Sketchup 7

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Leon wrote:

I should have included the URL: http://www.google.com/sketchup/training/videos/new_to_gsu.html
Tanus
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Thanks, but I found it, using the words of my son when he was 3, "all by my self". LOL
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Steve Turner wrote:

I've been around free software since day one, and what I found incredible about Sketchup is that even if it cost a lot, it is pretty incredible. There is not much I can think of a common wood worker could not do readily with this very free application. It may not work perfect for an architect designing the twin towers, or a design engineer drawing up the final specs of an atomic power plant, but for some guy building a deck, a barn, a kitchen cabinet, a night stand or any of the many things your every day wood worker builds, this is the perfect tool at the perfect price.
BTW, the stickiness is maddening until you use components.
One interesting thing is the "professional" $600 version works about exactly the same as the free version, with the main difference in ability to interact with other design software, not something that would plague your average wood worker.
--
Jack
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Steve Turner wrote:
<snip>

On a different subject, sorta; I've been using TurboCad for many years (still a novice at it)and I was wondering if it gets any more intuitive as time goes on?? I am embarrassed to say that I still have V7 Pro. I upgraded about 3 times to get there and every time I DID upgrade, it seemed to take forever to get back all the screens and buttons that went somewhere else. Is it better now? Is 3D easier to work with than it was in V7? Turbocad had a "Solid Modeller" back then. It seemed to work pretty well, but was quite limited. But it sure seemed easier to use that this V7. Also, since you are messing with Sketchup: I downloaded an early version and went through the tutorial. It seemed really neat, until I tried a complete drawing. Then, all of a sudden all the neat "intuitive" stuff was over and I'd have to do all the rote learning that I have had to do with Turbocad if I wanted to make it my "default" CAD software. Is Sketchup better now?
Pete Stanaitis
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It's Legoware. Cute, and somewhat functional. But I admit that when it comes to CAD, I'm a snob. I have become proficient with the package I use. In comparison, SU is awkward and limited.
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wrote:

It's Legoware. Cute, and somewhat functional. But I admit that when it comes to CAD, I'm a snob. I have become proficient with the package I use. In comparison, SU is awkward and limited.
I was a snob too. ;~) It's pretty much Sketchup 7 all the way for me now. Once you learn to tweak the programs so that the lines look the way you want it seems to be leaps and bounds better for relatively small drawings. I consider relatively small to include a complete set of plans for a house. Memory may become a problem with tall commercial buildings or large landscapes such as a city park.
You really have to learn the program to appreciate it.
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"Leon" wrote

Folks can't seem to grasp that SU is not CAD and doesn't claim to be ... it is "surface modeling" software. Comparison is misleading and a waste of time.
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Oh yea??? Sez who???
LOL Kidding aside, I think SU is a wonderful option for people to get into computerised design and SU appears to be a hit. And I'll stop with my Bob-The-Builder jokes, okay? And you're right, people should not compare SU with CAD because it is indeed misleading. What I did find really interesting, is that Google/SU immediately supported Macs. That was cool.
Incidentally, I use my CAD program as a surface modeller as well. Such is the world of NURBS.
r
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I agree. They are very different animals. However there IS an overlap in what you can do with 3-D CAD, solid modelers, and Sketchup, and this overlap tends to lead to a reaction like Leon's. And someone used to doing conceptual drawings in Sketchup would find a solid modeler able to produce the same shapes, but incredibly frustrating to do jobs that Sketchup is best for. And a user of solid modelers find Sketchup and 3-D CAD inadequate for their needs. They all have their place.
For me, the visualization help with sketchup makes it the software of choice; its limited CAD capabilities meet my needs (combined with a simple 2-D CAD program)
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spaco wrote:

I wouldn't call TurboCAD the most intuitive CAD program I've ever used. It does get better over time (a little), but some things just don't work when you think they ought to (hey, that just worked a minute ago on this other object, why won't it work HERE?!) and it can be pretty damn maddening.

Don't feel bad; I'm still on V8 Pro (the latest is V15) and I got there in pretty much the same way you did, so I can't really comment on whether it's any better now. Many times I've tried to find a way to upgrade, but they just make it too damn difficult and they want too much money for the Pro version. I've compared the features of Pro and Deluxe and concluded that I don't need any of the Pro features anyway, and since the Deluxe is much cheaper I've downloaded the trial version to attempt a migration. However, many of my V8 drawings won't transfer over because the Deluxe version claims I've used Pro features that aren't supported in Deluxe, even though I don't know exactly what those features are, I didn't use them knowingly, and IMSI support can't tell me how to get around it. Their "solution" was to suggest various vendors that offer the Pro version for a "reasonable" price...

