SketchUp for Architects - An overview for beginners.

There are distinct ways in which architects design. In the process of designing, software programs play a significant role as they help to develop this design further with the extraordinary tools they provide.

Archiol - SketchUp for beginners

One of these software programs is Sketchup, it is an extensively used 3D modeling computer program. The software program that had to compete with the previously successful visualization software to attain the position it is in now. Sketchup was devised to simplify the process of generating 3D visualization. Usually, it takes more than a month to learn new 3D visualization software, but Sketchup comes with simplicity and can be learned within a week.

Along with being simple and easy, it is fast. The user-friendly interface increases the pace of working, In this fast-growing architectural industry time is money, and software like Sketchup gives you the expected pace and ease to achieve it. With the easy to understand tools, anybody can work on a project without any confusion.

Sketchup is a client-friendly software, all the designs that an architect creates have to be accepted by the client and for that, the client needs to understand the design. Simple plans and elevation are complex to understand for people from the non-architectural background. A 3D visualization of your design makes it easy for your client to understand it and the views from different angles provided by the Sketchup viewer present a complete picture of your design.

Sketchup is an ideal software program for creating 2D and 3D concepts. It is used to convert any 2D drawing into 3D visualization. Sketchup has a wide range of application, along with architecture it is also used in industrial, interior and product design. It has a multitude of tools for editing.

Main features of Sketchup include:

  • Textures

  • 3D models warehouse

  • Extension warehouse

  • Amazing lighting effects

  • Layer manager

Important tools in Sketchup:

Navigation tools:

Just as the name suggests the navigation tools help you to navigate through this software. These tools are majorly used and are mostly controlled using a mouse.

  • Zoom: Scroll your mouse to zoom in and out of the object.

  • Orbit: Click and drag to orbit / O, orbiting gives you a 360-degree view of your model

  • Pan: Shift+Click-Drag, helps you to move within a frame without changing perspective

  • Zoom Extent: It zooms in or out to show the entire model

Drafting tools:

These tools will help you draft your plans and elevations for further development. These are tools with which you begin developing your design.

  • Line: ( L ) This tool is used frequently as you are developing your design. It is similar to a pencil on your drafting board. It helps to draw and create surfaces

  • Arc: (A) This tool is used to draw curves, and is similar to the line tool.

  • Eraser: (E) It is used to erase unwanted lines

  • Rectangle: (R) This tool helps you to create a rectangle or square directly without using a line tool.

  • Circle (C): This tool helps you to create a circle.

Other basic tools:

  • Select:

  • Freehand

  • Tape measure

Editing tools:

Sketchup consists of a wide range of editing tools, depending on your design you can use these tools, below is the list of the basic tools:

  • Push-pull: (P) This tool is used to extrude the 2D surface into a 3D model.

  • Scale: (S) This tool is used to scale a model that is to resize the model proportionately.

  • Move: (M) This tool is used to move an object from one place to another.

  • Rotate: (Q) This tool is used to rotate an object.

  • Offset: (F) This tool creates equidistant lines as per your needs.

  • Follow me: this tool allows you to extrude a surface along any path.

Extensions / Plugins:

  • Sandbox: Used for terrain modeling

  • Solid tools: tools used to perform intersections in the solid groups

  • Face creator: Used to created faces automatically

  • V-ray: lightening and rendering tool

  • Tools on surface: Tools used to draw on curved surfaces

  • Joint PushPull: this plugin is used to perform various extrusions of faces

  • Selection toys: These are the commands used to manipulate selections

  • Cleanup3: This optimizes the model and cleans it.

  • Bezier Spline: used to draw various types of poly-lines

  • Soap and skin bubble: Helps to create multifaceted surfaces inside of closed groups of more than 3 lines.

  • Curviloft: Used to generate surfaces from contour

  • Edge tools: Collection of tools used to close gaps and make edges colinear

  • Artisan: extension with powerful tools used for organic modeling

Sketchup is one of the best software for 3D visualization, but just like every other software it has its pros and cons which we have listed below:


  • Easy to Understand and simplistic.

  • Time-saving

  • Easy to use as compared to any other 3D modeling software programs

  • Consists of a large 3d model library for use in the design.

  • Tools have shortcuts that are easy to remember.

  • It is a lightweight program

  • Accessibility is easy

  • Consists of many open-source plugins

  • Animated walkthroughs clips and videos can be easily created.


  • Visual graphics could be improved

  • Takes a lot of efforts to position the object correctly

  • It joins and combines objects if you have not created components and undoing it becomes difficult.

Blogs to follow:


Click on the links below for:

Begin to learn and use sketchup by following the free tutorials linked below:

Check the links to download from warehouse:

Check the links below to download the software:

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