How to use Sketchup

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Supported devices and minimum requirements

Before getting to the heart of this tutorial, it seems only right to tell you what the supported devices in order to take advantage of Sketchup as well as i minimum requirements required, in order to ensure that you can actually use the software.

As for the devices on which Sketchup can be used, currently the program can be used by computers using operating systems Windows e MacOS, in version For (for a fee, it costs $ 695) e Make (this is a free but older variant), and from smartphones and tablets, using mobile platforms Android e iOS. Sketchup is also available in a variant accessible directly via Web, compatible with all major browsers.

Regarding the version of Sketchup for computers, like any other program, it requires that some minimum technical requirements be met, in the absence of which the software could be useless or otherwise it could malfunction. Here they are all in detail.

  • Operating system: Windows 7, macOS El Capitan 10.11.
  • Processor: 1GHz.
  • Memory: 4 GB.
  • Free disk space: 500 MB.

As for the variant of the software for mobile devices, Sketchup for Android requires the Lollipop version 5.1 or later platform, while the iPhone or iPad version requires iOS 10.0 or later.

Using Sketchup on a computer

Let's now come to the real core of the matter and let's find out how to do it, in practice, to use Sketchup. Below you will find therefore explained how download, install and start to create projects using the program from computer.

Download Sketchup

To download Sketchup Pro, i.e. the paid version of Sketchup for computers, the first fundamental step you need to take is to connect to the program's website and click on the button Download the free trial version. In this way, you will be able to download the trial version of the software at no cost, working without limitations for 30 days.

In the new page that opens, then enter your details in the on-screen form by filling in the fields Your name, Last name, Email address, Company, Company size, CountryProfession / Interests. Via the drop-down menu Select your operating system located at the bottom, select, depending on the operating system you are using, one of the options available between Windows e Mac. If you are not interested in it, then remove the check mark from the box next to the item I would like to receive news and tips about SketchUp to avoid receiving emails from SketchUp and, finally, click on the buttons Following e Try SketchUp Pro. In a few moments, the software download will start.

If, on the other hand, you prefer to download Sketchup Make, the free version of the program, linked to this page, type your e-mail address in the field Email address (required), specify your interests via the drop-down menu below and the operating system you are using from the drop-down menu Select your operating system. Then click on the button Get Sketchup Make to start the download.

Install Sketchup on Windows

Stai using Windows and if you have downloaded Sketchup Pro, open, by double clicking on it, the file SketchupPro-it.exe just got it and presses the button Si in the window that appears on the desktop. In the further window that is shown to you, press the button Install to consent to the installation of Visual C ++ runtime libraries (a free component without which the program cannot work properly), then click on the buttons NEXT (twice in a row), Install e end.

If, on the other hand, you have downloaded Sketchup Make, open, by double clicking on it, the file sketchupmake-xxxx-x-xxxx-xxxxx-en-x64 / 32.exe e pulsing sul pulsating Si in the window that opens on the desktop. Then click on the buttons Next (twice) e install and finish the setup by pressing the button Finish.

At the end of the installation, regardless of the version chosen, start the program by double clicking on collegamento that has been added to the desktop or via the Start menu, selecting the program name from the displayed list.

Install Sketchup on macOS

If you are using MacOS, in order to install Sketchup Pro Sketchup Make open the dmg package obtained. Then drag the software folder in the folder Applications macOS, double-click it, right-click theSketchup application icon contained within it and select the item apri twice in a row, in order to start the program, however, going around the limitations imposed by Apple on applications from non-certified developers (an operation that must be carried out only at the first start).

In the window that appears on the desktop, check the box I accept the Sketchup agreement and presses the button Continue to log into SketchUp and start using the software.

Create projects

Now that, regardless of the operating system used, you see the program window on the screen, you can start creating your first graphic project. Then select one of the template available in the list and click the buttons Continue e Get started with Sketchup.

At this point, you should finally find yourself in front of the main software window. In the central part, or theeditor, the 3D graphic with a group of three axes. At the top is the toolbar with, in fact, all the necessary tools to create 3D models, while even more on you find the menu bar, useful for accessing further functions and tools and for intervening on project files.

For starters, you can use line tools (The icon with the pencil), to draw one-dimensional segments. You can also draw two-dimensional shapes using tools for shapes (the icon with the rectangle). If you want to create arches, use the bow tools (the icon with points and segments). By means of the respective drop down menu you can select the options you prefer.

