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CAD

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CAD

Postby Crispylettuce » 01 Feb 2016, 23:41

SketchUp seems popular here. I have used it before but found out a little limited in some regards - although I think that was my own limitations. Fit example, when I had a quick look I couldn't generate a BOM (Bill of Materials)/cut list easily.

I use Catia V5 CAD software everyday at work, so I'm sure a part of my problem is trying to apply Catia V5 thinking to a completely different software!

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Re: CAD

Postby RogerS » 02 Feb 2016, 09:26

Like all things, SketchUp requires a bit of a learning curve and I think you might be right that familiarity with other products can muddy the waters.

We're very fortunate on this forum in that one of our members, DaveR, is an incredibly experienced and talented SketchUp user and has his own blog on SketchUp here. He's also a nice guy! And very helpful.

The key thing I learned is to use Components and not Groups.

Cutlist is a plugin that will give you a BOMP.
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Re: CAD

Postby Robert » 02 Feb 2016, 11:00

I don't know your software but I came to Sketchup from Autocad and had a big struggle getting my head around sketchup.

Now I have I find it easy to use and quick. I used to draw in 3D in autocad but the process is much easier in sketchup.

In autocad it was all about layers to separate parts of the drawing. Sketchup has layers but I've found no use for them. Components are the equivalent of Autocad layers. Don't draw anything that is not made a component as soon as you pause working on it. No odd lines on the drawing that are not part of components.

Plenty of help here as you need it - just ask :)
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Re: CAD

Postby Crispylettuce » 02 Feb 2016, 12:36

The software I use at work is often used in automotive/aerospace industries - so a completely different kettle of fish.
I used sketchup for the first time last year when I was planning cupboards/shelves at home. It was easy enough to use though

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Re: CAD

Postby Dave R » 02 Feb 2016, 12:56

Of course I'd have to chime in. :D

As Robert said, you definitely want to get in the habit of creating components of the parts in your model. Component (or group) wrappers are the only way to keep geometry separated. Components have much to recommend them over groups. I can go into that if desired. Layers are only used to control the visibility of the components you make. While Robert hasn't found them useful, I do and use them extensively when creating scenes to show exploded views, sub-assemblies, and 3-views of individual parts.

Roger mentioned the Cut List extension. It is available in the Extension Warehouse which you'll access through the Window menu. It is very useful if you need a BOM. I've written blog posts about using it in the past and if you're interested, I can post links.
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Re: CAD

Postby ScotlandtheDave » 08 Mar 2016, 14:06

Hi Dave,

I stumbled over the forum group not long after joining for some advice on a shed I'm planning. I endlessly obsess over detail, so liked the idea of modelling in 3d and Google Sketchup was the obvious choice. Its been a steep learning curve but I'm reasonably au fait with the interface, but I have used groups instead of components a lot so I'd love to understand what components would improve in my model. In comparison to yours mine is extremely basic, some of your models are indistinguishable from a photo! I've just changed the design thanks to some good advice on here, so will post a link to the new design as I'd love to get some tips on making it look more "pro" like your models :)

Cheers

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Re: CAD

Postby Dave R » 08 Mar 2016, 14:28

Hi David,

First, if you're still using Google SketchUp, you should update to the current version. It hasn't been Google's for almost 4 years.

There are a number of reasons for using components instead of groups. Most involve reducing your work load. It gets to be a long discussion but one key thing is that when you edit a component, all other instances of it get edited as well. This can be leveraged in a number of ways. For example you could make copies of a stud component to make a wall. If you decide you need to change the height of the wall, you only need to edit one copy of the stud and change its length. all the other copies will follow suit. If the top and bottom plates are instances of the same component, you can easily change the length of the wall by editing one of the components.

If you want to cut an opening for a window, you could place the header components and the window sill plate. then select the stud components that need to be cut, make them unique (breaking their relationship to the rest of the studs( and then edit them to cut the opening.. If you had several identical windows you could select all the stud components that need to be cut and make then unique together. Then just edit one.

If your studs are groups, you have to touch each one to cut those openings.

If the windows are instances of the same component, you can modify one and change all if you wish.

Another advantage to using components is they are easily named while creating them. You can give them useful names so when you generate a report of them, maybe using the CutList plugin, you know which parts are which. Or if you use Outliner, you can easily select the component(s) you're interested in. Typically when people are just using groups, they all have the same name: Group. So Outliner is not very useful because you can't tell one from another. Imagine everyone in the country having the same name. :shock:

Components get saved into the In Model components library. There is no such groups library. If you inadvertently delete a group and don't catch it right away, the only way to get it back is to redraw it. If it had been a component, you could just drag a new copy out from the components library. And you can save components for future use. no point in drawing the same thing more than once.

There's much more but that ought to be enough to get you started.

I'd be happy to have a look at your model when you share it.
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Re: CAD

Postby ScotlandtheDave » 08 Mar 2016, 14:44

Hi Dave,

Thanks for your reply. I'm using sketchup 2016 - I hadn't realised it was no longer part of the Google empire, although that would explain the Trimble branding :oops:

I'll digest the group v component thing tonight, but immediately your analogy regarding all countries having the same name strikes a chord :)

I'm sure I'm not modelling the right way in some cases, but it is great fun and the best thing for me is it lets you make all your design mistakes virtually instead of using expensive wood :)

I'll post a link to my model soon.

Cheers

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Re: CAD

Postby Dave R » 08 Mar 2016, 15:41

If you want to see how I do some modeling and a few ways I leverage components, take a look at the videos at the following links.

http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/105 ... hup-part-i
http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/105 ... nd-drawers

And this really ancient one: http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/243 ... ow-example
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Re: CAD

Postby RogerS » 08 Mar 2016, 15:50

Scotland Dave....realising - courtesy of DaveR - that components are THE way to go has transformed my use of SketchUp.
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Re: CAD

Postby TrimTheKing » 09 Mar 2016, 01:06

ScotlandtheDave wrote:....although that would explain the Trimble branding :oops:

David


I do like to brand my work!! ;)

Cheers
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Re: CAD

Postby Dave R » 09 Mar 2016, 14:07

David, I found your model in your shed thread. A couple of notes for you.

First, the skb file is a back up file generated by SketchUp on the PC that is intended to be a fall back if SketchUp or your computer crashes. The SKB file should be current up to the last auto-save if Autosave is turned on. It also gets updated when you manually save. Generally it is better to share the SKP file, though. Others need to rename the SKB to SKP to open it.

Image

The thing I was saying about all the parts having the name 'Group' is evident in your model. I know you get it but this part is also for anyone who comes along later and doesn't believe it. ;)

The other thing to note is that you drew your panel and studs in their final orientation which is good. It is generally much easier to draw the parts in place but when you create a group or component, it's bounding boxes will be aligned with the model axes and that results in the oversized bounding boxes. With components you can either set the component's axes as you are creating the component or you can change them after creation. You don't get that option when making groups. The axis orientation impacts the way textures are applied and other things. Also, reports that give dimensions of parts use the size of the bounding boxes for the components or groups. Obviously the parts in your model would report as much larger than they really are.

I know it''s kind of cool to see the textures on your model as you're working but i would suggest leaving them until later. Or work in Monochrome face style while you're drawing so that your graphics card doesn't get slowed down by all those textures.

Keep plugging away and it'll all fall into place.
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Re: CAD

Postby ScotlandtheDave » 09 Mar 2016, 22:06

Hi Dave,

Thanks very much for your feedback, much appreciated. I was literally coming here to post a link, but you beat me to it :)

I didn't realise i'd linked to the skb file, slip of the keyboard there and noted for the future.

Thats good to know that designing on the model isn't a horrible no-no. I certainly found it much easier to design on the model itself than create a component and try to get it oriented correctly. That was made a bit easier by figuring out the various pointer colours when clicking on various parts of the model to move it etc. The thing that really made it a bit easier was the discovery of the rotated rectangle feature as i have the model on a slightly dodgy axis, so that made creating square shapes a breeze relative to the rest of the model. the major downside that i found last night was that if you design on plan on a dodgy axis, flipping components has an odd effect on the piece :)

Thanks also for the explanation on the bounding boxes, i didn't know why this happened, nor why all the textures were the same regardless of application. all good to know! Also, i'd been measuring all the faces of the components and naming them in the model, but it sounds like components will remove that effort.

I have a reasonably powerful laptop (core i7 and 8Gm RAM with 3Gb dedicated card) but i did wonder why it was toiling a bit at times, so texture mapping will explain it. Again, something that makes perfect sense in hindsight but the human brain wants OSB to look like OSB :)

I was going to do a ground up redesign of this model, partly because i'd like to use Sketchup components properly and because the design is now a uniform rectangle so doesn't have to "fit" a particular space. I assume its a simple case of designing the components in the correcnt orientation them moving the complete model into its final position if need be? i.e. i could design the shed itself then place it within the ladscape, rather than try and design the shed on the landscape?

