SketchUp Saves the Day


I must again sing the praises of SketchUp, the free 3d modeling program that has been incredibly useful around the Root Simple compound. This weekend it was time to design some new raised beds and I didn’t want the usual rectangular configuration.

hexaganal raised bed final

SketchUp allowed me to quickly draw up a plan and estimate materials.

protractorUsing SketchUp’s protractor tool I figured out the angle I needed to cut the wood. I suppose I could have looked up the angles of a hexagon, but I found it easier just to use SketchUp’s tool.


I dialed the 30° angle into my compound miter saw and the beds came together fast.


I built three hexagonal beds in an afternoon. If you’d like the plans, you can download them into SketchUp via this link.

Learning SketchUp takes an evening or two–watch the video tutorials and you’ll get the hang of it.

More on the hexagonal beds in a later post . . .

Share this post

Leave a comment


  1. Great job Erik! Sketchup is a really handy tool. The online tutorials are really helpful. You have been using it for a couple of years now and have gotten quite good at it. The protractor tool is a bit fiddlie for new users so the tutorials are helpful there. The free version is great. A user can upgrade to pro by buying a couple of plug-ins. You only need pro if you want to import cad drawings. In free you can import pdfs if you want to scale and trace a photo. I hope you put your raised bed in the sketchup free warehouse

    • Hey Anne–and I have you to thank for forcing me to sit trough the tutorials. There’s a link in the post to the bed which I put up in the free warehouse along with the chicken run that John designed for us.

  2. My youngest came home from school enthusiastic about Sketch Up, and she and her brother have been mildly obsessed with it since then.

    Can’t say they’ve designed anything very useful with it (yet), mostly dream homes with tiger houses and swimming pools…

  3. Pingback: A Pedal Powered Lathe | Root Simple

Comments are closed.