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SKetchup - total novice question

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SKetchup - total novice question

Postby 9fingers » 24 May 2015, 14:26

I try and use sketch up so rarely that everything I try to do seems very difficult just as if some one forgot what the A in CAD stands for.

I presume the rest of the users can't be wrong and so it must be me!

Hopefully that sets the scene.

Today's effort is to try and draw rail and stile frames (not even trying the field panels yet!)

I've got the section of the stock drawn and using push/pull have made a length of the stuff into a component
I duplicated it spun it round and separated the two by an arbitrary distance. so I have two parallel stiles.
then I drew a second plane joining the two ends and push/pulled that to the rail width, made that a component too. Then I duplicated that to create a second rail and moved that into place.
So far so good but now I want to change the lengths of the rails and stiles whilst keeping the profile constant.

I just can't find a way to do that without a 90% redraw going back to my embryo section. As I was drawing I could set the dimension by typing in sizes. What I think I need to do is select a previously drawn line and tell it to become x mm long. I've found dynamic components/options but it tells me I don't have any options. May that is not the right thing to use.

There has got to be a way..........

This is what I have so far

Image

I know the rails don't have a rebate in them - just use your imagination - getting that right is in my too hard pile at the moment. Neither do they have the 15 degree chamfer as on the rails but life is too short!

HELP!

Bob
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Information on induction motors here
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Re: SKetchup - total novice question

Postby Robert » 24 May 2015, 15:21

To change the length of something like your rail...

If you don't want to change all copies of the component first right click it and choose make unique.

double click the component to edit it.

using the select tool (press the spacebar to get it the easy way) drag a box over all the detail making up one end of the rail. Drag left to right and you will only select lines totally within your dragged box.

use the move tool to move all that end detail towards or away from the other end to change the length.

when using move get things going in the direction you want (message pop up to say 'on red axis' for example) then hold the shift key down. That will lock movement to that axis direction so you can concentrate on where you want it rather than keeping on line. You can also click something else on the drawing the height you want and your move will stay constrained to the axis. Easier to do than explain!
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Re: SKetchup - total novice question

Postby 9fingers » 24 May 2015, 15:55

Robert wrote:To change the length of something like your rail...

If you don't want to change all copies of the component first right click it and choose make unique.

double click the component to edit it.

using the select tool (press the spacebar to get it the easy way) drag a box over all the detail making up one end of the rail. Drag left to right and you will only select lines totally within your dragged box.

use the move tool to move all that end detail towards or away from the other end to change the length.

when using move get things going in the direction you want (message pop up to say 'on red axis' for example) then hold the shift key down. That will lock movement to that axis direction so you can concentrate on where you want it rather than keeping on line. You can also click something else on the drawing the height you want and your move will stay constrained to the axis. Easier to do than explain!


Thanks Robert

Got the hang of that now thank you. Is there a way to get the length display, bottom right to show absolute dimensions? Currently shown relative dimensions so I have to measure the original, note on back of envelope and convert the new dimension to relative.

Sorry to be a pain but your answer to Q1 was so helpful. :D

Bob
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Re: SKetchup - total novice question

Postby Robert » 24 May 2015, 16:01

No is the short answer. It doesn't do absolute dimensions.

use the ruler tool (press ctrl to switch the tool to +mode to make guide lines) for guide lines at the sizes you are aiming for. Put one where you want your 'zero' then drag another using the zero guide line as a start point to the distance you want.

Delete the guide lines once you are done with them or the drawing will get cluttered and confusing if you use them a lot.

Oh and I don't mind the questions... keep them coming :)
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Re: SKetchup - total novice question

Postby 9fingers » 24 May 2015, 16:09

Thanks Robert.

I should be sorted for a while as I'm combining drawing with cooking dinner and the dinner will take over soon!

cheers
Bob
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Re: SKetchup - total novice question 2

Postby 9fingers » 26 May 2015, 11:20

Ok I'm getting a bit better at this. basic drawing of shapes is improving but I only seem to have success drawing them at the origin ( which makes sense) but also I only seem to be successful at assembling the pieces at the origin too as the points I'm trying to align look coincident on screen but are not in practice due to 3d space.

So I find myself continually moving my assembled parts to date to and from the origin to free up space to draw the next one and so on. Furthermore due to inexperience, im making errors in the moving process that is destroying some parts and causing more problems.

One approach I'd hoped would work would be to have two sketchup windows active, one to draw parts and one for assembly but it seems that Sketchup does not support that. under the windows menu, there are no windows in the normal sense of other applications.

So is there a preferred strategy for the draw and build phases?

TIA

Bob
PS I've ordered Dave R's DVD which should be here in a few days and hoping for revelations.......
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Re: SKetchup - total novice question

Postby 9fingers » 26 May 2015, 12:17

Another Q

Suppose I have drawn two pieces of wood and joined them with a joint. I now want to cut a rebate through both pieces across the joint line.

So far, drawing the section of my rebate on one item I can only push/pull the rebate as far as the joint.
I've tried with both parts in a group, both parts in a group but opened for editing and looking for the way to do this.

