As you complete your Sketchup house design, your thoughts will turn to adding more detail, such as lighting and the placing of power sockets. Your immediate thought might be to find some 3D electrical symbols for your Sketchup house design.
I see 3 main options:
- Pay for a Sketchup plug-in or extension. The big limitation on these is that the 3D electrical objects are placed on a 2D plan of the house. The don’t interact with the 3D structure.
- Pay for stand-alone 2D electrical design software. These all use the nationally-recognised sets of 2D symbols to indicate the different electrical components, which is great for the qualified electrician. However, it doesn’t help you to produce a 3D design of your electrical systems.
- Create your own 3D electrical symbols within Sketchup
I prefer this last option as it’s free, it’s entirely under my control and the 3D symbols interact with my Sketchup house design. When I model the lighting switches, the power sockets or the security cameras, I like to have a perspective view of each individual room.
As I inspect the house, I should be able to see and identify each electrical component placed in each room. Each time that I change my perspective view of the component, it should remain recognisable. Not only recognisable in static views of the component but also in walk-throughs and fly-throughs. This is in addition to the traditional top-down view of the component in the wiring circuit.
There seems to be no nationally-recognised set of 3D electrical symbols. This is not a problem as it easy enough to create some simple 3D shapes for my own Sketchup projects. It’s really useful being able to view 3D electrical systems as I walk through the 3D structure.
Why not have a go at creating your own 3D electrical symbols inside Sketchup?
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