I have been reading the Sketchup posts with interest. I got a question for
you Sketchup enthusiasts.
How appropriate would Sketchup be for metal projects to be fabricated by a
welding shop? Specificaly projects made mostly with square tubing.
Their would need to be detailed information. This would include some odd
angles, very specific lengths and positions of both holes and attachments
welded to the subassemblies.
The 3 D perspective would be nice but not neccessary.
I see no problems in that application.
As far as accuracy, in inches you can go to .0001" or in 1/64" in fractions
of an inch. In mm, .0001mm
3D perspective would be automatic.
Just remember to draw objects/components, not line drawings.
Not a problem, Sketchup has semi-automatic dimensioning. You point out the
constraints Sketchup fills in the measurements. Pick a line and Sketchup
will dimension that line. Pick two points and Sketchup will determine the
distance between those points.
As mentioned in my other thread you can modify dimension results to outside
the extension lines if the results will not fit between them. You can also
modify the size of the font used.
...will it scale a drawing from one reference? Like, say, I draw a
cabinet and then set the dimension of one of the rails? I fiddled
with the tutorial the other nite and was surprised at the
accessability...if can set the deminsion of my first piece and the
program will scale the remainder, well, I'm in!
If I am not mistaken there are scripts that will do that.. Swingman?
Otherwise, if you draw your rail first and make it into a component and then
copy that component over to another component to eventually form a cabinet,
you can change all of the rail at the same time later on. If you want to
make several different sized rails for other cabinets you make the already
copied and completed rails "unique" so that they will no longer change when
you modify the other component rails.
Over and over I mention components, they are a very useful way to put your
cabinets together. One rail can be the basis for all rails in the drawings
regardless of size or number of sizes. Until you make a component "unique"
it will change with every modification to "like/same rail edits. Editing
one component will modify all "same copiy" components.
It's not a drafting tool. You'll bend over backwards to make it produce
working drawings. Sketchup is more a modeling and visualization tool that
happens to place a few dimensions and notes, sometimes usefully, sometimes
not. It doesn't do angular dimensions, for example.
Where to start? Working drawing sets. Bills of Material. Parametric
configurations. Multiple parts configurations. Editable feature history.
Weldments. Sheet metal. Mate constraints. ... SU is a minimal set for
defining and manipulating simple, static surface models. It is what it is,
and it's good for what it is, but it helps sometimes to keep in perspective
what it is not. What you sketch is what you get, sometimes less. Circles are
pie wedges; curves are straightline segments. When you change a dimension,
the dimension text changes, not the underlying object. You glue things
together, or set them next to each other, they don't move to maintain the
relationship. You sweep a shape, and that's the shape it will ever and
always be; editing the shape that defined the sweep doesn't change anything.
Is any of that a condemnation? I don't think so. "Minimum" usable subset is
still a pretty high bar for getting useful things done.
So, about those angle dimensions. How?
Well this being a ww group I was thinking more in lines with wood working
projects. So yes I agree a CAD program absolutely does more outside this
As for as abilities, I have not checked all the plugins and scripst that are
available however there is a dimension plug-in called Driving Dimensions
that let you edit the dimension and that also changes the length of object
that it deminsions.
I am not sure what you are talking about concerning glueing things or
setting them next to each other and not maintaining the relationship. If
you make them into components and make the components into a group they
stay together until you edit or explode them. I may be way off base here.
Search for the script/plugin " dim_angle.rb ". Copy it into the Plug-in's
folder and the next time you reload Sketchup 7 ;ppl imder "Tools" and you
will find a new command called Angular Dimension. Choose that command, pick
3 points, and you will get a angular dimension typical of what you might
Keep in mind however that on this particular dimention that if you chang eht
angle of the object you will also have todo the angular dimension command.
Scroll down the page a bit until you see the file I mentione above. Click
the file name and it will open a page of script. Right click that page and
"Save page As", and save it in the plug ins folder. Besure to add the .rb
extension to the name if it does not do so automatically.
There are literally hundreds of scripts and plug ins that make Sketchup act
more like a CAD program.
First, understand that I'm not interested in selling you a bigger CAD
system. I'm doing the opposite, in fact. I'm working toward weaning myself
onto SU alone. Just answering your question directly about what's in the
I'll believe it when I see it. It has less to do with cleverness than having
the information on hand, after the fact in SU, to parameterize the part. I'm
speaking of SolidWorks and Inventor. They maintain the history of how the
features were made. If you extruded a profile 100", you can change that
later to something else, or edit the sketch that defines the profile.
How to answer that? Just yesterday I tried explaining why components in SU
are useful abstractions. There are different levels of understanding and
It comes up all the time. All the time. The bottom of this drawer sits on
the top face of that cleat, and this face of its side is parallel to that
face on that side panel. The back rail of the Morris chair rests on its
tangent point with that peg; the peg's axis is concentric with this bored
hole. The drawer face has a 1/16" gap from the face frame. When I resize or
move things about, the objects size and relocate themselves to maintain
Do you need it? SU isn't SW or Inventor. I'm still just trying to answer
Thanks. And just how hard is that to do natively? There are big things
missing, the stuff I mentioned above. That's cool; implementing them is
magnitudes more complex than what SU is meant to be. But there are niggling
little things, like the angle dimensions, that can be but aren't. Still, you
have to understand that I'm not criticizing SU, and not asking you to be its
apologist. It is what it is.
I look at Sketch up as more of a "Kit", modify to your likes and needs
programs. For me, it does 99.9% of what AutoCAD LT did in the last 12 years
and adds the ability to assemble and disassemble a project in 3D
Damn, I never thought I'd see you switch from AutoCAD LT to anything else!
Just reaffirms my long held contention that SU is an excellent, cost
effective, woodworker's tool providing you're not so closed minded as to let
preconceived notions/bias get in the way.
Then again, the first three times I downloaded SU, then wiped it, I never
thought in my wildest dreams I'd be using it, and it alone, to build a $300K
budget house. That house is now well on it's way and the foundation,
framing, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC were all bid from, and will be
built, based solely on SU 2D and 3D drawings.
I did the install and remove a few time my self. IMHO the program was a bit
too cartoonist in the earlier versions. Version 6 was the one that
seriously kept my interest and Version 7 seems to have addressed several
behind the scenes problems.
Yeah, I think AutoCAD LT has out grown its usefulness, price wise, for me.
While the CAD programs do indeed have more tool commands and icons I feel
the Sketchup has pretty much simplified those commands into a far smaller
group that pretty much accomplish the same thing 99% of the time. I would
like to see a few more dimension commands and or options to tweak the a bit
Oh, for fuck sakes. Just because people are putting the obvious SU
limitations out there for all to see, does not make them closed
You have made it clear that it works for you. Great.
But I have a company to run, in which SU has no place due to its
I also know you weren't referring specifically to me personally as you
fully realize my mind is wide open and always eager to find newer,
better software solutions... especially when low cost/free.
But to suggest that one can build a 300K house with SU is misleading
as you fail to include the fact that YOUR ability to do so includes
your vast and well-developed skill-set. Your skill-set can build that
house without SU, IOW, what you got there is a sharper, better pencil.
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