Sketup Question

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J. Clarke wrote:

There's a bit of difference between "computer literate", which hundreds of millions of people are to some extent, and "programming literate" which most of the computer literate folks aren't...
...and the extent of my CS coursework is an informal two-week APL workshop in Poughkeepsie in the early 70's.
Enough other people have written compilers that it's not such a big deal - but it should be enough to be able to claim some measure of understanding of what it's all about.
A single language/compiler doesn't make one an "expert", and pride is just baggage to be carried from success to failure.
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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Morris Dovey wrote:

Way cool. I learned APL about the same time. Just wish that there was a cheap good full featured interpreter for it.

Well, actually it does make one an expert. Writing compilers is not simple--a lot of students in courses with textbooks and being pretty much stepped through it have trouble with them. Pride may be baggage, but so is excessive humility.
You're selling yourself short--it doesn't matter how you developed the skill, you've got a lot more than you think you have.
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On Sun, 08 Mar 2009 10:41:56 -0400, J. Clarke wrote:

Have you looked at A+ <www.aplusdev.org>?
I'm not an APLIsta, but it looks like a reasonable alternative (as far as 'reasonable' applies to APL...)
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J. Clarke wrote:

I never thought this topic would come up (at least not to this degree) in a woodworking forum, but while we're at it, I was the author of IBM's X86 macro assembler for OS/2, short-lived though it was. It was called "ALP", and we (95% *I*) wrote it to replace Microsoft's "MASM" when they split from IBM in the early nineties to focus on Windows, taking all their compilers with them... I also worked closely with IBM's C/C++ compiler lab in Toronto and the debugger lab in Lexington to make sure all the tools played well together. I also have some code in IBM Toronto's version of Microsoft's original linker (ILINK), mainly in support of building the OS/2 version of the Mozilla browser with GCC. Apart from perhaps CAD programs, compilers and linkers are some of the most complex software tools out there. Morris certainly has my respect. :-)
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Morris Dovey wrote:

Very impressive. I mentioned that I got addicted to computers long ago when I thought it might help me some in drawing up some of the stuff I was making in my shop. Actually, I couldn't draw stick figures very well and I had managed to become rather adept at drawing 3 dimensional desks, cabinets and so on. When I started computing in earnest it was programing that grabbed me the most. I learned 6 or 7 languages, mostly high level text processing stuff like AWK/GAWK/REXX but also some lower level stuff like C. The connection to woodwork is pretty neat, and I learned to build stuff with programing that *I* found useful, just like building stuff out of wood. The same sort of creative juices were being satisfied.
One of the first "languages" I learned was SALT, which came with a communications program called Telix. This was before the internet and people were using 1200 and 2400 baud modems. The guy that wrote Telix also wrote the programing language that went with it. I was impressed.
Reminds me of the guys that wrote C actually wrote it as a tool in developing UNIX, the worlds greatest OS... again, I was impressed. Knowing you wrote your own compiled language tickles the heck out of me... and again, very impressive.
Today, I'm obsessed with neither programing or woodwork. I tend to waste a lot of time just fighting with people like Robocop just for kicks. Not sure why I enjoy it, but I do, and have ever since the FidoNet days...

When I was a kid of around 10 or 12, my brother who was 17 built a canoe out of orange crates. This was in the early 50's, and the canoe is still hanging in our garage, and it is a perfect wood canoe with canvas wrap. Orange crates were made of 1/4 wood slats in those days. I'll get a picture of it one of these days, it is really impressive. People used to laugh when you would tell them you made a canoe out of orange crates, until they saw it.. Anyway, the neat thing is he used a neighbors band saw to do some of the curved cuts, and when I got married, I bought the neighbors bandsaw, and all of his other Rockwell/Delta tools which I still use to this day... They sure made nice tools in those days.
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Jack
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Jack Stein wrote:

Dennis still drops in on comp.lang.c from time to time.

I think you guys may have a lot more in common than either of you will ever admit here. :)

Take /lots/ of pictures. Please don't forget - I'd like to see it.

