How to Design Your Own Furniture + Quickstart SketchUp 3D introduction + With free template | Auke & Jildou | Skillshare

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How to Design Your Own Furniture + Quickstart SketchUp 3D introduction + With free template

teacher avatar Auke & Jildou, Design, DIY, fashion & creativity

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

11 Lessons (40m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Moodboard

    • 3. The First Sketch

    • 4. Create Your Own Design

    • 5. Materials

    • 6. 3D Modelling in SketchUp

    • 7. Modelling Your Design

    • 8. Adjusting & Details

    • 9. Optimize Your Design

    • 10. Create a Building Plan

    • 11. Build a Prototype

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About This Class

How cool would it be when you can translate your idea’s for interior items, woodworking projects or furniture into a producible design? 

In this course I will show you step by step how to do that and at the same time you will learn how to design in SU that you can download for free. You usually learn the fastest if you are going to do a project for yourself and just get started. So the class project is to design your own furniture and I will guide you through the process of making a high quality design.

First we will make a sketch by hand and analyse other similar designs. After that you choose which materials you want to use and we calculate how much you need to buy from the strore.

Then we will translate your design into a 3D model. I’m gonna give you a quick start course how you can use Sketch Up and how it can help you to create a realistic custom made design and building plan. Which makes building much faster and more precise. And therefore a lot more fun. You encounter fewer mistakes and you will use your time and material super efficiently.

I will use the example of a pallet chair and I show you how to design and build this with the use of just one pallet.

This class is for every creative person who wants to take their design and building skills to a new level.

Meet Your Teacher

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Auke & Jildou

Design, DIY, fashion & creativity


We are a Dutch design studio that makes sustainable products called "Piple." We made a "You can do it yourself" series because we think it's way more fun to make things yourself. 

