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.
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:
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tim Killen's pdf book is an excellent intro for woodworkers new to Sketchup:
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:
(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? : )
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. ;~)
Actually, I learned that one, and many others, a few years back from:
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.
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.
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
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
Invest in America: Buy a CONgresscritter today!
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.
Agreed. Here's the link again, shortened and full: http://fwd4.me/sTf
* 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
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!
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.
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