Work Station Layout Using SketchUp Free1

T. Armstrong
U of Michigan

This exercise uses SketchUp Free1, National Health Survey stature data2, and link length data3 to create a model that can be used to explore the spatial relationship between a worker of a given size and a work bench of a given size.

Workplace and worker parameters for this exercise see: Reach Limits

  1. Width: 2m
  2. Depth: 1m
  3. Height: 0.9m
  4. Top thickness: 0.05m
  5. Legs: 0.05m x 0.05m
Worker (5%female stature2 and average body proportions3
  • Stature: 1.504m
  • Floor-Shoulder: 1.230m
  • Distance between shoulders ÷2: 0.194m
  • Arm+Forearm+Hand: 0.663m
  • Floor-Hip: 0.797m
  • Distance between hips ÷2: 0.144m
  • Facing Bench
  • Center on long side
  • Distance away from edge: 0.10m
Figure 0: Workstation model showing bench and short female and tall male workers.

This exercise uses sketchUp Free -- well because it's free. The basic procedures for creating a model are similar for other CAD programs. It will be assumed that you are familiar with the basics of Trimble SketchUp Free.
If not, there are a number of excellent on-line tutorials that will help you quickly acquire the necessary skills.
SketchUp Fundamentals

SketchUp is rapidly evlolving, so you may find some differences between your desktop and the desktop used in in the tutorials and this exercise, but the basic steps should be the same.
You also will find significant diffences between the on-line UI and the the desktop UI, but, again the basic steps for creating the model should be the same.

  1. 1SketchUp Free
    2National Health Survey. For latest data see:
    3from: Drillis, R., Contini, R., & Bluestein, M. (1966). Body segment parameters. New York University, School of Engineering and Science.
    4Gordon C, Churchill,T, Clauser C, Bradtmiller B, McConville J 1989. A nthropometric Survey of U.S. Army Personnel: Summary Statistics, Interim Report for 1988. pp. 190-1, 322-323, 332-333, Technical Report Nubmer ADA209600,
    5International MODAPTS Association,5119 Kara Dr., Jonesboro, AR 72401, US 6