I'm right there with ya; I'm still trying to decide if I can deal with its quirks and if it will have enough functionality to entice me to move, and right now it's looking pretty "iffy". For example, if I draw a line and bisect it with another line, Sketchup now thinks I have *four* lines instead of two! I really don't like the way it transforms the things I draw into other things entirely. But perhaps that offers me advantages that I don't understand right now, and I want to stick with it and give it a chance; partly becomes it makes 3D design very easy (which I like), and also because I really dig Google's "public warehouse" model. Sketchup users have already built up an impressive collection of publicly accessible drawings, and it seems like the sky could be the limit...
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It didn't used to do that automatically, you had to tell it to intersect. The Intersect menu function is still there. The main thing is that if it doesn't do that then the intersection doesn't become a hot point that you can easily click on. The only time I really wouldn't want that is if I'm screwing around with something, but you can use undo instead of deleting. But it would be nice to have that as a mode you could turn on and off.
My main annoyance is when you have a hollow area and it insists on redrawing a surface across it every time you do anything along the edge.
-Kevin
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It does it automatically on version 7, thank goodness.
That said if you continue to draw on Sketchup like you would on any other typical CAD program it can become a bother.
I guess the thing that you have to remember about Sketchup is that it works best when you draws objects not just lines that infer objects.
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Maybe! I have probably used 6 or 7 CAD programs since the mid 80's TurboCAD was absolutely the most difficult for me to "attempt" to master. AutoCAD LT eas infinatly easier for me to learn and I used it for about 12 years. Sketchup is as much easier for me to use compared to AutoCAD as AutoCAD ias to TurboCAD.

Sketchup 7 is better than 6 and as mentioned above has become my primary drawing program. Well worth learning to think a little differently as drawings are about 10 times faster using Sketchup 7. The learning curve is pretty shallow especially if you watch a few of the numerous short online tutorials.
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I hadn't even realized you could do that now, sweet!
-Kevin
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I was reading a FWW article explaining a new plug in for making "to scale" templates. Basically a tool for cutting out templates to check complex shapes that you are making. Think a curved and tapering table leg. Learning that you could now print to scale was a side benefit. I tried it on version 6 and it would not work.
The plug in is "Slicer". In the program it will take a curved and tapered leg and divide it into as many cross sections as you like and then lay all those sections out to be printed in full scale.
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"Leon" wrote

Just to reiterate for those wRec'ers interested in using SU as a tool in their woodworking endeavors, Fine Woodworking has an excellent blog called "Design.Click.Build" that is all about using the program for woodworking projects. Dave Richards and Tim Killen have written dozens of very specific articles that will increase your proficiency with the program in that regard.
http://finewoodworking.taunton.com/blog/design-click-build
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I've posted this before but the best tutorial I've found is at http://www.srww.com/blog . You'll need to hunt for it a bit but it's called "Drawing a bedside table". It's an 8 part tutorial that you can download in Word format or follow it online. It covers a lot of the problems discussed here including making components, using layers, dimensioning, etc.
This tutorial is what cleared things up for me. I had used TurboCad and Autocad previously but was never proficient with either. But having that background, at least to me, was as much a hinderence as it was a help. If you have a CAD background you must change your way of thinking or you'll never get anywhere. The old install, try it out, uninstall routine comes to mind.
If you have any interest in using SketchUp I encourage you to take a look at this. It is invaluable for someone just starting out.
Larry
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As I said elsewhere, the model exists to allow me to make the piece. Putting more effort into the model than what is needed to do that is a waste of time. Why do I need a model of the drawer? All I need to make a drawer is length, width, height, thickness of parts. That's it. What is the point of modeling it beyond that? What do I need the tenons and mortises modeled for in the first place, and what benefit does showing them at each leg accomplish? Why do I need to model the dovetail recess in the front legs if I am going to be cutting the dovetails on the rail and using that to mark the location of the recess? This isn't mass production where one needs drawings such that I could give the drawing of an individual part to someone who has no other knowledge of the rest of the piece and have them produce the correct part.
-Kevin
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As you get into more complex projects it does help to draw a complete model of drawers or doors, or what have you, to see how they will fit together inside a cabinet or case. In my case the model of the drawer helps me to make certain that the rabbits on the front and backs of the jewelry chest drawers do not interfere with the dado's in the sides of the drawer sides that I cut for the drawer slide. Then the overall size of the drawer helps me to see how far back it will fit in relationship to the back of the cabinet or chest. More planning on the drawing keeps me from having to plan during the actual construction phase. All of the parts and their sizes have been predetermined and I know how they are going to fit before cutting any wood. This is especially helpful when I made a 12 drawer jewelry chest with 4 or 5 different sized drawers.
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But you can get most of that from just a plain box. To actually go in and draw the dovetails on the drawer is kind of crazy. Though I realize the drawing was teaching aid so I can understand doing some things just for the sake of doing them.
You can add in extra detail where you need it, but to start from a philosophy of every detail must be in the drawing is well, different from mine :) I've done models where I only put in three legs and two sides. I think while you certainly can get a lot of power out of sketchup with making everything components and using layers, you can also just whip up something quick and dirty that's enough to get you going.

What's so bad about thinking while you're building? I think better on my feet, and I started woodworking in part because I was sick of sitting at a computer all the time. When I'm thinking in the shop I have a chance to grab the broom or make it so I can see the top of the bench again. Going into the shop without all the answers predetermined is fun!
-Kevin
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