Google SketchUp is awesome!
I’ve been using Google SketchUp version 7 Pro, and it’s just plain awesome! I use it for architectural rendering, fabrication and engineering planning, landscaping, hobbies, and even to build virtual studio sets for use in green screen video production. While I use the Pro version, the Free version is quite powerful.
Let me show you how I started and finished a 3D copy of my Hummer replica build in SketchUp.
Since I already have the plans for the TremorMUV Hummer replica, a real 1984 Suburban in my garage…or what’s left of it. I’ll follow along with SketchUp.
Remove the Body… like I already did to my 1984 Suburban:
Now in this case, I removed the engine already, and traded up from the model’s existing chassis to one I built from the dimensions of the one in my garage.
For fun, I added an engine, transmission and transfer case, and swapped the wheels. These wheels are 40 inch INTERCO Super Swampers I found in the 3D Warehouse here. The 454 Chevy engine was also from the 3D warehouse.
Then from a clear file, and using the aforementioned plans, I build the cage or body skeleton of the Tremor MUV, accurate to dimensions given, so I could test it out in pixels before I start cutting steel.
And incase anyone asks, no I’m not sharing this file, because of the license agreement I’m in with Rocky Mountain Coachworks. Anyway, legal stuff out of the way, back to sketching. Next, I put the cage on the chassis model.
Looks great! But of course, it’s not finished there. I need body panels, doors, a hood, and all that stuff. I found the taillights, seats, and doors from a Jeep Wrangler model (since I’ll be using the real parts for my real build.). I modeled the body panels, doors (with movable glass), hood (because all others I found were incorrect), bumpers, bumper step, front pushbar, and winch housing. The winch and hood lights were from another model, but I regret I don’t have the reference for it. But, here’s the steering wheel I found for now. I may change it later. That’s one beautiful thing about SketchUp. It’s easy to change a component at any time. You can literally destroy your model and start over without going over budget in the garage.
But, the beauty of SketchUp is that you can “fabricate” anything you want, to try it on for size, style, etc. Here’s a shot with a removable top, to turn the open top Hummer replica into a Hummer wagon replica.
The Tumbler model comes courtesy of the Google 3D warehouse, linked here.
What else can one do with SketchUp? Nearly anything 3D! I’ve used it for modeling before metal fabrication, small home projects, and in projects for real estate developers. Maybe I could even do something for you…(hint, hint, nudge, nudge).
Thanks for your time!