Sketchup, arrrgggg

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I've had the program for a number of years, never took the time to actually learn to use it. Due primarily to various posts here, I've been spending some time with it.
They say it is "intuitive"; IMO, some of it is and some of it isn't. Let me give an example...
Suppose I draw a simple table: four legs, four aprons and a top. Each of those items is an "entity". I decide that I want my table 1" wider which means I need to make the top wider and both end aprons longer I can't scale the aprons, deforms the legs. I could move the legs, then scale the aprons and move the legs back. Not too bad on this but on more complex things it could be a PITA.
Is there some simple, fast way to do it.
--

dadiOH
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On 04/22/2013 04:24 PM, dadiOH wrote:

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"Socialism is a philosophy of failure,the creed of ignorance, and the
gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery"
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On 4/22/2013 6:24 PM, dadiOH wrote:

OK first off be certain you are using the latest version, you stating that you have had the program a number of years indicates you may be using one of the older versions which IMHO we more difficult to master.
By entity I suppose you mean that you made each separate item in to an actual component.
Don't scale, simply use the push pull tool to lengthen or shorten the end that you want to be longer or shorter, do the same for the apron and top. Start the push pull tool in the direction that you want it to go, don't worry about how far you drag it, just go in the direction you want to go, than type in the distance you want to add or subtract. then move you legs.
NOW if your legs are reshaping when you are trying to adjust other pieces that would indicate that your entities are not components.
Once you make a group of lines into a component they will no longer change unless you edit the component. To edit, select the component by clicking on it and then double click the selection or right click and select edit component. An outline of the defined area of the component will form around the component and you can then make changes, like using the push pull tool to change the thickness, width, or length of a component.
NOTE. sometimes components are difficult to edit where they are placed in a drawing. Simply select that component and copy it to an area that would make it more accessible, make your modifications and they will also show up on the original component. Complete the modification and delete the copy.
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I'd like you to flesh that out a bit. I tried it and found that sketchup would not allow me to push-pull faces of a component. To be sure, I drew a rectangle and "pulled" it into a box. At that point I was able to push or pull any surface. I then made the box a component, after which I could not use the push-pull tool on it.
 then

I found that out the hard way a week or two ago. Yes, anything you don't want to be deformed needs to be a component.

Aha. I'll try that. Perhaps then I'll find the way to add or subtract a certain amount.

Hmmm. I'll try that too.
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Actually evert part of the project should be made into a component.

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I just drew an oval, a rectangle with semicircular ends. Then I pulled it into a "solid" (yes I know it's not really modeled as a solid). When you lengthen it the semicircles become distorted.
So I drew a "cut line" around the middle of my "solid", exploded it, and used "move" to drag one of the resultant halves further away. I intended to then pull the other side to close the gap, but since they were touching to begin with, Sketchup stretched the other piece to keep them connected.
It worked, but it was still kind of a pain. If you draw a piece with box-joint ends, for instance, do you draw the ends and "component" them separately in case you decide to make the box smaller at a later time? The same would go for anything non-rectangular, like miters.
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On 4/23/2013 6:01 AM, Greg Guarino wrote:

OK, that is pretty easy, you have to think a little differently. Instead of pushing or pulling, start by editing the component, then left click and pull a selection box starting at the "TOP LEFT AND DRAG TO THE BOTTOM RIGHT". You know, so that only complete lines with in the selection box are selected, drag the selection box to capture the odd shaped end and then "Move" that selection of lines, curves, etc the distance you want to move it/them.
Be sure to use a straight line, a line on the componey, as your point of reference for showing direction of moving or your result might be more than just lengthening.
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Miss this second question.
No. Draw your board, and then copy the line that represents the corner of the board down the end of the board, these will be your yet to be pulled tails. Pull which ever one you want to pull first then while still in the push pull command skip the next rectangle and double click the next, Push/pull will assume the same distance, continue double clicking every other one.
Again if you want to lengthen or shorten the piece simply drag a selection box over the tails, top left to bottom right, and move the selected tail in the direction applicable to make the piece longer or shorter.
A hint here, when copying the corner line across the end of the board, copy it one time say 1/2" over and then type in 4x or 5x or 12x and it will repeat the copy that many times assuming the same spacing used for the first copy.
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It gets better, the more you use it the easier it is to remember.
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On 4/23/2013 6:01 AM, Greg Guarino wrote:

