SketchUp exterior walls

by Design Workshop Sydney

There are several methods of creating exterior walls in SketchUp. We explore them all in our SketchUp courses.sketchup-exterior-walls
If you have SketchUp Pro go to File > Import > browse to where you keep your Plans > Type: DWG > select the file. Then hit the Options button > check Geometry > Units: millimeters (that is, the same units as your CAD DWG). Tick Preserve drawing origin (if bringing in multiple CAD files) > OK > Open. Note the Import Results > Close. Lastly move your plans to a layer of its own – see a previous blog post for how to do this.
Then go to the Camera drop-down menu and choose Standard View > Top. Then Camera > Parallel Projection. Zoom into the main area where you wish to create the walls.
Make sure Layer 0 is the active layer – you do most of your modeling here. Select the Rectangle tool (or hit R on your keyboard) and trace out the plan outline of the building, creating a series of rectangles; the order doesn’t matter. Then make the floor plan layer invisible. With the Eraser tool (E) erase the inner lines. Note this is why we locked the reference object. Now we have the full outline of the building. If we were creating a simple Massing Model you would now use the Push/Pull tool (P) to extrude the shape upwards up by the building’s height.
But we want a more detailed model, therefore turn on the Floor plan layer and use the Offset tool (F) to thicken the walls, using the CAD plan as a reference. Alternatively, measure the wall thickness with the Tape Measure tool (T) first, then Offset to this amount.
Next take the wall height off the elevation drawing (2.8m), and Push/Pull the outer shape upwards by this amount, giving you the exterior walls object as illustrated in the screenshot above. Select & delete the floor or put it on its own layer. Then triple-click the walls with the Select tool > and right-click > Make Group. Create a new layer for the External Walls > and use the Entity Info to move the walls to their own layer.
Many useful tips and techniques can be found at the SketchUp website. And see many examples of our own clients’ work on our Facebook page.
Other related SketchUp Blog Posts: