Sketup Question

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Lee Michaels wrote:

He brings his own "luck" by repeating the same goofy mantra that is not just wrong and easy for a lazy guy that can't spell and suffers poor grammar, like me, to argue with, but silly, which adds to my entertainment.
I *respond* to anything that gives me entertainment. The quickest way to stop my fun is to stop saying stupid things. Other than that, you need to wait until I get bored, which will be somewhere between soon and never, my choice.
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Jack
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wrote:

True troll sign there.
Mark
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Markem wrote:

It may be true all trolls are entertained posting on Usenet, but all those so entertained are not trolls.
What are your motivations?
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Robatoy wrote:

I can see by the lack of content of your post you've run out of ridiculous things to say, or any semblance of valid arguments.
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Morris Dovey wrote:

Hardly! Unless what you are saying is comparable to saying buying a table saw is a waste of time because it is not a complete wood shop, and it only cuts straight lines like they used 1000's of years ago.

I have no problem at all with CNC tooling. But, I could care less if SU interfaces with Robotoys $30,000 CNC router.

No more silly than disparaging a piece of free software because it doesn't interface with a $30,000 CNC router.

Talk about silly?

And yet only a short time ago woodworkers had no access to a free 3D drawing program as capable as SU that they could use to draw up projects that have been made by wood workers for hundreds and even thousands of years.

No need for me to look up your specific project. Not one person has ever said SU is the perfect tool for every one, or every project. I've built enough stuff, and looked at enough stuff others have made, to know SU is more than adequate if not over kill for most of the stuff I make, and most of the stuff I see others make. Swingman found it good enough to design kitchens he's built, and $200,000 home he is building. The internet is plastered with all sorts of stuff SU was used for designing, much of it pretty dammed complex.

OK, you made me look at that, and see I've looked at it myself before. Doesn't look like something that would give SU much of a problem, and I'm not sure why a CNC machine, or much more than standard tools most wood workers have on their shop would need to build it. The Vikings built boats fancier than that with out computer software. Are you saying one can't draw that up with SU or even w/o CAD program at all? I'm no SU expert, but sure looks like straight and curved lines, same as have been used to build wood stuff for 1000's of years, with and w/o SU, computers or heaven forbid, even electricity?

I'm pretty sure SU uses a lot of techniques not available 2300 years ago and a ton not even available free to wood workers ever before in the history of mankind. Your point is unclear to say the least.

Yes, exactly. Also that SU meets and exceeds the needs of most hobbyist and small shop woodworkers most of the time. Goody for all of us.

And I still don't see how a wood worker that normally would not use any CAD program would be "dumbing down" by learning to use a free design tool. About the only problem I see is they might end up having more fun designing stuff than actually building it. This actually happened to me. I got into computing so I could use it to draw up stuff I was building. This was in the early 1980's and I got a copy of design cad, and I spent about 100 times longer figuring out how to use the program than I would have just using a pencil and paper for a shed I was building. I ended up becoming obsessed with computers and programing. Prior to that, I was obsessed with wood working. I found computing met most of my "creative" needs, I could "build" programs that did all sorts of things, mistakes along the way cost nothing, no lost material, no lost fingers and so on. Wood working slipped into the background, and is still there for the most part...
For those that use SU as a "stepping stone" to expensive CAD programs, I hope they don't get pissed off if they find SU met most of their needs as it was. For those that learn SU and find it is not suitable for all their needs, I hope they are not so dumb as to think SU is the end all, be all in CAD programing, particularly when EVERYONE has said it is not, and not meant to be a fancy expensive CAD program that interfaces with $100,000 CNC machines, yet, it still is the perfect design tool for most wood workers with a hankering for computer design.
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I do that all the time. I doodle a lot. Very relaxing. It is my version of a 'game' I get to make silly doodles too like: (Notice that it is a true solid?)
http://s123.photobucket.com/albums/o290/Robatoy/?action=view&current=CherryToffee.jpg
When I looked at SU, I asked several questions. Will it do this? Will it do that? When the answers came up negative, I decided not to waste my time. Somehow, you decided that my decision of not wasting my time disqualified me from making a judgement whether or not SU filled my needs. It didn't do what I wanted it to do. No need to look further. "This is a pretty good band, but all they do is play Cat Stevens songs." I discovered SU's limitations by investigating its capabilities. It seems that Google also figured out that it came up short for many others. They padded the project with LayOut, for a price. That covered some of my needs, but still there was no reason to drop any amount of money on capabilities I already owned and learned. Why are you having such a problem with that, Jack? Or are you just an asshole?
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Robatoy wrote:

What made me decide you were posting drivel with regards to SU was you saying SU doesn't to X and Swingman would explain that it would do x or post links that showed it would do X.

Again, I have no problem with SU not doing what you want. Some people think using SU will degrade expectations and abilities of many. I think your constant complaining about it's perceived limitations might discourage some from learning it.
"This is

Even though I only heard them once on the radio...

Perhaps, but most of it's limitations you noted where shot down by those that actually wasted time learning what all it can do.

No one ever said anything about you dropping what works for you. Everyone has said SU is not, nor claiming to be, a full blown CAD program. If I needed a full blown CAD program I guess I would spend a ton and a half of money on AUTOCAD... Few common woodworkers need AUTOCAD, or anything near autocad.

Well I am an asshole but that's not the problem I have with you trotting around bashing SU. I'm one, like so many others that tried SU, thought it a toy, tried it again, thought it was screwed up. Tried it again, and found it was much much better than I first thought, and decided to put in some time to really learn what it could do for me. Happily, I found it did about everything most hobbyists and small shop owners would need, and then some.
What made me keep pushing on with SU was not some dick that never "wasted" his time learning what it could do, instead, it was some guy who actually did "waste his time learning it", who's opinion I had come to respect (Swing) touting it's abilities.
Now, if you think that's a problem I have, tough cookies. I admit I enjoy the banter back and forth, and considering it's a subject that also interests me a good bit, I see no "problem" with my participation in the thread even though it is getting a bit long in tooth, particularly since it's likely to erupt again, next time you say something silly about SU.
So, let me ask you: Why are you having such a problem with that, or are *you* just an asshole?
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Jack Stein wrote:

Give it a try. It's a simple parabola with a curve length of 48.000" and with the focus exactly centered between the two edges. It's an optical device, and it seems to work acceptably with points calculated every 0.010" and cut with an accuracy of +/- 0.001".
It's symmetrical, so you'll only need to plot one side (2401 of the 4801 points needed).
The trough I was working on when this thread started positions the 4x8 mirror crosswise to produce a temperature above 1400F, and it'll need 9601 points for the full width.
FWIW, even the primitive MS-DOS (pre-Windows) drawing/design software I first used was capable of handling the job.
A bandsaw can make the cut. The question is: can you cut the entire set of ribs with a bandsaw within the +/- 0.001" tolerance? You'll want to use a /very/ sharp pencil.
You're right, we've done a lot without computers and software - but I'd bet long odds that we've been able to produce more new design solutions since the introduction of computers than in all the time before them. It's a good tool technology - so why not use it as well as it can be used?
I hear you wanting to make a distinction between commercial activity and hobby activity, so let me respond to that by saying that my immediate interest doesn't fall neatly into either category. It's simply a woodworker's attempt to produce a real solution to a real problem, with the knowledge that a good solution can make a /lot/ of lives better.

Then let me clarify: 2300 years ago Euclid worked only with straight lines and circular arcs; today SketchUp works only with straight lines and circular arcs. The only difference is that the SketchUp user doesn't need (and almost certainly doesn't have) anything approaching Euclid's understanding of geometry.
A lot has happened since Euclid's time. His work in geometry led others to use symbols to represent frequently-used values, and that developed into algebra - which when applied back to Euclid's work resulted in trigonometry and what we now call analytical geometry - which eventually motivated calculus so that we could apply all of the above to non steady-state processes.

I think our disagreement grows out of the types of woodworking we do. I'm understanding that you see it as a fun toy and are interested in appearances, while I'm looking as it as a design tool for producing constructs that /do/ things - and I care a lot less about appearance than I do about function.
"Free" is nice, but not as important to me as being able to do a good job - and although you seem determined to make "free" a justification for ignoring two thousand years of advances in geometry and mathematics, I actually do use that stuff.
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Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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Turns out there are plugins for Bezier splines, I'm an idiot for not looking for that sooner. I am not sure how easy/possible it is to get a parabola from a Bezier, but if not it's certainly possible to add the ability to do a parabola to sketchup through ruby scripting. I'm not even sure what all the names of the curves the plugin can do mean, but I am guessing it can be done with the plugin.
http://www.crai.archi.fr/RubyLibraryDepot/Ruby/Newest_scripts.html
Bezier Spline v1.2
At first I thought you couldn't move the control points again once you commit with a double click because they don't come back up when you click on it, but you can edit through the right click menu.
So there you go, Sketchup can do complex curves.
-Kevin
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snipped-for-privacy@YAHOO.COM wrote:

