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Old 12-26-2017, 11:12 PM
kenk kenk is offline
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 314
Default Learning to use SketchUp

After many attempts to use paper, Excel, and PowerPoint to visualize and plan projects I've resolved to learn how to use SketchUp.

I watched the Youtube videos many months ago, but have since forgotten most of what I'd learned.

I am now going through the book "SketchUp: A Design Guide for Woodworks" by Joe Zeh, and have purchased (but not yet watched) the two David Richards DVDs (Basic & Advanced).

I can now create panels and boards, make them components, and place them as an assembly. So far so good, but a long way to go. A far cry from Excel & Powerpoint for sure.

Ken K.
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Old 12-27-2017, 10:34 AM
whitejacket whitejacket is offline
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Illinois
Posts: 536

Sketchup is great. I was able to take a plan for a drill press cabinet from Shop Notes and draw it in Sketchup. Since the size of the cabinet is dependent on the size of the base of my drill press, I had to make changes to the plans. This was easy to do in Sketchup. Then I was able to separate out all the individual components and lay them out between guide lines corresponding to a 4x8 sheet of plywood in order to give me a cutting diagram. I know there are plug ins for Sketchup to establish cut lists and diagrams but didn't want to have to learn that right now. Sketchup made the job of customizing the plans a breeze.

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Old 12-27-2017, 11:31 AM
kenk kenk is offline
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 314

Here is a list of my Ah Ha! moments:

>>The Rectangle tool is my best friend. Drag a rectangle and then enter 'X,Y,Enter' to define its dimensions. I struggle a bit to figure out which dimension is X and which is Y. Not sure if there is an easier way than messing with the rectangle size to figure it out each time.

>>You can use the "Inference Engine" to help you place the endpoints of the rectangle where you want them.

>>Using the cursor arrows allow you to define the axis direction (the plane) of the rectangle. This is not listed on the SketchUp reference sheet for the Rectangle tool.

>>The Push Up/Down tool is the other best friend. Drag the surface up/down and then enter 'distance,Enter' to define its dimension.

>>The idea is to draw one part - one component - at a time. Once you've created a 3D piece, make it a component by triple-clicking on it, right-click, and select Make Component. After you've made a component you can then triple-click on it and edit it as needed to add features - grooves, tenons, ...

>>Place each component in a specific layer. To place a component in a layer, click on the component to select it, in the Layers field (right side of screen) click on the '+' symbol to create a new layer, and give it a name. Then go to the Entity Info field (right side of screen) and use the Layer dropdown to layer for the selected component. You can use the Layers field's checkboxes to hide/unhide layers and their respective components.

>>Move/Copy can be used to create copies (using the Ctrl key) of components. This is useful for adding the 'other' side of a box. When you do this you have two (or more) "instances" of that component. If you select a particular instance, you can go to the Entity Info field (right side) and give that instance a unique Instance name.

Last edited by kenk; 12-27-2017 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 12-27-2017, 05:29 PM
Dik Harrison Dik Harrison is offline
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Evans, GA
Posts: 1,603

I started using the free version soon after it came out and bought the SUPro when I retired in 2006. I use it all the time. I have redesigned my shop, our master bath, guest bath, and untold other shop projects with it. All of my animations have been done with SU. I'm have designed things and printed them with my 3D printer (thanks of Dino when I was a consultant for him). If you have questions, don't hesitate to ask...
Have fun...

Dik Harrison
Former Consultant to EurekaZone

SketchUp Models

Last edited by Dik Harrison; 12-27-2017 at 05:33 PM.
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