SketchUp For Students: Lauren Emily Interiors

Inside the life of an Interior Design Specialist Studying Interior Design Using SketchUp

Over the last few years Lauren has gained skills across a range of disciplines from creative styling to spatial design while studying Interior Design.

Having completed a variety of design projects and live working briefs, Lauren has found a passion for lifestyle styling and graphic communication.


The Life Of A SketchUp Student...

Today we are joined by Lauren as we dive into the life of a SketchUp student, understanding how this 3D modelling software supports growing entrepreneurs and digital design specialists create simple and realistic concepts for their clients and their studies. Truly grasping the hardship, challenges and roadblocks students go through in their bid to be a successful Digital Designer.

Lauren Emily Interior is a interior design and decoration specialist company based in London. Created by Lauren McDermott, she offers interior design, personalised styling and decoration consultancy. 

“Being able to trial various materials on worktops and adjust the mirroring & reflections have aided my creativity.”

So, Lauren tell us about how you got into Interior Design…

Hi! I have always loved creating pieces of art, and from a young age I have taken part in various Interior Design projects, when given the opportunity to study Design at University, I couldn’t wait to get started, it is worth all the hard work!

I’m currently studying Interior Design Decoration at Solent University Southampton where I am gaining the skills and knowledge across a range of disciplines from creative styling to spatial design.

Lauren’s latest SketchUp project for interior design

When did SketchUp first come into your life?

I first heard of SketchUp in my first year of University where it was used to demonstrate dimensional visualisations of residential spaces for a few of our projects. Getting to grips with the software was  a little tedious sometimes, but stick at it and eventually your designs will flow naturally with a clean and smooth finish before you showcase them to clients!

I definitely recommend learning a few keyboard shortcuts such as clicking space bar to return to the Selection tool and “M” for the Move tool. I remember seeing a blog post on Elmtec not so long ago with all of these shortcuts written down, this really helped me learn some new time-savers for my own work and ones I can pass on to others!

"I first heard of SketchUp in my first year of University where it was used to demonstrate dimensional visualisations of residential spaces for a few of our projects."

Emily McDermott

How do you currently use SketchUp?

I use a variety of SketchUp plug-ins and extensions, they are one of my favourite things about the 3D modelling software, a (what feels like) a never ending stream of addons and features to explore and use that only make my designs more realistic and seamless.

LayOut is a feature I use on a regular basis and is great as you can immediately send and update views of your sketch up model, ready to clearly present to clients.

I am not a complete sketch up pro (yet.. 😊) I have not fully explored the variety of extensions and plug-ins in sketch up, but I have used “twilight” rendering to create professional visuals for presentation boards!

I am most proud of this piece of work, a residential design for a collaborative project with linden homes

What does your typical workflow look like?

A typical design workflow can change depending on the type of project – whether its residential or commercial, a large or small environment. However, to maintain a focus throughout the project, I usually begin with an interior concept and mood to inform the layouts. After trialling a few different spatial designs in 2D, a final decision is made and then formed into 3D using SketchUp. What’s great about these programs is the flexibility when designing to make small or large changes quickly – this allows the design to come alive effectively.

Think you can create simplistic, realistic designs for your clients and save hours as a student on creating your clients dream masterpieces? Give SketchUp Pro a try for free for 30-days here!

The James Knight Interiors Adventure

Interior & Renovating Specialist Bringing Designs To Life With 3D Modelling & Rendering

About James...

James Knight previously served 9 years at a reputable construction and joinery company based in Thame, Oxfordshire where he started out his career as bench Joiner and Cabinet Maker apprentice. Grateful for the opportunity given to him, James remained there until February 2019, where most recently (previous 6 years) he was working as Project Manager as Designer for the cabinetry contracts.

Established in April of 2019, James Knight Interiors now looks to provide beautiful bespoke cabinetry at an affordable cost. Experience within the bespoke design of cabinetry & kitchens combined with long standing relationships with high quality component suppliers, we are able to provide a solution for a vast array of budgets and requirements for Kitchens, Home Cabinetry and commercial cabinetry.

We specialise is shaker and in frame style Kitchens and Cabinetry, with ranges and options to suit most budgets. We carry out domestic work and commercial works such as reception desks and Bars.

So, James tell us about how you got into Interior Design…

Yes, my name is James Knight, the owner and founder of James Knight Interiors in Yately, Hampshire. I have always wanted to be a designer since I can remember. Now, I have been in the interior design space for just over 10 years, starting as an apprentice all the way to business owner. 

I first started using SketchUp through a colleague of mine in a previous role (Barr Joinery) and from the start I loved the versatility of the programme, the way I could show, explain and design my clients work was amazing and it simplified my business overnight. It became a speedy method for me to develop drawings to manufacture and create designs to scale in layout. 

Great thanks James, So what tools in & alongside SketchUp

I regularly use Layout to showcase my designs to my clients and it works really well, helping them see their designs to scale, materials we are using and the space used. 

At James Knight Interiors, I also regularly use plug ins and extensions such as enscape, however I know I don’t use them to their full potential right now, there is just so much you can do and so little time to learn it all! My favourite time of day is when I can sit down and learn how to render my designs better and more realistic. 

I also use SketchUp features for day to day modelling and frequently taking it into Articad for our Kitchen work. 

That's awesome! And what does your client workflow look like?

Up until COVID I would meet my clients face to face and gain an understanding of their vision and ideas, since lockdown hit I was able to continue these initial meetings online to gain a better understanding of what they are looking for and let them know whether I can help them. 

Once we knew we were both on the same wave length, I would come back to the office and complete a simple sketch of our ideas to send back to the client for feedback, a second chance to ensure we are both on the same page. (Which we usually are!) 

After this I usually complete the project on SketchUp, including materials and furniture from 3D warehouse and scaling the design to it’s real size before exporting it in Layout and sending it off to my client for a final review, the model may go back and forth a few times as we decide we would like to tweak certain aspects of itThis is why I love SketchUp, previous to this my colleagues and I would have to print and re-print designs or re-draw the Sketches we had made, which would have been made harder since COVID hit. Now with SketchUp, it takes 5-10 minutes to tweak a design, before it may have taken half a day. As a busy business owner, this time is critical to growth. 

