One who wants to start making a 3d model of a house using
SketchUp often feels
discouraged when she/he realizes that there is no special tool to make
wall. Everything must be made from scratch. Knowing that there are so
many walls to build make some people get the idea that SketchUp is
probably not the right tool to create 3D models of a house. This
will show you how easy it is to make wall and floor.
These are the steps I normally do to make walls and floors in Google SketchUp:
- Draw all room boundaries based on a floor plan so that each room is represented by one (or more) rectangle(s).
- Transform each rectangle into a 3 dimensional block by pulling its face to a height that consists of the wall height and the floor raise.
- Draw outlines on top of each block separating the floor line and half of the wall thickness.
- Push the inner section of each floor outline according to wall
height. The outer section will be the wall.
- Remove any excess line on top of the wall and fix some of the
have the same thickness.
Create a Local Component Collection
As previously discussed in Freebies: Quickies Anyone? , we are going to use a dynamic component to help us draw a floor plan. As suggested in the posting, all the Quicky components are to be saved in Quickies sub folder. Since we are going use the folder quite frequently, we need to set the folder as Favorites. Therefore, we don’t always have to find the physical folder every time we want to use one of the Quickies.
To add sub folder Quickies as Favorites, select menu Window -> Component to open the Components window. From there, click on the Details button and select “Open or create local collection component” and find Quickies sub folder in your local hard disk. Once the folder is opened, click once again at the Detail and select “Add to Favorites”. From now on, Quickies folder will appear in one the favorites and can be accessed without having to open the physical folder.
Creating a new SketchUp file
|Tip & Trick
|SKP and SKB
SketchUp puts all the elements of a model (material, components) in one single file with SKP file extension.
SketchUp by default will also create a backup file with SKB extension. To open this backup file you need to rename its extension back to SKP.
Whenever SketchUp application is opened, it will automatically open
a new empty file Untitled.skp. Environment setting of
the new file will be based on the default template you
previously selected. To intentionally create new file, select menu File
Creating a floor Plan
We can draw a complete floor plan using Linetool or Rectangle tool. In fact, theoretically, you can draw anything in SketchUp using only the line tool. However, lines (or entities) stick to other lines when connected. So, moving one entity might move or alter the another line. This will mess the floor plan. Not a good way to start modeling. For that reason, in this tutorial I will use Quicky-Rectangle components to make room boundaries.
Each room will be represented by a Quicky-Rectangle. Rooms that are not completely rectangle will be made from several rectangles. Excess lines can be removed later. We will edit the rooms to their actual shapes prior to making walls.
Notice that in the following example, the floor plan consists of five rectangles within one big rectangle that represents the boundary of the entire land. To draw the floor plan in SketchUp, we will put a Quicky-Rectangle with the size of the land lot, then add five more Quicky rectangles, each sized to the exact dimension of each room. Once the floor plan is completed, these components will exploded to convert them to lines and faces
- Draw the land area (7×13 m).
The land area is represented by one Quicky-Rectangle..
- Open Components window (menu Window -> Component) and select Favorite: Quickies.
- Click at Quicky-Rectangle component. Place it at Origin (intersection point of the three main axes) and press Left Click to place the component.
- Open Component Options window by right-clicking the component and select Dynamic Components - Component Option. Change the width and height to the size of the land as shown in the image.
- Draw a rectangle for the front bedroom.
To ensure that the front bedroom is exactly 5m away from South border line, we need to add a guide (construction line.
- Select Tape Measuretool and click at any point at the border line.
- Move the cursor parallel to the red axis and type in  and press Enter to create a guide 500 cm away from the border line.
- Place another Quicky-Rectangle at intersection between the guide and the red axis.
- Change the component measurement to 300x300 using the Component Options window.
- Draw a rectangle for the rear bedroom.
Since the rear bedroom is located adjacent to the front room, we can use it as a reference to place a Quicky-Rectangle.
- Place another Quicky-Rectangle at the top left corner of the front bedroom rectangle.
- Change the component measurement to 300x250 cm using the Component Options window.
- Adding a rectangle to make the living room.
The living room is also located adjacent to the front room, we can use it as a reference to place a Quicky-Rectangle.
- Place another Quicky-Rectangle at the bottom right corner of the front bedroom rectangle.
