Top 10 SketchUp Tips for Beginners
The fact that developers can actually create something with a program like SketchUp and jump into it right away is a remarkable feat. I've also found that many people only use SketchUp as a starting point and never move on to learn a few tricks that keep them on track. When SketchUp does not act as expected, they are quickly frustrated. When you know a few simple tips, you can save so much time and profit.
10 SketchUp Tips
1. Components & Groups
Your geometry divides into groups that protect it from other parts. The program lets you work with collections of geometry rather than selecting each piece individually. Creating groups within groups is also possible. You can organize your model geometry hierarchy with the outliner window to remain organized while modeling.
Select multiple entities and right-click "Make Group," but instead select "Make Component." You are selecting multiple entities that will make a group. Duplicating something with components is possible if all instances of a component change when you change one instance.
2. Keyboard Shortcut Uses
The thought of memorizing anything may intimidate you as a beginner. SketchUp makes switching tools so easy once you've used them once, but the thing is that switching tools so frequently makes them so easy to remember once you begin using them.
The only thing left is to start. SketchUp keyboard shortcuts are extremely helpful for saving time. You won't even have to think about modeling anymore because it will start to feel like a natural part of your life.
3. 3 button Mouse use to Navigate
On the toolbar, don't even consider clicking on the orbit or zoom buttons. Navigating in SketchUp requires a mouse with three buttons. It's also a button on the middle of your mouse! Upon clicking and holding it, SketchUp temporarily activates the orbit tool. The orbit tool can activate without clicking the toolbar back and forth one by one.
This tool is temporarily activated only when the middle mouse button presses. Rather than completing the rectangle after orbiting around, you can hold down the middle mouse button and continue drawing once you're done orbiting. ANY tool will work with this.
4. Making Backup Copies
People are accustomed to using copy & paste, CTRL + C, and CTRL + V for the same result. You can move or copy stuff in SketchUp, but that isn't the most effective way.
Copying an object begins by selecting it. The move will initiate as soon as you click the Move Tool once. On your keyboard, press the CTRL button. SketchUp understands that you want to make a copy. By typing an appropriate distance on your keyboard, you can move the image a specified distance from the original.
5. Lock Axis with Arrow Keys
It's sometimes difficult to get something to move in the direction you want when you are attempting to draw a line or move something. However, when you tap on an arrow key while you're still moving, you will lock the object to that axis. The blue axis is the up arrow, the green axis is the left arrow, and the red axis is the right arrow.
6. Multiple Entities Selection
The select tool allows you to select a face by clicking on it. Double-clicking a face and the connected edges will select them. Triple-click an object is to select all its connected entities.
To select all geometry connected to a group, you should use a triple-click when creating a new group. Remember to double-click the group first if you wish to select something within one.
7. Reference other models in your model
To align two objects, you can refer to an object in another part of your model. Consider a model with a chair and a table. For the chair and table to be aligned, the bottoms should be parallel. Using the move tool would be done after selecting the chair.
You can reference the bottom of the chair to start the move, then lock to the blue axis, and finally drag the mouse to the bottom of the table. By doing so, you align both objects along the blue axis as well as the starting and ending points of the model.
8. Multiple Steps use for complex moves
The height must first be set properly. Reference another point or set a distance, then lock the object to the blue axis. Moving the object to the green axis is next, followed by the red axis. It is much easier to accurately place an object in your model by doing so in three steps than by aligning multiple axes at once.
9. Avoid Using VCB (Value Control Box)
You can see dimensions as you work with tools in SketchUp's bottom right corner. Most people assume this is some kind of command prompt for typing dimensions. That's not the case. You can work with different dimensions in SketchUp and see the output as you do so.
10. Tape Measure Tool
You will want to create things that have specific dimensions as soon as you start creating basic models in SketchUp. A guide is a useful tool for referencing specific points in space. You can create a guide by clicking an edge using the Tape Measure tool.
To learn more, watch the following video tutorial.
Video Source: TheSketchUpEssentials
The guide will place the distance from the original edge that you enter. As you hover close to a guide, SketchUp will reference it. Multiple guides can create next to each other to reference their intersection.