Developed for the conceptual stages of design, SketchUp is a powerful, yet easy-to-learn 3D program. Using a few simple tools, we will create 3D models for quick massing studies, exploring and comparing design options, set up perspectives from hand drawings, and explore ways to use SketchUp for presentations. The first day will be spent mastering the basic tools needed to create massing models, textures and shadows. On day two, we’ll learn how to implement a work-flow methodology to keep 3D models organized and efficient. Day three will focus on creating independent 3D design projects. Students are encouraged to bring a floor plan and/or elevation that can be scanned to be used as a drawing base for the final project. Students must bring a laptop computer with a free SketchUp download.

Note: This class will take place at Hinge Architecture Studio in Burlington, VT, about 50 minutes from the Yestermorrow campus. Details, directions, and logistics will be provided upon registration.

Course start time: Saturday, 9am
Course end time: Sunday, 5pm


  • Competency Level: Beginner
  • Sterling College credits: 1 Continuing Education Unit ($130 additional)

Course Objective

  • To become familiar with the concepts and tools necessary to quickly create 3D models and manipulate them in 3D space.

Suggested Readings

Sketchup is available for free through We suggest you download a copy and familiarize yourself with Sketchup before taking the course, but it is not required.

Materials to Bring

  • Laptop computer - check to make sure your computer meets the minimum system requirements listed for Google Sketchup 7 at If you can bring a 3-button mouse, it will make your life easier.
  • Bring a sketch of a project you would like to study in 3D, preferably scanned and saved as a jpeg.

Course schedule

  • Day One: Students will learn all the basic drawing and modification tools by recreating a sample project provided by the instructors. Once students have a good understanding the basics, we'll experiment with adding textures and shadows.
  • Day Two:  Once we have an understand how the basic program tools work, the class will learn how to implement a work-flow methodology that will assist in keeping 3D models organized and efficient. Presentation tips are integrated into each lesson. Students will have the remainder of the day to create their own 3D design projects.  Please bring a project or have something in mind that you would like to explore in 3D. We'll also talk about ways to present your models and show examples of how Sketch Up is commonly used in an office environment.
Start Date: May 14, 2016
Duration: 2 Days
Tuition: $350