- Change the component measurement to 400x450 cm using the Component Options window.
- Creating a rectangle for the bathroom.
Since the bathroom is located at the top right corner the living room rectangle and initially the Quicky-rectangle insertion point is at its bottom left corner, we need to place it at a temporary location.
- Place a Quicky-Rectangle at a temporary location.
- Change the component measurement to 150x175 cm using.
- Select Move/Copytool and click at the top right corner of the new rectangle and place it at the top right corner the living room rectangle.
- Erase the guide by clicking it using Erasetool.
- Explode all Quicky-Rectangle components.
Previously, we use Quicky-Rectangle to avoid lines sticking to each other so resizing of rectangles is not easy to do. In SketchUp almost all 3d shapes are created and edited using the push and pull tool and the push and pull techniques. It will be easier to push/pull if faces are connected to each other. Hence, we are going to explode each component into mere edges and faces.
|Creating the Floor Plan|
Making Walls and Floors
|Tip & Trick
Most 3D shapes in SketchUp are created and edited using Push/Pull tool. Any flat face can be pulled and pushed to make or to change its 3d shapes in the direction perpendicular to the face. For a 2d shape, a new face identical to the selected face will be added and its outline will make the 3d object thickness
Since floor shapes exactly like wall (minus wall thickness), we will
create both wall and floor within a single procedure. In general, the
easies way to tinker with SketchUp objects is in its 3-D form.
Therefore, once the two dimensional floor plan is completed, we will
convert each rectangle into 3 dimensional block simply by puling its
face to a height.
Push/pull technique is a patented technology owned by SketchUp. With this technique (re)shaping objects is almost like dealing with real physical objects than can be pulled and pushed, but without physical barriers. Application of push/pull techniques is done using Push/Pulltool included in the Edit Toolbar.
All wall have the same height, which is 285 cm above floor surface. And all floor is raised by 50 cm from road level. For this purpose we will change each room 2d shape into its 3d shape by selecting its face and pulling it by 335 cm using the Push/Pull tool.
|Tip & Trick
Dimension of object we are creating will be automatically displayed in the Measurement Box. During creation of a rectangle, Measurement Box will display the rectangle’s length and width in relation with your mouse gesture.
But the main function of the measurement box is to accept parameter(s) from keyboard in order to create objects to specific dimensions therefore produce accuracy (See: Improving Accuracy).
- Select Push/Pulltool and click on the front bedroom rectangle. Move the mouse upward and it begins to create a 3 dimensional shape. Without clicking the mouse, type  from the keyboard and press [enter]. You just enter the height of room accurately using the Measurement box.
- Since all other rooms also have the same wall and floor height,
we can just repeat this operation to the rest of the rectangles by
double clicking on each of the face. (Except for the front and rear
backyard, we will deal with this later.)
|Making 3d shape of rooms with the right height|
Now you have your first 3-D model, as easy as "pull it here and put it there".
Preparing Outlines for Wall Thickness
|Tip & Trick
|Room dimensions and
Room Dimensional is always measured from the midpoint of each wall. With 15 cm thick wall, a 3m wide room will have a net width of 285 cm.
(excluding the wall).
Room that sided with land boundary, will be measured from its outer side of the wall. Therefore, the same 3m wide room will have a 277.5cm net width if one of its is on the land boundary.
The 3-d shapes we created has formed room height and boundaries. Of course the real boundary should be walls with some thickness. The next procedure is to create inner outline that reflect thickness of the wall.
In this design, all walls are 15 cm thick. Convention used for room dimension that it is measured from the middle of each wall as shown in the Tip & Trick. Therefore we need to create floor outlines at exactly 7.5 cm away from each room boundary. Wall side that is not adjacent to another room will only have half of the required thickness, we will fix this later.
Floor outlines are drawn using the Offset tool in the Edit toolbar. Using this tool, we will create another polygon within on top of each room with the same contour and at a certain distance from the parent edges to represent half of the wall thickness. Some room boundaries will two set of this wall lines while other will only have one.
Tip & Trick
Offset tool is used to create copies of lines and faces at a uniform distance from the originals. You can offset edges of faces either inside or outside (outline) of the original face. The distance of the offset can be set directly using the measurement box to the direction of the mouse movement (inward or outward).
- Without clicking any mouse button, type [7.5] using the keyboard. This will make copies off all the edges 7.5 cm from the originals.
- To repeat the same operation to all other top faces, double click on each the face and copies of the edges will be created at exactly 7,5 cm and all floor outlines will be formed.
floor and wall outlines
Notice in the above animation that walls that are not adjacent to another room has only 7.5 cm thick. We'll fix this later.
Creating Wall and Floor
|Tip & Trick
|Undo the last 100
Do not worry of mishap. Because you can always undo everything as far with Undo (Ctrl-Z). The number of possible sequential Undo commands is limited to 100 steps or to the last time you saved your model (which ever is later)
If you have already guessed that the next step is pushing the inner area of each room to make floor and the wall height then you are 100% correct.
If you also have predicted that the tool to use is the Push/Pulltool then it's time for you to replace me writing this tutorial. To create the floor, we'll push inner part of each room top face 285 cm deep.
- Select the Push/Pull tool and click at the inner top face of the front bedroom.
- Push the face downward and without clicking the mouse, type 285 using your keyboard and press [Enter]. This operation will create cavity on the face 285 cm deep.
- To repeat the same operation to other floor outline, double click on each of the inner top face so all room will have wall and floor elements.
- After all walls and floors are created, it is time we remove some redundant lines by clicking the lines using the Eraser tool. Do not worry of unintentional deletion because you can always undo to correct any mistake you make.
|Create Rooms' Wall and Floor|
Correcting Wall thickness
|Tip & Trick
|Orbiting your model
without pressing a tool button
Orbit Tool is used to rotate the camera (your view) about the model. Using orbit tool, the object will stay at its position but you view it from different angle. This tool can be activated at any time without using the tool button by pressing middle mouse button while moving your mouse to a desired position. When the button is released, you will return to the previous command without any interception whatsoever
The above animation indicates that some walls are only half thick.
Once again we will use the Push/Pulltool to pull some faces by 7.5
cm and repeat the operation by double-clicking on all faces that
For walls that are bordering with land boundary, the 7.5 cm pull
will be done inward toward the room. Others will done outward.
Therefore all walls will have 15 cm thickness.
View of some wall faces are blocked by other wall. You need to move your camera (your view that is} using Orbittool and continue double clicking until all wall have the required thickness.
- Select Push/Pull tool and click on eastern inner wall of the living room.
- Immediately move the mouse inward and type in 7.5 from the keyboard and press enter. This operation will add 7.5 cm so the wall will be 15cm thick.
- To repeat the same operation, double click on the other wall areas that require thickening.
|Fixing All Wall to Required Thickness|
Saving Your SketchUp File to Local Disk
To ensure that your modeling work is not lost, save your work by clicking Save tool.
Select previously created "Sketch" sub folder and set filename into
"House Project I" and press enter.
By default, SketchUp automatically creates a backup file (.skb). But
it's good practice if you often press the save tool for save keeping
We have Accomplished ....
|No||T o p i c s|
|1||Creating a folder that contains
components to always appear as one of Favorites / in the Components
||Starting SketchUp from scratch
by creating a new SketchUp (.skp) file.
|3||Using and entering parameters of Quicky-Rectangle component to make floor plans in a quick, flexible and accurate manner.|
Guides (construction lines) using Tape Measure tool to accurate put an
object at its.
||Moving object to its designated
position using the Move Tool
||Removing redundant lines using
the Erase tool
||Exploding components/groups to
their basic elements using Context-Menu -> Explode
|8||Using Push/Pull tool to transform a 2-dimensional object into 3-dimensional.|
|9||Entering objects’ parameters using the keyboard to create objects with accurate dimensions (Measurement Box)|
|10||Redoing the same operation to another object using mouse Double Click.|
|11||Using Offset tool to create copies of
edges with a uniform distance from all sides of the original.
|12||Using Push/Pull tool to add volume to or subtract volume by moving the face an object.|
|13||Using Orbit tool to change the camera position/ view without pressing the designated tool.|
||Canceling operation by pressing
Undo (menu Edit -> Undo, or [Ctrl-Z]).
|15||Storing / Naming the model using
the Save Tool
Congratulations, now you have accurately created a 3-dimensional model of a house. I will soon post the next chapter: Adding doors.Enjoy