3D Models

3D modelling is a powerful way to communicate design ideas. We use SketchUp to develop the project in three dimensions, so you can imagine the outcome. We also make physical models in the workshop.

SketchUp Models

SketchUp models are a great way for architects to develop front-end conceptual designs. What Is SketchUp?

Background to Modelling in Architecture

Before computers, making a physical model using card and wood was the usual way to convey design ideas in three dimensions. These scale models are fun to make but take time to build. They use materials and take up space in the physical world, so disposal can be an issue. They are a fantastic way to communicate the idea, and will always remain popular for certain purposes. But since the computer, we have developed incredible software to create computer models. It is now commonplace in architecture to build a model in the computer and communicate the idea through images of it.

2D & 3D Software

For 2D drafting, one program has been popular above all others since its inception. Autocad users develop drawings with layering, coloured lines, hatches, lineweights and drawing sheets.

Autocad does not expect you to build a 3D model and then cut through it or create views of it. You simply draw the cut-through (section) or view how you know it should be. This is much more akin to drawing board work common before computers. Autocad is powerful and does have 3D capability, but most architects think of Autocad for quick 2D drafting. We draft using use Autocad.

Later came 3D software. Revit, Archicad and Vectorworks work differently to SketchUp. They create a 3D model from which plans, elevations, sections and 3D views are derived. While we have experience in these software programs we do not currently use them, but for large projects we can obtain licenses if needed.

SketchUp 3D Modelling

SketchUp is unlike the aforementioned 3D programs in that it is not trying to be a “one-stop-shop” program to provide everything you need for the whole project in detail. It is only designed to provide a quick way to model in 3D, and get some great images. While it is accurate to the millimetre, it simply allows you to create shapes and attach materials to those shapes. There is no intention to go into more detail than that, though you could if you so wished. It is powerful for showing ideas and developing designs as they change during concept design. This makes SketchUp excellent for front end Planning work.

Autocad works well with SketchUp. Plans (and sometimes elevations) are drawn accurately in 2D using Autocad and save them. We then import them into SketchUp where we build the 3D model. Frome here, we attach materials, create views and share images to talk about the design. We can modify the design according to the client’s wishes. Seeing the design change in 3D is great for the client. We can develop the design and work towards a planning application.

Sketchup Textures

We have a large library of materials derived from the SketchUp Texture Club. These can be switched easily to create a materiality for the building without changing the physical 3D form.

Our combination of Autocad and SketchUp is common in the architectural industry. The two work great together and we are always ready to build and modify SketchUp models.

Physical Models

We still build 3D physical models in our workshop when needed. Sometimes it is important to have a physical model on the table in front of everyone. Examples are at presentations with planners, stakeholders, developers or local residents. We have also made sales models for estate agents offices. Since we started using the laser cutter, it is much quicker to cut things out. Click to visit our laser cutting page for more information on this.

Enquire about 3D Models

If you are looking for 3D models, whether physical or via SketchUp, contact us.

Utilise our knowledge of Revit, Archicad and Vectorworks. We would need to organise licenses for this.

Call the office on 0113 318 3078 or 07772 750 855, email enquire@we-draw-buildings.com or send a message via the contact page.