TIA

Bob
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Re: SKetchup - total novice question

Postby Robert » 26 May 2015, 14:43

Don't think there is a way to edit 2 components at once and keep them discrete.

Think of components as wrapped in cling film. Nothing you do outside a component will affect it. You can only change what is under the cling film by opening it for editing. because it is only cling film you can see all the detail and draw new things on top referencing the lines,corners etc but the new lines are not attached to the component.

I'd draw the rebate surface on the components (with neither part open for editing) then double click a component to edit and overdraw the lines that are 'outside active' and push/pull the rebate.

repeat for the other component and click off it to end editing. then drag a left to right selection box over the temporary drawing of the rebate and delete the lines that are not inside components.

You could do the marking out with guide lines if it is easier.
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Re: SKetchup - total novice question

Postby Robert » 26 May 2015, 14:56

Having just noticed the previous post..

I completely ignore the origin. It is meaningless :)

Moving things gets easier with practice.

use the select tool (spacebar) and highlight what it is you want to move. Once you have selected then choose the move tool. Now you need to pick a datum point on the selected parts. Choose whatever will align with where you are moving to - say a bottom left corner. Move the cursor near that corner and a dot should appear showing it as a possible datum point. Click once while it shows and you pick the geometry up by that point.

now pan/ zoom/ scroll to where you want that datum to move to and click it down. Again you will see snap points at corners, midpoints etc. if you get it wrong it is still selected so you can try again but you need to pick the datum start point again. You can also move it in stages this way. Start your move along one axis, hold shift and move to a point coplanar with some other part of the drawing. Then repeat along a different axis as required. Holding shift during move is very useful at times.
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Re: SKetchup - total novice question

Postby Robert » 26 May 2015, 15:22

more on general approach to drawing..

I draw my first component anywhere on screen. i don't try to finish it to final detail. treble click, right click and choose make component. I don't give them names and just accept the auto name.

Drag say a rectangle to look something like your first face - maybe a square. ignore the dimensions bottom left and just click it finished. now type in the sizes. if it is 50mm square (you are on your own with inches) type 50,50 and hit enter you don't need to click anything just type the numbers in with a comma between. The square on screen will change to that exact size. Push/pull it to become a batten. just get it going in the right direction and click it finished again ignoring sizes. type 500 and hit enter and it jumps to size. treble click anywhere on it to select all connected lines and right click for make component.

I never have things I've drawn that are not components. if I draw a few lines towards some other part then want to switch to something else those lines are made a component first. it's back to the cling film idea. lines are sticky and will bind to any other lines. So if you draw 2 parts that touch and have not made the first one a component already you have 1 part as far as sketchup is concerned and moving one bit of it will cause the other part to stretch to stay joined.

loads of things I could add but starting off understanding components is the key. components in sketchup are what layers are to autocad. Layers in sketchup have very little purpose and completely threw me when I moved from autocad to sketchup.
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Re: SKetchup - total novice question

Postby 9fingers » 26 May 2015, 15:50

This is a great help Robert - Thank You

So far I have been using groups as that is what my 2d drawing program Visio uses.

Will have to try components. They seemed to have the mixed blessing that duplicated components get modified in unison.

So far I have felt more comfortable working near or close to the origin as I've been literally losing things "in space" and finding it difficult to connect drawn items (must think "components")
Is there a "select point a, select point b and join" function? or do you just move things about until they are close enough to snap to?

I can see the snap points but so far only have the ability to move manually. I am getting better at manual moving.

I have at last got a correctly sized frame for one of my bookcase elements and the benefit of the drawing has highlighted a problem I'd not thought of so the A in CAD has been discovered and is informing the design. So pleased about that.

Thanks again for your patience.

Bob
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Re: SKetchup - total novice question

Postby Robert » 26 May 2015, 16:41

9fingers wrote:This is a great help Robert - Thank You

Will have to try components. They seemed to have the mixed blessing that duplicated components get modified in unison.

Bob


Don't use anything but components!

You can add a few components to a group if you really want them tied together but I wouldn't.

Modify one to change all is part of the beauty of components. no need to edit all if you want to make a change.

if you do want to change one out of 10 copies and leave the others unchanged right click it first and choose 'make unique'. then when you edit it is a different component to the others and will not change them. You can select 5 out of 10 to be different to the other 5 with make unique too.
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Re: SKetchup - total novice question

Postby RogerS » 26 May 2015, 17:09

+1 for what Robert says about always use components.
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Re: SKetchup - total novice question

Postby 9fingers » 26 May 2015, 17:23

OK Components it is then. I've got to go back into the model created this afternoon and fix the design fault so I'll explode all the groups and see if they will convert into components before I reshape them.

Appreciate your help guys.

Got to start cooking the dinner now!

Bob
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Re: SKetchup - total novice question

Postby 9fingers » 28 May 2015, 16:21

OK 1 step forwards 50 back!

I needed to change the section of the wood used in my design so decided to start afresh and make components at each stage.