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1. Introduction: Hello, welcome to this class. My name is OK, and I'm a Dutch designer and engineer with a great passion for smart and sustainable design. The last few years, I've worked on interiors and furniture for tiny houses and compact homes, which requires high efficiency with smart use of material. In this class, I want to teach you some of the techniques I've learned and how you can transform a sketch idea, enjoy an actual buildable design. How cool would it be when you can translate your ideas for interior items, woodworking projects, or furniture into a producible design. In this course, I will show you step-by-step how to do that. And at the same time, you will learn how to design in SketchUp and you can download for free. You usually learn the fastest if you're going to do a project for yourself and just get started. So to class project is to design your own furniture. And I will guide you through the process of making a high-quality design. First, we will make a sketch by hand and analyze Autor a similar designs math edad, you choose which materials you want to use and we calculate how much you need to buy from the store. Then we will translate your design into a 3D model. I'm going to give you a Quickstart course, how you can use SketchUp and how it can help you to create a realistic, custom-made design and building plan, which makes building much faster and more precise. And therefore a lot more fun. You encounter fewer mistakes and you will use your time and materials super efficiently. I will use the example of a pellet chair. And I show you how to design and build this with the use of just one pallet. This class is for every creative burst, the ones who take their design and building skills to a new level. Let's get started. 2. Moodboard: Mood board. Alright, we start by making a collection of images. We call a mood board. Most of you already have an idea in your mind. Otherwise you probably wouldn't have found this course. Or maybe you feel like starting a new project and you're looking for new inspiration, then a mood board is the perfect place to start. The mood board is an easy way to define where you want to focus on in your design. There are many creative and fun ways to do this. But our goal is to make your vision visual. They collecting images to speak to your imagination and feel like they belong to each other. So in this example, you see different subjects. Like a nice wallpaper plans, a simple, minimal furniture. But what they all have in common is the mind green, natural colors and a Mediterranean 5-2 it. So that's what you can learn from mood board and try to find the similarity. The very easy way to do this is with Pinterest. Pinterest is a platform with tons of images and ideas and makes it very easy to create a mood board with, uh, pretty much always use Pinterest when I need new inspiration for a new project. It contains many ideas and you can learn a lot from others by carefully studying how something is designed and how they've made it. For discourse. I used the example of a chair free my garden. That's going to be my project. So I am going to look for a project and reassemble stat type in which you're looking for. And it's useful to already make a rough choice about the materials you want to work with. I wanted to try to make my chair for an old palette. I don't use anymore that I still have in my garden. And I will try to make the design based on just one pellet so I won't waste any materials and don't have to throw things away. When you've created a new board and Pinterest, and you've added a few images, you're gonna see similarities. Or you can say, you're going to see a certain mood. When you don't see that. You probably have to clarify efficient. Now you have to decide which way you want to go with your design. Another example, if you want to make a book closet, you probably start looking for designs that are made of wood and plywood. Or we'd wooden planks and beams. Tried to look for details about how the designer used to materials. Because it will make the next few steps and way easier. And you can learn a lot by studying images like this. Class project. Make a Mozart, and think about the materials you want to use. 3. The First Sketch: The first sketch. So when we've finished making your mood board, we're going to translate into a first sketch. This will help you to properly analyzed, uh, pictures you've collected on your mood board. Things like how to chair is put together and which materials others have used. How did they make this? What makes it a sturdy enough where under structural parse located? But also what are nice details? How do the elements relate to each other? Make a sketch of a piece of furniture that comes close to what you envision. I found this picture of appellate chair and this design comes really close to what I want to make. So I'll show you how you can analyze this design and learn from the designer, but also how to make it into something new and translate it to your own design. Tried to create a top few, some side fuse and a section by simply analyzing the photo. By drawing the top view of a chair, you start to see how big the chair really is. And by drawing this side fuse on a chair. You can see the proportions of the different elements. And drawing the section helps you to identify to constructive bars, Alton chair, at some texts, do things you notice and live to use in your own design or things you would like to see you differently or wanted to improve. I think this is a fun exercise to learn, to look to a picture and see how it's made. And at the same time looking for improvement and new ideas. Class project. Make at least one sketch analysis of a design that resembles what you envision. 