Google Sketchup as a design tool

I did write a little about how Google Sketchup is a wonderful, easy to use free tool for furniture designing. With Google introducing the ability to embed models using html (Visit our Gallery), I thought it deserved a much detailed post. Sketchup is a freely downloadable application for creating 3D models and has a simple to understand interface.

Google sketchup as a design tool

The interface comes with a patented push and pull technology which makes creation of 3 dimensional images a cakewalk. Quoting Wiki, “Images can be created in 2D and these 2 dimensional planar faces can then be pushed or pulled by editing tools within the environment to easily and intuitively model 3D volumes and geometrics”.

The interface also has the axes in place which makes drawing a certain line or an image along a particular axis much easier. 
Google Sketchup interface

Below are some practical uses for the Sketchup interface. The images below are embedded directly from my Google Sketchup warehouse - a feature that enables home decor and design bloggers to showcase their design work with a 3D perspective to their readersYou can rotate the images below along the Y-axis, and have a 180 degree view, while the Google Sketchup application allows for rotation along any which axis that you desire. 

Understand the color schemes that can be used for the furniture. The interface allows for various colors as well as textures to be applied onto the image faces. This enables experimenting with colors / textures, especially when you are making your own furniture or custom making it, before taking a decision
Design the interior of a room (in our case a kitchen). Play around with cabinet / couch / table / draw / shelf etc... placements, especially when the piece of furniture is a permanent fixture and cannot be moved around. You want to do a feature wall and want to know how it will affect the overall look ? This is a tool for you. Take a moment to let us know how the image looks in comparison to the actual red and while kitchen below.

Provide the end user with a 3D visual of what you are building for him / her. It allows for discussion and enables the user to modify any aspect of the design that he / she may not like. The user can also give his stamp of approval of the design and any contention at a later stage on the end result can be amicably handled.
Convert the approved design into a 3D skeletal view. This is more so useful to understand the number of planks required and at what dimensions. This allows for estimating raw material required and for evaluating cost. Also to understand where additional reinforcements, in terms of screws and glue, are required.

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red and white kitchen
Red and White Kitchen
These are only some of the uses that I have encountered for my personal requirements. However, this tool is extensively used in automobile design, architecture, interior designing, etc... with an ability to contribute and share your models with friends. The 3D warehouse also has a load of  models from other designers that can be downloaded and modified per your requirements. The options are limitless and I have listed only a very limited aspect of it.  Certainly an alternative tool to Autocad. Try it out. It is bound to be lot of fun.

  • How do you plan your designs before implementing them?
  • Be it decorating your room, or building a piece of furniture, do you visualize what you want and how you want through an interface besides your mind ?
  • What tools do you use ?
  • Or do you love the traditional way of capturing your visuals in a paper ?
  • What do you think of the 3D image of the kitchen in comparison to its original counterpart ?          >>>>>>>

P.S. I also intend to provide a detailed DIY tutorial of this center table and this garden corner shelf using the Google Sketchup tool. Be back for more or just stay in touch through our FACEBOOK FAN PAGE.

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  1. Nice post! I have tried Google Sketch up but for crafts and woodworking. I usually only visualize them in my head, changing the design as I go along.

  2. Hi Vinay, thanks... It is always nice to visualize... But when I need to convey the visuals to someone, this comes in handy... Also, to experiment with textures and colors is something I would prefer before working on the final finish.

  3. Thanks for sharing. This is very useful.

  4. Hi Artsy Vava, Thanks... Really appreciate your having stopped by and leaving a comment :)

    Calindgirl, thanks... Glad you found it useful...

    Notyet, thanks again :)

  5. cool! first time I hear about that. thanks

  6. Oh wow! Really!! I've never tried google sketch! This is such an informative post! Thanks for sharing this! I'll try for sure :-)

  7. what an aweosme blog you guys have. I didn't know about google sketch. I've been using very rough hand sketches to explain designs to people. I only recently discovered Olioboard to explain room 'looks'. But that's about it. I'm def trying this out....Dipika

  8. Hi Patricia, you should try... When you want to decide between teal or another color for your wall, am guessing it might come in handy :) Thanks for stopping by and giving your feedback.

    Hi Dipika, welcome to Woodooz... and thanks a million for your comment... I stumbled upon Sketchup and was only playing around with it before I actually had a purpose for it. Now i use it regularly and am trying to explore all the options in it. Moodboard looks exciting... though have not tried it yet, been reading about it for sometime. Will give it a shot @Olioboard to get a feel of it :)

  9. thanks for the tool recommendation... but I could not figure out on how to convert the design to plywood cutting plan... did you try that? any recommendation.


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