For larger projects I will often render my designs in Enscape for the client to see a more realistic visual of their room, this has gone down very well as they are able to really get a feel for the finished product, and make any changes if needed! With Enscape being a real-time renderer it also means I can make changes instantly, saving me time in a back and forth conversion with my clients. 

Finally, once the design is signed off for manufacture I will add a few more details on it in Layout and save a few more view ports before I complete the manufacture designs for the guys in the workshop. 

Love it! What project over the years have you been most proud of?

I am extremely proud of my wine units I complete for clients, they are always show stopper pieces and there is so much detail in the angles and the designs, making sure they all work, like a puzzle. It’s an enjoyable process. SketchUp is so important as we use it to create all the angles and work out all the angle cuts. 

Think you can create simplistic, realistic designs for your clients and save hours as a business owner on creating your clients dream masterpieces? Give SketchUp Pro a try for free for 30-days here!

The SketchUp Migration from Classic to Subscription

By now, you’ve probably heard what we’re doing, but just in case you missed it, SketchUp has moved to a subscription model from November 2020.  

That was nearly 12 months ago now (I know it feels longer with the year we’ve had) and I hear you all asking, why are you telling us again? 

Great Question...

To make sure everyone jumps onboard the new subscription model and takes advantage of the latest SketchUp software and features, we’ve given users just over 12 months to migrate at a discounted rate. This will end on 4th December 2021. 

So what does this mean?

This means if you are still using a SketchUp Classic licence from 4th December 2021, you will no longer be able to upgrade to the latest version of SketchUp at a discounted rate and will need to purchase a new subscription at £235 per user. You will also loose access to the support you currently receive as part of your Classic Licence. 

But there is good news, if you want to keep the up-to-date version of SketchUp and continue enjoying the ongoing support, you can still migrate over to a subscription licence and take advantage of the discount available. 

Ok, got it, how does it work?

Single user licenses can be traded in at 1:1 ratio. (one subscription per classic single user license)  

A network license can be traded in at a 1:4 ratio – for every network seat, a customer can take 4 x subscriptions.  

Pricing is per subscription. Eg: a 5-seat network license can be traded for up to 20 x subs Your customer currently has classic licenses that have active maintenance contracts. That means they can switch to subscription for the following price per license:  

Qty X of either:  

SketchUp Pro Bundle, annual subscription. 1 Year Migration from Classic Single User Perpetual License for customers with active M+S contract. Terms and Conditions apply. TERMS AND CONDITIONS – 1YR SINGLE USER MIGRATION. 

SketchUp Pro Bundle, annual subscription. 2 Year Migration from Classic Single User Perpetual License for customers with active M+S contract. Terms and Conditions apply. TERMS AND CONDITIONS – 2YR SINGLE USER MIGRATION RRPs: £95.00 for 1-year and £190.00 for 2-year (per license migrated to subscription)  

Pricing above available until whilst your entitlement is in active maintenance. There is a 14-day grace period for you to switch before pricing increases by 50% to migrate.  

For users out of maintenance, the RRP will be £142.00 for a 1-year subscription when migrating or £283.00 for a 2-year  

From December 4th 2021, customers will no longer be able to migrate classic licenses and will instead have to purchase a brand new SketchUp Pro subscription (current RRP: £235) 

So the question is, Why Migrate?

Always up to date  

SketchUp transitioned to a full subscription model as of 4th November 2020 , so the classic perpetual licenses are now legacy. With subscriptions, you will have access to new features and releases as they launch.  

Additional Products  

With a subscription, you have access to a larger suite of tools to enhance design workflows and additional capabilities delivered through Trimble’s cloud services. You get SketchUp Pro for desktop, plus full use of:  

  • Trimble Connect with unlimited cloud storage 
  • SketchUp for Web premium 
  • Viewer apps for HoloLens, VR and Mobile  
  • Full details on all of the above here 

Subscriptions are intended for use by a single named user for the duration of the subscription term, without ability to re-assign except in following permitted circumstances:  

  1. If a seat is inadvertently assigned to the wrong end user at time of purchase; 
  2. If a seat is initially assigned to an employee of your company, and such end user leaves your company during the subscription term, then you may re-assign such seat once during the subscription term; and
  3. At the time of subscription renewal, you may re-assign a seat. Subscriptions must be assigned to a named individual email address and not a generic email address. 


Subscribing is a more flexible way to access SketchUp software, allowing for effective budgeting.  

Any new subscription you purchased during your one year term, will get co-termed to the exact same expiration day as the initial subscription(s) you purchase. You will no longer have licenses with renewal dates throughout the year! Predictable expenditure – One payment, on the same day each year, makes your SketchUp subscription really simple to budget for. 

Ease of Management 

You are in control When you subscribe, you will have a much simpler way of administrating SketchUp access for employees.  

Keeping track of multiple Classic licenses and not knowing who was using which license has always been a pain. With subscriptions, there is an Admin dashboard (which does not exist for Classic licenses). This allows you to add or remove employee access, and add or reduce seats.  

You will always know who has access. If an employee leaves you, simply revoke access and reassign the entitlement to someone else! 

PS: Here are some important details to remember! 

  • Single user license holders may still use the perpetual license(s) as an existing installation. Network licenses will deactivate 30 days after migrating them to subscription.  

  • Active Maintenance and Support plans will be terminated upon convert and plans cannot be reinstated. 

  • They must agree to the full Terms and Conditions (linked to in the migration boxes above). It is the responsibility of the reseller to received approval to the terms from the customer prior to placing an order on Elmtec.  

  • The subscription term will begin on the day of conversion 

  • Subscription renewals will not be at a discounted rate in year 2 or 3, depending on the migration offer they choose. Current full subscription cost is £235.00 per person. 


For any additional information regarding the SketchUp migration or 3D modelling questions, contact

Want to try SketchUp? Click here for a free 30-day trial.

SketchUp a History

You’re researching the best 3D design software, and as part of the process you’re looking into the background of one of the world’s favourite 3D modelling programs, Sketchup. You want to know all about Sketchup Pro version history, how the software originated, who bought and sold it, what versions and editions have been launched over the years, as well as the features, the plans, and the pricing. If you’re keen to know all about Sketchup version history, this article reveals everything.

Welcome to our world!


Sketchup Origins

Sketchup pro version history is impressive. The origins of the Sketchup 3D modeling tool lie with a company called @Last Software, a start-up co-founded way back in 1999 by Brad Schell and Joe Esch in the town of Boulder, Colorado. They created their general purpose 3D modelling software in the year 2000, an unusually versatile yet simple 3D content creation tool they imagined would prove vital for design professionals. And they hit the nail on the head – their innovative 3D modeling program won a Community Choice Award at its first trade show in 2000 and has gone from strength to strength ever since.

Now, more than two decades later, Sketchup enjoys a place at the top of the cad software heap. It’s widely used by  the architectural, interior design, landscape architecture, civil and mechanical engineering, film and video game design sectors and is popular right across the world. It’s available in web-based app form, as SketchUp Free, and as the added-functionality professional version, SketchUp Pro. As time passes and tech moves on, it has been frequently updated to include extra drawing layout functionality and surface rendering in a myriad of different styles, and you can even place the models you make in Sketchup into Google Earth.

Google Acquisition

In March 2006 Google bought @Last Software, impressed by their acquisition’s innovative work on a Google Earth plugin. And in early 2007 Google announced the arrival of something called Google SketchUp 6. This 3D modeling program was free to download and came with a suite of integrated tools to allow content to be uploaded to Google Earth as well as to the search giant’s 3D Warehouse. Google SketchUp Pro 6 soon followed, incorporating a beta version of Google SketchUp LayOut including clever 2D vector tools and popular page layout tools. All this meant it was possible for users to create presentations without a separate program to present them. Everything was driven by Sketchup, and it worked a treat.

The 3D modeling program software became more popular as time passed, and late 2008 saw SketchUp 7 released, integrating SketchUp’s Component Browser with Google 3D Warehouse, LayOut , and a variety of dynamic components designed to respond beautifully to scaling. And the 2010 version, V8, came along in autumn 2010, incorporating model geolocation with Google Maps and Building Maker integration.

Trimble Acquisition

In the spring of 2012 Google sold Sketchup to Trimble Navigation, now called Trimble Inc. In 2013, SketchUp 2013 came out, along with a smart new website plus a huge warehouse of extensions and plugins to support the software. Sketchup had well and truly arrived on the design scene and was making waves everywhere it was used, a truly impressive tool that did more than most, did it faster, more easily and more professionally. It has kept on developing ever since, always up to date, always secure, and always packed with brilliant functionality.

Sketchup Versions and Editions

So how about Sketchup version history? Like all the best software, it has been through a great many iterations, each better than the last. Here’s a list SketchUp Major Version Releases:

  •         2000: SketchUp v.1
  •         2002: SketchUp v.2
  •         2003: SketchUp v.3
  •         2004: SketchUp v.4, v.5
  •         2006: Google Warehouse
  •         2007: SketchUp v.6, LayOut (beta)
  •         2008: SketchUp v.7, LayOut v.2
  •         2010: SketchUp v.8, LayOut v.3
  •         2013:  SketchUp v.2013, LayOut v.2013, Extension Warehouse
  •         2014: SketchUp v.2015
  •         2015: SketchUp Make v.2015, SketchUp Pro v.2015
  •         2016: SketchUp Make v.2016, SketchUp Pro v.2016
  •         2017: SketchUp Make v.2017, SketchUp Pro v.2017
  •         2018: SketchUp Pro v.2018 4.2 and Sketchup 4.2.1
  •         2019: Versions 4.2.2, 4.2.3, 5.0.0, 5.0.1
  •         2020: Versions 4.2.4, 5.0.2, 5.1.0, 5.1.1 and 5.1.2
  •         2021: Versions 5.2.0 and v5.2.1

Sketchup Editions

The Sketchup 3D modeling program comes with a choice of editions:

Sketchup Studio contains everything you get in the Pro version, plus cool things like building energy analysis, daylight analysis, HVAC sizing, thermal comfort analysis, and CO2 emissions, perfect for designing in today’s climate-aware landscape.

Sketchup Pro 3D modeling program licensing is dual-platform, working equally well on Windows and Macs. It provides all the varied functionality of SketchUp Make with the addition of importers and exporters so you can easily share common 2D and 3D formats. It offers easy access to LayOut’s 2D documentation software and to Style Builder, where you can create custom edge styles for your SketchUp models. The 2016 Pro version comes complete with nifty native integration to Trimble Connect. You can treat 3D Warehouse models as references, and create valuable rebuilt Generate Reports. LayOut also provides web-friendly reference objects and a new LayOut API.

Sketchup Shop 3D modeling program is the perfect choice when you’re a DIY designer, maker, or woodworker, containing a set of features specifically created for your needs. There is, for example, a cool interface with 3D printers, CNC routers and other popular shop machines. How is it different from Pro? Shop is a web app that can only run on your browser when you’re online, while SketchUp Pro is a downloadable application so can be used offline.

Sketchup Make was formerly called SketchUp for Home and Personal Use, and dates back to 2013. It was free for home, personal and educational use and began life as a free 30 day trial version of Pro. It was replaced by Sketchup Free in 2017. Sketchup Free, its replacement, is a web-based app. It lets you save drawings to the cloud, save them locally as a native SKP file, or export them in an STL format. Unlike the original free version, Make, it doesn’t support extensions, or creation, or materials editing.

Sketchup Plans and Pricing

How much does all this creative brilliance cost you? Probably less than you imagine.


Sketchup Free

The free version of the planet’s best 3D modeling program offers all this:

  •         Web-based 3D modeler
  •         Mobile model viewer
  •         10GB cloud storage
  •         Free

Sketchup Shop

Shop provides everything you get in the free version, plus:

  •         Unlimited access to Pre-Built 3D models
  •         Augmented Reality Mobile Viewer
  •         Unlimited Cloud Storage
  •         All for just $119 per year

Sketchup Pro

Pro gives you everything in Shop plus:

  •         Robust desktop 3D modeler
  •         2D design documentation
  •         Quick insights for design research
  •         Experience reality (XR) headset viewing
  •         Access to plugins for extending SketchUp Pro Desktop functionality
  •         All for the great price of $299 per year

Sketchup Studio

The Studio version of this 3D modeling program contains everything you get in Pro, plus:

  •         Import and precisely model onto point cloud data using SketchUp’s native toolbox
  •         Export to LayOut and document point cloud data in 2D
  •         Interactive, real-time visualizations as you model
  •         Create and export professional photorealistic images
  •         Export fully rendered animations and 360° panoramas
  •         At a price of just $699 per year

Sketchup higher education and schools plans

Sketchup offers all sorts of exciting, affordable opportunities for the education sector, supporting excellence in our young people:  

  •         Sketchup Studio for students – desktop and web – $55 per year – perfect for learning how to make  beautiful, accurate 3D models
  •         Sketchup Studio for educators – desktop and web – $55 per year – packed with powerful, intuitive 3D modeling tools
  •         Sketchup Studio for universities – desktop and web – Sketchup’s core 3D modelling suite available in a variety of tiers at different prices
  •         Sketchup for schools – web only – Free with your G Suite or Microsoft Education account
  •         Sketchup Pro Desktop – desktop only – A statewide license, available free with your state grant 

Sketchup Features

Here’s a list of the fantastic primary features of Sketchup, an impressive range of functions designed to get you where you want to be quickly, enjoyably and simply. No wonder this tool is well known for its remarkable variety: 

  •         3D modelling so good you won’t believe your eyes
  •         Lets you iterate in 3D with confidence
  •         Creates accurate, detailed models
  •         Provides great interoperability with other design tools
  •         Extensibility is yours thanks to a massive warehouse of extensions
  •         Sketchup Objects are designed to help you work smarter and faster
  •         Customisation helps you make every design your own, uniquely yours
  •         Report Generation delights every stakeholder of every kind
  •         Inferencing means you experience even better accuracy and speed
  •         A huge 3D Warehouse stacked with popular designs contains every imaginable object, material, texture and more
  •         This is a tool that’s not just easy to learn, it’s also fun to create with

Get Started with SketchUp

Now you know all about sketchup version history. Sketchup has been with us for more than two decades, and every year the software has been improved, added to, and made easier than ever to use. Would you like to test-drive the free 30 day trial of Sketchup Pro? You might also like to delve deep into an enormous choice of clear, beautifully-presented resources and tutorials. Whether you ultimately choose the free or the pro version, now is the time when your design life will change for the better.

What Should Interior Designers be Looking For in a 3d Design / CAD Software Package

Maybe you’re searching for the best cad software for interior designers. Perhaps you’re researching the best cad software for home design. Here’s your guide to what interior designers look for in the finest cad software for home design.

Do Interior Designers use CAD?

So do interior designers use cad? Of course. Interior design cad software is the best way to create and render beautiful, accurate drawings for your clients. Cad is simply a digital drawing, drafting and rendering tool used by a wide variety of people who work with buildings, including engineers and architects as well as interior designers. It lets you create realistically-lit, attractive 2D and 3D models a lot faster than you could possibly manage drawing by hand, and it also happens to be a great deal of fun, highly creative as well as fast and simple.

As an interior designer you’ll use cad programs for home design to create plans and mock-ups of rooms for homes as well as commercial buildings. You begin with a basic 2D layout and as the design develops, driven by your client’s input, you decide on the ideal layout and exactly where the furniture, fittings and other key items need to go. Once you’ve agreed on the 2D drawing, the real fun starts. Cad software makes an easy meal of converting 2D floor plans into remarkably useful and attractive final 3D versions, complete with a wealth of choice of finishes and furnishings, trees, plants, interior and exterior lighting, and a massive bank of realistic furniture and accessories to tap into.

What software do interior designers use? Some of the most popular interior design software programmes include AutoCAD LT, TurboCAD, Autodesk Revit, Archicad 23, Sketchup and Easyhome Homestyler, and they’re all excellent, each with its own suite of valuable features.

Elmtech Sketchup is an enormously popular type of interior design cad software that comes with a huge list of fabulous features, unusual levels of flexibility, masses of free resources stashed in the Sketchup Warehouse, and everything you could possibly need to help your imagination take flight. This is where great interior design lives, and as you’ll see it ticks all the boxes you need for interior design excellence.


CAD Software Features for Interior Designers

There’s clearly a large choice of 3d interior design software options, each with its own focus and intention. But some of the features you need are absolutely essential, providing the very best cad software for interior design. ‘Must have’ cad features include advanced functionality, a generous 3D model library, versatile importing, and hyper-realistic rendering. You’ll need the facility to share projects, and it’s great to be able to view your final designs via Virtual Reality software, the ultimate in client presentation tools. Last but far from least, the cad package you choose must be easy to learn, simple to use, and intuitive every step of the way. All this is exactly what Sketchup will do for you.

Advanced CAD Functionality

What does advanced cad functionality involve? This refers to capabilities like drawing floor plans and creating flexible 3D spaces. You’ll want to be able to easily and quickly design various standard architectural features including half walls, columns, sloped ceilings and a large number of architectural features, and you won’t want any limitations on the interior design features. You want it all, and you deserve it all! It’s also important to make sure your chosen interior design software programs support the design of entire buildings with multiple rooms – not just one room at a time. It’s good to know that Sketchup Pro fully supports these features and many more.

Readily Available 3D Model Library

Imagine this. You need a certain type of chair or settee. No problem at all – you simply navigate to the software’s resources bank and there it is, waiting for you, just one of thousands of choices, all available instantly and many based on actual products you can buy in the shops. The same goes for materials, allowing you to change the materials you use in an instant. You also have access to a vast array of different floor coverings, plus as many different design accessories as you can possibly imagine. Sketchup comes with a huge repository of models, all stored in the easy-to-search Sketchup 3D Warehouse. With a resource like this behind you, creativity and versatility are never an issue.   

Versatile Import Capability

You need a suite of import features that allow you to import images and CAD designs into a project. Sketchup supports this capability, letting you import a wide range of items including arcs and circles, entities with a thickness, faces and 3d faces, lines and supported line styles, materials, nested blocks, splines, raster images and more.


You’ll want to import and export image files and STL files for 3D printing, import and export COLLADA files and import DEM files for Terrain. Importing and exporting 3DS files and exporting FBX, KMZ, OBJ, VRML, and XSI files, it’s all important for flexibility and creativity. Sketchup lets you do all this and more.

Photo-Realistic Rendering

Obviously the better your photorealistic renderings, the more your interior design springs into life. This is one of the most exciting and satisfying features of the best interior design software. Sketchup is excellent for creating engaging 3D design renderings, delivering images that will convince, inspire and excite your clients, helping them make informed decisions based on hyper-real imagery.

Virtual Reality

The best interior design CAD packages not only enable the creation of photorealistic renderings – they also support generating wholly immersive virtual reality images and experiences. These can be viewed via a VR headset and are loved for bringing an interior design to life in a way that an ordinary drawing just can’t achieve. It’s incredibly real, making it easy for you and your client to explore every aspect of the space virtually, feel the atmosphere, understand the exact ways the light falls in the space, and much more. Again, Sketchup provides this capability, one of the many reasons interior designers find it hard to resist.

Project Sharing

You’ll want to be able to share your models easily and quickly during the design process, another way to delight your clients. Sketchup makes sharing a dream. All you do is use the cloud-based platform Trimble Connect to view, share, and access your models anywhere, any time. Sketchup comes with a brilliant Trimble Connect Extension designed to make all this super-simple, and it’s included in SketchUp Pro as well as accessible via your desktop, mobile, or a web app. SketchUp Shop users benefit from a Trimble Connect Business account, included in the deal. You can also transfer your .skp files via a USB or use any number of popular file transfer systems with ease, yet another big benefit of Sketchup.

Easy to Learn

You’re busy, your clients want quick results, and once this project is complete there’s another, and another, and another… no wonder it’s so important for interior designers to be able to get up to speed with a cad package as quickly as possible. When there’s no time for a steep learning curve, you need something intuitive, user-friendly and easy to grasp, and for that you need a wide range of readily available, actionable training resources  and tutorials. There’s a thrilling abundance of excellent tuition and guidance available for Sketchup Pro users, and while it’s a fully featured CAD software package, it’s also surprisingly easy and fun to learn.


Get Started with SketchUp

Now you know which software to use for interior design. And you know which interior design software is best , too –  it’s Sketchup! If you’d like to give it a go and potentially change your working life for the better, delighting your clients more than ever, you can download a free 30 day trial of SketchUp Pro. You can also check out the free version, here.

How to Design a Kitchen Using SketchUp

The kitchen sits right at the heart of every home, and it’s really important to get the design absolutely right. If you’re researching how to design a kitchen with Sketchup, this article reveals everything you need to know about Sketchup kitchen design. It’s amazing what Sketchup for kitchen design can achieve in a short time, making the creative process a real pleasure as well as simple and intuitive. Read on for insight into Sketchup kitchen cabinet creation, kitchen render expertise and more.

Is Sketchup Good for Kitchen Design?

Let’s look into Sketchup for kitchen design. Plenty of kitchen designers use specialised kitchen design software to create their designs. The main benefit of this is you get access to extensive catalogues of essential kitchen elements. But Sketchup is an unusually powerful interior design tool that can be easily used to create wonderful kitchen designs of every type, including the chance to use a vast range of materials and finishes, astonishingly real lighting, and a truly vast library of resources available from the 3D warehouse. There’s also a huge choice of simple-to-follow Sketchup kitchen design tutorial resources as well as a number of very cool Sketchup kitchen plugins specifically for kitchen design.

Sketchup Kitchen Design Plugins

Sketchup extensions that can be used for kitchen design include EasySketch, Cabmaker32, and SketchThis. EasySketch is perfect for creating professional kitchens quickly, and it’s simple to learn and use. It’s popular with kitchen designers and architects, interior designers and home remodelers. Cabmaker32 offers metric and imperial cabinet templates, working with Sketchup to create fully 3D cabinet layouts and ideal for frameless and face frame construction. SketchThis is a popular kitchen design plugin that you pay for, costing $6.95 per week or $9.99 a month. All these extensions make kitchen design in Sketchup easy and fun, which means you can relax, enjoy the process, and be your creative best.

How to Design a Kitchen in Sketchup

So how do you make a kitchen design in Sketchup using the SketchThis extension? SketchThis comes with access to a number of different dynamic cabinet options. All you do is open up your SketchThis window, choose the cabinet you want and bring it into your model. You make changes to Sketchup kitchen units using the brilliant dynamic components option inside Sketchup, where you can change a lot of essential attributes including your kitchen dimensions, kitchen drawers and doors, the toe kick detailing, and a great deal more. The changes are made dynamically so you enjoy a smooth, efficient workflow as well as exciting instant results.  


Take the doors section. It lets you choose from a wide range of door types and door details. You can replace all the doors in your model at the same time, which makes choosing the overall look of your doors really simple and fast. There are masses of kitchen door moulding options to choose from and a large number of different kitchen sinks. And you’re never short of materials, with exciting choices to make around wood materials, countertop materials, and kitchen flooring materials, all easy to apply with beautiful, realistic results.


Who knew kitchen pulls could be so exciting? There’s a variety of kitchen cabinet handles too, which you can either swap all at once to get a crystal clear idea of the overall effect or customise individually.  The same goes for other essential kitchen design elements, for example dynamic wall tiles. All these popular facilities make kitchen design in Sketchup fast and efficient as well as enjoyable and endlessly creative.

Sketchup Kitchen Rendering

Now you’ve created a superb Sketchup kitchen model, Sketchup kitchen render is what’s needed to take you from the drawings stage to beautiful photo-realistic images. To render in Sketchup, you’ll need a suitable rendering extension. There are plenty of them available, all excellent, and it is well worth exploring their potential. Take IRender nXt, a powerful extension for quickly, easily making attractive photorealistic renderings. It comes with all sorts of goodies including lighting channels, panoramas and animations, and it renders on the cloud to save you time and hassle. There’s a 30 day free trial available.

ArielVision is just as easy to use and the settings are nice and simple, allowing you to create stunning designs with confidence. It also comes with a 30 day free trial. And Raylectron is a fully-featured SketchUp renderer designed to easily make hyper-realistic images, fast as well as powerful. It’s also affordable.

ShaderLight is an interactive, photorealistic rendering extension that lets you create top quality images either on your desktop or in the cloud, with a choice of great rendering modes and intuitive tools. Designed to help you optimise your workflow, it brings your kitchen designs to vivid life. Thea comes with  state-of-the-art biased, unbiased and interactive render modes for rendering either inside or outside Sketchup. It also offers exciting things like interactive region rendering, advanced material editing, proxy creation from FBX, fog and cloud presets, and stereoscopic rendering – and that’s just for a start.

There are lots more, each with a list of inspiring features, and all of them let you create stunningly good kitchen design renderings from within Sketchup. When your clients are demanding, time is short and quality is absolutely essential from start to finish, Sketchup kitchen design gets you where you want to be quickly, seamlessly, and creatively.

sketchup education overview

Get Started with SketchUp

Now you can see how using Sketchup plus your choice of superb extensions lets you Sketchup kitchen designs like a pro, render them perfectly, inspire your clients, and achieve dazzlingly good results in no time, every time. Did you know you can download a free version of Sketchup pro to play with? Or check out the differences between Sketchup free and Pro with ease? You might also like to explore the many exciting resources and tutorials designed to help you make the most of Sketchup, including Sketchup kitchen design tutorial insight and much more. This might just be the start of something truly amazing!

SketchUp Pro vs SketchUp Studio

It’s a question as old as time

(Well since SketchUp established in the year 2000), and one we are asked on a regular basis, so today, we are releasing our secrets and giving all you SketchUp users the 411 on our SketchUp licences and helping you to find out which one will sit your projects a head and shoulder above your competitors.

So, what’s the difference?

Both Pro and Studio are subscription offerings for professionals. They include our desktop modeler (SketchUp Pro), augmented and virtual reality viewing apps, 2D documentation, and more.

The main difference is that the Studio bundle includes the latest up and coming 3D Rendering software, V-Ray that combines real-time and photoreal rendering — all in SketchUp, and Scan essentials, Scan Essentials is an extension that adds a huge amount of value early on in your workflow because it lets you import, view, and model directly on point cloud data in SketchUp—accurately capturing the “as-built” condition of your project. It equips first-timers and pros to quickly turn rich point cloud data into accurate 3D models with ease through a variety of file formats (E57, RWP, LAZ, TZF, LAS, PLY).

SketchUp Pro:

The SketchUp Pro licence includes the premium online modeller (SketchUp for Web), Trimble Connect for Business, as well as the desktop applications; SketchUp Pro for Desktop, LayOut, PreDesign and Style Builder. The bundle also includes augmented reality features within SketchUp Viewer for iOS and Android and viewing apps for the following XR devices: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Microsoft HoloLens, and Windows Mixed Reality headsets.

What's included in SketchUp Pro?


LayOut takes your 3D model into 2D space; it’s the tool for creating documentation from your SketchUp model.


PreDesign lets you enhance your design research before you even begin to model. Figure out daylighting, shading/glazing, outside spaces and architectural response.

Style Builder

Style Builder has one primary job: enabling you to create sketchy edge styles from your own images.

SketchUp Web

SketchUp Pro’s desktop client modeller; all you need is an internet connection and your creativity.

3D Warehouse

Find a 3D model of just about anything and import it straight into your own model.

Extension Warehouse

SketchUp extensions are add-on tools that solve 3D modelling problems which can seriously supercharge your workflow.


You’ll get all the help you need with any installation and technical questions that may arise.

Trimble Connect

The Trimble Connect extension for SketchUp provides direct access to projects, models, and other features of the Trimble Connect platform.

SketchUp Campus

SketchUp Campus is a unique, in-depth learning hub with SketchUp-approved courses, to make learning SketchUp convenient and simple.

Mobile Viewer

Wherever you are – so are your models. Access your models from 3D Warehouse, Trimble Connect and Dropbox.

Mixed Reality (XR) Viewer

Designed to support the ever-expanding list of mixed reality headsets offered by Microsoft and its partners, SketchUp Viewer for Windows Mixed Reality can be installed from the Microsoft Store.

Viewer for VR

Brings your projects to life in VR, supporting Oculus Rift, HTC VIVE and Vive Pro headsets.

SketchUp Studio Features:

SketchUp Studio is for design teams that want to advance their workflows. Draw in 3D, import and model on point cloud data, generate hi-res photoreal renders, and share your designs. Windows only.

V-Ray 5 and Scan Essentials are now included in your SketchUp Studio subscription. Start your project off by importing and modelling on robust point cloud data and finish it using incredible, high-quality renders. 

A SketchUp Studio subscription is assigned to one individual and can only be used by that registered user. It cannot be shared between colleagues. The individual can authorise their subscription on two computers that they use – but can only use one at a time (typically a work computer/desktop and a laptop).

To access your subscription, you must sign in with Trimble ID. Each user account can only be associated with one individual person. You cannot create a generalised user account that is shared by more than one person. This is what we refer to as a “named user”.

Get Started with SketchUp

Are you the kind of user who likes to know about every method of creating drawings in SketchUp, or are you someone who prefers to take the simplest route? Whatever your style, this guide to drawing a spiral staircase in SketchUp gives you everything you need. Why not visit our download page and download a free 30 day trial copy of SketchUp Pro to play with?  You might also appreciate our vast library of training resources and tutorials. You can check out the difference between SketchUp Free and Pro here.

How to Add Light in SketchUp

You’re wondering how to add light in Sketchup. It’s a great way to add life, excitement and realism to your views. This guide tells you everything you need to know about lighting in Sketchup, your definitive reference point for everything to do with Sketchup lighting.

Lighting in Sketchup

You can easily add lighting to your Sketchup models to create realistic interior and exterior views, and there’s so much variety. Interior light in Sketchup represents all sorts of interior lighting so accurately it’s completely natural-looking. You can light a drawing using different colours, and rendering lets you achieve the most amazing realistic shadows. The same goes for exterior Sketchup lighting, simulating a huge variety of light including sunlight. The shadows are realistic, the reflections look real, and the whole thing comes to sparkling life to the delight of your clients. So how does Sketchup achieve all this magic? There’s a variety of Sketchup Extensions that enable the modeling of light sources. 

Sketchup Rendering Plugins

Superb lighting in Sketchup is yours thanks to many excellent rendering extensions and plugins for Sketchup. IRender nXt is an all-singing, all-dancing renderer that’s brilliant for creating all sorts of wonderfully photorealistic renderings. ArielVision does it without the hassle of complicated settings, great for fast work. Raylectron is quick, powerful and affordable. There’s ShaderLight and Thea, RENDERLights and Brighter3D, and that’s just for a start. When you render both the interior and exterior views of a model using light sources to create photorealistic images you easily achieve everything from stunningly real natural sunlight to spotlights, central lights, directional lights, and more. The potential is infinite.

Lighting an Exterior Day Scene with V-Ray

V-Ray is a very popular extension for lighting in sketchup. It’s perfect for creating a photo-realistic exterior daytime view of a model. Once you’ve installed it, simply use the V-Ray asset editor to adjust your render settings. The materials are initially overridden so the exterior lighting contribution is the focus. Open the ‘lights’ tab and you see that sunlight is added by default. When you click on the ‘sunlight’ source you get a menu where you choose various sun related parameters to set, things like colour, intensity, size, and more. These settings influence the blurriness of shadows as well as the sun’s appearance in your rendered reflections. When you disable the sunlight, it turns off.


You can pick an alternative light source, for example a dome light, to create the effect you want, and this also comes with a suite of parameters of its own. You might, for example, want to increase the light’s intensity to brighten up your rendered image. Then there’s HDRI or High Dynamic Range Imaging, used to create even more detail in both shadows and highlights. As you can imagine, experimenting with the various parameters along with dome light rotation produces remarkably realistic renderings, and that means your clients find the output you deliver truly inspiring.


Interior Lighting Best Practices

So what are the key best practices involved in modeling interior light in sketchup with the Enscape Sketchup extension? First, bear in mind how real-time rendering in Enscape won’t process unlimited light sources. The number and intensity of your chosen light sources will affect performance, especially if your lights overlap.


You can add all sorts of light types: spotlights and sphere lights, rectangular lights, disk lights and linear lights. And once you’ve added the Sketchup lighting attributes, you can play with and adjust them. It’s important not to put any of the light sources directly onto the surface of the geometry, but just before it. Setting it directly on the surface means your light could be obscured by the geometry.


With spotlights, changing the cone angle controls how much of the scene is illuminated. The cone’s width dictates the hardness or softness of the light. The sphere light sends light in all directions equally, giving you lighting that feels very like an ordinary incandescent bulb. Rectangular and disk lights are both area lights, emitting light across their surfaces uniformly to create soft, subtle lighting. Linear lights are like fluorescent tube lighting, scalable by length only and letting you choose the luminous intensity.  


It’s also possible to copy and paste sources of light in sketchup. While the lights are always on in Enscape, it can look as though some of them have turned off during the day. But that’s not the case – the intensity of the sunlight has simply dimmed the other emitting lights. As you can see there are limitless ways to define and combine light sources with Enscape and the best thing of all is the fact that it’s so simple, which also means it’s fun. There’s no complexity involved.


Place lights just in front of your geometry using the super-simple 2-Click system. Duplicate identical lights by simply copying and pasting. Edit a light by double clicking it. If you don’t like what you’ve done, use the ESC key to reject it. You can use native SketchUp tools to rotate or move your lights, and the paint bucket tool is where you add colour. Simple!

sketchup education overview

Get Started with SketchUp

Lighting in Sketchup is a brilliant way to quickly, easily bring renders to life, adding realism and personality. Sketchup lighting is easy to experiment with, which makes it a real pleasure. Why not visit our downloads resource and grab yourself a free 30 day trial of SketchUp Pro? We also have a vast library of cool resources including tutorials and more.


❤️|Heartwood Carpentry London|❤️

Interior & Renovating Specialist Bringing Designs To Life With 3D Modelling & Rendering

About Alexandru:

Today, we are joined by Alexandru, Owner and Director Of Heartwood Carpentry London, an interior design specialist who, over the last few years, has helped dozens of people convert unused space into professional, spacious areas within their family home.


Alexandru has been kind enough to share his journey with us today, more specifically, how he uses SketchUp in his work, his challenges and how he turns designs into real life pieces of art using 3D modelling and Visual Rendering.

So, Alexandru tell us about how you got into Interior Design & Carpentry…

Sure, I have always loved woodwork, and I now have a small business based in Kingston, London specialising in interior design & carpentry, supporting my customers and turning their  houses into spacious family homes. 


I started using SketchUp around 3 years ago when I decided I needed a better way to showcase my ideas to customers, and an easier way to plan and design once I had an initial conversation with them. Now, I can’t imagine my life without it.

I had never used any other software similar to SketchUp before so I was totally new to it, personally I wouldn’t change anything, I was really happy with how easy and simple it was to use as a beginner and a busy business owner. I am now using SketchUp Pro and wouldn’t look back, it’s doing wonders for my customer designs and the time it takes to put those designs together gives me time back to spend on the parts of the business I truly love.

Great thanks Alexandru, so why SketchUp?

After years in the trade and hundreds of customers with new, space efficient furniture and room layouts they love, I decided to start using an online rendering software (specifically SketchUp Layout) to present my initial designs to clients, allow them to see how the final product would look, and blow them away with the realistic images, colours and scenes of their space, online. This has helped me relate to clients, design more accurately and have dozens more very happy customers!

SketchUp integrates perfectly into my workflow, when I first speak to, meet (or e-meet with COV-ID!) clients I take all measurements needed and have a chat with the client, why they reached out to me and what their ideal finished product would look like.

Next, I will still do a rough sketch with them on paper so we are both on the same page and I understand what the customer is looking to achieve. Once this is completed, I will then head off and spend 2-3 hours building their design in SketchUp using the Layout tool to bring it to life.

Once this is complete, I will send the design over to the customer with some options. If there are any changes the customer requires, I am able to do this instantaneously, previous to using SketchUp, I would have to re-do the design, typically taking a couple of hours at a time. Finally I’ll send a final design to a customer and start building actual furniture. 

Love it! What project over the years have you been most proud of?

I am really proud of one project in particular I completed last year, I created and fitted a loft wardrobe in Wimbleon, using SketchUp for this design made it simple and easy for me to create a realistic blueprint and make tweaks and changes were needed. It saves hours for a busy small business owner like myself!

Think you can create simplistic, realistic designs for your clients and save hours as a business owner on creating your clients dream masterpieces? Give SketchUp Pro a try for free for 30-days here!

How to Make a Roof in SketchUp

How to make a sloping roof in Sketchup? It’s easy. Maybe you want to know how to make a pitched roof in Sketchup, or find out how to make a hip roof in Sketchup? Perhaps you’re trying to pin down how to make a slanted roof in Sketchup. When you want to draw a realistic, accurate roof in Sketchup, it’s good to know that all you need is a great little roof Sketchup plugin and you’re well on the way to success. 

If you want to know how to draw a roof in Sketchup without a plugin or extension you need an easy to understand, clear explanation in  plain language. This article reveals exactly how to make a roof in Sketchup, and you’ll find it surprisingly simple. We also take a good look at roofing materials and types. Read on to become a top class Sketchup roof pro!

Different Roof Types in Sketchup

How to do a roof in Sketchup? It’s really easy. Did you know Sketchup can be used to model an exciting variety of roof types and designs? Better still, did you realise you can create accurate, attractive roofs in Sketchup without any support from plugins?

The list of potential roof styles is extensive. It’s also possible to create even more variety, making roof designs that are completely unique to you. When there’s such a huge choice of useful and unusual textures and materials available, including masses of different roof tiles, Sketchup means there’s no limit to your creativity.

  • Draw the perfect open gable roof with ease
  • Create beautiful box gables in no time
  • Hip gables are no problem at all
  • Hip and valley roofs are as easy as pie
  • Gambrel roofs and mansard roofs are at your fingertips, hassle-free
  • Dutch gables are problem-free to achieve
  • Hexagonal gazebos might be complex, but Sketchup makes them simple
  • Sloping and slanted roofs are never an issue

 It’s easy to create roofs in Sketchup without a plugin. But you also have the opportunity to pick and choose from a vast number of very cool plugins to use for roof design and modeling. They’re a great way to speed up the process, allowing you to deliver roof brilliance time after time, in no time at all. This is particularly handy when you’re considering complex designs. You might choose a Sketchup roof tiles plugin to create unique tiles to thrill your clients – the world is your oyster with Sketchup.

How to Create a Basic Roof in Sketchup

Here’s how you create the basics of a Sketchup curved roof, a sloping roof in Sketchup, or any other kind of roof. Your starting point is always the same. It’s good to know that creating a basic roof in Sketchup is actually very simple. It’s a great idea to have a go yourself to discover how easy it is. Here are some basic steps, which reveal its simplicity:  


  •         Start off with a basic box drawing of the building  
  •         At one end of the building, draw lines outward to represent the roof’s eaves. This dictates how far the roof extends out from the edge of the building to keep the rain and weather out
  •         Define the vertical that’ll create the roof slope you want to make. Slopes are defined horizontally via the x axis and vertically via the y axis. A 4/12 pitched roof, for example, rises 4 inches on the y axis for every 12 inches along the x axis
  •         Now you’ve drawn lines to represent the eaves, draw more lines to define the roof slope to make your first gable end
  •         Draw central lines across the building’s box top to show where the roof will be, creating a path
  •         Select the central line or lines and pick the ‘follow me’ tool
  •         Click on the gable end and you’ll see it follows the path of your chosen central line to create the roof
  •         Select ‘reverse faces’ to produce the slope of the roof, and adjust it if necessary  

See – isn’t it a fantastic way to create complexity with just a few clicks? Now you can really start to get creative, adding textures and materials and changing the roof tiles until you’re happy with the finished effect, look and style.

How to Use a Plugin to Create a Roof in Sketchup

There’s a great choice of excellent extensions and plugins for Sketchup that can be used to create roofs.

One that’s widely acknowledged as excellent is called ‘Roof’, created by TIG. You’ll find it in the Sketchucation plugin store, and it’s free. Developer donations are encouraged, though, and it’s always nice to contribute what you can to its ongoing success.


This particular plugin contains a bunch of seriously handy roof creation tools. To create roofs all you do is create your building as a block, then choose a face of the building – which has a flat roof for now. Choose ‘roof’ from the extensions menu, then select the type of roof you want to draw. From there you simply add in the parameters you need, including the slope of the roof, the materials it’s made from, the eaves, the size of the fascia, the soffit size and more.


As you’ll see when you experiment with it – which is something we strongly recommend – this amazing roof extension creates all sorts of magic including hipped, mansard or sprocket, gable ended and pyramid roofs. There’s a really good ‘help’ file to accompany your voyage of discovery too, which you’ll need to download separately. It’s full of useful hints and tips.


How to Add Realism to a Rooftop with Materials

Realism matters in roof design, particularly when you’re designing with innovative, new or unusual materials. You want your clients to ‘get’ what you’re saying in your design instantly, understand where you’re coming from, and enjoy an accurate representation of what the final roof will look like. This is where Sketchup materials come in, and they’re amazing.

Materials are used to add realism to roof models in Sketchup. You actually paint different materials on faces, materials being painted with a colour plus an optional texture, both defined in an image file. You can instantly replace one roofing material with another, perhaps changing your original shingles to a metal roof or even a thatched roof. Because the colour and texture are separate, you can change one or both.

It’s just as easy to play with the opacity of a material, making it opaque, transparent, or anything in between. As long as you’ve built an accurate model in the first place, the software can even figure out exactly how much of a given material you need to build the roof in real life. Here’s how to apply materials to your roof model:

  •         Select the face or faces where you want to apply a material
  •         Pick the paint bucket tool
  •         Click ‘select’ in the materials panel
  •         Choose a materials collection from the drop down list and pick the one you want to use – remember you can edit 3D materials really easily, which gives you a more or less infinite variety of choices


The Sketchup 3D warehouse is stacked high with exciting extra roofing materials as well as a wide variety of roof components like roof vents and roofing corners, roof panels and roof-mounted AC units, ridge cap cleats, roof insulation, rafters, ceiling waves, roof sheeting and so much more.

Get Started with SketchUp

Now you know all about digital roof material, Sketchup is your first stop for roof drawing excellence. You know exactly how to build a roof in Sketchup, choose unusual and revolutionary roof materials, and manipulate them to create something unique. And you understand how the possibilities for different roof tile Sketchup texture is infinite

Would you like to try it for yourself? Visit this link to download the free 30 day trial version of Sketchup Pro, and check out a wealth of top class tutorials and resources to help you become a roof design whizz in no time at all.

sketchup education overview

About Elmtec

Elmtec have been the UK distribution partner for SketchUp since 2010, and service a network of UK and Irish resellers. We have over 22 years’ experience within the digital design community.

Contact Us

T: 01844 263750