They did - I've regretted that I couldn't bring myself to spring for their commercial-duty lathe and shaper. These days I don't miss the shaper, but I still wish I'd bought the lathe.
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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I took a quick look at Ruby. It looks a helluva lot more fun than autolisp, which I had to learn many moons ago but have happily forgetten, except that I just about wore the ()'s off the keyboard. That was a miserable experience. I don't particularly want to learn it, but if I was starting from zero it doesn't look like a bad environment to work with.
-Kevin
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Those are reasonable questions. Nothing is free is this world; no free lunches. Here's my pig-slanted view on who and what Google is.
Google is a public company, a profit making concern, not a philanthropic interest. What is their product? What is their revenue stream? If you accumulate enough of it, data becomes more than simply information. It becomes knowledge. Knowledge is power, and power is money. Every month, they serve up 6 billion lookups from their search engines. 6 billion times a month, people go to Google to ask a question with an expectation of finding an answer.
Knowledge is their product. What is their revenue stream? Is it too much of a cop out to say I don't know? If I knew and understood, I would be sitting in a semi-tropic villa looking out on my own slice of paradise, not the frost covered side street that fronts my winter wonderland middle class suburban home. You only need to know this about money: nobody is standing in line to give it away for free, not in stock exchanges on Wall Street, not to entrepreneurs as franchise agreements, and not to unproductive companies. Google is well funded; they're not doing this out of their own pockets.
So, what of Google Earth and Sketchup? Last month, GE added bathymetric data -- ocean bottoms, sea floors -- to their maps. The version before, they added deep sky astronomy. The version I have now has historical data, old maps and old aerial surveys, back to 1994 for my area, older in other areas where available. Knowledge is power, and power is money. To own it, they have to give it away, or at least let you see it. They have it, and now we do. It's a little circular, I know.
But what of Sketchup? What's the tie in? In every near future sci-fi fantasy, somebody at a computer console has building plans and infinite details of the topography. How did it get there? Yesterday, there was nothing. Tomorrow, it's taken for granted. Where did it come from? From public building departments, where plans are filed for building permits? It could, but that would cost a mint. Alas, the cheapest route is a grassroots approach. Here's a tool. Draw a box, take some pictures, and slap them on the outside. Share it with us if you like; don't bother if you don't like. It's a start.
There's also gmail, Google's "free" email service. What a coup that was. Overnight, they effectively subscribed to every private email discussion list. Is there value in knowing who is saying what to whom about what subject? Somebody seems to think so; lots of somebodies with lots of money.
But we were talking of Sketchup. Knowing the motivations for its existence, the capabilities and limitations are hardly surprising. There are no nurbs or real curves, just triangle meshes. These are what GE can display. They don't want or need deeply detailed profiles; the support for drawing that simple sink cutout is abysmal. You could do it, in the same way pigs can fly given enough desire and a large enough catapult. There are better suited tools, animals more aerodynamic than that pig, for that job. Does that denigrate the pig or Sketchup? Not in any way that I can think of. Half the world won't eat pork in any fashion. So what? The rest of the clues are in what SU does well. Take a couple of street-side photos, follow some simple directions, and trace it into a 3D shape; post it to Google.
Does any of that stop you from drawing anything else with it? Of course not. The more use you have of it, the more literate you become in its use, the better the chance you'll actually use it for its intended purpose. It is somewhat "dumbed down", both because of what Google hopes to achieve with it, and also to make it accessible. And this brings us to the other comments, on which I'll take a pass and not respond. All that needs to be said has already been said, perhaps more strongly than I would have, but that's just how people are.
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So I send a file (pictured, as I doubt you could open the actual file) (There are now hundreds of these kinds of sinks)
http://s123.photobucket.com/albums/o290/Robatoy/?action=view&current=Picture9.png
==========SU users can look forward to a few hours of misery, frustration, and uncertainty trying to sketch that sink outline. Start to finish was 8 minutes using SolidWorks, all the tangents faired, dimensioned, fully contrained, with the selected controlling dimensions distinguishable from driven dimensions.
There is some ambiguity in the drawing, but maybe nothing major. It is over defined, and the resulting shape is different depending on which dimensions you take as defining, and which are reference. For example, the 576 1/2 came out to 576.41 by choosing the radius and 128 1/2 dimension as controlling. Overall, by prefering radius and tangency to the specified dimensions, *most* center locations came out to less than 0.1 mm off the conflicting dimensions, easily within the implied tolerance. There are some notable exceptions. One was the 209 dimension. It becomes 204.83 if you let the 373 dimension drive it. Using the 209 as the driving dimension, the 373 becomes 372.95. The largest difference was the 110 1/2. It came to 122.64, a half inch difference, if I let the other dimensions drive it.
What's the relevance to SU? For that matter, what is your comfort level with ACAD LT or TurboCAD for something like this? Simply that there is a difference between SU and the full CAD systems. One of the major differences is specifying design intent. What is the relationship between on object to the other, one arc to the next? One part to another? It doesn't matter much for the block shapes we typically work with. But there is a difference.
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http://s123.photobucket.com/albums/o290/Robatoy/?action=view&current=Picture9.png
Ok, I'll admit that this if the first time I have really tried doing this much with SU, using arcs and circles but it took me 44 minutes to draw the sink cut out diagram. I made a couple of silly mistakes that wasted time, I spent 20 minutes trying to draw the whole thing rather than 1/2 and mirroring the other half. But there was absolutely no misery or frustration. 8 minutes is certainly faster but I did it with a program that I have not been using very long and I have no investment in the software.
Agreed, a beginner with no drafting experience may indeed take a while doing this same drawing but I doubt that I could have done it any faster using AutoCAD LT.
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I'm sick enough to think this was a fun way to spend the afternoon. It's nothing against SU or ACAD. SW is a different class of tool, made specifically to excel at this sort of thing. You can see the progression in CAD capabilities in the evolution in car body shapes, from flat sided boxes in the 80's to the faired, used bar of soap shapes we have today. Your 20 minutes is rather impressive. I wouldn't even try this in SU.
(It didn't take the *whole* afternoon. I helped a friend buy a used bandsaw and cart it home in between.)
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wrote in message

