Best of Sketch-up woodworking plug-ins & tutorials - DISCUSS & CONTRIBUTE

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Sketch-up for woodworking has gotten quite a bit of press lately both here and elsewhere. However, much of this info is scattered across multiple sources and threads.
As a newbie to Sketch-up, I thought it might be helpful to start a thread where we could all collect and discuss our favorite Sketch-up plug-ins and tutorials.
PLUG-INS: To start off, Cutlist 4.1.1 seems like a must-have though I have yet to play with it. It is discussed here for example: http://lumberjocks.com/daltxguy/blog/5143
I would be interested in other useful plug-ins including ones that: 1. Introduce added functionality, tools, shortcust helpful for woodworkers and designers 2. Provide templates for commonly uses parts and shapes
TUTORIALS: Regarding tutorials, I found the whole series of Sketchup For Woodworkers by Rob Cameron to be very helpful for beginners.
Fine HomeBuilding recommends intro tutorials by Adrian Chopra - and there seems to be some free content on YouTube
I would be interested also in more advanced tutorials highlighting different tips, techniques, and shortcuts along with more advanced usage that might be non-obvious.
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A handy plug in that works for taking irregular shapes from the drawing to the shop is "Slicer" It will take any object and slice it ant multiple intervals for transfering sizes to wood.
"Dimension angle" does what you would expect. "Drop" will move an object to a desired height, helps to get every thing on the same plane. "Get Dimensions" is handy if you manually transfer drawing components into Cutlist Plus. It will tell you the h/w/l of a selected object or compinent. "Purge All" is handy to get rid of unused materials etc in a drawing so that it file will not be so big.
Cutlist 4.1* is a great tool that will also import directly into Cutlist Plus. You have to pay for CutList plus but is extremly versitile and after the parts are optimized you can further move parts around your board or sheets or to other sheets or boards.
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But it's not CAD! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . g,d&r
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But it's not CAD! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . g,d&r
But some of us are smart enough to use it anyway. ;~)
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HEY!!!!
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blueman wrote:

I'm someone who's mostly learned what SketchUp is about, starting with the video tutorials, and then moving on to books. Leon and Swingman helped me get up and running here. IMO, the sooner you get to the books the better. There are some rules which I think are too subtle to pick up from the video tutorials, but which make a big difference. The videos go by so fast, I think I could watch them over and over and miss the little tidbits I'm talking about. YMMV.
Bill

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How about in learning to program in Ruby and in using Google's SketchUp API? It's accessible if you are familiar with object-oriented programming. How's that for "advanced usage that may be non-obvious?" :) You might see the book, "Automatic SketchUp", by Scarpino for a glimpse into this perspective. The first 3 or 4 Chapters are available online at no cost.
Bill
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On 12/7/2010 1:55 PM, blueman wrote:

Tim Killen's pdf book is an excellent intro for woodworkers new to Sketchup:
http://www.tauntonstore.com/sketchup-guide-for-woodworkers-tim-killen-ebook-077846.html
As you become more proficient and something arises that you just can't figure out how to do, it is probably covered in "Google Sketchup Cookbook" ... an excellent _reference_ book, although NOT a tutorial:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
As far as mindset being all important in shortening a learning curve, the two most important concepts/keys to becoming proficient with Sketchup as a woodworker:
1. Understanding that conceptually, just as in woodworking, Sketchup deals with "surfaces and edges".
2. Extending that concept further by grasping the vital importance of using Sketchup's "components" and "groups" features as the basis for your woodworking models.
(IOW, just as legs, aprons, and top are the basic "components" of a table, these same _individual_ "components" (or copies of same) should also be the basis for any 3D Sketchup model of your table).
In addition, those woodworkers wishing to use SU to present their designs and ideas to others (particularly when desiring to make a formal set of woodworking plans) will do well to spend the time it takes to learn to use Sketchup's "layers" and "scenes" features.
FWIW - Printout of the contents of my "plugins" directory:
2D#.rb 3DxSketchUp.rb A4_smartpushpull.rb applyTo.rb arcs.rb bezier.rb bomb.rb cabinet.rb clinetool clinetool.rb cutlist.rb deBabelizer.rb dim_angle.rb engineeringtoolbox.rb examples.rb ExtrudeAlongPath.rb HouseBuilder_extension.rb joisttool.rb layers.rb ldd.rbs LibFredo6.rb line2wall.rb makefaces.rb massmaterialimporter.rb midpoint.rb Mirror.rb multiwalltool_2.rb ocean_extension.rb parametric.rb progressbar.rb PurgeAll.rb setcomponents.rb sketchup.rb skin22.rb smustard-app-observer.rb stair_maker.rb startup.rb swivelButtonPlugin.rb utilities.rb weld.rb windows.rb woodwrk.rb ZLoader__RoundCorner.rb
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 4/15/2010
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Swingman wrote:

