Inputing measured drawings into Sketchup


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I was looking through the Guild and I was looking over 'Intro to Sketchup' and started developing some questions I couldn't find answers to. Has anyone input dimensioned drawings from any one of those period furniture books like 'Making Furniture Masterpieces: 30 projects with measured drawings' by Franklin Gotshall into Sketchup?  Also, if one goes the route of using Sketchup does it negate the practice of creating full size drawings and using them to transfer measurements to whatever you're building.  

The Sketchup version taught in the Guild is the web-based version, 'Sketchup Free'.  Does anyone see a problem using the latest desktop version (2017), called 'Sketchup Make'? 

 

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Importing cad files is different than importing an image/scan of a dimensional drawing. With the latter you’d spend more time fiddling with it than it would take to just recreate the drawing, and you’d be very lucky if it ended up close to correct.

If the dimensional drawings in that book are thorough and accurate, you should be able to model it in sketchup rather easily. You may find that some of the dimensions don’t agree with each other, but you can determine how to hand that if it arises.

I kept an old 2016 sketchup install because I didn’t want to move to the web version, and while the newer versions may have a few new bells or whistles, you will also find that the newer versions moved more features to the paid version. I believe importing DWGs is one of those. There is nothing wrong with the “make” version, they probably just used the web one to be more current. 

Sketchup models are fantastic for some things, but certainly don’t make full size drawings obsolete. Creating a sketchup model and then printing plan views at full size is a nice ‘modern’ alternative to drawing full size, but plan view drawings is also something that was moved to the paid version. Cad models don’t “feel” the same as making full size drawings. Some prefer one and some prefer the other. 

Start playing with it, then use it for a project and see which method you prefer.

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Personally, I use cad models mainly to verify overall dimensions and proportions for a piece before building. You can certainly build models by using those measured drawings as reference, if you like. 

Another handy feature of parametric modelers (not sure if Sketchup qualifies) is to build a model using formulae to set various dimension in proportion to a few key measurements. For example, with height, width, and depth as your input parameters for a chest of drawers, the model can magically generate a valid number of drawers with given ratios of drawer height to case height. Fusion360 and FreeCad offer this type of functionality.

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I don't have experience building any sort of fine woodworking project YET.  It sounds like I have no need for Sketchup since I'll be primarily building off already dimensioned drawings. I don't want to invest a lot of time learning something I don't need.

Since all of the Guild projects are drawn up on Sketchup why aren't full scale mechanical drawings necessary for them?  I mean if there's a Guild project just to learn Sketchup and all the Guild projects are on Sketchup shouldn't all of the exploded views from Sketchup negate the need for mechanical drawings?

Is the only reason for mechanical drawings to take direct measurements off of them? 

 

   

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Sketchup allows you to get a better understanding of how parts fit together and can be invaluable for working out complex angles or other complicated joinery. 
Plan view drawings will always be faster for cutting out parts and getting dimensions and for quick reference on placement or shape of parts.

They are similar tools but don’t completely replace eachother.

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Like John I hung on to SketchUp 2016.  I want to put in a plug for Bob Lang's ebook.  I think it is the best way to learn SketchUp.  It's based on the 2015 version, but it should readily translate to later versions.  

To me the first purpose of 3D modeling is to be able to study a form from all angles before committing to it.  If you have plans for a project you already like, then modeling isn't such an important step.  Similarly Sketchup can help you evaluate proposed joinery before you start fashioning wood, but with the plans that has probably already been done.  Now if you want to change proportions or alter the joinery a SketchUp drawing may be worth the effort.  

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So the Sketchup Build in the Guild is intended for designers and all of Marc's Guild Builds were made from the Pro version of Sketchup since it's the only one with exploded views, cut list and such.  

Yea it sounds like mechanical drawings will be quicker anyway.  Thanks fellas.   

 

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  • 1 month later...

Late to the party, but to answer the original question, scan the drawings from the book and save as an image file. In SketchUp you can import the image into the model and scale it to it's actual size. It's a great way to turn a 2D plan into a 3D model. When I do this I add a line to the image and make the line and image a Group. Right-click on a group and you can lock it. That keeps it from being selected when you trace lines over it.

The beauty of SketchUp is you build a 3D model so you know everything fits. Then you can extract any form of 2D information -- like plans, elevations or sections from the model.

Bob Lang

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On 3/26/2021 at 1:19 PM, Bob Lang said:

Late to the party, but to answer the original question, scan the drawings from the book and save as an image file. In SketchUp you can import the image into the model and scale it to it's actual size. It's a great way to turn a 2D plan into a 3D model. When I do this I add a line to the image and make the line and image a Group. Right-click on a group and you can lock it. That keeps it from being selected when you trace lines over it.

The beauty of SketchUp is you build a 3D model so you know everything fits. Then you can extract any form of 2D information -- like plans, elevations or sections from the model.

Bob Lang

Thanks Bob for responding.  I was totally unaware you could do this.

 https://help.sketchup.com/en/sketchup/tracing-image

As far as extracting elevations or sections from the model. Can you do this on the free version? Or the downloadable Make version for that matter.  

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4 hours ago, Bob Lang said:

Yes you can. It all depend on getting the right point of view, removing perspective and creating a scene for each view. Brief explanation here:

https://readwatchdo.com/2013/11/organize-a-sketchup-model-with-scenes-layers/

 

It looks like everything you discussed here is in your 'New Woodworker's Guide to Sketchup' that Mark J above mentioned.

Can you use the e-book for Sketchup Make?

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I think "Woodworker's Guide to SketchUp" is valid for learning SketchUp in any of its variations, but where the desktop versions of SketchUp give you several ways to access commands the cloud version has limited options. SketchUp is SketchUp and the basics of using it haven't changed since I first published my book in 2010, or updated it in 2015. I've been meaning to update again, but Adobe has thrown a curve for embedding the videos in the PDF and I juggle a lot of things.

For what it's worth I recommend the last free desktop version of SketchUp to learn the software before investing in any of the paid versions. You'll likely find it does everything you need it to do (once you learn good techniques), or you'll find out why you need the professional version.

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I didn't want to be become dependent on the online, web version and then I'm under their thumb when they make changes.  I want to be in control of my own destiny.  Which is of course greatness.

Thanks Bob!

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