4. Create Your Own Design: Create your own design. Okay, now that you have a basis for your new design, you can add your own personal requirements. Differ. You can use what you've learned from the previous exercise. What are your requirements for your new design? What dimensions should have half. You can think of seed hide for a chair, but for a book closet, for example, he was no whether it will fit in your living room or knowledge. So how big or small Kennedy B do you think a gesture design. So another will meet your design requirements. In addition, you can think of style elements to make your design more elegant or to make it more interesting. In my case, I've added a few details, mainly because I think it makes a chair stronger because I work with pellet would also, I changed the proportions of the legs for chair a little bit to make it more elegant instead of heavy. But this can be anything and depends on what you want to make and of course your personal taste. I also thought about the dimensions of the chair and made a rough estimate of how big I want to make the chair. What I usually do to find derived dimensions is simply searching for an image on Google images with dimensions of a similar object. So I just type in dimensions chair. And I will do a little research into what normal sizes are for a dining chair. I keep these first few steps very brief and short. But please know that it will take some time to come up with the final design. Take your time and make as many sketches as needed to create a design idea that you are completely satisfied with. We can use as a starting point to work with. The following steps will be more practical and technical. How you can transform a sketch idea into an actual buildable design. Class project. Make a final sketch with the right dimensions. 5. Materials: Materials. And in next step, we'll look at the materials we need and whether they will fit in well with your design idea. If you still need to buy our materials, you can easily do it as nowadays, by going to the website of the local hardware store or construction market. If you work with wood beams are planks, you're going to look at the dimensions and types of food they offer. It is also possible that you already have wounds or 12a reuse leftover food, as in my case. In that case, it is important to make it clear how much it is you have and what dimensions these are. So how many planks of how many meters, two you have, and how thick or they make a list and add them to your list of requirements. In my case, it's the standard euro pellet and you go find some measurements on line. So here you see an overview of the different bars and sizes. I'm going to use. A good design, makes good and efficient use of materials as a little cutting loss and waste as possible. I think is as important. And that's why during the very first steps, I already take into account want material and what dimensions I'm going to design with so that they fit together perfectly. The additional advantage is that you safe on your material and it had the words much easier, faster, and more efficient. During construction. Class project. Make a list of your materials. 6. 3D Modelling in SketchUp: 3d modelling in SketchUp. Alright, this stuff is going to be fun. And we're going to give you a Quickstart course to use SketchUp to make a 3D model. Going to do on our extensive course on this. But I'm going to try to explain in a few minutes how SketchUp works and how it can help you to create a realistic, custom-made design and how to generate a building plan. I really believe everybody can do this. Sketchup is really easy to use and it will save you a lot of time in a design process. You can download SketchUp for free. There's a web-based version available for personal use and you can use immediately. If you prefer to use a separate program. You can search in Google for a sketch of make. And this is the older version, but it also works perfectly. I myself used to pro version, but it doesn't have many more features than the free version. Crazy enough. Okay, if you have SketchUp installed, it looks like this. Sketchup is actually a 3D worlds to scale. So if you draw a line of one millimeter, it also is one millimeter in this world. Therefore, it is important that you use the right settings. I use millimeters, but you can also work with feet and inches or meters. Press Create New. First, I'll show you how it works in a free version and then how we'll switch to the pro version because I work with this myself. The icons will look a little bit different, but it works exactly the same way. We're going to use SketchUp because we want to translate your sketch design idea into realistic shapes and sizes without having to build a prototype or a wasting time figuring out building details. What do you usually contains? A lot of mistakes. I'm going to explain to you how to draw these shapes and how to use them. We'll start with the most important tools. Some are meant to draw shaves, and others are meant to navigate into the model. Actually only use a few options for 90%. As I said, is a 3D world you're drawing in. And in this step, we want to translate your sketch to this 3D world so that the dimensions match the reality. We're going to start drawing your materials list first. Can practice drawing basic shapes right away. So I've chosen a palette, and here's two lists of size is I'm going to use, we're going to draw these first. You do this which a rectangle tool or press R and type in what the length and the width will be. With a colon coma, or just a comma in between, depending on your keyboard. So for me it's 1200. Comma 145 and press enter. As you're gonna see, a 2D figure will appear with no thickness. You can also draw this by just drawing single lines, but I usually use the Rectangle tool because it works faster. You can now simply create thickness would to push tool or press dp. This is where SketchUp is famous and BYOD. As you can see, the icon of your mouse changes. And when you put it on the plane, small blue dots up here. This means that you have selected the area. Well, you now click with your mouse and pull the plane up with your mouse. It changes into a 3D object and gets a thickness type into thickness you want at the same time. And press enter. So in my case, I type in 22 because I wanted it to be 22 millimeters. Sketchup things in lines. And if you connect all lines, it will make them into a plane. And then it gets a blue grayish color. And what I always do out of habit to keep them modal organized is double-click and then right-click and make a group. If I draw lines over each other and it becomes a mess, and it will look something like this. So a group is a group of lines or planes that you can access when you double-click them. Now, you may have experienced that you easily get lost. Important to know is that with o or orbit, you can rotate circles with your mouse. And with age. And you can pen from left to right and bottom to top. Try this first and play level with the shortcuts. You will notice how easy it is to draw shapes. And before you know it, you've made a 3D model of your design. So you already have drawn your first part of your materialist. And because it is a group, you can easily select it as a whole and movies, well, you do this by pressing the M From move. Then you will see that when you select a