OK, that is pretty easy, you have to think a little differently. Instead of pushing or pulling, start by editing the component, then left click and pull a selection box starting at the "TOP LEFT AND DRAG TO THE BOTTOM RIGHT" around the odd shaped end. You know, so that only complete lines with in the selection box are selected, drag the selection box to capture the odd shaped end and then "Move" that selection of lines, curves, etc the distance you want to move it/them.
Be sure to use a straight line, a line on the component that points in the direction that you want to move the selection, as your point of reference for showing direction of movement or your result might be more than just lengthening.
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On 4/23/2013 12:36 AM, Leon wrote:

I understood that concept, by the way. What I found out "the hard way" was that - to protect your mental health - you really need to convert each new thing into a component at the *very earliest* opportunity.
I imagine there must be a way to save components for future use. I haven't looked that up yet.
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On 4/23/2013 9:24 AM, Greg Guarino wrote:

Yes, create the component and name if if you want to find it again. ;~)
After creating the component go to the menu bar and click Window and select Components.
A Component window should open up with a list of the components in your drawing. Right click the component and select Save AS. Keep an eye on where you save it also. IIRC the component is simply saves as a smaller Sketchup drawing file.
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On 4/22/2013 11:36 PM, Leon wrote: ...

I've actually played w/ Sketchup very little owing to the one time I tried it was so frustrating I just gave it up...
I've since seen this in several earlier threads and have realized that was at least part of the problem...so, w/ that background as utter novice I'll ask...
So one should then just make either a generic rectangle (or one also w/ thickness for 3D) and call it a "board" and then just take instances of it and assign a length/width/thickness then join these together to build something? Does that work?
Or, slightly more complex, say it's a cabinet door...you have a rail and a style general object that you just set length/width on as well as adjust the tenon size/thickness (say) and then they can fit together just as if had one of each in hand?
If that (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) works, then maybe I try again sometime...meanwhile I just layout dimensions on a cutlist and go to the shop (_much_ faster :) ).
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On 4/23/2013 1:24 PM, dpb wrote:

You can do that however a generic rectangle/3D board is much easier to draw than to hunt up and import from your group of saved components. Add to that it would be easier to draw than to import and edit.
That said if your component is complex it would make a lot of sense to save the component and import to use and or to edit.

Yes, if you are describing what I mentioned above. If you do not have to redraw a complex object that saves time and effort. Importing and editing a saved complex component is much faster that redrawing.

The beauty to Sketchup is that you can install a plugin, CutList 4.X, and simply high lite all of your components run the plug in and it will enter all of that data fore you. This is a common practice for me however I take the data that CutList 4.x creates and import again directly in to "CutList Plus" for a more adjustable result.
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On 4/23/2013 2:19 PM, Leon wrote:

Hmmm....seems that if it were as handy as could be it wouldn't be such effort to just reset dimensions on a given piece....if it's as simple as _just_ a board I can see roughly the same as it is same dimensions but wouldn't seem should be harder.

If were doing a lot of work any more could/would agree--for just a small amount of stuff do any more it just isn't worth the hassle to learn a software package--or at least hasn't been so far. If were to do something really complex, that would be different. Or, of course, if the profit motive returns, that's again a whole different driver. :) But, I've been there, and that's not going to be why I'm doing wwork at the moment nor foresee ever doing so again at this point. (I think I've mentioned before that if were in some area that could support it w/ the population and income/disposable income base, my ideal retirement hobby would be an architectural moulding custom shop. There's a family-owned shop in Wichita that's really kewl type of operation that would be a lot of fun but out here there's just not enough folks/money to get anything off the ground.)
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On 4/23/2013 5:01 PM, dpb wrote:

Well, on just a board you can do it which ever way you preferrrrrrr..... But unless you are dealing with the pro versions where you have dynamic components, changing dimensions involves pushing and or pulling 3 sides after calling up the saved component and getting it into editing stage.
Sounds like you have not tried both methods, give both ways a try to see which you prefer.
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On 4/23/2013 6:59 PM, Leon wrote: ...