So drew the new section I wanted and made a rail component and a stile component, duplicated each, fitted them together and made a completed bottom face component.
With slightly different section I did the same with components at each step to make an end component.

I fitted the end to the bottom to make a L shaped component, duplicated and rotated that to make a complete four sided hollow box.

All well and good and it looks like this.

Image

Now I want to add a 6mm x 6mm rebate 3mm in from the back to locate a rear panel and I just cannot find a combination of "edit component" or "explode" that will let me do this. Furthermore when I do a test of drawing something on one of the components is is not duplicated on the sister components which I thought was the whole object of using components.

Have I really got the breakdown all my hierarchy of components to get to a single piece before I can edit/modify it?

tia

Bob
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Re: SKetchup - total novice question

Postby Robert » 28 May 2015, 18:58

There shouldn't be any 'hierarchy' to break down.

each piece of wood should be a component. If you place 4 pieces of wood together to make a frame you have 4 components that just happen to be touching each other (but still separate components).

you may have copied a component to use it twice in your 4 part frame and possibly rotated or mirrored the copy. if you haven't 'made unique' editing one will change both.

What I'm guessing you may have done is nested components. You can select say your 4 components and make them a component called frame. You will have to double click 'frame' to open it for editing and then double click one of the basic components to edit that. edits will reflect on any copies of that part.

I never go beyond basic components. i don't add them to sub assemblies. To copy one end frame to the other end of a box i'd just select the 4 parts and copy them.

nesting components is not wrong its just a matter of preference. The nested components way of drawing is quite common and if you download models from the 3D warehouse they are often made of many layers of nested components and take a lot of clicking to change anything.
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Re: SKetchup - total novice question

Postby 9fingers » 28 May 2015, 19:32

OK Maybe I took the instructions too literally as I made components out of all the combinations of pieces of wood.

I'll have yet another go

Thanks for your patience.

Bob
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Re: SKetchup - total novice question

Postby Robert » 28 May 2015, 22:15

I've emailed you one of my old drawings for you to play with. Might help with components.
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Re: SKetchup - total novice question

Postby 9fingers » 28 May 2015, 22:35

OK thanks Robert.

I'll have play tomorrow.

I will get there
I will get there
I will get there
I will get there
I will get there
I will get there
I will get there
.
.
..
I will get there
I will get there
I will get there
I will get there
I will get there
I will get there



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Re: SKetchup - total novice question

Postby RogerS » 29 May 2015, 17:00

Bob

Would you like to email me your SU drawing and I'll have a quick look at it for you?

Cheers

Roger
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Re: SKetchup - total novice question

Postby 9fingers » 29 May 2015, 17:14

Me again!

I hope this conversation between Robert and I is proving of some use to others is getting going with Sketchup?

Anyway I think I am now reasonably comfortable with drawing rectangular lumps of woo with tenons on and with grooves in, making them into components and then editing them without making too many mistakes.

I've now moved on to trying to draw the barrister bookcase metalwork that I have referred to in my other topic.

specifically this part

Image

I surprised myself by getting the brass part right almost first time once I got my head round the radius tool which does not tell you the radius you are drawing but the offset from a straight line instead grr.

Whilst the exercises to date have shown me about aligning edges and corners etc. I am struggling to align the centers of cylindrical parts. I found the offset tool for ensuring concentricity between circles when forming a component but aligning my roller bearing on its stud seems to elude me.
I tried to draw a cross hair on the stud before push and pulling it to try making a cylinder with cross hairs all the way through like a stick of rock but the cross hairs stayed resolutely on one face.

So I'm stuck once more!

cheers

Bob
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Re: SKetchup - total novice question

Postby 9fingers » 29 May 2015, 17:35

RogerS wrote:Bob

Would you like to email me your SU drawing and I'll have a quick look at it for you?

Cheers

Roger


Thanks for the offer Roger. At the moment I've largely sorted my editing of components problems and moved to the cylindrical alignment of round components (see above) and I've not really got a drawing to share (yet)

Bob
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Re: SKetchup - total novice question

Postby Robert » 29 May 2015, 21:29

When selecting a round part you can move it by the centre point of the round face.

A snap point should appear for you to pick as you move near the middle. If it doesn't you can encourage it by running the cursor partly around the radius - then when you go back to hovering over the centre point the snap point should appear for selection.

Curves in sketchup are drawn as a series of straight lines not a true curve and the default number of facets making up a circle is quite low maybe 12. You can select any curve you have drawn and right click for element properties you can change the facets to something smoother like 100.....
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Re: SKetchup - total novice question

Postby 9fingers » 30 May 2015, 11:06

Thanks Robert,
I'll try and find out why snap points did not seem to appear.

Bob
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Re: SKetchup - total novice question

Postby 9fingers » 30 May 2015, 12:37

Robert wrote:A snap point should appear for you to pick as you move near the middle. If it doesn't you can encourage it by running the cursor partly around the radius - then when you go back to hovering over the centre point the snap point should appear for selection.




That was indeed my problem. running the mouse around near/on the centre point does not pick up the snap point at all. Following your tip makes it so easy.

Thanks Again.

Bob
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