Shop Drawings

The 3D model that CabWriter creates within SketchUp is great for visualizing the project and showing your customers exactly what they will be getting. You can rotate, flip, explode, zoom in or out, and really get a good sense of the scope and scale of the project. However, when it comes time to build, you need much more than just a 3D model. You need detailed shop drawings with elevations, sections, and details with the ability to add the dimensions, hatching, symbols, and professional title blocks.

While the free version of SketchUp is fully functional with CabWriter, it unfortunately doesn’t have robust dimensioning, layout, or printing capabilities and is not capable of creating professional shop drawings. SketchUp Pro, on the other hand, is designed to do exactly that. The Pro version provides a companion program called LayOut that links to your SketchUp model and imports any scenes you’ve created, allowing you to layout sheets with title blocks containing the content you want. A scene can be anything; elevations, sections, perspective views, etc.

Simply add dimensions, hatching, symbols, or text to the sheets for a complete package. Since the LayOut sheets are linked to your SketchUp model; whenever the model changes, that content is changed in your shop drawings within the LayOut program so your drawings are always up to date. If you aren’t familiar with how LayOut works, there are a number of great resources available to get up to speed; one book we highly recommend is SketchUp to Layout. See how the process works below:

New in Version 2

  • Create a new LayOut document at the push of a button complete with a page for each of your scenes.
  • Assign and automatically apply hatches to section cuts in LayOut based on material type.
  • A new command to make it easy to re-generate a section cut scene when something changes.

New in Version 3

  • Automatically create a basic set of scenes including Cutlist, DXF, Purchased Parts, Base and Upper Plan Views, Ladder Base, and Perspective.

See how it all works in these videos: Creating CabWriter Shop Documents Part 1 and Part 2

Use SketchUp’s native sectioning tool to section your model in any plane that you choose. In this case, we’re creating a plan view section through the base cabinets.

Highlight the section plane that SketchUp creates.

Use CabWriter’s “Create Section from Section Plane” command to automatically create a SketchUp scene from the section plane. CabWriter does some additional processing to make the section resemble a traditional section.

CabWriter allows you to name the section.

This is the final section within SketchUp.  For this section, we chose Top View from the Camera menu and parallel projection.  The scene is ready to import into the LayOut program for incorporation into a page with a title block, hatching, dimensioning, and notes.

This is what the section looks like after it was imported into LayOut with the addition of dimensions, hatching, symbols, and notes. Professional and easily printable…