http://www.tauntonstore.com/sketchup-guide-for-woodworkers-tim-killen-ebook-077846.html
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
I read it from cover to cover (I guess I didn't know any better?). I thought the reading was WAY BETTER than "The Missing Manual". I think it should be one's 2nd SketchUp book, definitely not the first (and it indicates that it's not for absolute beginners on the back cover). It would be even better if it contained a few exercises...a big opportunity there overlooked, IMO. However, in our domain (ww) we don't have to think long to come up with a project. Maybe the book would seem more like a tutorial if one started reading at the beginning instead of consulting it as a reference? : )
Bill

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http://www.tauntonstore.com/sketchup-guide-for-woodworkers-tim-killen-ebook-077846.html
You and I have been using Sketchup for a while now but reading this book I finally learned how to lock a line direction with the arrow keys. Stupid simple but I couldn't figger it out. ;~)
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Leon wrote:

That's exactly the kind of "tidbit" I was referring to in my previous post. You could watch a video 5x and not get it.
Bill
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On 12/7/2010 9:51 PM, Bill wrote:

Actually, I learned that one, and many others, a few years back from:
http://www.go-2-school.com/media/browse/sketchup_show
They have the best tutorial videos of all and their free series on iTunes is where I picked most of what I learned early on about using Sketchup in residential construction projects, and for presentation and construction documents/drawings ... out of dire necessity. ;)
I've never bought their videos but I imagine that someone who wanted to quickly become proficient would find them hard to beat.
--
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Last update: 4/15/2010
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Swingman wrote:

Wow, Looks like a nice collection. I'm saving the link. Thanks! -Bill
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Has anyone here yet purchased the e-book from Bob Lang? 118 pages, 49 videos, $40 (ouch, but is it worth it, given all the videos?) http://fwd4.me/s9M _Woodworker's Guide to Google Sketchup_
How does it compare to Killen's e-book?
-- You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club. --Jack London
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wrote:

I looked at video samples of both part 1 and 2 by Bob Lang. The video is ok, but IMHO if you miss a point you have to go through the video to hunt for it again. I much prefer Killen's book. I find the videos very useful for a single serving but not much of a time saver if you need to refresh your memory.
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wrote:

Are the videos you refer to the same as supplied with the text on CD? I think he may have two products out now.
I like reading text to prep for the video which ties all the knowledge together.
-- Invest in America: Buy a CONgresscritter today!
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The videos are samples from the first book and the second book.

I was under the impression that Lang's books were strictly video. I thought they were PDF books but the samples and associated information lead me to think other wise. I am probably wrong but I would not want just the video, text and video would be the best of both worlds.
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wrote:

Agreed. Here's the link again, shortened and full: http://fwd4.me/sTf http://www.woodworkersbookshop.com/product/woodworkers-guide-to-google-sketchup/index.php * 49 Click and Play Videos in the Text * Table of Contents Links * Bookmarks for Easy Navigation * 184 Pages of Step by Step Instruction * 391 Detailed Screen Shots This is a comprehensive reference, designed to teach woodworkers how to use the popular, free 3D design tool, Google SketchUp. From the basics of setting up the program to the fine points of making detailed models of your next project, Woodworkers Guide to SketchUp provides the answers in an easy to use, easy to search digital publication. Robert W. Lang has years of experience as a professional woodworker and designer and shares the secrets of designing furniture and cabinets efficiently on your computer.
This Woodworking eBook is a new approach to learning. Place the disc in your computer's drive and launch Adobe Reader. It looks like a book, with clear step-by step instructions and hundreds of illustrations, and you can print a hard copy for off screen reading and reference.
Read on your monitor and follow along in SketchUp. Video tutorials are embedded within the pages. Just click on the image and a short video plays to show you exactly what to do. Built in bookmarks and search functions find the information you want instantly.
This digital publication comes to you on a single disc in Adobe PDF format. Requires Adobe Reader, and can be read on both Macs and PCs.
-- Invest in America: Buy a CONgresscritter today!
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Leon wrote:

I'm been using the online help effectively to answer the "refresh" my memory" type of questions. I would find it very frustrating to search through videos to refresh my memory from. (Good) books have indexes.
Bill
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Screw the index.. LOL. I use the Search function in the PDF reader.
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