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Did you know that there’s a way to assign an alternate material to the SAME object in SketchUp? In this article, I’ll show you how to use Color By Layer to display materials according to the layer an object is assigned to.

When applying textures to your model, most people take the approach of assigning realistic textures that represent the look of the object in real life. But there are other ways you can approach material selection to provide visual information about the objects in your model. With Color By Layer, you can have the best of both worlds by assigning a second set of materials to your model, according to the layer objects are assigned to.

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LayOut’s Dimension tool allows you to easily add dimensions to your model. Here are eight tips to help you become even more efficient at adding dimensions to your LayOut documents.

LayOut Dimension Tool Basics

In its simplest form, the Dimension tool is used to measure the distance between two points on a page by doing the following:

  1. Activate the Linear Dimension tool.
  2. Click on the first point you’d like to measure.
  3. Click on the second point you’d like to measure.
  4. Drag your mouse out to where you want to place the dimension line, and click to set position.

That is the basic way to insert a dimension in LayOut, but there are some other things you should be aware of. Style, leaders, and alignment are all important if you want to create accurate and clear dimensions. LayOut also has some built in shortcuts to increase your speed while inserting dimensions.

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While I’m a big advocate for taking the time to set up scenes in SketchUp ahead of time for the viewports you’d like to create in LayOut, there are actually many tools built right into LayOut that let you insert and orient viewports on the fly. In this article, we’ll go over how to create a basic LayOut document without any preparation in SketchUp.

If you’ve got a lot of section cuts in your model that you’d like to create viewports of in LayOut, then you really need to take the time to save scenes in SketchUp ahead of time to assign to viewports in LayOut.

But what if you’re looking to create a few simple perspectives of your model in LayOut to get it out the door quickly? There are many tools built into LayOut that allow you to insert any SketchUp model and control the perspective and style without any preparations ahead of time.

Inserting a model into LayOut

In this tutorial, I’m going to use a model I found on Formfonts. Formfonts is a premium model library full of high quality models that are professionally made to reduce file size while maintaining a high visual standard. If you’re in need of professional models to add detail to your own models, I highly recommend you check out their membership. Click here.

You could go straight to LayOut with your model, but it’s worth noting a few things to save you from frustration down the road:

  • If you have a lot of guides (from the Tape Measure tool) you’ll probably want to delete them so they don’t end up in your viewports. Go to Edit -> Delete Guides to delete all guides in your model. (If you’re editing a group/component while you do this, it will only delete the guides in that group/component.)
  • If you DO have section cuts in your model that you don’t want showing up in your viewports, you need to make sure you have a custom style created that hides section cuts or section planes.
  • If there are certain objects in your model that you don’t want displayed in any viewports, you must hide them. Either assign them to a hidden layer (Go to Window -> Entity Info -> Select the layer you want to assign it to. Then go to Window -> Layers, and uncheck that layer visibility.) Or, hide the objects by right clicking them and selecting Hide. (You can unhide them from the Outliner Window)


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When creating a model for 3D printing, there are several things you must keep in mind in order to be able to print successfully, especially when using a desktop printer. This article highlights some of the things to look out …

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In SketchUp, you can soften/smooth edges in order to create the illusion of a curved surface. In this article, I’ll show you how to soften/smooth selectively over a large selection of entities. To understand what soften/smooth does to your model, …

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