Design Your Van For Free Using SketchUp

 

Why Create A 3D BluePrint?

CAD otherwise known as ‘Computer aided design‘ has been used by architects and designers for years. It is a great tool for designing an object before you go actually go ahead and build it, saving time and possibly even money. It ensures you get a good idea as to what you want to go with, rather than spending money on something that might not work. This is the reason we went for a tool called SketchUp.

3D Modeling Tool For Everyone

Why SketchUp as our design tool you might ask? It is FREE, easy to use, and great for drafting up ideas. Knowing we wanted to change our cupboard/cabinet design, we knew creating a component in CAD would give us a better picture as to what we needed to do before making a single purchase or cut. You can download the FREE tool here: https://www.sketchup.com/download. It enables you to pretty much build anything you imagine, or choose pre-made objects from the vast library of items that people have already made. An example of where this came in handy was adding bikes to the back of the van. I do not have the time to design a full bike in the tool, so using a pre-made component is a great feature.

The Most Useful Tool

One of the most useful tools we found was the tape measure. It allows you to mark lines without actually drawing any objects in. I don’t believe there is a limit to the amount of tape measure lines you can apply. This means you can precisely map out your design with many guide lines. Before designing this blueprint of the van, I had never used the tape measure before. Now having seen it used, I can understand why its such a great help when wanting to get perfect scale, down to the millimetre should you wish.

Also, making components from different areas of your design can help a great deal. For example, you could make the roof as a single element. By doing this, it will enable to you hide the roof as and when you wish, giving you the ease and ability to look in for a birds eye view, without deleting an element completely.

Layout

When the time comes to start your design efforts, be sure to make use of the arc tool in order to get better rounded edges. This can assist in areas such as the vans panels and roof. You’ll notice in real life they are curved. If you replicate this in your sketch up design, it will give you a more realistic image of the space you have available. We have tried to get the dimensions of everything as close as we possibly can. However we know this is still only a rough guide. You could spend a lot of time perfecting the full van design, but this needs a SketchUp guru. Some of the curves at the rear of the T6 Transporter look like real pain to convert. As a result we left these out of the digital design.

To get your own design started, be sure to head over and start creating. The link below should point you in the right direction. Let us know how you get on and perhaps even share your designs for us to see.

(Comment below should you wish to have a copy of this file, and I will create a link for you.)

Get SketchUp Here

2 thoughts on “Design Your Van For Free Using SketchUp

  1. loving the read on your conversion project, I have been considering may of the factors you are discussing throughout the tread. I was curious what Wheelbase the van was and, with the bike storage area in place in the back of the van as the plans suggest, what length you will have in the living area? keep up the great work!

    1. Hi Doug, So the van is a transporter obviously but is the short wheel base. Like many things, you live and you learn. We could do with having the LWB really but are making this work for us. There is not a great deal of space at the back but enough to squeeze two bikes in with the living space, and 3 bikes for day trips with one down the middle. From the top of my head I believe the length of the bed to be around 6 foot (Maybe just under). We soon learnt its all about making the most of the available space.

      Thanks for checking us out!

      Edit…..The bed is 180cm/5ft9

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