Thanks, Mike ... yes, I'm a fan of simplicity myself. These are
simplicity in style, and in construction, and exactly what the client
And since she had a hand in the design via SU, there will be no
surprises when I drive them up to Austin tomorrow. :)
I have worked in the CAD software business for 20 years at my real job
and have expertise in and have worked for some of the biggest CAD
companies in this industry. Sketchup is by far the best at what it
does. However, it is not really production CAD and especially as it
relates to making drawings. I can create models in many of the most
expensive 3D modelers and I prefer to use Sketchup for my own home
work. However, I also use AutoCAD to make all my 2D drawings. I re-
draw every part, measured from the Sketchup drawing. I believe I could
save directly to AutoCAD from Pro Sketchup but I just use free version
and can likely draw 2D faster in AutoCAD than the copy process would
For your case, you should make all pieces into components. The use the
Outliner Tool under the Window menu to control the visibility of
individual or groups fo components for creating drawings. I don't know
if dimensions and text can have visibility controlled with Outliner
because I don't do any of that in Sketchup, just models but if they
can, then you have a total solution.
The Pro version indeed addresses these issues with "Layout".
However, I too have used various 2D CAD programs down through the years
(SU is not really "CAD" per se, it is 3D modeling software), and indeed
find the SU/Layout combination a bit more fussy when doing a full blown
set of _2D_ construction drawings ... although I have done just that as
recently as last year for a house I completed last year.
I think that is probably more of a lack of operator proficiency on my
part with Layout, as it is indeed another learning curve and I don't use
it on a daily basis.
All said and done however, SU has been more than worth that bit of fuss
for the _3D_ side of things.
... what you make on the banana's, you lose on the oranges. ;)
With anything worth learning it takes time, your mileage may vary. I came
from AutoCAD LT, thought it was easy to learn but learning Sketchup was damn
easy. It all depends on your drafting and CAD background. I have quite a
bit of experience with several CAD and CAD style programs, Sketch us
definately worth learning.
If you properly make each part of the project into a component, exploding
takes little time. I typically can manually explode a 100 + part project in
a couple of minutes. Keep in mind that you do no have to dimension you
parts to understand their actual sizes. There are numerous plugins for
Sketchup that will determine the number of pieces and the sizes each needs
to be, I use Cutlist 4.0 as that plugin and that will give you what you
need to know. However I take it a step farther and use Cutlist 4.0 to creat
an import file for Cutlist Plus for determined cut lists and cost and sale
You need not explode a project for Cutlist 4.0 to do it's magic.
You do not need seperate files, you simply need to copy what you want, to
another area of the drawing. You have an infinite drawing area with each
See above, what manipulations are you talking about?
It does help to give each component a material name to seperate components
make of different materials.
If you are really interested in the designers improving the product, may I
suggest posting your comment directly to Google, in addition to here.
Posting here gets real user information from people doing the same type of
projects, but I suspect Google rarely dives into Usenet groups.
There are numerous free tutorials available and, if you don't mind shelling
out the money, Popular Woodworking has a CD(DVD?) tutorial focused on
woodworking. Intro and advanced at $25 a disk. I've not seen them and have
no relationship to the company.
Link to Book:
Link to Tutorials:
You can download the tutorial.
I tried learning from the tutorials, and I did. But there were numerous
subtle but very valuable details that I got from the book(s) that I
would probably have never picked up from watching the videos. Surely
having access to both resources is good. When you start counting the
number of hours which one can put into this, the cost of the media seems
to become less material. The only books I've used so far are the
"dummys" book and the "cookbook" book. I may get the woodworkers book
mentioned above. I didn't really enjoy reading the "dummys" book that
much--but I picked up some important details from it.
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