group, small blue balls appear into corners and you can move or rotate the object by clicking them and moving your mouse. If you want to end a function, because you're done with the function, just press the spacebar or escape. Okay, nice, this is going well. Now let's see how many bars are planes I need. I have four planks of the same size. It my palate so I can copy to board, I drew four times. You can do it is just my copy and paste, but also with the move to press em, activate the Move tool and grab a corner of the object you want to move. Now press Alt. Now the object is duplicated as you can see, and you can place the object next to the other object. Now, if you type in 200, in my case, the duplicated object will be placed 200 millimeters away from the point you've pinched your mouse on. Like this. This way you can copy and paste objects and organize them. The shortcuts don't work for you. It's also totally OK to just navigate with the icons on the left and the right of the screen. There's pretty much worse the same, but it will take a little bit more time in your workflow. Then something about selecting objects. You can very simply use your mouse to draw a selection plane from a right-to-left in the screen. And then he selects everything to plain touches. But if you don't want to select everything, you can very simply draw a plane from left to right. And then he only selects the objects that falls inside the books. So anything that falls out or partly falls outside the box, he doesn't not select it. This is really useful if you want to select specific small objects and you don't have to zoom in a lot. So start playing around with SketchUp and draw all the parts on your list and put them neatly in a row with the M moved to class project. Practice using SketchUp by drawing all the materials from your list and put them in a row from big to small. 7. Modelling Your Design: Modelling your design. Alright, I hope you are m-bit used and SketchUp, and maybe it goes a bit fast, but try to keep it simple in the beginning. You can do a lot with SketchUp, but our job now is to make a realistic and buildable design. Now, we're going to translate the sketch we've made into SketchUp and width already to materialist in mind. So in my case, the planks of the pellet. If you use plywood, you have more design freedom, of course, because it's just one big sheet. And you can saw it as you like. But keep in mind to thickness. It doesn't really matter where you start. Best is to start with the things you know for sure and they're easy to begin with. For example, I know I need four lacks for my chair, which I wanted to make out of the planks. I notice seat needs to be at least 450 millimeters high. So I draw a plane with the dimensions of the board, 100 millimeters wide and 20 millimetres thick and 415 millimeters long. And I do it is four times. And at the same time, think about how big the seed should be. You can simply take a chair from your home and compare the sizes that often works to best, but try to be as precise as possible. You see that SketchUp is telling you the truth right away. So it makes it easy to make the right choices. I mean, you slowly start to see if the dementias are right and if the proportions are how you want them to be, it's like making a puzzle and sometimes the conclusion is the parts don't fit and you have to draw new parts. That's totally okay. I'm now going to draw the seat of the chair. I noted the seed needs to be around 400 to 450 millimeters wide. And when I look at my material list, I see that I have planks of 145 will be three playings of 145 millimeters. You can also bundled aparts by making a group so you keep your mortal organized. An extra side node. You can also make a component of a part or a group. When you are sure they'd gone to be exactly the same. These are usually the symmetrical parts. You do this by right-clicking on the group and then click Make component. A component is a special group. And when you copy it and you change something in one group, it changes also everything and the other components. This can be very useful with, for example, the legs of the chair, because I know the lax on the front of the chair will be exactly the same. If I make these into a component, I can adjust them all at the same time. If you eventually realize that the component has to be different, you can also make it unique by right-clicking it. And then you actually make the component into a new component that is not connected to the old one. Okay, roughly draw out your sketch with the parts and materials you have drawn. You can also copy them and change them with the push pull tool and tried to combine a part with the move tool. Sometimes you'll find that you have made a wrong choice in terms of thickness of food you chose from the construction market. Change it and look for other beans, planks or materials that fit better. Designing is often a puzzle. And sometimes you have to try puzzle pieces first to find out if they fit. That's exactly the goal of this exercise and part of the process. In a 3D model, you will also be able to see the proportions better than honest sketch. Usually, I see that I have chosen wooed at is too thick or that I wanted to make the furniture is smaller. You often don't sketch things on the ride scale. So making a 3D model will help you with this. Just are playing with it and I'm sure you will come up with the greatest ideas. Class project. Translate your sketch design into a 3D model which are materialist in mind and adjust it when necessary. 8. Adjusting & Details: Adjusting and details. Details make your design. It gives it a unique touch and feel the quality. Take a good look inside your mood board and see what others did to the design that you liked and what you also could add. For example, I saw this picture. We make to the legs of the chair slimmer at the bottom, you've got an elegant effect and the object looks less massive. I wanted to incorporate that into my design. Start playing with this as well. You often come up with the best ideas if you just give it a try. And if you don't like it, just take a step back or make a version two. You also have to think about deconstruction. Is it sturdy enough? In my case, I wanted to add some extra planks to cede to absorb the forces of the seed and the forces of the back of the chair. What I also pay attention to is the hierarchy between the objects. What I mean by this is which objects are important and can be seen and which are not. For example, with planks and board material, you always see the ends or