Geez, Mike where do you live that the afternoon is 44 minutes long, the South Pole? LOL
I was just pointing out that Sketchup will do much more than many think it can do. Obviousely having a mechanical drawing back ground is helpful in solving some of the more complex situations when using SU. More expensive programs have short cuts for dealing with those common situations.

oooh !
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Preacher; choir. Regarding that last bit, though... I fear I'm belaboring it, and you have to be tired already of reading it, but it still needs to be said. The "smarts" in the 2d sketch is a generalization of the parametric solver, not just shortcuts for hard coded special, common situations. You nail down the things you care about, a size, or a distance, or some other relationship to some other part. This specifies your design intent. What isn't nailed down are implicitly the things the solver can adjust to maintain your intent when you later move things around or resize them. SU 7 Pro added the fledgling beginnings of this capability. I don't know much about it, since I don't have Pro to play around with, but I expect it to remain somewhat limited, simply because SU doesn't retain all that much history of how the parts are created. For example, it doesn't remember that you pulled a face X distance to create the part, so it can't later adjust that distance in its solution. We'll see how that turns out in subsequent SU versions. That should be an interesting area to watch.
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Exactly. With all the attention that SU is getting I suspect that it will evolve into a piece of software with more talents and probably at a higher price. ;~(
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8 minutes, eh? Not too shabby. *tips hat*
The dimensions are mostly illustrative, The 'meat' is in the .dxf file itself, that is the one that drives all the toys. As you know, when dimensioning anything with curvature, the beginning and end of a curve can be a difficult to grab accurately.
In most cases I strip the dimensioning layer off before sending the actual file off.

Call them a rough guide. The actual .dxf file will dimension more accurately. (The architects are a different crowd than CNC Mill operators <G>)
r----> who has heard good things about Solidworks.
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8 minutes, eh? Not too shabby. *tips hat*
========SW makes it easy. Toss on the tangent arcs, one after the other, and *then* nail them down with dimensions. They're color coded blue until you place enough dimensions to fully define them. The solver moves and resizes things as you do this. It beats blazes out of going the other way, the familiar drafting room way of finding the centers and tangent points and then drawing the arcs.
It certainly wasn't skill on my part; SW did all the work. It's been a few weeks since I even used it. To bring this around full circle, I've been using SU almost exclusively in that time. ;)
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Robatoy wrote:

No interest other than how cutting holes in counter tops requires much in a CAD program, if anything. I've cut perfect holes for sinks using just a tape measure and saw?

