Creating a Shipping Container Home

Hello and welcome to another uMake tutorial, in this tutorial I’m going to walk you through the steps necessary to create a home from shipping containers. So to get started, I’m going to create a new file in uMake and basically from here I’m going to start bringing in some models of shipping containers.

So where am I going to get these? Well in the latest version of uMake, you can actually bring in files from the SketchUp warehouse, which is really cool so I’m going to come over here to the Sketchup Warehouse in Safari, and then I can search for pretty much anything that I want, in this case I’m going to search for a shipping container.

Let’s see, shipping container, there it is. And then you have a whole selection of shipping containers you can choose from. I would prefer one that looks relatively light weight, or simple to work with. I’ve already kind of gone through these and there is a particular one that I like, it is the ‘Shipping Container 40 by Paul L’.

I actually like working with this one, I’ve tried out a couple others but if you are looking for a good forty foot container, this model actually works very well. So I’m going to open it up, tap the ‘Download’ button, tap Sketchup 2018 model, and you will get this screen where you will see uMake will want to open it, and you just tap ‘Open in uMake’ and then it will open uMake up, and the container will load in the background.

So now the container is imported into uMake. If I go out of the file we created, the container is right here, I’ll open it up, you can see that I can move it around. Now we could just start from this file right here if we wanted to, but I’m going to leave this alone simply because if I want to use this container in other files in the future I can just have the container ready in the my files part of the playground.

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So I’m going to go back out of this, go to my new file and then if I want to bring the container in, I’ll just come over to the side panel, go into the playground area, tap ‘My Files’ and here is the container, I already have one open, I’m going to tap this once, and you’ll see that it loads in, the screen kind of goes grey and there is the container.

To make this easy to work with, the next thing I’m going to do is add some dimensions and get this in kind of a good dimensional space for us to work in. So I’m going to go into the settings, make sure dimensions are on, and go to grid units. I want grid units to be in feet, and the reason for this is this is a forty foot shipping container, so it’s easiest to use feet when working with something that they’ve already given the specified dimensions of.

I’m going to double tap on this, it already was brought in as a group, and right now the way it’s loaded is it’s 481 feet, so we are going to change this. Tap on this dimension here, make sure to tap the lock, that way the proportions will stay the same, tap the lock here, and then I’m just going to delete everything here and then put in forty feet.

You’ll see it gets pretty small but that’s ok, we can just zoom in, we were already zoomed out quite a bit. I will move this down, like that. So now our container is 40 feet by 8 feet 6 inches high. And it should be about 8 feet wide, there we go, 8 feet 1 inch so that works pretty well, that’s about accurate.

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Now you’ll notice that on the container there are two ends, this end has none of the handles, no doors on it, and this end does have the doors on it. Depending on how you want to create your structure, just make sure that you understand that one end is a little bit more complex than the other one.

You’ll understand this as we move forward in the design work. Now we have one shipping container. Shipping container homes are kind of all the rage, I thought this would be a fun exercise to create your own shipping container home so hopefully this tutorial will show you how to do that. Now that we have this shipping container, we can do a couple things.

The first thing I want to do while it is still grouped, I kind of want to lay out the containers to a nice design. I think what I’m going to do is I’m going to build one out of 8 or 9 containers, that should create a home that looks pretty cool. So i’m going to go to the Front view, and right now the front view the container is is actually on it’s side, I want to make sure that I rotate that.

So I’m going to rotate this like that, and just to make sure, yea, I think I’m going to do that, if I go to the front view – ok so the door, the portion with the doors are in the back. I’m going to just bring this down a little like that, make sure it is on the ground. If you want you can raid them up and kind of build supports under them, for now I’m just going to put this on the ground.

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I’m going to move this one over, like this. Lets see. I’ll move it here, like that. Now I’m just going to kind of duplicate them, so ‘Copy’ and move this one over like that, and then I’ll take both of these, and I’ll bring them over, something like that, there we go. Bring this one up, and turn copy off.

I want to move it in the middle here, and then I’m going to rotate this around like this, and kind of make like a bridge with it. Move this one back, like that. So that is staring to look pretty cool. The next thing I’m going to do is just take each of these, copy them, and move them up, like that.

Turn copy off since I don’t need to make any more duplicates, and I’ll move these forward, like that. So, that is the beginning of this shipping container home. I hope this tutorial was helpful and useful, we have more of them to complete this home, but right now this is just the beginning. If you have any questions or feedback for this one, let us know.

Now you know how to bring in files from the sketch warehouse and how to quickly manipulate them to get to a good starting point. In the next tutorial we are going to start adding some details to this and really make it look like a home. With that said, again, comments, questions put them down below and stay tuned of for the next tutorial.

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