Before you start modeling, you’ll need the real-world
dimensions of the objects you’re working with:
the power strip, chargers, and the thickness of the
material. I’ll be using a 10" power strip and
plywood. Feel free to modify the dimensions and
design of this charging caddy to accommodate
1. SET UP SKETCHUP FOR YOUR DESIGN
1a. Go to
sketchup.google.com to download and
install the appropriate version of SketchUp. Launch
the program and learn how to navigate and use basic
tools by going to Menu → Help → Self-Paced Tutorials
→ Introduction. It may also be helpful to keep a print-out of the Quick Reference Card handy (Help → Quick
Reference Card) to identify tools and hot keys.
1b. The man in the modeling window is there as a
scale reference for architecture. Change this template
by going to Window → Preferences → Template (or
SketchUp → Preferences → Template on the Mac),
and selecting Inches (Woodworking)-3D from the
drop-down menu. Start a new project (File → New),
now at woodworking scale, with a precision of
Delete the framing square (if you see one) with the
Eraser Tool. Open up the Large Tool Set, if it’s not
already open (View → Tool Palettes → Large Tool Set).
2. CREATE THE CONCEPT MODEL
2a. Many tools in SketchUp can be broken into
3 simple steps:
» Click to start.
» Move to create.
» Click to finish, or type the dimensions and
Select the Rectangle Tool, click at the origin, and
move to create a rectangle. Type the dimensions
13½", 4¼" (you’ll see them appear in the lower
right), and hit Enter. Select the Push/Pull Tool, click
on the surface, move the mouse upward, type the
dimension 7", then press Enter.
» PC OR MAC A RELATIVELY RECENT MODEL
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» MOUSE PREFERABLY WITH SCROLL WHEEL
2b. To create guidelines, select the Tape Measure
Tool. Move the tool over the top middle edge of
the left wall (a cyan dot indicates the midpoint),
then click and move the mouse perpendicularly
toward the middle of the box. (A red line appears,
to confirm alignment with the red axis). Type in
2", hit Enter, and a dotted guideline will appear.
Repeat on the opposite side and the backside.
Create a ¾" guide off the front edge (Figure A).
2c. Draw a rectangle on the top surface of the
box starting at the intersection of the front and
side guidelines with the dimensions 12¾", 2".
Use Push/Pull to create a 2" recess (Figure B).
3. SET UP THE CONCEPT MODEL
3a. Select the entire model by triple-clicking, then
right-click (Ctrl-click) and choose Make Group.
Groups are one way to keep pieces distinct from one
another; you can use the reference points of groups
without accidentally changing their geometry.
3b. To be able to see and access all those reference
points, work in X-ray mode (View → Face Style →
3c. For organization, all the construction geometry
will be on a separate layer. Go to the Layers Window
(Window → Layers). Click the + (or Add) button, and
name the new layer “Construction.” Click the radio
button next to Construction to make it active.