MeetUp KickOff


Trimble SketchUp is used by millions of people, making it the most popular 3d modeling software in the world. There are some great online support communities for SketchUp users, but Portland area opportunities for in-person training and networking have been limited... until now. We organized Portland's first SketchUp MeetUp on April 22nd, and fifty-three people attended! Graciously hosted by ADX, we had some refreshments, and did a round of introductions. It was exciting to see so many different fields represented, including architecture, product design, woodworking, urban planning, interior design, education, illustration, marketing, construction, civil engineering, landscape architecture, and web development.

We lined up three different people (myself included) to do a little SketchUp show-and-tell. My presentation focused mostly on product design, including material from the Caliper Brake and Peg Leg projects. Dustin Furseth and Willie Dean shared some of their work (see examples above) in architecture and technical illustration. We had some excellent Q&A (despite the fact that it was a bit hard to hear over the noise of the ADX woodshop), and finally it was time to draw the raffle winner. Congratulations to Hannah Furseth, an interior designer with Garrison Hullinger who won a 2014 SketchUp Pro License. (Thanks to Mark Harrison at Trimble for the free license and helping us promote the event on Facebook & Twitter.)

What's next? The MeetUp Gallery is one way to stay connected and share work samples. The discussion forum is another option for keeping in touch. I just started a thread on naming and organizing layers. Dustin's presentation mentioned having 'big picture' layers followed by 'specifics' layers. He showed us how a master copy of his components lived outside the architectural model for ease of editing. It would be interesting to find out different ways of categorizing elements of a model, as well as handling the interaction of groups, components, and layers (groups within layers, layers within groups).

We are starting to plan to plan the next MeetUp, to occur sometime in mid-July, Till then, lets keep nurturing and growing Portland's SketchUp MeetUp, which as of this writing stands at 70 modelers—already nearly half the size of San Francisco's group!

Yelena Prusakova was an illustrator at Fat Pencil Studio from 2013-2017.