Of course it can, and it could be approximated closely with enough bezier splines. It'd still be necessary to calculate the positions of the end (and probably center) points, so I'd guess that it'd be more practical to just connect all 4801 of those points with straight line segments. :-p
I could also take time out to learn to write Ruby, but the version 1 design got finished while all this discussion was going on, and I just got a call from the manufacturer of the fin-tube component letting me know that it's on its way - so I'll probably do the usual and just make photos of the prototype. I figure there's not much time or effort saved if I have to go off and learn yet another programming/scripting language.
The fin-tube stuff is kinda pretty in a geekish way. I'll post a photo of a sample in case anyone's interested in weird hardware. See
http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/Misc/FintubeCutaway-1.jpg
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Morris Dovey
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Make sure you add some relief valves to this thing...valves with lots of flow capacity. The planet needs you.
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Robatoy wrote:

Well, if she don't make power, then she'll sure brew a cup of coffee in a hurry.
Hold my beer - I'm gonna try sump'en...
:o)
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Morris Dovey
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I cheated and traced a vector in Aspire. http://www.mathwarehouse.com/quadratic/parabola/interactive-parabola.php
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Robatoy wrote:

Hmm - and how did you go about specifying the /length/ of the curve?
:-]
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Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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I scaled it so it sorta-kinda looked like 48"... LOL.. I guess that won't do for Morris, eh? But, hey, it's a starting point, no? (The other problem with the trace, is that it goes up and down both sides of the line.
Hold my beer, I'm going to try something....
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I'm certain somewhere between college algebra and analytic geometry, I could have calc'ed the required curve. All kidding aside for someone just itching to get dirty with Ruby, here's the chance to contribute to the Sketchup library of add-ons. Spin a cone and intersect it with a face describing the curve, or just calculate the points and connect them. More generally, maybe just import a list of ordinates from a spreadsheet and plot them. This would be generally useful for lofting a canoe hull, for example. Is that getting too far out of the realm of woodworking?
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MikeWhy wrote:

If woodworking is "making something out of wood", then the realm can become awesomely wide as soon as "design" becomes part of the picture.
As far as the length of curve problem is concerned, there are at least three ways to approach the problem:
[1] Set up a relation L = f(a), where L is the curve length, a is the focal length, and f(a) is a definite integral representing the length of the curve between limits - and work "backward" to produce the relation a = g(L). Once a is known, all the rest is "duck soup".
[2] You can also set it up as a limit problem, but that's really just a way to sneak up on the integration method without getting your hands dirty with calculus.
[3] You can also "cook" the geometry (locate the vertex at the origin, choose a convenient value for the focal length, etc) and compute the sum of the lengths of segments of some tiny constant value (say, a millionth of a unit). Then use the ratio of that (cooked) length to the desired length to arrive at the focal length of the parabola you want to produce. This method requires a certain measure of care in avoiding cumulative computational error, but would probably be easiest for folks who aren't comfortable with integral calculus or limit theory.
I suppose I can claim to be programming 'literate' (I've used a over a dozen programming languages in my work and designed one one programming language for which I implemented/published/sold a compiler). I browsed the Ruby programming pages and decided that the benefits just wouldn't provide an adequate return on my time/energy investment; and I attached a higher priority to completion of the solar engine project than to adding yet another "wart" to SketchUp.
Would your canoe hull be stronger if you used a catenary rather than a parabola? Is there a marine architect in the house? :)
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The two thoughts were unrelated. Thinking of a generalized import solution, with the hull profiles as a further example beyond just the parabola.
Which language? AutoLisp put the bread on my table the entire latter half of the 80's. Since then, I've more or less stuck with C++. Dr. Geisel would be pleased, I think, with just how nicely that language can read when written in iambic pentameter. Not in CAD systems, though. They're just part of a multitude of hobbies. I build financial data systems by day.
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MikeWhy wrote:

PL/C (Programming Language for Compilers) was based on and extended BNF to include output, external references, and inlining of other code. It was a tool that could be used to produce interpreters and translators (from any langage to any other language, including spoken languages); and was written up in the March '84 issue of DDJ.

I've done a bit with financial systems. If you're interested you're welcome to peruse a (somewhat sketchy) resume at
http://www.iedu.com/mrd/mrd_res1.html
It never occurred to me to write code in a poetic form. :)
Of the languages I've used, I've liked C and APL best.
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Morris Dovey
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Morris Dovey wrote:

Geez, don't hide your light under a bushel. If you can write a commercially publishable compiler you're "computer literate" at at least the BSCS level. Stand tall. Be proud.

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