SketchUp's flexibility makes it number one for Cooper & Sam Design

SketchUp's flexibility makes it number one for Cooper & Sam Design

In another of our series of SketchUp customer case studies, we're delighted that Sam Foot took time out of a busy schedule to share some insights and examples of the company's stunning work. Cooper and Sam are a team of experienced designers specialising in creating stunning 3D render visuals and CGI imagery of both indoor and outdoor spaces. They also offer a bespoke interior cabinetry design service, catering to both trade and private clients. 

Introduce yourself and your company

My name is Sam and I am the owner of Cooper & Sam Design, a bespoke interior cabinetry and cabin design firm. I have over 10 years of experience in the industry, including one year designing bespoke cabins. I went self-employed 1.5 years ago and I am passionate about creating unique and functional spaces for my clients.

At Cooper & Sam Design, I create interior and exterior visions for clients who need a springboard to get started. I like to provide a more affordable design service by creating a vision for a space through concept boards, perspective views from a model, or rendered visuals. Clients can then implement the concept at their own pace.

cooper and sam case study render

Alongside private clients, I provide trade clients with rendered visuals of their designs of which they can then showcase within their proposals to their clients, together with offering a design service if they need an extra pair of hands. This additional service includes rendered visuals and concepts, and also sets of 2D and 3D drawings, notably bespoke interior cabinetry.

Why SketchUp? How does it help you communicate ideas, what problems if any does it help you solve as a designer.

I have always used SketchUp ever since I started out as a cabinetry designer 10 years ago and I wouldn’t look to change! I have sampled a few other programmes, and nothing seems to compare to SketchUp – the user-friendly interface, the flexibility it offers when modelling, particularly for bespoke design, as well as the vast extensions available.

With SketchUp I can easily communicate a design to a client or co-worker, particularly with the Scenes option as I can set up different viewpoints to quickly click through key aspects and details of the design, and generally use the Orbit and Pan tools to navigate through a model. These Scenes can then also be replicated into Layout ready for creating a set of drawings. Often clients can find it difficult to visualise their space and their proposed design, so to have the flexibility to pan around a model, almost like walking through their space, is a game-changer.

Saving time and working efficiently

Time is essential for designers, and SketchUp saves me a lot of time in the design process. For example, I can easily create different profiles for mouldings, skirtings, and beadings using the Follow Me tool, which speeds things up considerably. I can also save items I create in a library for future use. Additionally, I create components of almost everything in my models to streamline the design process. If I have multiple identical items or areas in a design, I can simply edit one component instead of having to edit each item individually, saving time and avoiding duplication. 

The 3D Warehouse is a great resource for finding pre-modelled items, such as furniture, which would otherwise take hours to create from scratch. Finally, being able to import DWG files is helpful when collaborating with other designers or architects.

cooper and sam design sketchup 3dwarehouse case study

SketchUp’s 2D documentation tool, LayOut is specifically designed to integrate into your SketchUp workflow. Is LayOut embedded in your workflow?

cooper and sam design case study layout drawing

Layout is an essential part of my workflow. Without it, I would be hard-pressed to operate! I use Layout to prepare all of my drawing sets, which are linked to my SketchUp models. I set up scenes in the SketchUp model and send them to Layout, where I can select the scenes I want to display on the page, such as elevations, plan views, and section cuts. I then add dimensions and annotations to create 2D elevations and plans. If I make any changes to the model, Layout automatically updates the drawings, saving me time and effort.

cooper and sam case study layout and sketchup drawing

cooper and sam design case study layout elevation drawing

I use Layout to create proposals that include elevations, plans, concept boards, and final production drawings. Like SketchUp, Layout is highly flexible, so I can create beautiful concept boards that are sleek and on-brand. I'm not limited to preset layouts or looks – I can create whatever I want!

cooper and sam case study layout and sketchup elevation drawing

Any go-to extensions and features?

SketchUp extensions, like Enscape, have integrated seamlessly with my design workflow, helping me to build my business and enhance my work. Enscape is by far my absolute favourite and most frequently used! 

cooper and sam design render scene enscape and sketchup blog

I’ve tried a few different rendering programmes over the years, and nothing competes with Enscape for its ease of usability and speed for creating life-like renders. I love Enscape’s real-time capabilities – any changes I make in my model are instantly replicated in my rendering window.

cooper and sam design cabin render sketchup blog

I do also use the Open Cut List extension when I’m creating cabinetry designs for production purposes. You can easily export a list of parts from the model facilitating the cut list process for cabinetmakers.

I think for me, it’s the flexibility that SketchUp offers which makes it number one overall, especially when it comes to bespoke design. The 3D warehouse is particularly handy, and simple things like utilising Tags helps no end when you want to categorise elements in order to show certain items of your design, whilst hiding other aspects, for example viewing only cabinetry frames, doors or carcasses. 

Honestly, there are so many different tools and aspects to SketchUp, it’s hard to pick a favourite! All the tools, extensions and features collectively make the design process an enjoyable one.

About Cooper & Sam

Cooper & Sam Design


Contact: 07706 699879

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