How Do I Create a Material Collection in SketchUp?

SketchUp is a powerful 3D modeling software that allows you to create stunning designs and models. One of the key features of SketchUp is its ability to create material collections, which can greatly enhance the realism of your models. In this tutorial, we will walk you through the process of creating a material collection in SketchUp.

Step 1: Opening the Materials Window

To begin, open SketchUp and navigate to the “Window” menu at the top of the screen. From there, select “Materials” to open the Materials window.

Step 2: Creating a New Collection

Once the Materials window is open, click on the “Create Material Collection” button located at the top-right corner of the window. This will open a new dialog box where you can enter a name for your collection.

Pro Tip:

If you want to organize your materials into different categories or themes, consider naming your collection accordingly. For example, if you are creating materials for an architectural project, you could have separate collections for interior finishes, exterior finishes, furniture materials, etc.

Step 3: Adding Materials to Your Collection

Now that you have created a new collection, it’s time to add materials to it. To do this, simply drag and drop materials from either the In-Model or Out-of-Model collections onto your newly created collection.

Pro Tip:

If you don’t have any pre-existing materials in your model or other collections that you want to add to your new collection, you can always create new materials by clicking on the “Create Material” button located at the top-left corner of the Materials window.

Step 4: Editing and Organizing Your Collection

Once you have added materials to your collection, you can further customize and organize them. You can rename materials by double-clicking on their names in the Materials window. You can also reorder the materials within your collection by simply dragging and dropping them into the desired order.

Pro Tip:

Consider using descriptive names for your materials to make it easier to find and apply them to your models later on. For example, instead of naming a material “Wood,” you could name it “Oak Wood Texture” or “Mahogany Veneer.”

Step 5: Applying Materials from Your Collection

Now that you have created and organized your material collection, it’s time to apply the materials to your models. To do this, select a face or group in your model that you want to apply a material to, then click on the desired material in your collection. The material will be applied instantly.

Pro Tip:

You can also use the Paint Bucket tool located in the toolbar to apply materials directly from your collection without having to open the Materials window.

Step 6: Sharing Your Material Collection

If you want to share your material collection with others or use it across different SketchUp projects, you can export it as a .skm file. To do this, go to the “File” menu at the top of the screen, select “Save As,” choose a location on your computer, and save the file with a .skm extension.

Pro Tip:

You can also import material collections created by others by going to the “File” menu, selecting “Import,” and choosing the .skm file you want to import.


Creating a material collection in SketchUp is an essential skill for any 3D modeler. By following the steps outlined in this tutorial, you can easily create, organize, and apply materials to your models, adding depth and realism to your designs. So go ahead and start experimenting with different materials and create impressive models that will wow your clients or audience.