to welcome new students, and to give a quick introduction to some of the main features of the course, which is divided into 3 main parts: Design and Drawing; Build; and Output and Presentation. The project in the Build section is a small toolbox, designed and made originally by the British furniture maker David Barron,.
Another great feature of SketchUp is it's ability to quickly change the appearance of models. This can include changes in colour and also applying wood grain. Additionally, it is easy to create and edit Arrays, which are regular, multiple copies of objects, to test out spacing and frequency in your design.
SketchUp is perfect for quickly evaluating different design ideas. Its very quick to draw outlines of things, but even better than that, making edits to those initial ideas is really easy! Once you are happy with the overall design idea, you can start to refine the details, and then use this to build the components!
There is a PDF file to download with this lecture, which has all the dimensions of the toolbox on it, as well as an annotated 3D exploded perspective.
Building the toolbox in SketchUp is similar in many ways to actually constructing it in the workshop, in that you can use finished components to size and add details to other components. This also applies to your outline design, which you can begin to use as a template to construct the outer carcass of the toolbox. Also learn how and why using Layers is so important when using the in situ method of building a model.
Learn how to set up dovetail in SketchUp, using the Tape measure tool to create guidelines, and the Move tool to create an array of the dovetails.
There are lots of ways to do the same thing in SketchUp, and here I show you the first method to use for cutting out grooves using a component, the top, that you have already drawn.
Following the basic first principle of computer drawing, which is: draw something once and use it again and again, its a simple thing to make a bottom out of a top with a bit of editing! Save even more time and effort here.
Computer drawing of any kind is all about looking or thinking ahead, and asking yourself if you can re-use this bit of drawing somewhere, or do you need to draw this whole piece...so a simple thing like only drawing half the tray sides is an important part of learning to draw efficiently!
Introducing an important new technique in this lecture; Intersect Faces....which is a powerful modelling tool, similar to some of the solid modelling tools in other software. It's possible to create some very complex shapes with this tool in SketchUp, although I'm just starting with a couple of grooves in the tray sides here!
Yet more dovetails! One small variation is the use of the Midpoint to establish the inner lines, as there are only two tails here. Its really a good revision exercise though, and set to music with captions, since I'm hopeful that you won't need me telling you what to do by this point.
This doesn't sound like a big deal, making a finger pull for the toolbox. Well, its actually the trickiest bit of modelling in the whole thing, and these two lectures take you through a range of techniques which are pretty useful, and will get you out of trouble when all else fails. I also show you the really surprising and amazing SCALE trick in SketchUp. I don't know why it works, but it does, time after time!
Scenes are a great way to save individual settings and can be used to create different image alternatives to display your model, but can also be used to create very effective animations which can be uploaded to YouTube, a website or any other platform.