Are you a designer interested in creating in 3D?

  • Are you an interior designer, architect, kitchen designer, woodworker, project engineer, project manager, or other design professional?
  • Interested in moving away from CAD, or perhaps you’ve never learned CAD at all?
  • Want to design in 3D and create beautiful visualizations and construction documents?
  • Maybe you’re a home owner who wants to model your home, or tinker with some ideas you have?

SketchUp is a powerful, flexible, affordable, easy to use 3D modeling software.

MasterSketchUp.com provides thoughtful, easy to follow tutorials, reviews, resources, books, and videos to help you master SketchUp. My goal is to enable you to effortlessly take your ideas and bring them to life in 3D. SketchUp is the best tool for communicating and visualizing ideas, because its simplicity encourages creativity. The tool doesn’t get in the way of the creative process.

If you’ve never used CAD or any other 3D modeling program, you are at an advantage because you will not have habits ingrained from other software. You’ll be able to learn the fundamentals quickly, and you’ll be encouraged by the quick progress you are making. Don’t be intimidated if you’ve tried other complicated CAD software, only to become overwhelmed. SketchUp is one of the easiest 3D modeling programs to get started with, and I will help you learn the basics.

If you’re experienced with CAD, or are looking for an alternative 3D modeling program from what you’re currently using, you’ll find SketchUp to be refreshing. The simple interface does not inhibit your creativity. You will no longer need to conform to complicated tools or procedures. Create whatever you can imagine. SketchUp is 100% accurate, works with nearly any unit of measurement, with precision up to 0.000001″. Enhance SketchUp with thousands of 3rd party extensions, and use LayOut to create construction documents from your SketchUp Pro models.

Why MasterSketchUp?


My name is Matt Donley, I live in Rhode Island, and I have been using SketchUp for over ten years. Working in the construction industry I was naturally inspired by the ability to create things in 3D space. I created MasterSketchUp.com in 2012 to share what I’ve learned about 3D modeling with SketchUp.

Each tutorial I create is well thought out, carefully planned to teach you exactly what you need to know, without any fluff. In addition to using my own experience with SketchUp, many tutorials require hours of research and experimentation. The result is an easy to follow tutorial to get you modeling quickly. I make sure not to skip any steps in my tutorials, because I don’t want to assume you know something that you don’t.

John Bacus, (SketchUp product manager) and I at Makerfaire

Here’s why you should trust me

In addition to creating tutorials on MasterSketchUp, I have also taught at numerous conferences. I have taught SketchUp one-on-one, in private groups, as well as large groups of over 100 people.

  • 2013 Makerfaire NY – (SketchUp booth) I joined the SketchUp team at their booth to talk to attendees about SketchUp
  • 2014 SketchUp Basecamp Conference, Vail, CO – (Speaker) Intro to LayOut
  • 2016 SketchUp Basecamp Conference, Steamboat Springs, CO – (Speaker) Intro to LayOut, Smart Modeling for Construction Documents with Nick Sonder
  • 2016 Trimble Dimensions Conference – (Speaker) Smart Modeling for Construction Documents with Nick Sonder
  • 2017 AIA Conference on Architecture – (Speaker) Smart Modeling for Construction Documents with Nick Sonder
  • 2018 SketchUp Basecamp Conference, Palm Springs, CA  – (Speaker) Intro to LayOut, Smart Modeling for Construction Documents with Nick Sonder

Matt teaching SketchUp at the SketchUp Basecamp Conference

My SketchUp Books

In 2014-2015, I wrote SketchUp to LayOut: The essential guide to creating construction documents with SketchUp & LayOut,
a five-star rated book on Amazon. (You can save money if you buy it through my website > Sketchuptolayout.com) This book shows you how to organize your SketchUp model for the specific purpose of creating documents in LayOut. It was updated for SketchUp 2015, but is still quite relevant to the current version of SketchUp Pro. In addition to the praise I have received from readers of my book, it has also been endorsed by many of the leading SketchUp sites including, Sketchucation, SketchUp Artists, SketchUptrainer.com, danieltal.com and The SketchUp Essentials.

SketchUp to LayOut on Amazon

In 2016, I partnered with Nick Sonder to create a new book. Nick has been a pioneer in creating a unique, beautiful style in his SketchUp models and LayOut documents. We spent a year refining his entire process and detailing it in a book for you to emulate in your own practice. This ended up being another highly rated 4.5 star book. Again, you can save money if you buy it from my website, SketchUpBook.com

SketchUp & LayOut for Architecture on Amazon

I was featured on the official SketchUp podcast. Listen to it here , and find out why the SketchUp team frequently recommends my books to SketchUp users.

Featured on the official SketchUp Podcast

My Background

My first experience with 3D modeling was actually with a game called Duke Nukem 3D! (The original versions of that game were a 2D side scrolling game, so they actually called it Duke Nukem 3D in order to differentiate.) I can remember stumbling upon a program simply called “Build.exe” hidden in the game folders. It turned out to be a map editor that allowed me to actually build my own levels for the game!!! How cool is that, right? I can tell you, it was nothing like SketchUp, though.

When I first started using SketchUp, I didn’t really follow any instruction, just dove right in and started using it. Big mistake. I wish I had learned the fundamentals correctly because it would’ve saved me from a lot of frustration. I was a residential carpenter at the time. I began to draw jobs I was working on. So if I was doing a bathroom remodel, I’d draw it in SketchUp and export pictures to show clients. I loved using SketchUp for drawing kitchens.

I then jumped into the commercial casework industry (cabinets for laboratories & schools pretty much.) I used SketchUp to communicate issues to the design team, and to help me figure out design details. I then started using SketchUp to coordinate large apartment development projects, using 3D to help find discrepancies within the architectural and structural drawings.

Now, I focus on teaching SketchUp. I do some consulting work, but primarily focus on writing. I enjoy exploring other areas of SketchUp, including, virtual reality, 3D printing, rendering, extensions, and pretty much anything else having to do with SketchUp.

Get Started

If you’re ready to learn SketchUp, become a free MasterSketchUp member. By signing up, you’ll be able to download sample files and templates for many of my tutorials. You’ll also get access to the MasterSketchUp email list, where you’ll be the first to know when I post new tutorials. You’ll also get my keyboard shortcuts guide, which will help you become faster at using SketchUp.

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