Hadar. And you have to decide which ones do you want inside. So they will be visible and which ones don't? What is logical, what feels good to you, and what looks to least messy. But also at the same time, which one is the most solid. For example, you can choose whether to playing lay on top of the chair or between a chair. One makes chair a bit slimmer, but has some drawbacks in terms of construction. And another very important thing is where to put this cruise. Of course, you want to see them as little as possible. So it's important that you can screw from the inside. These things of course, depend on what kind of furniture you're going to design. But tried to be precise and a bit critical about what is best. Here you can see to change this, I've made. This was my first sketch. And this is the final design with the adjustments I've made to the lek slimmer and also the back of the chair. I put the planks on top of the chair for sturdiness. And I also added a few leftover planks to make it stronger and to make sure to chair doesn't to wobble. And I also played with the proportions and a hierarchy of objects. As you can see. 9. Optimize Your Design: Optimize your design. Now don't you have made your final sketch design in 3D. We can start fine tuning it. We're going to do it is by making all parts into components. Also to groups of which you only have one component and which are therefore a unique, if you do it is by right-clicking on a cruise where it says Make component. We're now going to optimize your design. Go through all the different parts and gave all the different components a unique color. We're now going to see how the different components can be made, which your chosen materials you can give improve a color with the paint bucket. And then I usually used a pencil colors. So it could color and then click on a group, go through all the different parts and gave all the different components a unique color. Now copy or parts and placed them next to your materialised, which should be in order. We're now going to put all the different parts over to materials. You can do it is with the move tool. To go is to create as little waste as possible. Because we have already chosen to write sizes in advance. This is very easy. And now comes the trick, because everything is a component. You can adjust apart and it will also chains in your actual design where all the parts are in the right place. This way you can optimize your design by enlarging pieces or shorten them to optimize your design, soda will fit perfectly with your chosen material. It also works the other way around. So when you chains to component of the chair legs, it automatically adjust to parse in your material planning construction drawing. This is very handy so that you can see the results of the adjustments you make. Sometimes she come to the conclusion that you have too little material and then you would just have to add something. Or you have material left over and you can use it to make your design more solid or to expand it. That's something you can decide for yourself and it's part of a design process. For me, it's an option to add more Planck's because I don't have any. So that's gonna be my challenge. I will keep puzzling and adjusting to the design phase with the amount of materials I have. Class project. Optimize your design by using your materialist. 10. Create a Building Plan: Creating a building plan. Now did you've made your final design. We can start translating this to a building plan with the right dimensions so you know exactly where and what you need to saw. This is done by changing the view of your model from perspective to parallel. You can find Burleigh view at the top of the screen. Or in the free version, you can find it under scenes. Image of your 3D model changes from perspective to a more architectural view. When you click on the top few, you will see your plan exactly from above. If you don't cede top few option in the menu, you can find it here. In a free web version. You can find it under scenes. Here you see the difference. If you look from the top and perspective Hugh, instead of parallel view. Because we wanted to create a blueprint, we need to see straight lines. You can add dimensions. Which dimension tool? You can find it here. Click on the starting point and choose an end point. And a measurement line will be created. And it will show you to total length duties with all the parts. The more sizes you generate, the easier it is to build. If you wanted to print your building plan, you can do it is by clicking on the three bars into the left corner and then click on export to and then PNG. Last thing that belongs to the building plan is the order of construction. What are you going to start with? Which part will be fastened first? And really you'll still be able to reach them with a drill, things like that. You can find out the order of construction by pooling the parts apart or visualizing this steps in SketchUp. Try to think about what the most efficient construction order is. Here you can see my step-by-step blend. I started with the seed because this is the base. Then I actually build the rest of the chair around to base. In the next video, I showed his steps in more detail. But it is important to think about a strategy before you start building for the best result. Class project. Make a building plan. 11. Build a Prototype: Build a prototype. Alright, you've designed your first piece of furniture. And of course you're very curious about the end result, which you're building plan in hand. You can start collecting your materials. So you know exactly what to buy and what you need when you are under construction market. Because of this, you have little coming loss and you can quickly get to work. I use a pellet. So I first have to take it apart. When you've collected all your materials, you can start saying, you've actually made a construction kit which makes building much faster and more precise, and therefore a lot more fun. You will encounter a fewer mistakes and you can use your time and materials super efficiently. In the next few minutes, I will show you how I finally built by pellet chair and what the final result will be. If you like it, you can download it for free, so you can make it yourself. The nice thing about making plans in 3D, because as you can easily make them again and improved them and share them with others. Alright, have fun designing and building your furniture. And don't forget to share the result with us. See you soon. It's true. Click OK. Since this resistance. Hi, just try it.