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SketchUp 3D Warehouse – Everything You Need to Know

sketchup 3d warehouse, blue red and dark blue graphics

SketchUp 3D Warehouse is an open library of 3D models where SketchUp users can download or Upload 3D models. It shortens the 3D modeling time since designers can save time by downloading 3D models from the warehouse instead of having to take time to draw the 3D models from scratch. 

SketchUp is a 3D modeling CAD program for making architectural, civil, interior design, mechanical design, and landscape architecture drawings. It is a product of Trimble Inc., which is a California-based company that specializes in software, hardware, and services that touch on a range of industries including Building & Construction, Agriculture, Geospatial, and Transportation among others.

SketchUp’s native file format is .skp. However, users can save files in different formats by exporting files in .DWG (which is compatible with AutoCAD), .3DS (which is compatible with 3ds Max), and .STL (which is compatible with SolidWorks). By exporting 3D models in .STL file format, users make the 3D models to be 3D printable and thus the reason why SketchUp is very popular in the 3D printing industry.

SketchUp Comes in Four Editions Which Include:

  • SketchUp Free – This is a free online version of SketchUp 3D modeling software. It replaced SketchUp Make that was a free version that was used for home, educational and personal use. It has limited features and functionalities and users are not allowed to add extensions.
  • SketchUp Shop – This is an online version of SketchUp that was made for Do-it-Yourself (DIY) woodworkers, designers, and makers. It is designed to make specific needs like CNC routers, 3D printing, and other workshop machines. 
  • SketchUp Pro – This is a downloadable version of SketchUp that is used for both 2D drawing and 3D modeling. It has a dual licensing platform that allows both Mac and Windows users to subscribe to it.
  • SketchUp Studio – This is also a downloadable version of SketchUp that has all the functionalities of SketchUp Pro plus other added features like Daylight analysis, Thermal Comfort Analysis, Building Energy Analysis, HVAC sizing, and Carbon Emissions Analysis.

It is important to note that the SketchUp Free and SketchUp Shop are web-based and are only accessed through the SketchUp website while the SketchUp Pro and SketchUp Studio are downloaded and used on the desktop.

Which SketchUp Editions Allow Accessing SketchUp 3D Warehouse?

SketchUp 3D Warehouse is a free online open library where anyone can download or upload 3D models. All the 3D models in the 3D Warehouse are free meaning anyone can download them and use them in their 3D modeling. 

Therefore, regardless of the SketchUp edition that someone is using, one can still access the 3D Warehouse. 

Additionally, even people using other 3D modeling CAD programs like AutoCAD, ArchiCAD, and Revit can also download 3D models from SketchUp 3D Warehouse and use them in their models.

However, to access 3D Warehouse, you will require to be using SketchUp 2017 or a later version. SketchUp 2016 and lower versions cannot access the 3D Warehouse.

How to Access SketchUp 3D Warehouse

As stated in the above sections, 3D Warehouse is an online open library meaning that it lives online and can only be accessed through the internet using a web browser or SketchUp 2017 or later versions which allow users to log into their 3D Warehouse accounts from the downloaded programs though they still require an internet connection.

If you are using the SketchUp Pro or SketchUp Studio, simply locate the 3D warehouse icon in the top toolbar, which in previous versions appears as two icons for uploading and downloading 3D models. 

You can identify the 3D Warehouse icon(s) by hovering your cursor over the icons in the toolbar. When you hover your cursor on any of the icons, it will display its role.

The 3D Warehouse should look like either of the icons shown in the Screenshots below depending on the version SketchUp you are using:

3d warehouse icon

Figure 1. 3D Warehouse Icon (Source)

Get models and share models 3d warehouse icons

Figure 2. Get Models and Share Models 3D Warehouse Icons

Alternatively, you can click on Files >3D Warehouse

Accessing 3d warehouse through the files tab on the menu bar

Figure 3. Accessing 3D Warehouse Through the Files Tab on the Menu Bar

The third way of accessing 3D Warehouse is by searching for SketchUp 3D Warehouse or typing http://3DWarehouse.SketchUp.com in your browser. 

No matter the method you use to access the 3D Warehouse, you will be required to create an account or log in if you already have an account. If you are using it for the first time you shall be directed to a page similar to the one shown below if you are using the desktop versions of SketchUp (SketchUp Pro and SketchUp Studio).

