I’m always adding more articles and tutorials to my site, but realize that I can’t possibly cover everything there is to know about SketchUp here. These are some additional resources I recommend checking out to help you learn SketchUp.
SketchUp to LayOut Book
I realized there was a huge lack of information on how to create a model for LayOut and produce a set of construction drawings, so I wrote a book! If you’re in the construction industry, whether you’re an architect, woodworker, carpenter, kitchen designer, or other type of designer, check out my book, SketchUp to LayOut. I even created a bonus professional package that includes a ton of extra material and special offers. The book has been updated for SketchUp Pro 2014. Go to www.SketchUptoLayOut.com to purchase and get an instant download of the book.
This is the official Trimble Sketchup website, and the link goes to their “learning hub”, where they have a number of different resources there for you to learn Sketchup. If you’re brand new to Sketchup, I’d definitely watch the few videos on that page, then check out their link to more video training to dig deeper.
I love this site because they continue to push the limit on what you can do with Sketchup. I quick browse on this site and it’s obvious that these folks are professional and they are certainly Sketchup experts. They have plenty of tutorials that cover advanced techniques for using Sketchup, and also tips on using external programs such as Photoshop to refine your Sketchup models. Even if you are a Sketchup novice, you will strengthen your motivation to learn more about Sketchup because the examples on their site are truly inspiring.
I first met Eric, owner of SketchThis.net at the World MakerFaire in NY. He was helping out at the SketchUp tent, tinkering with a 3D printer. Eric has many interests, all which center around creating designs in SketchUp. As a kitchen designer, he found SketchUp to be a great tool for design, and even developed a plugin to help create cabinets dynamically. He also is into digital fabrication, including 3D printing and CNC. On his site you’ll find many SketchUp tutorials, as well as many interesting articles following some of his many interesting projects.
Tony Gushanas from Designer hacks has an ever increasing library of SketchUp tutorials. He usually provides tips and tricks for using SketchUp that you might not have heard of before. Those things that you think to yourself, “I wish I had known that years ago.” His tutorial page is organized by skill level, so whether you are just starting out with SketchUp, or are an experienced user, you will find some great articles.
Jay Bates from jayscustomcreations.com created this excellent resource for learning SketchUp. It’s geared towards woodworkers, so you’ll not only learn the basics of using SketchUp, but you’ll also model common joinery used in woodworking. Your best bet is to check out this YouTube playlist for all of his SketchUp tutorials.
Rob Cameron’s understanding of how woodworkers and carpenters think really shows when you watch his videos. He has figured out a way to teach people how to use Sketchup by jumping right in and modeling something. He has helped many people Sketchup a second chance who had previously gotten frustrated and gave up. If you’re the type of person who doesn’t have the patience to sit through long and boring tutorials, give Sketchup for woodworkers a try, it just might be what you need to grasp the essential concepts of Sketchup.
SketchUp for Design is the companion website for the book “Architectural Design with SketchUp, written by Alex Schreyer. His tutorial page is home to some of the more interesting SketchUp tutorials I’ve seen. I say that because Alex is an expert at Ruby, which is the programming language you can use inside SketchUp to create some advanced shapes and models. Many of his tutorials show you how to do different things with Ruby. Other tutorials expose many of the hidden features of SketchUp, or other little known techniques you can use.
When you look at a render created by Alex Hogrefe from www.alexhogrefe.com you’ll immediately recognize how talented he is. He has graciously put together a number of tutorials detailing how he achieves certain affects in post processing SketchUp models using Photoshop, and rendering software. Definitely check this out if you’re an advanced SketchUp user looking to create rendered images of your model.
The “Sketchup: A 3D toolbar” podcast is hosted by Cameron Harris and has hours and hours of video tutorials for Sketchup. His tutorials are in depth and cover a wide range of topics.
The official SketchUp 3D warehouse is where you can find a ton of free 3D models that you can download and use in your model. Anyone can upload a model to the 3D warehouse. Sometimes this makes searching difficult because the quality and consistency of the models vary. The 3D warehouse also allows you to upload your model and embed it online with the interactive 3D model viewer.
If you’re using SketchUp professionally, FormFonts is a great place to find high quality models of all sorts of objects. Don’t waste time modeling secondary objects in your model when you can quickly download them from FormFonts. Never worry about trying to find good, quality models on the 3D warehouse. Formfonts creates models that are of high quality, but low polygon count in order to increase performance. They are always adding new models, and you can also request specific models at no additional cost. In addition to models, they also have custom SketchUp styles and 2D images.
This is a great resource for finding a ton of free materials that you can using in SketchUp. They also have some great collections of 3D models to download for free as well. You’ll even find some tutorials for SketchUp, V-Ray and more on this site. A valuable resource, with a ton of free content.
This is the best forum and the most helpful community of Sketchup fanatics online. With 100,000’s of posts, you can bet there’s an answer to any question you have about Sketchup. It is a very active forum which you’ll find people will respond to posts within hours, sometimes within minutes. It’s truly incredible the amount of help you can receive from this community at the Sketchucation forum.
Here is the official Sketchup extension warehouse. This should be the first place you look for plugins for Sketchup. With Sketchup 2013, you can even install the plugins directly from Sketchup, making easier than ever to install and manage plugins.
Jim is a Sketchup genius who develops plugins and offers them to the world for free. Check out his plugin page to download them. He updates his blog every once and a while when he’s got an update or a new plugin being released. It’s definately a page worth checking out.
While they do sell premium plugins, they also offer many of their plugins for free. And most of the plugins they do sell are very affordable. Although I haven’t tried all of their plugins, the ones I have tried worked very well.