Chris H

Getting Started with SketchUp

14 posts in this topic

I appologize if this infrormation is already out there.  I didn't see it with a search.

 

I am wondering if you guys have any reccomendations for someone who has never used Google SketchUp.  I have some experience with different CAD programs, but that is all rough carpentry kind of stuff. 

 

I would love to start using SketchUp to get a visual for a client (or my wife) to sign off on.  My understanding it that it works with cutlist or has a cutlist function which would be extremely helpful for me.  I waste far too much wood because of bad cut planning. 

 

TIA, and again, sorry if I just missed a thread already on this subject.

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I'm on my phone, and I can't link directly at the moment, but for something like this your best friend is YouTube.

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Hi Chris. I find that there are a lot of great tutorials on the internet for SketchUp especially on You Tube. Sometimes, though,  you don't know exactly how to ask the questions to get the answers you need. I use SketchUp Pro every day for my job so I do have a lot of extensive knowledge on how to accomplish specific things in SketchUp. If you (or anyone else reading this) have any specific questions you can e-mail me directly at info@woodsketcher.com. I'd be glad to help you.

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Im not a fan of sketchup and find it very limiting. I use 2020 v10 and on occasion when I need to get overly detailed I use Thermwood ecabinets. ecabinets is free for professionals but I dont think they really check. It is resource intensive and only runs on pc but doesnt take advantage of dual processors does better on mac with bootcamp.

Don

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Do a Google search for "cutlist Sketchup plugin" and you'll find some good information for doing cutlists. I'm wondering, Don, how do you find Sketchup limiting? I realize it may not be as automated as 20/20, but you can create anything you want in Sketchup. I don't know a lot about 20/20, but it seems like a program geared towards kitchen and bath designers. Can you draw furniture with 20/20?

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Do a Google search for "cutlist Sketchup plugin" and you'll find some good information for doing cutlists. I'm wondering, Don, how do you find Sketchup limiting? I realize it may not be as automated as 20/20, but you can create anything you want in Sketchup. I don't know a lot about 20/20, but it seems like a program geared towards kitchen and bath designers. Can you draw furniture with 20/20?

You can draw anything in 2020, just like auto cad. Your seeing the design layout app portion. Which is great and the renderings are superior to pretty much anything. But the cost is very high for a hobby person and many pro's. Ecabs is cabinet oriented but will draw all cabinets like dressers, kitchen or tables pretty much anything a "cabinet maker" would build. With Ecabs its all automated. You tell it how you want the joinery and it adds the joinery correctly proportioned. When ready it generates a nested cultist, cost sheets, shopping list the whole nine yards. Nested cut list saves load of money on big projects. 

 

Here is an ecab sample from their web page.

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Well, I just finished my first sketchup drawing, so we'll see how the build goes. 

 

I started with a model someone else had loaded and then modified it.  In hind sight, it's probably easier to just draw from scratch.  Unless I am missing something, there isn't an easy way to change the dimensions of the whole project without altering each piece individually.  I don't know why I expected differently, but I did, and was disappointed.  Miters and Joinery can be annoying, but all in all, I love the tool.  It definitely helped my wife to visualize things that I was saying, and to understand how much work/detail goes into something as simple as a drawer.

 

Thanks for all the help and reference!

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Well, I just finished my first sketchup drawing, so we'll see how the build goes. 

 

I started with a model someone else had loaded and then modified it.  In hind sight, it's probably easier to just draw from scratch.  Unless I am missing something, there isn't an easy way to change the dimensions of the whole project without altering each piece individually.  I don't know why I expected differently, but I did, and was disappointed.  Miters and Joinery can be annoying, but all in all, I love the tool.  It definitely helped my wife to visualize things that I was saying, and to understand how much work/detail goes into something as simple as a drawer.

 

Thanks for all the help and reference!

Hi Chris,

 

I definitely recommend starting from scratch especially if you're learning the program. This will help you learn the program and you also have a chance to "build" the furniture virtually to fix any problems you may run into before you build it out of wood. As for changing all of the dimensions at once, you can scale a component with the scale tool which looks like a white box with a red arrow. The trouble with that is knowing the exact proportions.

 

One thing that I suggest you do is create components for the things you use most often. Then you can save them and use them for future projects. Keep working at it and you'll become a pro. Let me know if you need any help. I'd be glad to give you one-on-one help.

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I have yet to use it so I'm not sure how it works or if it's what you're looking for but I believe re-sizing is what the "scale" tool in SketchUp is for.  Perhaps Bob Lang could weigh in.

 

On the other hand, I have to agree.  Drawing from scratch is the best way to learn the tool.  My brother had a drawing he was trying to do and didn't quite understand the way SketchUp worked.  He sent me the file of his drawing and I redrew a new one right next to his drawing without deleting or altering it.

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The trouble with the Scale tool is that it works in more than one direction, and it works on a proportional ratio. It isn't easy to make something six inches longer, you have to divide how long it is by how long you want it to be, and you'll likely make it wider and deeper in the process. There is a plug-in called "Fredo Scale" that I haven't used but others speak highly of.

 

With some practice, altering something doesn't take long. You have to figure out what pieces to move and what parts to stretch, there is a blog post on the PopWood site about how I do this:

 

http://www.popularwoodworking.com/sketchup-for-woodworking-models/changing-and-stretching-with-sketchup

 

Bob Lang

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Chris,

I'm a big fan of Sketchup. I find its capabilities are limitless.

 

When I first started out, I believe I went about my drawings the wrong way and I'm guessing most Sketchup users start this way as well. If I was drawing a dresser, for example, I would make a rectangle the depth and width of the piece and then pull it up to the height. I would add the trim and hardware by pulling and pushing the shape I made. Then I would make doors and/or drawer fronts the same way and stick them on the piece. I might have used a few groups but with a big, hollow blob of a shape, groups and components aren't really necessary. This made making changes ridiculously hard and I would usually mess something up.

 

Now, I do my drawings just like I do woodworking. I make each piece individually. So start with small rectangular shapes that look like 1x4's, or whatever wood you're working with. Add your rabbets, half laps, dados, grooves, profiles, etc to each piece. Make each shape in Sketchup something that reflects an actual piece of wood that will be in the project. For example, if you have trim that goes around the top of the dresser, make it out of three mitered pieces, not one big U shaped piece. Make your rails, stiles and panels individually. It will take you longer up front, even when you get proficient at it, but it will save time when it comes to changes later. It also helps to visualize the construction process as you go through it.

 

Good luck and have fun,

Joe

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