Things I want to draw...
...aluminum flat bar, square tube, round tube, rod
...holes through materials
...bolts, washers, and nuts
In other words, I want to draw things you might make at home.
Is 2-D CAD appropriate for drawing three-dimensional objects, like
boxes? Do they typically allow you to enter a third dimension when
placing an object? I don't mind having limited views, like a front
view and a side view, but most of us work with three-dimensional
No. Unless it will allow ISO, isometric, drawing.
Do they typically allow you to enter a third dimension when
I don't mind having limited views, like a front
Your absolutely best bet would be to down load Sketchup Make 2013. Do a
Google search it to find it. Free 3D drawing and countless YouTube
videos to watch as tutorials.
I have been using CAD programs that I have paid for for 27 years and the
last program was AutoCAD. I switched to Sketchup about 6 years ago and
have not looked back.
It is very likely that you will not need the 'solid tools' features.
With the free 'Make' version of Sketchup, you can create you own
3 D component, assemblies, projects, etc.
The free version does have most of the functionality of the 'Pro'
The 'Pro' version does include some features for documentation and
layout that you might find useful. However, I strongly suggest that
you try the free version first. It will probably do all that you
On 11/21/2013 6:00 AM, Lloyd E. Sponenburgh wrote:
SketchUp is actually "3D modeling software", not a "drawing package".
It is true that SketchUp is not "CAD" in the traditional sense, but
SketchUp is much easier to use for what it does _using faces and edges
to model in three dimensions_- than a traditional CAD program.
They both have their strong points and, as with any tool, the choice and
use depends upon the job.
'modeling' is a pretty loose term as pertains to Sketchup.
Using Sketchup, I've build full photo-realistic panoramic 'models' of
theme park sets for designing fireworks presentations. I love it for
what it's intended to do. It's simple, quick, and CRUDE. You don't seem
to quite understand what underlies its drawings.
I defy you to get any precise measurements or 'fits' out of any Sketchup
model. Vertices don't align, vectors overlap and/or mis-match at ends,
'snap' points randomly 'fly' to other dimensions, textures just 'float'
in the same plane as the surface to which they're applied, and are
transparent from some viewing angles... it just goes on and on. It was
_designed_ to make pretty, "3D-looking" shapes for on-screen
presentations, not for creating detailed items for machining.
Sketchup models can _look_ pretty, but they aren't representations of any
real solids, and cannot be used (even crudely) for creating a part from a
drawing, unless measurements don't matter a whit. Even then, it's a
stone bitch to translate a Sketchup model into something CAM can handle.
I'm saying all this from the perspective of a (past) _heavy_ user of both
Sketchup and several true 3D CADs. It doesn't sound to me like you have
extensive experience with either genre.
On 11/21/2013 7:53 AM, Lloyd E. Sponenburgh wrote:
Define precise, I'm an old AutoCAD user and find that for woodworking
Sketchup is plenty precise.
Vertices don't align, vectors overlap and/or mis-match at ends,
Until I learned to use Sketchup sufficiently I had that problem too.
What you are describing is not a problem that I have noticed any more.
Define Machining. Works great for machining wood. perhaps not steel.
AAMOF I use very few dimensions in my drawings of furniture. I use them
to verify over all dimensions. Like a piece of furniture that has many
components so do my drawings. From the drawing I use a plug in program
to recognizes, list, and import those components into an optimization
program that takes my on hand inventory of materials and tells me which
inventory pieces to use and which components to cut from them. Often it
is only at that point that I actually know the over all dimension of an
actual component. Then If that particular component needs to have
dado's, rabbets. mortises, and or tapers I reference the drawings.
Can't blame the software for operator ignorance.
Lloyd definitely has a short between the keyboard and chair by
exhibiting his ignorance above of SU's "inference engine", which he has
apparently failed to understand.
The "precision" of SU can be fully realized/appreciated when using Ruby
Scripts, bypassing the inference engine altogether.
But then again, that takes an in-depth understanding of the internal
operation of the program, the ignorance of which makes mistaking opinion
for fact, as the first above.
LOL ... it's been pretty well demonstrated where that "extensive
experience" is lacking.
Having a strong background in CAD, I first starting using SketchUp about
eight years ago, and shortly thereafter built a $350k construction
budget residence, using it to provide the framing plan and all
permitting, bidding and construction documents (in conjunction with
Layout), I quickly became a believer in the programs power and versatility.
At that time not a single architect I worked with had heard of the
program. Things have changed, and folks like this architect have taken
SketchUp to a new level, architecturally speaking:
AAMOF, I'm currently actively advising an architect on use of the
program, as well as Layout, as we speak, which is poetic justice ... as
it is damned hard for a General Contractor/Builder to teach an architect
I think it was Swingman who turned the light on for me, finally
getting it through my filter that it wasn't a CAD program, rather a 3D
modeling program. I picked it up really quickly after that
I really don't have any issues with snapping while using Sketchup unless
the drawing is zoomed out too much and there are several end points that
are closer together than the snap cursor. Simply zoom in and there is
no issue at all.
On 11/21/2013 7:53 AM, Lloyd E. Sponenburgh wrote:
Oh, no more than a few million dollar homes, dozens of kitchens, and
countless remodels, hundreds of cabinets and furniture projects, all
using SU to good effect for _accurate_ shop drawings, design, including
construction documents for permitting, bid and build, four shared
collections on 3D Warehouse, with over 40 separate models of furniture
Many, but not nearly all can be seen below ... .. let your fingers do
Now, can you show us yours?
BTW, you apparently are the ignorant one regarding "precision".
SketchUp actually has the same internal precision as AutoCad, 1/1000th
of an inch.
Look it up ...
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