Thanks again for the feedback dave, Cheers
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Re: CAD

Postby Dave R » 09 Mar 2016, 22:14

Hi David,

I've got some remarks for you but I'll have to wait until I get home from work to write them out. Maybe hold off on starting the model again until I can give you a bit more info. It will probably be easier to start from scratch instead of trying to rework your existing model.

Cheers,

Dave
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Re: CAD

Postby ScotlandtheDave » 09 Mar 2016, 22:21

Thanks Dave

Now that i have the basics i find its much quicker to redraw than rework, so i'm happy to start from scratch. I just checked and there were 21 different sketchup files there, so it was definitely going to be a new model, titled "the definitive shed model" :lol:

Take your time to post any feedback, any help would be appreciated!

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Re: CAD

Postby Dave R » 11 Mar 2016, 02:05

Hi David,

My sincere apologies for the delay in getting back to this. I got tied up with family stuff last night and work today.

ScotlandtheDave wrote:Thats good to know that designing on the model isn't a horrible no-no. I certainly found it much easier to design on the model itself than create a component and try to get it oriented correctly. That was made a bit easier by figuring out the various pointer colours when clicking on various parts of the model to move it etc. The thing that really made it a bit easier was the discovery of the rotated rectangle feature as i have the model on a slightly dodgy axis, so that made creating square shapes a breeze relative to the rest of the model. the major downside that i found last night was that if you design on plan on a dodgy axis, flipping components has an odd effect on the piece :)


Yes, I generally recommend modeling the parts in situ as much as possible. That way you can use what you've already drawn as references for what you're drawing next. For example, you could set out the bottom plates for the walls to define the perimeter of the shed and the place the studs on top. You might copy the bottom plates up for the top plates and let the space between determine the height of the studs. And you don't have to calculate the length. Place the top of the top plate at the full height of the wall and make the studs fit.

The Rotated Rectangle tool can be useful for drawing the parts as you've found. You could rotate the model axes although this requires caution and you could also draw the shed on axis and rotate it afterward. Actually, I would be most likely to do the last thing. I'd wait to add the pavers and the grass until after the shed is drawn. Then I'd rotate the entire shed as needed.

Drawing the rectangles off axis would still require adjusting the axis orientation at some point but it isn't terribly difficult.

For flipping components, which is extremely valuable, the orientation of both the component and model axes is very important so you need to have a good handle on that. (Four candles. :D)

ScotlandtheDave wrote:Thanks also for the explanation on the bounding boxes, i didn't know why this happened, nor why all the textures were the same regardless of application. all good to know! Also, i'd been measuring all the faces of the components and naming them in the model, but it sounds like components will remove that effort.


I think you'll find it does make things easier working with components. As for materials, you should definitely apply them to the faces instead of the wrappers so you'll have control over their appearance and for those materials that are directional, you'll be able to adjust the materials to suit.

ScotlandtheDave wrote:I have a reasonably powerful laptop (core i7 and 8Gm RAM with 3Gb dedicated card) but i did wonder why it was toiling a bit at times, so texture mapping will explain it. Again, something that makes perfect sense in hindsight but the human brain wants OSB to look like OSB :)


You may notice when orbiting, panning or zooming that your model displays as wireframe if you've got textures and especially shadows turned on. It's SketchUp's way of keeping the navigation speed up by unloading the graphics card a little. Otherwise the graphics card has to continually rewrite the textures as you orbit. If the card can't pass the data to the display fast enough, it'll stop. By working in Monochrome, you'll keep the loading down on the graphics card while still seeing shading for a 3D appearance. It'll also help you keep on top of reversed faces. I don't remember any in your model but you do want to correct them when they appear.

ScotlandtheDave wrote:I was going to do a ground up redesign of this model, partly because i'd like to use Sketchup components properly and because the design is now a uniform rectangle so doesn't have to "fit" a particular space. I assume its a simple case of designing the components in the correcnt orientation them moving the complete model into its final position if need be? i.e. i could design the shed itself then place it within the ladscape, rather than try and design the shed on the landscape?

Thanks again for the feedback dave, Cheers


You've probably already restarted the model so this is a little late but yes, it's probably easier to start from scratch than to fix the old model. You can do some things differently like using components, getting axes oriented correctly and also, you might consider using layers.