I can understand needing fancy CAD stuff with a CNC interface if you are doing this, but as has been said over and over, SU is not a fancy CAD program. I would imagine the sink companies have all the stuff available for the $million CNC guys to use or plug into their fancy CNC machines.

http://s123.photobucket.com/albums/o290/Robatoy/?action=view&current=Picture9.png The picture looks easy enough to draw up with SU. I wouldn't be surprised that SU drawings are not available now. I know I stumbled over tons of company drawings of all sorts of stuff for use in SU.

http://s123.photobucket.com/albums/o290/Robatoy/?action=view&current=Picture10.png
Again, I would think the sink companies have this stuff available to plug into the software used on most CNC equipment? I would guess the standard CAD software is AUTOCAD, and just about everything should work with autocad. I don't see many woodworkers buying autocad though, just to draw up some cabinets or book shelves, or even figuring out how to cut out a sink hole in a counter top.

I doubt the cost of the job means much to SU. Swingmans $300,000.00 house plans in SU for example. Interfacing with your $30,000 cnc machine might be an issue, but for most woodworkers, SU is not only perfect, if anything, it's over kill.

Nothing wrong with that. Still, I've installed a number of sinks, cutting out the sink hole perfectly with nothing more than a tape, pencil and saw... No fancy or non-fancy CAD program needed. As a matter of fact, the only time I had a problem with a sink hole is when a cabinet company measured for the counter top, and the counter top company cut the hole and it was off by an inch. Not sure which guy made the mistake, but probably the one using the expensive CAD program:-(

This is certainly a reason not to use SU I guess. On the other hand I've never used a fancy CNC machine, but my first thought is it comes with software to plug in simple design parameters, and for tricky stuff, like a fancy sink, the sink company would have files for that purpose.
Does your CNC machine have proprietary software or does it interface with standard CAD stuff like AUTOCAD? I would think most large companies that make stuff that use CNC machines would have files that could be easily plugged in so the client wouldn't need to draw up much of anything?

Sure.
Don't know, probably will soon if they don't. I've seen lots of SU stuff from large companies when perusing for SU info.

That's what I thought. Just seemed odd to me that a counter top company would need all that fancy stuff. I do get the CNC stuff, but that is still a little unusual for the typical woodworker. I'm pretty sure you just bought one yourself, so until the recent past, you didn't have to plug numbers into a computer to build a counter top, right?
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Undermounted sink? Quartz countertop? 30 mm thick? The edge of the cut- out matching the beveled edge of a $1000.00 sink? Perfectly?
Tape, pencil, saw.
Right.
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Robatoy wrote:

Nope!
Quartz countertop? 30 mm thick? The edge of the cut-

Nope! But I thought you sent the Quartz tops out for cutting?

Nope, wrong. If I were doing Quartz, I would send it out same as you. If I were doing granite, I'd let the granite guys do it. Everyday, run of the mill sinks, tape, pencil, saw has always worked fine for me. Don't think I would need Autocad, Turbocad, SketchUp or go to school for drafting, design, anything like that for any of them. My guess is a bazillion sinks have been installed perfectly without computer aided anything.
More importantly, if I were designing a kitchen, and building all the cabinets myself, which I have also done w/o any computer aided anything, I would certainly use SketchUp rather than just the pencil and paper I've used in the past. I would recommend anyone interested in designing stuff on a computer before building it, give SU a look, it is damned good. For those of you, like Kevin, that go to the wood shop to get away from the computer, you certainly don't need SU or any CAD program to build damned near anything.
If I had a million dollar counter top business I might buy a $30,000 CNC machine and use whatever worked with it, but for sure, I would not slam a piece of free software that so many people find a treat, particularly if I were not interested in learning what all it could do.
So, to summarize, I don't blame you for using all that expensive schooling and software you already have, but I do find you denigrating something you admit to not wanting to "waste time" learning quite stupid, even for you. Perhaps your time would be better "wasted" checking everyones spelling and grammar?
--
Jack
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