Login screen for 3d warehouse

Figure 4. Login Screen for 3D Warehouse

3D Warehouse Main Page

Regardless of whether you are opening the 3D Warehouse via SketchUp Pro, SketchUp Studio, or web browser, you are always directed to the same 3D Warehouse main page. 

From this main page, you can choose to browse the available 3D models by categories, find certain collections of models or even search for a model by using its specific name, collection, or category.

3d warehouse main page

Figure 5. 3D Warehouse Main Page

Before delving into how to download or upload 3D models into the SketchUp 3D Warehouse, let us first look at what each of the sections in the 3D Warehouse main page is used for. The screenshot shown below shows the different sections (labeled using letters in red) of the main page

Different parts of the 3d warehouse main page

Figure 6. Different Parts of the 3D Warehouse Main Page

  1. Search Box – Used for searching whatever model you want. Simply type a term in the search box and press Enter.  The 3D Warehouse shall display models that have a title, description, or hashtag that matches the search term typed in the search box.
  2. Upload a Model – This is used for uploading 3D models to the 3D Warehouse.
  3. Sign In Link or User Menu – This appears as the sign-in link if you have not logged in or signed in. But once you log in, it appears as the user menu with a picture of the picture you used on the Gmail account you logged in with. 
  4. Curated Collections – These are carefully selected and organized 3D models for various sectors like construction, Office, etc.
  5. Featured Community Models – This section contains popular 3D models or those models that have been created by skilled 3D modelers
  6. Featured Catalog – This section contains model catalogs by verified manufacturers who have created catalogs of their products (like furniture, materials, or appliances)
  7. Featured Commercial Models – This section features models uploaded by commercial entities. Verified consumers have a blue checkmark against the creator’s name on the model details page and a model thumbnail image
  8. Featured Users – This section shows profiles of some featured 3D Warehouse users. The  Official profile SketchUp is also found here

Downloading 3D Models from the SketchUp 3D Warehouse

After finding the model that you are looking for, you should click on the model. 

Once you click on your preferred model, you are directed to the model details page, where you can preview the model, find out the materials used in the model among other information about the model in the ‘Model Info’ section, see how many likes the model has received, how many downloads, how many views, the comments that have been made about the model, related collections, and related models.

To preview, you should hover on the image of the 3D model and click on it. A pop-up window will appear containing the 3D model and you can rotate it to see all the sides of the model.

Once you are certified with a certain model, simply click on the download button, which is by default blue in color and positioned on the right below the model image.

Example of a model details page

Figure 7. Example of a Model Details Page

Uploading Models to the 3D Warehouse

Besides downloading 3D models, designers, manufacturers, and commercial entities can upload 3D models or 3D model catalogs to the warehouse for other users to download and use in their 3D modeling.

You can choose to either upload 3D models through the web browser or the desktop version of SketchUp. If you are using SketchUp on your desktop click on the share models icon in the toolbar. If you are using the web browser, click on the Upload button at the top right corner next to your user menu icon. 

 In both cases, you shall be directed to the ‘UPLOAD NEW MODEL’ pop-up window where you can either choose to browse the model you want to upload or simply drag and drop the model file there.

Upload new model pop-up window

Figure 8. Upload New Model Pop-up Window

It is however important to ensure that the view in the drawing area reflects how you want the model preview image to appear on the model details page. If not, use the Camera tools (Orbit, Pan, and Zoom) to adjust how you want the preview to appear.

It is important to note that viewers will also be able to see all the other angles of your uploaded model by clicking on it on the model details page as we have discussed in the above section.

Once you upload the model, you shall be directed to the ‘MODEL DETAILS’ page where you should fill in the various details like the title of your model, and description. You can also choose to disable comments and even make the model private if you wish. The ‘MODEL DETAILS’ page looks like the one shown below.

Model details page

Figure 9. Model Details Page (Source)

Conclusion

SketchUp 3D Warehouse is a great place for CAD designers to find readymade 3D models they can use for their 3D modeling. By using the Warehouse, designers can save a considerable amount of time and thus shorten the time taken to complete designs.

SketchUp 3D Warehouse is a free open library that anyone using SketchUp, Revit, AutoCAD, or ArchiCAD can access. 

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