Layers are different in SketchUp compared to other programs that have them. In SketchUp, layers have one use and that is controlling the visibility of entities. There is Hide which you already found but that's not good for more than temporarily getting things out of the way.

There are a a few basic rules for layers in SketchUp. Follow them and you won't get hurt. :D Actually, if you follow them, you'll save yourself a lot of headaches and hair pulling.

Rule number one: Always leave Layer 0 active.
Rule number two: Always draw on Layer 0 and leave all edges and faces on that layer.
Rule number three: Only make layer associations for components/groups but leave all edges and faces within the component/group wrappers on Layer 0.
Rule number four: See rule number one.

Think about how you want to organize your model and make layers to suit. In this case you might make layers for the roof, landscape, walls, windows, doors, etc. If you want to show the shed with the roof off, you can turn off the roof layer. Or you might want to show the floor without the walls and windows.

Generally I draw the entire model first and create layers afterward. I get the model complete and then I create a scene showing the entire model. After that I create the layers and I turn their visibility off. then I assign components to layers. When I do, they clear the drawing space. When I have a blank screen I know I've assigned all of the components to layers. then just click the scene tab to make the model visible again. After that you can create scenes to show the model from different angles and with different layers turned on.

Alright. That's probably too much for now but I'll leave it. Have a good time with your shed.

Dave
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Re: CAD

Postby ScotlandtheDave » 11 Mar 2016, 16:46

Hi Dave,

Please don't apologise for the delay - I really appreciate your post and hope that you didn't stay up that late just to reply to me!

As it happens I had other things on too unfortunately so haven't started yet, so your advice is very much appreciated and will be invaluable in developing the "definitive shed model" :)

I'll post a link to the skp file and it should update as I build for anyone interested.

Thanks again for the great advice, Cheers

David
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Re: CAD

Postby Robert » 11 Mar 2016, 23:30

Dave R wrote:Hi David,
so you need to have a good handle on that. (Four candles. :D)


It that really a two Ronnies sketch reference?
:)

Dave R wrote:Layers are different in SketchUp compared to other programs that have them. In SketchUp, layers have one use and that is controlling the visibility of entities. There is Hide which you already found but that's not good for more than temporarily getting things out of the way.

There are a a few basic rules for layers in SketchUp. Follow them and you won't get hurt. :D Actually, if you follow them, you'll save yourself a lot of headaches and hair pulling.

Rule number one: Always leave Layer 0 active.
Rule number two: Always draw on Layer 0 and leave all edges and faces on that layer.
Rule number three: Only make layer associations for components/groups but leave all edges and faces within the component/group wrappers on Layer 0.
Rule number four: See rule number one.

Think about how you want to organize your model and make layers to suit. In this case you might make layers for the roof, landscape, walls, windows, doors, etc. If you want to show the shed with the roof off, you can turn off the roof layer. Or you might want to show the floor without the walls and windows.

Generally I draw the entire model first and create layers afterward. I get the model complete and then I create a scene showing the entire model. After that I create the layers and I turn their visibility off. then I assign components to layers. When I do, they clear the drawing space. When I have a blank screen I know I've assigned all of the components to layers. then just click the scene tab to make the model visible again. After that you can create scenes to show the model from different angles and with different layers turned on.

Alright. That's probably too much for now but I'll leave it. Have a good time with your shed.

Dave


Well I thought I knew a fair bit about sketchup but as I've never used layers since the first week when they proved useless (to me) ... that may as well be in Greek for the amount I understand!

not sure if I want to learn layers now or not. I've just been using hide /unhide with keyboard shortcuts to control visibility. hmmm food for thought. Thanks for all the effort you put into your replies here Dave - makes me think.
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Re: CAD

Postby Dave R » 11 Mar 2016, 23:45

Hi Robert,

Good catch on the fork handles. :D I couldn't use that over on this side of the pond. No one would get it.

As for using layers over hide, i think if you started using them, you would see layers are actually quite useful. I use Hide for temporary visibility control but for controlling visibility of entities for various scenes, I would only use layers.It's also a useful tool for organizing your model and showing things like order of construction or new vs. old. You can set the color of entities to By Layer which makes it easy to pick out related parts of the model.

Thanks for all the effort you put into your replies here Dave - makes me think.


