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Materials are what allow you to apply an image to the surfaces in your model. Here are some tricks for working with materials in SketchUp. SketchUp Materials & Textures If you’ve ever used the Paint Bucket tool (B) in SketchUp, …



One of my goals with the podcast is to reach out to different plugin developers and have them on the show to talk about their products. In this episode, we talk about a service called Revizto which will allow you …


The freedom and flexibility of the various tools in SketchUp are what make it so awesome for modeling. The tools don’t hinder the creative process, and they give you many different ways to manipulate objects. In this article, I’ll go …


Did you know that you can split up a SketchUp file into multiple smaller files? They can be referenced and updated in a master SketchUp file, which is useful when working on a project with multiple team members. It’s also helpful for managing a large number of scenes in a project.

XREF in SketchUp?

If you’re familiar with AutoCAD, you might know that you can link multiple drawings together using an XREF. It’s useful when you need to take drawings produced from multiple different sources and integrate them into a master drawing set. SketchUp has a similar capability, and is even more powerful in some respects.

Importing into SketchUp

Importing files into SketchUp works differently than an XREF in AutoCAD. In SketchUp, you’re actually placing a copy of the imported file into your SketchUp model. In AutoCAD, the XREF isn’t copied into your drawing, it’s just linked to it. (You can Bind or insert an XREF into a drawing if you want, however.)

Although you’re placing a copy of the imported file into SketchUp, you have the ability to update it. Let’s say you have a model of a barn and a silo, and you’re having someone else model the silo while you work on the barn. You can import the silo into the main model, and if there are any changes made to the garage at a later point, you just right click the silo and select “Reload”.


When I wrote my book, SketchUp to LayOut, I wanted to use meaningful sample files in it that related to real world projects. This article shares the personal story about why I chose the specific house as the sample project.

The House Project

To show how the methods in SketchUp to LayOut can be applied to multiple types of projects, I chose a table woodworking project, a kitchen, and a house. I wasn’t sure what house I wanted to use in my book, until I made a visit to my Mother’s house and she showed me something incredible.
I grew up in Bristol, RI, a small, historical New England town. Our claim to fame is our Fourth of July Parade, it’s the oldest in the country as a matter of fact, (and I also happen to march in it each year). I have family traced back to the 1700′s who’ve lived in Bristol, so I personally have a lot of ties to the town.

The house I grew up in was built in 1912 by my great grandfather, and has been passed on to each generation. I had thought about using it as my sample project for the book, but was a bit overwhelmed with the thought of having to measure everything in order to create an accurate model.