My New Obsession: SketchUp For The Homestead

Since discovering SketchUp last week, I’ve been obsessed… like hiding in the bushes watching SketchUp sleep sort of obsessed. I’ve designed Storage Boxes, a Chicken Coop, an indoor Rabbit Cage, and a fold-away chop saw workstation. Imagine what I’ll design in the next 7 days!

I keep proudly showing my drawings to friends and family like I’ve deciphered the DNA strand to cure cancer, while they all look at me like I’m showing them a drawing of a hand-turkey.

SketchUp Shortcut Keys List

I’ve been watching more and more YouTube videos on SketchUp and I’m catching on crazy fast (Let’s face it, there are only so many chicken videos I can watch, so I was bound to branch out eventually). There is a guy named, Justin Geis that has a great channel devoted to SketchUp.

Here is also a list of SketchUp shortcuts I found that are really speeding up my learning curve.

Full Disclosure

Full disclosure here, I was a draftsman for an engineering firm for 4 years when I first got out of college. My A.S. degree is in Architectural Design and Construction Technology and I used to be a wiz at AutoCAD13 back in 1998…. Ahhh the 90’s, when Hootie just wanted to hold your hand and Fanny-Packs were still in style. That being said, AutoCAD and SketchUp are two totally different animals.

These days I still teach Blueprint Reading and Precision Measurement at the Community College at night- though this class is on how to read blueprints, not actually drawing them.

That being said, technical drawing and designing is what I do to relax – isn’t that just sad? When I’m really stressed I escape into the blueprints. My IPad sketchpad is also full of NTS mechanical sketches and floor plans.

Since AutoCAD costs $200 per month and since I don’t use it for work these days, I’ve been using Microsoft Excel to make 2D drawings.

You can use Excel by making the cells into a grid. The drawing itself is to scale but it’s hard to print to scale because of the different printer configurations. I’ve used it to design everything from house plans to beehives – sometimes I even use it to make spreadsheets. It’s been a poor substitution for AutoCAD but it’s been better than nothing… still, it has its limitations.

Now that I have SketchUp, I am finally able to get some of these more complex drawings out of my head and down on paper (which hopefully will help stop the voices)… and soon they will become physical objects… THEN I WILL TAKE OVER THE WORLD!

As I complete these projects, I’ll create a How-To video and post the full blueprints here on my blog (for free). So make sure you scroll down and hit one of the follow keys at the bottom of this page.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Love technical drawings and good for you doing what brings you joy!! Thank you for sharing!!
    Donna 🧚🏻‍♀️❤️🐝

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, I didn’t even know something like Sketchup existed. Way cool.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bryan Layton says:

      There is another program by Autodesk called fusion360 but it seems a little less intuitive than SketchUp… thanks for stopping by.


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