I wish SketchUp could do THAT


PurpLev

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In the mood to write some short plugins for SketchUp.

Aside for the Wudworx Library of plugins that I am working on, I would also like to write up some smaller scale plugins to post here for free to get this library growing. So, I'm looking for ideas.

While working with SketchUp, have you ever had a moment where you said to yourself (not literally that is- that would be silly) "I wish SketchUp could to THAT"?

given that there already are many plugins available - maybe some ideas could simply be answered by a link to an already existing plugin, while others perhaps could develop into new plugins.

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I think I've bugged you with this one before, Sharon so stop me if it's a repeat.

I'd like a plugin that had a "library" of common router bits, and automated the "follow-me" procedure. Typical profiles of roundovers, ogees, coves, chamfers, etc. Select a profile, aim at an edge, and voila - instant routing.

I'm sure there is more in my brain, I'll keep them coming.

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I think I've bugged you with this one before, Sharon so stop me if it's a repeat.

I'd like a plugin that had a "library" of common router bits, and automated the "follow-me" procedure. Typical profiles of roundovers, ogees, coves, chamfers, etc. Select a profile, aim at an edge, and voila - instant routing.

I'm sure there is more in my brain, I'll keep them coming.

Yes, a very cool plugin - and yes, not really a 'small' one either :) but definitely worth some work on... I'll see what I can come up with.

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Alright then here's another million dollar idea.

How about a "simplifier" plugin? Take a large, complex component/group/whole model and simplify it down to it's basic outline. For instance, take a chest of drawers and blow apart all the drawers and internal construction and reduce it down to just the visible shell with no internal guts?

There are a lot of times I want to work with a model in detail while designing, then later I want to use a "lighter" version for placing in a room environment.

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How about a spiral (aka rope twist)?

LQQK

I was actually thinking about that one - for ropes, screws, and the likes. I'm pretty sure there are some plugins that do this sort of thing to some extent... I'll look it up, and if I can't find it, I'll probably write something up for this - good one!

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Alright then here's another million dollar idea.

How about a "simplifier" plugin? Take a large, complex component/group/whole model and simplify it down to it's basic outline. For instance, take a chest of drawers and blow apart all the drawers and internal construction and reduce it down to just the visible shell with no internal guts?

There are a lot of times I want to work with a model in detail while designing, then later I want to use a "lighter" version for placing in a room environment.

thats another good one indeed- what I usually do in these scenarios though is export a JPEG 2D view of the piece, and then use that jpeg as a material/decal on a simple cube. however, this is an interesting concept to write a plugin for, I might write it just for the heck of toying with the concept :)

dear god... my schedule seems to be getting busier by the post...

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There may be a way to do this that I'm unaware of but . . . I've always wanted a toolbar shortcut for flipping along axes. I'd like to see 3 buttons up in the toolbar for each axes.

I usually pick the wrong axes to flip along (twice sometimes) before I get the correct one. I hate going through the dropdown menu 3 times before I get it right. :D

I was going to delve into creating it myself, but just haven't found the time.

-Brian

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I just thought of another one. Call it a miter plugin. Creating moldings that wrap around pieces is always fun. Creating the miter (usually 45º) can be a pain (I do know the various ways to do it . . . it just takes too much time sometimes).

The logistics of it might be difficult. Maybe start with a straight run of a profile/molding as a component. Run the plugin and tell it to create a miter, inputting the angle and the length of the next piece? You would have to indicate where on the existing molding to put the miter . . . somehow.

Just thinking "out loud" here . . .

-Brian

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There may be a way to do this that I'm unaware of but . . . I've always wanted a toolbar shortcut for flipping along axes. I'd like to see 3 buttons up in the toolbar for each axes.

I usually pick the wrong axes to flip along (twice sometimes) before I get the correct one. I hate going through the dropdown menu 3 times before I get it right. :D

I was going to delve into creating it myself, but just haven't found the time.

-Brian

Thats ok - I almost always pick the wrong flip tool, for some reason the logic in SketchUp for flipping is not very intuitive. sometimes I have to stop and think what SU wants to flip.

As for toolbar- I actually find it faster and easier to just have shortcuts for those, and not even have to move my mouse to the toolbar at all. although this would be a simple toolbar to generate as a plugin.+1 to the list :)

As for the miters - I think it would be easier and more productive to take 2 moldings and intersect them with one another so that you can get the angle automatically from that for use in the shop as opposed to manually have to calculate the angles to put into sketchup - sounds to me a bit counterproductive or reverse thinking unless I'm missing the point. My take on SketchUp is that I use it to design, and at the end, I get all the dimensions, angles, and sizes from it as opposed to entering those manually into SketchUp just to get a visual representation.