To create three-dimensional elements, all you have to do is push or pull a 2D shape so that it becomes a 3D shape: you can do this using the tool Push / pull (the icon with the base and the arrow) above the two-dimensional shapes you created, by clicking on them and, continuing to hold down, dragging the various parts. After generating three-dimensional shapes, you can use the tool Ladder (the icon with the square and the arrow) to scale its dimensions.

If necessary, you can view the created objects from different perspectives and orbits. You can do this by using the tool View (The icon with the hand), which allows you to move the design left or right and up or down. Instead, using the tool Orbita (the icon with the two arrows) you can go around objects, again by clicking and dragging.

You can also move and rotate objects, using tools Move (the icon with the four arrows) is Wheel (the icon with the two circular arrows), while the instrument named Tool (the icon with the inclined arrow and the semicircle) allows you to create copies of lines at a uniform distance from the originals.

All created elements can be colored using the tool Fill (the icon with the bucket). To use it, select the color or texture you prefer from the window for choosing the colors you see appear and click on the points of the object you want to color. In this regard, I would like to point out that in order to color them, the shapes must be complete. To add text, use the tool instead Text (the icon with the rectangle with written on it A1), click where you want to write and type your text in the box that appears.

Anything you have drawn in Sketchup can eventually be removed with the tool Clear (The icon with the eraser). If you need to zoom in on specific objects or the entire workspace, you can use the zoom tools (the icons with the symbol of magnifying glass). The tool may also come in handy Measure Tape (the icon with the metro) which, as can be guessed from the name itself, allows you to measure objects and create sections, by typing the measure in the appropriate section at the bottom of the window.

When you want, you can save your project via the menu File> Save located at the top left, indicating the location on your computer in which to save the file and then pressing the button Save.

Keep in mind that what I have just given you are just the basics of how Sketchup works. For further information, you can refer to the section of the Sketchup website specifically dedicated to learning how the software works and to deepen its use.

Add templates and extensions

To enrich your project created with Sketchup, you can add some models of ready-to-use 3D objects, by taking them from the appropriate gallery, accessible by clicking on the icon 3D Warehouse of the program or through the dedicated section of the program's website.

To search for templates, you can use the bar located at the top, by typing in the reference keywords. If, on the other hand, you want to browse the various models by category, click on the button with the arrow which is located at the top and select the one of your interest from the menu that opens. When you find a model that interests you, click on its preview and download it by pressing the button Download. Then consent to the opening of the model (if you downloaded it directly from the software) or open the relative file (if you downloaded it from the site).

I also point out the possibility of adding new features to Sketchup using the extensions. To search and add them, connected to the appropriate online section of the program website, select the category reference or start a keyword search using the bar located at the top, select the extension you are interested in and download it by clicking on the button Download.

Once the download is complete, you can install it by clicking on the button Extensions management in the Sketchup window, on the button Install extension and selecting the reference file.

Use Sketchup from the browser

Do you want to use Sketchup since browser without installing anything on the computer? It can be done, as anticipated at the beginning of the article. Just use SketchUp Free, the online version of the famous program.

To use it, connect to its official website and click on the button Start modeling. In the new page that appears, select the wording Create new Trimble ID to create a free account, useful for creating and saving the projects and models created. Then enter your data in the fields First name, Last name, Email address (required) e Password, type il control code displayed at the bottom of the field Enter the above text and click sul pulsating Create new account.

Within a few minutes, you will receive an e-mail message at the address specified above to proceed with the activation of the account. Then click on the item Activate account to complete the creation of your account.

In the new page that will open, select the item here, type your login details in the fields Email address (required) e Password e pulsing sul pulsating Sign in to log into your account and start using SketchUp Free from your browser. Operation continues that of the software variant.

Use Sketchup from smartphones and tablets

As I told you in the previous lines, you can also use Sketchup on smartphones and tablets, by downloading and installing the version of the program available in the form of an application and designed specifically for mobile devices, which is called SketchUp Viewer. It's free but offers in-app purchases (starting at $ 9,99) to add extra features.

To download it to your smartphone or tablet Android, access the section of Play Store specially dedicated to the app, presses the button Installon that one Accept and wait for the download to complete. Then press the button apri.

Se, invece, stai using iOS, access the section of App Store dedicated to the application, press the button Ottieni / Installa and authorize the download (if necessary) via Face ID, Touch ID or password. Next, click the button apri.

As for the use, the commands and functions available are good or bad similar to those of the "classic" variant for computers.

How to use Sketchup

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