This is probably really basic but I'm stuck.
I've added the CutList plugin to SU and can't figure out
how to get CL to recognize that I'm using sheet goods.
I know it expects each components material to have
sheet/mdf/etc in the name - but how do I assign a material
to a component?
Assign a material to a component by "painting" it with a material.
select the material, click the little paint bucket and click on the
component. Then rename the material, panel, plywood, sheet, etc, the
suggested name by the plug in program. You could rename the material
oak plywood for instance. You can have several different materials in a
FWIW you can use the cutlist plug in to generate a file to import
components into CutList Plus also.
How far off are the dimension thicknesses?
I can tell you that if planes are not parallel, although they might appear
to be, they will be imported at the larger dimension. For instance if a
3/4" thick panel is accidentally drawn thicker on one end say 13/16" it
will be imported at that thickness. The thickness might be fine on one end
but not the other and may be hard to notice visually.
Sometimes the cure is to delete the suspect component and try importing
A bit more here.. For 6 sided components, a typical piece of wood or panel,
draw a single surface with 4 lines. Give it thickness using the push/pull
tool. Still better is to use the rectangle tool to form a side and then
use the push/pull
tool to add the other 5 sides to the object. These steps speed drawing and
help to insure that opposite side/planes are parallel. Lastly use your
mouse to begin lines, rectangles, and to push or pull and then type in the
The offending parts are 6 sided and I created them as you suggest.
After playing around I discovered that if dimension lines (not sure if
that is the right name for the arrows and number that show length) are
part of the component and not on the face(i.e. perpendicular to it), then
the distance it stands off the face will be added to the thickness of the
panel by CL.
That is probably correct. The import takes the entire component into
consideration. The dimension lines should be added after the object is made
into a component and not be a part of a component. I like to also add
dimensions on their own layer so that I can hide them.
And yes the lines with arrows are dimension lines, the lines that associate
a dimension line to the object typically at a 90 degree angle at each arrow
are dimension extension lines.
I have a handy plug- in that lets me select a component on the drawing and
running the plug -in brings a pop up window that tells me all dimensions of
the component. Handy to verify dimensions with out having to actually
dimension the component.
On 1/7/2013 7:11 PM, Mike M wrote:
> So sounds like a lot of your organization is like autocadd where you
> use layers ect. Your trying to track things in your drawing in the
> smallest possible component so when you discover an error the
> correction hopefully is a simpler correction.
Have heart ... you really only need to know about 30%, or less, of SU's
capability in order to fully utilize the program for woodworking projects.
Many folks simply miss the reality of learning software that can
increase your productivity, thinking that you have to become a
proverbial "expert" with the software to get any benefit.
That is simply not true ... all your need to do to is master those
elements that allow you to use the software to suit your particular needs.
Just learn to draw the damned parts to your project individually ... a
woodworking project is mostly nothing more than a collection of simply
"boards", after all.
That perceived "uphill battle" is not nearly as challenging ... IOW,
learn to draw a damned tubafour and you're 90% there. :)
To add to what Swingman is saying about drawing the parts, typical 2D
CAD is not much different than drawing with paper and pencil. Nothing
is going to be separated and moved around so it does not matter if
incomplete components of the drawings are attached to other incomplete
components of a drawing.
With Sketchup all parts are going to stick together until you make a
group of lines into a component/part of the project. Once those lines
are made into a component nothing sticks to them any more. If other
lines touch the component and you move the component the other lines do
not move or stretch with the component. But until you make a group of
lines into a component all lines will move and or stretch with other
Understand what your saying & it was that way with Autocadd, I learned
how to do what I needed for doing electrical plans and never was an
expert. I'm still under the 30%. I'm just getting comfortable with
the 3D aspect of drawing and use of the most common drawing tools. I'm
slowly moving forward but at least the frustratiion is still very low.
Two most frustrating things in SU:
~ When things you draw stick together ... solution: make sure you make
everything you draw either a "component" or "group" _before_ you draw
something else that touches it.
~ Moving one component/group from a different part of the screen to
place it against another component/group ... solution: when you find
out, let me know too! ;)
Although the latter does often bite most of in the butt, even with a lot
of experience, there is a feature in SU know as the "inference" engine,
which can be a big help when trying to join components/groups drawn on a
different plane/axis. Locking (constraint) this inference with a
keystroke can often help when moving objects around:
I have used the inference feature in one tutorial and it does save
having to zoom in to see where you actually are. I know me well
enough to know that if I start jumping into far I'll get frustrated
and stop. I just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Now if
I could just find my cadd drawing of where to dig to pump the septic
tank. I've got a backhoe but would prefer to hand dig as it's not
more then a foot beneath grade, and well S*** happens if applying to
big a tool.
OK, now I gotta ask...
I've been using SU for some time and am reasonably proficient (>30%
mark). What is the difference between a component and a group? ISTM
that they're two (different) ways of doing exactly the same thing.
When would I use one over the other?
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