Whether you are a sophomore in HBS attempting to mess around with SketchUp for the first time or a senior in BI relying on SketchUp for the Emergency Room Project, it is essential that you understand all of SketchUp’s capabilities and use its resources efficiently, in order for your desired outcome to be achieved. SketchUp can be an extremely complex tool for one to master the first few times it is used. There are an infinite amount of ways to approach a project on SketchUp, but only a few have proved to result in a successful model within the project’s designated time frame, meaning it is possible to avoid the dreaded SketchUp night-before-all-nighter.


Here’s how you can do it.


Step 1: Do The Research

Let the information you gathered from reliable sources dictate what you make on SketchUp. There should be meaning behind each of the decisions you make ranging from the color of the walls to the size of the windows. The research you do will offer new perspectives and will guide you to create the best SketchUp model possible.


Step 2: Plan To Have SketchUp Completed 48 Hours Prior To The Deadline By Setting Interim Due Dates

Start by making a list of all the deliverables-the desired components that will be created. Then, determine each component’s creation complexity and set realistic goals for when each will be completed. It is essential that these interim due dates are met to avoid rushing at the last minute which can lead to unnecessary mistakes.


Step 3: Use The Right Computer

SketchUp is a multi-layer computer program that requires an abundance of system resources. You should use a computer with a fast central processing unit and an adequate amount of storage for saving your model. The article linked below goes into greater depth about what is necessary for SketchUp to work smoothly.



Step 4: Develop An Appropriate Scale

It is important that you determine a scale before starting the model and that you stick to the scale throughout the entire process. Without proper scaling, the floors and walls of different rooms will not align correctly. Also, it is necessary that the model is as realistic as possible. For example, a bed should not appear smaller than an end table because of its default size. When an object is first added to your model and is still selected you can type its dimensions in feet and inches and it will automatically convert. Scaling can be difficult depending on the complexity of the object, so here is an article that further breaks down the process: https://mastersketchup.com/8-tips-for-scaling-in-sketchup/


Step 5: Take The Time To Create The Perfect Room, Then Duplicate

Everything will appear exactly as it is in the original room, including the scale. This tool can be used to create exact replicas or it can be used as a foundation room where you can manipulate it to create a variety of different rooms.


Step 6: Save Early And Often

After spending the time creating the perfect room you should save it immediately, especially before you attempt to make duplicates. You should save your SketchUp model each time you make a significant addition. The horror stories of SketchUp crashing and deleting all of your work are true. There are so many layers of detail that the program is storing and the program sometimes fails. Many students report that the program runs smoother and faster when the model is re-saved frequently.


Step 7: Use The Edit Component Button

The edit component button allows you to edit the different parts of your model, including those imported from the 3D Warehouse. It is often difficult to find exactly what you are looking for in the Warehouse, so this tool allows you to change the objects into exactly what you need. Each of the components will be changed, even when you select just one of the multiple copies of the component. To see the use of this tool in action you can watch the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8Q5LHLD6Z8