New Seminar Tours

I’ll be presenting new seminars this spring in Cincinnati, Columbus, OH, Cleveland, Lansing, MI, Chicago and Milwaukee,WI for tour #1.
The second tour will be all in Florida with the exception of an Atlanta stop. We’ll be in Miami, West Palm Beach, Orlando, Fort Meyers and Tampa.
Hope to see you at one of these stops. A third tour is in the planning stages for the Northeast.


Did you know?

The circle tool can draw any polygonal shape! Just after drawing a circle enter something like 12S. This will change the circle to a 12 sided polygon. you can go down to as little as 3S (for a triangle). The S stands for the number of sides.
A typical SketchUp circle has 24 sides and can be a bit crude. If you want to make it more smooth increase the number of sides (something like 50 looks pretty good).
You can also change the radius by simply entering a number (like 25′). The 2 entries can be made in any order and as many times as you like until you get what you want.
Please note that as soon as you do something else (like draw a line, etc.) this sequence will be terminated.
The next time you draw a circle it will retain the number of sides from the previous one drawn, so change it if you don’t want that shape.

My last Seminar Tour was exhausting

I live in North Carolina and traveled recently from here to Birmingham, to New Orleans, to Houston, San Antonio, Dallas and Oklahoma City. Then it was a 14.5 hour drive back to home (2 days!!!). The tour was successful and I met a lot of very nice folks. Thank-you for your kindness. Had never been to Texas and I now know that I wasn’t really missing much, except lots of wide open plains, oil wells and cattle. Too big for me!
If anyone in the great state of Texas wants to come to another seminar, they will likely have to travel to me. I’m getting too old to cover so much distance in so short a time period.
Just too much to cover in a few short days.

At least now I know what Texas is all about.

PS; downtown San Antonio is a pleasure. Big city with a small town feel.

How I started with SketchUp

It was back around 2000 or so when I first tried to do AutoCad 3D drawings; I spent a great deal of time trying to teach myself just how to deal with that complex and ever irritating process. Shortly thereafter I went to a trade fair in Boulder, Colorado for building professionals and found people strategically placed throughout the venue working with SketchUp Version 2. (yeah, way back then!)
I spent several hours bugging the crap out of one of those folks; basically challenging him to do this, to do that, can it do this for me?, etc. Honestly he didn’t solve every challenge, but we worked out some things together and I was convinced it could possibly work for me and help me solve issues I had with AutoCad. So……..I bought it (there was not a free version then).
Initially, I found SketchUp fell short, but I persisted. Unfortunately, I wasn’t very diligent with my self-education. Even went to a paid seminar……not too helpful really. I shelved SketchUp at Version 4.
I did come back to it at Version 6 and found massive improvements had been made by Google after they purchased the company. Now this was going to be fun! I tried like hell to make SketchUp work and I was reasonably successful, but the models get getting inadvertently trashed. (I called it “blowing up the model”).
My best education came from endless YouTube videos. I ran them, tried to reproduce what was there, ran them again, tried again…etc, etc. Eventually I became somewhat proficient, but the models still kept blowing up!
Now I’ve finally developed a system to make the models work for me, not me for them!!!!
Stay tuned for videos and posts!

The Move tool moves other stuff too!

The Move tool will not only move objects, but it can move points, edges and faces as well.

To move a POINT, just hover over it with the move tool, click on the point and drag the point to a new position; click to set the new location.

To move an EDGE, pre-select it and move it around. Staying on axis is a good idea with this one. Moving an edge acts as a stretch tool (in CAD) does. The attached faces will stretch to accommodate the new edge location.

Pre-select a FACE and use the move tool to re-position it. When you stay on axis, this works a lot like push-pull. When you don’t the face can be moved virtually anywhere and all the other attached faces will stretch to the new location as well.


Double click a push-pull

Did you know that directly, or even somewhere way down the line, after you’ve done a push-pull you can double click on another surface with the push pull tool to repeat the exact same push-pull distance?
This works great when you’re making window or door openings in a wall; push-pull the first one the correct distance to make the opening match the wall thickness. Now double click on other intended openings drawn on another (or the same) surface to have each opening match the first one.
This can save lots of time.

Inferencing with the Push-Pull tool

Did you know that you can reference any other point in your model to have your current Push-Pull align with that point?
Try this; draw two squares and push pull one of them up any distance. Then Push-Pull the 2nd square up. While doing the second Push-Pull and still holding down the mouse button, drag the cursor (with the push-pull icon still showing at the end of the cursor) and hover over the top of the 1st object you made. The new push-pull will align with the top of the first object.
When the alignment is done, simply let go of the mouse button; the 2 objects will now be of equal height.
Any point (even mid points), edge or surface can be referenced to align your new push pull to it.


Check Out my book, the SketchUp Primer

For years I’ve been writing a book on SketchUp. I call it “the SketchUp Primer, sketchup made simple.” It’s now finally available on my site “” at an introductory price of only $19.95! In it I make you aware of all the tools, how they work and all the options they have; and there are a lot of really cool hidden functions that make life in a modeling session a breeze. Look in the Store section of the site.

It’s an instant PDF download in full color, has 25 chapters and contains 370 pages with a table of contents, detailed outline and it’s fully indexed. It begins with the very basics for those just beginning to delve into SketchUp and continues into more advanced uses for the experienced SketchUpper.

Also, check out the Seminar schedules on the Home Page. There may be one near you! I hope to see you there. If you come, tell me you found it on my web site and you’ll win a special prize. The best way to sign up is the contact me by email.


Before you draw that complex component……….

Check the 3D Warehouse to see if what you’re looking for already exists. Go to File>3D Warehouse>Get Models to do a search. There are 100’s of thousands (likely more) of pre-drawn components of everything from A to Z.  You’ll likely save endless hours.

The components from 3D Warehouse can be directly imported into your model. They can be modified as you would any other SketchUp drawing, (they are, in fact a separate SketchUp drawing) so finding something close and editing it might be the best way to go. You can scale them, change colors and materials, virtually anything! I actually will take something like a dining room table, scale it down and use it for a coffee table!

Once they’re in your model you can save them to your hard drive, flash drive or wherever. To do so, right click on the component and select “save as” from the context window and save it to any location you choose.