Creating a Shipping Container Home – Part 1

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. 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. 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. 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. Cheers.

Norman Bunn


  1. Great Video! I am preparing to build a home out of shipping containers, and it is now time to decide how many we will need. I do have a question though. How did you get your model/containern to the bottom of the umake grid. My model is just floating, and when I try to look at it from the front, or back, it's like I am underneath the model and therefore difficult to build. I hope my question makes since. Is there a setting? Thank you for helping.

  2. It would be nice to have double tap on the pen implemented so that you can switch between moving and drawing with that “gesture”…

  3. Hi. My problem is that after downloading the same container as you and saved in the background and opening the container file, it does not appear, the container is not visible. You know why? Do I need to set something?
    Thank you very much.
    And thanks for your videos

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *