Been playing around with creating "dynamic components", using that new
feature now available in SketchUp7-Pro.
Below is a file that contains two .skp files, one for Base Cabinet FF's, and
one for Wall Cabinet FF's. (Be sure to open any folder if it downloads that
If you're a SketchUp7 user, you might want to give these a try and let me
know how they work for you.
(Note: you will want to "import" into an open file. On some systems you also
to may have to "explode" the component itself _once_ after its loaded into
SU to the get the "component" to by dynamic ... but try it first.)
~The Base Cabinet face frame "component" should respond to a user selected
"Cabinet Width" list box, in industry standard 3" increments, or you can
"scale" the component to any desired WIDTH using the "scale tool".
~ The Wall Cabinet "component" should respond to both user selected "Cabinet
Width" and "Cabinet Height" list box, in industry standard 3" increments, or
you can "scale" the component to any desired WIDTH and HEIGHT using the
Since I always build my face frames first, then assemble the sides, top and
bottom onto them, this is a useful tool for determining cabinet WIDTHS when
designing a kitchen, and to see what will fit where, or resizing and/or
scaling/snapping into unoccupied wall or floor spaces you need to fill with
But either way you build your cabinets, you may find the ability to
dimension, or scale, cabinet face frames handy.
This is now especially true if you want to generate a face frame cutlist
from your model and you also own CutList Plus.
The "Cutlist 4" Sketchup plug-in linked below, is specifically designed to
work with CutList Plus ... damn nifty!
This is my first try with DC's, so let me know if something doesn't work,
and any comments welcome.
Welcome to the world of paramentric design.
In my real job I am in the 3D CAD business. Parametric design was a
revolution for this industry 20 years ago. With complete parametrics
you can embed an amazing amount of intelligence into one base design.
They can be linked to spreadsheets, can hide and multiple parts and
features, matain ratios or more complex rules, nest one design inside
anothjer and drive changes up through the design; very cool stuff.
This was initially only available in the $20-$50k type software. The
second revolution was the "desktop" or "mid-range" solid modelers in
the $2-$8k proce range. Now I guess R3 is in Sketchup. Too cool.
I think pretty soon the $2-$8k guys are going to have a hard time
seeling their stuff when their only real differentiation is being
harder to use. ;^)
At the risk of sounding a bit snobbish, Sketch-Up is a fun entry-level
product which hopefully will entice the curious into trying real CAD
software. That is especially true when you're trying to make the link
between CAD and CAM.
Having said that, for the price (even for the Pro version) SketchUp
appears to be an excellent value.
Don't look now, Rob, but your lack familiarity with the program is showing
... SketchUp has always been upfront about NOT being "CAD software". :)
All the Pro version does is add advanced printing, exporting, importing, and
presentation capabilities. Other than the ability to create dynamic
components, and the above mentioned, there is no functional difference
between the free and Pro versions.
Any tool is only as good as the craftsman who wields it ... it is always a
mistake to sell something short on the basis of cursory knowledge.
I am the first to agree that I have yet to delve into all of the host
of features that SketchUp offers.
I , frankly, haven't had the need. So your assesment of my lack of
familiarity is sound. Somewhat.
And yet, my grandmother's wisdom haunts me: "I don't know how to lay
eggs, but I sure know when one shouldn't be eaten."
I am still somewhat curious how someone, like yourself, who has shown
a solid working knowledge of other software has bolted onto the
This is not a critique, but a question. You were a TurboCAD user at
one time, were'nt you? Why the change?
I have never been one to stay with a system/software 'just because'.
If that were true, wtf am I married 3 times? I am willing to change
and learn. I just don't see SketchUp as a path to growth, unlike
TurboCAD which ate least teaches CAD-style conventions.
Am I way off here?
I agree, but why change a horse in the middle of a stream? There must
be real advantage to adopting SketchUp over Turbo. If there is, I
don't see it.
And when it comes to wielding tools in the CAD and 3D modelling world,
I hold my own quite well. SketchUp leaves me wanting more. Like NURBs.
Like extrusions along rails. Like sweeps along bezier paths. Skinning
and a full set of Bolean functions and a full set of rendering tools.
And after all that, a true export ability that all programs can
understand and parse. And don't get me started on infinite lighting
sources and radiosity. Textures in all their photo-realistic glory.
SketchUp has never made claims to fit my bill. They don't. But if
you're going to learn conventions, they should be cross-platform, and
adhere to some standard which is transportable.
Honestly, dude... nothing personal.
Here you go, Bro ... make a cylinder "component" with diameter of the hole
you want, poke it though the curved surfaces where you want the hole(s),
then use the "intersect with model" function, then erase the parts you don't
When you know how, it takes longer to draw the box and cylinder than to get
holes in the curved surfaces ... about a three minute job. :)
Yup. You can coerce and cajole it into doing much of what you might want,
much of the time. It's great for what it is, but much of the time, sooner or
later it bogs down and I'm fighting it to do what I want rather than what it
wants. That's more a compliment than a detraction or dismissal. Sketchup
*almost* allows me to do useful work. A few more versions and a bit more
development will get it there.
That's too bad ... In a nutshell, I've made woodworking pay a lot more since
wielding SU than any other software design program to date. I can't wait for
"a few more versions and a bit more development" to make even more $.
It's good, and it's fast for the initial rough out. There's still room for
the middleweight systems. Mostly, it's the lack of "history" and committing
to details too soon. I can't easily go back a few steps and adjust a smidge
and then roll it forward again. Other times, it's the inferencing that
guesses wrong and won't be corrected. Overall, though, it's a remarkably
useful tool as it is, a huge step toward empowering the normal person to
sketch up and document his world. For that alone, I'm very sure history will
speak well of Google's achievements in these years.
So, what's your revenue stream with CAD? Are you just better able to
communicate ideas? Save time by thinking through the details? How is SU
making you $$?
Google is just standing on the shoulders of giants ... they bought out the
company that created it.
Just a current example that's being worked on, with a bit of history behind
it following ... caution, it's a 1.3mb download:
The cabinets for this kitchen will be started in another week to ten days.
The client lives in Austin, 170 miles from my shop, and I live in Houston.
I've seen her only once in the two months since the design started, and most
of that time was waiting on sinks and appliances to be purchased so the
cabinets could be designed around them and fit into the space.
With the exception of the downdraft venting system for the stove top, which
she has yet to be purchase (thus the real stove top model just sitting on
top of the island counter top), the other appliances and sink are the actual
products themselves from models taken off manufacturer's website and
imported into SketchUp ... IOW, what she actually sees _is_ what she's
getting, with her appliances in place.
Currently I'm waiting to finish the double oven cabinet and island cabinet
design, but other than that, she has made her door and drawer front choices,
where she wanted the appliances, where she wanted shelves, where she wanted
the pantry, everything ... decisions all made by viewing the SketchUp model
as I make her changes and put it online for her to download.
SketchUp is free ... she runs a Mac, no problem.
Mid design, she decided she wanted a kitchen "hutch", told me what she
wanted, moved the location twice .. no problem, and where you see the
"hutch" is the final spot. (maybe). :)
A side note with regard to the "kitchen hutch", I've already have a
commission to build another, but stand alone, based solely on a relative
having seen the one in the SketchUp kitchen model!
This kitchen is not one of my bigger kitchens, but will retail in excess of
$60K, easily ... it is the direct the product of long distance collaboration
using SketchUp, while many other projects are ongoing, much of the design
done in the evening while SWMBO watches TV and I sit in an easy chair with
my laptop, using a FREE program that more than gets the job done for what I
need it for! :)
I could of spent $5K easily on another 3D "CAD" program, but I would still
be learning the software months from now, instead of making money with it.
You asked ... :)
Even that is getting screwed up... some browsers will delete spaces in urls.
You might want to put an underscore "_" in place of a space, in the
You must change it on your server, too, however.
For now, it works if you cut-n-paste.
"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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