chrisphr

How best to learn Sketchup?

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Want to learn just for hobby purposes. And because it is cool.

Follow a YouTube tutorial?

Dive right in with your own project?

Get a book?

Let's assume a live class is a no go.

Thanks!

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I have a "how to" video and hate it.

 

My suggestion would be to dive in.  That's on my "to do" list as well.

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I agree completely w/ TIODS Best way to learn it is just DO it. There are tons of tricks and things that you can dig into once you learn the basics but to learn the basics, and to make it a fun tool for you, just dig in and play around.

 

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Playing around with it, plus a few Google searches for answers to my questions, has helped me along pretty well. I'm not expert, for sure, but I can do the stuff I needed it for now.

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They've all said it.

1. Just get stuck in.

2. Google is your friend.

3. Ask questions. There are plenty of knowledgeable folk out there (and in here) who'd be more than willing to help.

In that order.

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For me, the best way to start using SketchUp for woodworking, quickly, is to get a DVD. Two are very good and one is down right cheap.

 

From Bob Lang: http://readwatchdo.com/2011/08/woodworkers-guide-to-sketchup-video-preview/

 

From Dave Richards: http://www.tauntonstore.com/fw-google-sketchup-basics-fwg0001.html

 

I have both and use both when I run into a problem. Dave's DVD is excellent and at $12.95, it is well worth the money.

 

Jeff

http://jeffbranch.wordpress.com/my-sketchup-models/

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Sketchup is not a particularly intuitive program.  I'm pretty savvy with software, but sketchup was a head scratcher. 

 

As such, my initial attempts at diving in didn't work.

 

I mention this just in case you get frustrated at a first go round. 

 

Marc (Aaron?) has a couple of sketchup vids on the WW site worth checking out. 

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I say dive in but start by working in 2D.  (i.e. turn on Parallel projection and pick any standard camera view so that you remove one of the axes from view.)  You can do a lot, from concept sketches to shop drawings, in 2D and you'll pick up important SU habits such as grouping things into components and using guide points/lines.

 

I've been using SketchUp for eight years and I still start a lot of projects in 2D, working out as much as I can before I start pulling/pushing things in 3D.

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My "Ah hah!" moment was in a live Demo class at The Woodworking Show.

 

The key was establishing the first 2 dimension, length and width  (using the godsend, the type in box), then pulling up the height.

 

That might sound stupid, but you'd be suprised how many people don't "get" that.

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Diving in is great to a certain point, but with SketchUp there are many best practices that you need to know to use it most efficiently. I find the actual basic drawing actions quite intuitive, but without tutorials I just wasn't able to make any progress.

 

Joe Zeh has a series of video tutorials that I really like. They are available on PWW.

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I just jumped into it, and then watched some videos as i ran into issues. I use it for basic layout and I use the cutlist add-on. I don't get into detailed joinery or edge profiling.

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I used a seven part Youtube video series by Rob Cameron called Sketchup for Woodworkers.

I thought it was pretty good for learning the basics.

 

I wasn't really finding SketchUp at all intuitive.  I was an AutoCAD designer/draftsman for a number of years and later an AutoCad programmer for quite a while as well, but SketchUp wasn't clicking for me.  This video series seems to be exactly what I needed to get started.  Thanks for posting the link.

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Glad this thread got revived, I had temporarily given up learning the software, I think I'll definitely check out the you tube vids. Also sounds like good advice to start in 2D.

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A good way to learn cad is use elementary software. 

 

Play around with this, it really gives you a basis of whats going on. May seem silly, but it gets you the basics down very quickly. You can extrapolate it to a higher end CAD program, albeit they are much more in depth and difficult. Practice practice practice! 

 

https://www.tinkercad.com/

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I've created some pretty large models in sketchup, talking 30K sq. foot+ buildings.  I learned via youtube and trial and error.  There is a pretty good series produced by sketchup themselves that takes you through the commands.   I would recommend starting there.  Also get used to the keyboard shortcuts as much as possible. 

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I don't know if anyone caught it, but the other day Fine Woodworking had a video sale where tons of stuff was $5 each. That included some sketchup stuff from Bob Lang. Might still be on sale. 

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Just to make things clear, Fine Woodworking does not sell any of my work. It gets confusing because after I published "Woodworker's Guide to  SketchUp" they came out with several products titled "SketchUp: Woodworker's Guide". It's different enough to not be a direct rip-off, but close enough to show up in an internet search.

You can purchase most of my work directly from me, there is a link in Jeff Branch's post above. It might cost you a little more than buying on Amazon, but you will be directly supporting the guy who did the work.

Bob

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You can purchase most of my work directly from me, there is a link in Jeff Branch's post above. It might cost you a little more than buying on Amazon, but you will be directly supporting the guy who did the work.

Bob

Bob,

I would be happy to pop 40 bucks for help with SketchUp and especially happy if that money went to the guy who was giving me the help.

Can you tell me what version of SketchUp is used for the instruction in your ebook?

Is this the correct link?

 http://readwatchdo.com/2011/08/woodworkers-guide-to-sketchup-video-preview/

...or is this a better link...

http://readwatchdo.com/2015/05/new-woodworkers-guide-to-sketchup-revised-and-updated/

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Thanks Mark,

The revised version uses screen captures from SketchUp 2015 (the latest version as of now). There isn't a huge difference from version to version in SketchUp, so the instruction should be good for a while, and it still applies going back a few versions.

The second link gets you where you want to go. Scroll down and you can buy it for $5 less as a download.

This link http://readwatchdo.com/2015/05/look-inside-the-new-woodworkers-guide-to-sketchup/

takes you to a preview of the revised version.

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Sketchucation and their plugin store is a wealth of knowledge

http://sketchucation.com/

Sketchup Texture is the to go site for when you have gone deeper into Sketchup and feel secure enough to play with colors and customizing textures.

http://www.sketchuptexture.com/

I started Sketchup 2 years ago and it's really a program that you have to use to really learn it well. Sure you can watch youtube video's and buy books

http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/0596155115?keywords=google%20sketchup%20cookbook&qid=1451437074&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1

The link is to Bonnie Roskes Google Sketchup Cookbook a 2009 book but it still teaches valuable basics. Currently they have a version used for sale for $1.75

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