I strongly suspect I most probably will get around to neither... :)
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On 4/22/2013 11:20 PM, Greg Guarino wrote:

compenent up for editing faces in the component.

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Jeff

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Please don't mistake me for someone who knows what he's talking about; I'm just about exactly as experienced as you are.
I had drawn a very simple farmhouse-style table as a first sketchup project also. I justr tried doing exactly what you are attempting. Here's how I did it, shown in four exported images:\
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gdguarino/8673230411/in/photostream/
Use the right arrow to scroll through the set. Please ignore the white- shaded parts in the background.
First I selected the table top. The top is itself composed of four "sub-components" (my own term - I have no idea what the proper word is), four 1x6 boards. I discovered that you could group components into larger multi-piece assemblies at some point.
With the entire table top selected, I used Resize to stretch it. When I did it originally, I grabbed one of the handles on the top edge. This made the task harder, as I was then able to stretch the top in two dimensions at once: horizontal and vertical. I typed in scale numbers of "1.5,1" to enlarge the top by a factor of 1.5 in length while keeping the thickness the same. A better idea (which I just checked) would have been to grab the handle in the center (horizontally and vertically). Then I'd be changing one dimension only; the length.
Then I selected a pair of opposing apron pieces (see pictures) and stretched them simultaneously. I did this by eye. As the entry box just has a scale "factor", I think I'd have needed to draw a temporary line where I wanted the two apron pieces to stretch to in order to get them to be an exact length.
Lastly, I selected two of the legs and the apron piece that joins them. I used "move" to drag that assembly to meet the lengthened side apron pieces. This I was able to do exactly, making two mating corners meet.
Now all of this was made a little easier by the simplicity of the design; it has no mitered corners. (it's for a stage prop). I just confirmed a suspicion I had. I drew a "board" with corners mitered at some angle. I then made a component of it and tried to stretch it horizontally. Sure enough, the angle changed, as would be expected since the program is essentially stretching (or compacting) the lengths of the two faces by the same factor.
I share your view that calling Sketchup "intuitive" is only partly accurate, at least for me. At my current novice stage I expend a lot of brainpower trying to find clever ways to "trick" the program into doing what I want.
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Greg Guarino wrote:

Yeah, that works fine. However, if the legs and aprons had been butted it would have been a problem
The answer seems to be *COMPONENTS* :) _____________

Try this: 1. Make the mitered board 2. Make it a component 3. Position it so you see end, top and an edge 4. Select all 5. Scale using the center "handle" at the acute intersection of end and edge. ________________

That and trying to again find the way to do something I did previously.
It is an amazing program, though; especially since it enables duffers such as us to actually draw things. So the basics I find intuitive; the niceties much less so; eg, which handle on a "scale" does what? True, it tells you which axes and what points but that means about as much to me - at the moment - as does a treatise on quantum physics. So *many* handles, so much to remember :(
Another occasional difficulty for me is getting a line to go where I want it. Fortunately, I found the arrow key restraints which help but sometimes Sketchup seems to want to stick the end point not quite where I want it; the result is that I wind up with something that is not quite a plane. Or a plane that is slightly (1/16) off from where I want it to be. I've been drawing fairly complex large rooms and my solution was to really zoom in so I can see where stuff is going. Of course, zoomed in like that, I sometimes get lost in s sea of blue or white, no idea where I am. The solution to that was to add the "Views" toolbar...clicking one gets me a view that enables me to orient myself to the axes.
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dadiOH
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