There were ups and downs when it came to creating this 3D model of my childhood home. My first challenge was making the stairs which actually went quite well. I learned the ins and outs of the push/pull tool and how to input heights into it making the stairs all evenly spaced. However after my initial success I foolishly tried to make what would become the most difficult element of the house – the fence in front of my mom’s garden. Many of you are probably surprised that the black rectangle in front of the house is a fence which is understandable. My sorry attempt at a fence ended up being a harsh lesson in the erase tool. It turns out when you erase geometry in SketchUp it erases everything it is connected to as well. I didn’t realize this at first, built the fence and continued on building the house. I completed the front of the house with no issues, but when I rotated to start working on the side I realized that there was a massive hole in the stairs that I hadn’t noticed! I was too far in to use the undo function, so I spent about 30 minutes trying to figure out how to fill the hole properly.
After the stair hole debacle everything else went fairly smoothly – I used the lines wrapping around the house to keep the floor levels even, built the backside of the house and finished up (the lines for floor levels were incredibly useful). In the interest of my sanity I had to forego a lot of the small details in the brickwork, backyard, one of the windows and the deck but overall I would say this is a faithful representation of the house I grew up in minus the disaster of a fence. This tool could be incredibly useful for educational purposes in the hands of a skilled user – the potential to recreate a famous historic site or important landmark for a class is extraordinarily interesting. It can also be used to immortalize locations. My neighbors house was recently torn down – SketchUp could have been used to keep the memory of her ancient house (filled with random items and home of many raccoons) alive.
Overall SketchUp was an interesting exercise. I’m definitely not gifted in the art of SketchUp but the potential applications are endless. – David