In the past few weeks I’ve received several emails from folks looking for SketchUp models of my woodworking projects. My response has been to point to the SketchUp 3D Warehouse. When I received a thank you that included: “I followed the links you provided and what a body of work you created! I could happily spend the rest of the days I have, making those projects. The Chinese stool is breathtaking in its simplicity and its woodworking challenges.” It dawned on me that there are probably many people looking for something to do that also might find this useful.
It’s been five years since I left Popular Woodworking Magazine, but the 3D Warehouse Collection I created while I was there lives on, with several hundred SketchUp models available. When I figured out how to use SketchUp models as the basis for magazine illustrations, the models began to pile up. We decided to share what we had and invited readers to go through their back issues and submit their own models. Over the 6 years that I maintained the collection it proved to be a pretty valuable resource. There are several ways to get to the collection, either through your web browser or directly through the SketchUp program.
From your browser, just type 3D Warehouse in the search bar, or follow this link: https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/
In SketchUp you can find a link in the “Window Menu” or enter a search term in the Components window.
Search for the term “Popular Woodworking Magazine”, then click on “Collections”
That will get you in to browse the available models. If you’re looking for a specific project use the title of the article when you search. PopWood didn’t give up on making SketchUp models after I left, but they never figured out how to add to the existing collection, or to create a new collection. If you search for “Popular Woodworking Editors” and models you’ll find more that were added after 2014. Models in the 3D Warehouse are freely available, but are only as good as the modeler who uploaded them. There isn’t any danger of getting a virus or compromising your computer, but not everyone makes neat, tidy and useful models.
If you’re stuck at home for the next few weeks you might find learning SketchUp or improving your SketchUp skills better than binge-watching post-apocalyptic movies or trying another new recipe for cookies. There are a lot of posts here that offer free SketchUp tutorials. I also have SketchUp books available in enhanced PDF format with embedded videos that have helped thousands of people learn 3D modeling.