The Heartwood School for the Homebuilding Crafts

Intro to SketchUp

May 25 – 27   September 25 – 27  
Note: the September course is followed by our two-day Advanced SketchUp Pro: Layout course; registration discount applies to those taking both courses.

SketchUp is a powerful and effective yet simple to use program for sharing ideas in 3D. The basic program, called SketchUp Make, is a free download and offers many tools for the timber framer and designer. The program can be used as a 3D napkin kind of sketching tool as well as a formal presentation tool for communicating concepts to clients and the shop. The three-day Heartwood hands-on workshop will cover the basics of the software and work toward completing a small timber frame design from rough sketch to client presentation. The class is a great chance for new users to learn the software in the context of a finished project or for experienced 3D and CAD designers to learn and expand their skills with a free and incredibly powerful modeling and presentation tool.

Day 1 - Introduction
For our introduction we will take a general overview of the software and start with the basics of understanding how to sketch and think in 3D on a computer screen. We will highlight the features and tools we have found most useful for conveying ideas pertaining to timber frame, furniture, and home design. We will cover the basic drawing and modeling tools and understand various ways to organize our drawings and our virtual objects for efficient design and drawing management.

Day 2 - Build It!
Today we will take a small timber frame project and build it from start to finish. We will integrate all the tools and features we covered on our first day to create a 3D timber frame. We will piece together our sample project from rough concept through presentation sketches and a virtual fly through, and discuss the integration of SketchUp with AutoCAD and other presentation tools.

Day 3 - What?
We will wrap up our timber frame model and learn to cut sections, build timber and parts libraries, and troubleshoot common modeling woes. We will then dive into SketchUp as problem solver; we will model a compound roof kernel, develop strategies for hip and valley framing, and tinker with curved surfaces. To wrap up our workshop, we will play with shadow studies, photomatch and GoogleEarth.

Students will need a laptop loaded with the latest version of SketchUp ("Make"). We will cover tools and techniques available in the free version, but the Pro version works just as well. Drawings by Mike Beganyi.

Instructor Mike Beganyi offers a preview of what you'll learn in the class through a series of videos you can watch here.

Tuition: $480 per person, $885 per couple; includes lunch.

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Heartwood School

Johnson Hill Road

Washington, MA 01223

Phone: 413 623-6677


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