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Another FWIW. I set up keyboard shortcuts for the Flip operations. There's six of them so you should do them all if you set them up. I use F2, F3 and F4 for flipping along component axes (red, green and blue) and Shift+F2, Shift+F3 and Shift+F4 for flipping along the red, green and blue directions when multiple components or loose geometry is flipped.

If you haven't rotated a component before copying it, the Flip Along direction will match the global axes so you don't have to think too hard about the direction. To mirror a copy of a component as in a bookcase side or table leg, the Flip Along direction is also the same as the move direction when you made the copy.

See . . . I knew there was something obvious I was missing. Totally spaced and forgot about shortcuts.

I do tend to use the toolbar more than I do the keyboard, so I guess that's why I always look for things there.

Thanks!

-Brian

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Thats ok - I almost always pick the wrong flip tool, for some reason the logic in SketchUp for flipping is not very intuitive. sometimes I have to stop and think what SU wants to flip.

As for toolbar- I actually find it faster and easier to just have shortcuts for those, and not even have to move my mouse to the toolbar at all. although this would be a simple toolbar to generate as a plugin.+1 to the list :)

As for the miters - I think it would be easier and more productive to take 2 moldings and intersect them with one another so that you can get the angle automatically from that for use in the shop as opposed to manually have to calculate the angles to put into sketchup - sounds to me a bit counterproductive or reverse thinking unless I'm missing the point. My take on SketchUp is that I use it to design, and at the end, I get all the dimensions, angles, and sizes from it as opposed to entering those manually into SketchUp just to get a visual representation.

Yeah, I think I use Sketchup the same way. I guess my thought process was say you want to put a custom crown profile around 3 sides of an upper cabinet. I know you can create the profile, push pull it . . . make a copy, rotate it 90º intersect the two and then delete unnecessary items. I've also created a plane at 45º, put it where I wanted and intersected with the molding . . . again deleting the unnecessary items. And finally I've done the follow me method. Which you then need to draw lines at the 45's to separate the pieces out, then select them and turn them into components. All 3 of these methods (or more that I'm unaware of) seem like they could be automated to a degree.

Like I said . . . just thinking aloud. :D

-Brian

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Brian, if you've seen any screen shots of my SketchUp screen, you'll know that I've already got a lot of toolbars and don't need more. I'm starting to add and use more keyboard shortcuts because of the clutter. I am finding them faster than using the toolbars buttons. When I make tutorial videos though, I try to stick with the buttons so folks can see what I am doing.

If you choose to make the keyboard shortcuts for the Flip Along operations, you'll need to select something on which the operation can be done before you can find them in the list. Select a component in your model and then open Preferences>Shortcuts. In the Filter box type Flip. this will show you the list of available flip operations and you can set the shortcuts for them. Then click OK and in the model select a couple of components and repeat the steps of setting the shortcuts. The Flip operations will be different this time because you have more than one component selected.

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Brian, if you've seen any screen shots of my SketchUp screen, you'll know that I've already got a lot of toolbars and don't need more. I'm starting to add and use more keyboard shortcuts because of the clutter. I am finding them faster than using the toolbars buttons. When I make tutorial videos though, I try to stick with the buttons so folks can see what I am doing.

If you choose to make the keyboard shortcuts for the Flip Along operations, you'll need to select something on which the operation can be done before you can find them in the list. Select a component in your model and then open Preferences>Shortcuts. In the Filter box type Flip. this will show you the list of available flip operations and you can set the shortcuts for them. Then click OK and in the model select a couple of components and repeat the steps of setting the shortcuts. The Flip operations will be different this time because you have more than one component selected.

Ah . . . thanks. I was wondering why I couldn't find the component flip alongs.

Since I'm a big mouse user, I have configured some of my mouse buttons to do multiple tasks. (I have a logitech revolution which has 8 or 9 buttons and wheels. For Sketchup I program my middle button to be a Shift and drag button. So when I'm orbiting, I can quickly switch to the Pan feature. Now I know I can just click the Shift button . . . Old habits I guess. :)

-Brian

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Purplev, I saw the post about tool cabinets, what about 3 and 4 inch casters. A lot of shop projects contain a mobility feature but it is very difficult to draw them. Be nice to have them in a library to pluck them from!?!?!

As Dave said, there are quite a few caster models on 3dwarehouse that you can import into your model as components, then resize to fit your need. When I think 'plugin' is usually to automate something that otherwise you'd have to do manually and would be tedious.

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Yea Dave, I looked at a few of them but maybe what I'm looking for is more along the line of a library variety of components to make the various casters. ie. frames, wheels, wheel types etc. I find "471" a little tedious. Besides, when you type in 3" or 4" the selection really drops to a more manageable amount, but I found only one of them to be close to demensionally correct. I may be spoiled, I don't know, but I use ecabinets alot and really like their component libraries I have for hardware. Never hurts to ask.

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