Core Concepts of Model Organization

Core Concepts of Model Organization

The system works like this: Nested groups have layers applied to each level. Group the same order every time, regardless of the project size or type: LEVEL > ELEMENT > LOCATION > CONDITION. Each part of the design model will be placed in the corresponding group. This is our baseline, our default system. Once you master it, you can expand the system into whatever you need, simplify it for your industry, and expedite it with shortcuts to save some time.

Layer0 is always active, all edges and surfaces are drawn on Layer0, and all groups will be assigned to Layer0 when they are created. The ConDoc System will warn you if Layer0 is not current; just click on the warning to fix it. The ConDoc System is there to keep you on track.

Model organization overview graphic.

The ConDoc System warns you when Layer0 is not active. Simply click on the warning to remedy the problem.

Within the SketchUp Workfl ow for Architecture system, the new, existing, and demolished condition is always last, or the smallest container in the nested line. The ConDoc System illustrates this in a compressed string of text.

  1. Group early and often. A model that has been grouped can be salvaged; a model that has not been grouped is unworkable. It is much easier to explode a group, or ungroup, than it is to pick through a pile of sticky geometry. When in doubt, make it a group!
  2. Group objects together by categories that the layers describe, then assign the layer to a group. Only assign layers to groups, not to edges or surfaces.
TIP: One exception to this rule is the CONDOC – Always Off layer. This layer can be applied to edges to “visually merge” two groups together, making them seamless, such as first and second story walls on a two-story project or where new walls meet existing walls.

  1. There is a series of switches that works every time. Always assign layers to nested groups in this order: Level > Element > Location > Condition.
  2. The CONDITION groups—new, existing, and demolished layers—are always the last level of organization.
  3. Each LEVEL group gets a floor and a ceiling and everything in between. Ceilings build down off the bottom of the floor above.
  4. Interior walls go from finished floor to ceiling. Exterior walls go from finished floor to finished floor above. These are typical situations and can be broken as necessary.
  5. All door openings, interior and exterior, must be cut all the way to the bottom of the wall; otherwise, plans will not net a clean opening.

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