I'm happy to help and I'm glad if it does make you think. :)
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Re: CAD

Postby Robert » 12 Mar 2016, 10:47

As usual you are tempting me in to trying new things I thought I didn't need :)

I can see the benefit of hiding a lot of things at once and I've just done that on an existing drawing by changing layers. having the 'default tray' down the side of the drawing makes it easier though I did have to change the options to show layers and scenes.

The drawing has several downloaded models in it from the warehouse. many layers have come with those models. I have 30+ layers in the list. It doesn't seem to matter that a component has lots of layers marked as visible. The layer the component is on can still be turned off to hide it.

Seeing so many layers in the list all marked as visible confused me for a while. I'd need to name new layers to be easy to find alphabetically. layer0 is pinned at the top of the list but layer1 is half way down!

Loads of imported layers hiding the ones I want aside maybe layers aren't so bad after all.

edit.. quick question... layer colours... I can change a layers colour but I don't see anything change colour. what are layer colours all about?
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Re: CAD

Postby Dave R » 12 Mar 2016, 13:20

Hi Robert,

I'm glad I'm helping to expand your horizon in one way or another. :D

As you've found out, you can customize the tray to include the windows you need. I have most of them in my tray because I use them often enough.

I would suggest that you go through the components/models you download from the 3D Warehouse to check that the author set up the layers properly. It is common to find very poorly drawn and constructed models in the 3D Warehouse. On the rare occasions when I use components from there, I always open them in a separate SketchUp file and examine them closely to make sure they won't create problems in my model. If the author used layers, I generally delete them and send the contents to Layer 0. Before deleting them, however, I check to make sure all primitives (edges and faces) are on Layer 0. That gives me an idea about the author and what other things I might have to fix.

The drawing has several downloaded models in it from the warehouse. many layers have come with those models. I have 30+ layers in the list. It doesn't seem to matter that a component has lots of layers marked as visible. The layer the component is on can still be turned off to hide it.


You're right. Layers act as a sort of "cloaking device". Did you watch the old Star Trek series? The Romulan Bird of Prey could turn on their cloaking device and become invisible. They were still there, you just couldn't see them. If you have component nesting as you might with, say, a drawer box in which the parts are individual components and the whole is wrapped up as another component, you can associate the drawer with one layer and the parts with other layers. You could then turn off the visibility for the all the parts except the fronts and pulls or you could turn off the entire drawer with one click. On the other hand,there's no point in having layers you don't need. If you've downloaded a window from the 3D Warehouse, you might not need to control the visibility of the glass separately from the rest of the window assembly. If you are buying the windows for the project, you probably don't care about separating the parts it was made from. Delete the unneeded layers, then.

Seeing so many layers in the list all marked as visible confused me for a while. I'd need to name new layers to be easy to find alphabetically. layer0 is pinned at the top of the list but layer1 is half way down!


Layers are listed alphanumerically and it does make sense to name them so you know what they are. In SketchUp, the order in which layers are listed has nothing to do with the order of the components they are associated with. So you give them logical names so you can find them in the list. Maybe you would make layers called Drawer, Drawer back, Drawer bottom, Drawer front, and Drawer side so they are all together in the list.

I'll repeat something I wrote earlier because it is one of those things you must keep in mind or you'll lose your mind.

Always keep the radio button left of the layer name set to Layer 0. this determines the active layer. Everything goes on Layer 0 at first and gets associated with other layers later.

Image

You can check to see that your model is correctly constructed with all primitives on Layer 0 by temporarily setting another layer as active so you can turn off Layer 0 visibility. The drawing window should be totally blank with no edges or faces showing. If that doesn't happen, you need to move those still visible edges and faces back to layer 0.

edit.. quick question... layer colours... I can change a layers colour but I don't see anything change colour. what are layer colours all about?


As you've found, changing the layer colors is done the same way as changing colors in the Styles window. Click on a colored square and make the change. To get the colors to show in the model, though, you need to turn on Color by Layer in the Details menu which is accessed by clicking on the icon above the Colors column.
Image

Then you'll get something like this:
Image

Another long-winded post. I hope it isn't too long.
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Re: CAD

Postby RogerS » 12 Mar 2016, 13:27

Dave R wrote:......
Another long-winded post. I hope it isn't too long.


Certainly not, Dave. Thoroughly enjoying them and learning all the time.
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Re: CAD

Postby Robert » 12 Mar 2016, 14:45

Fork handles and Romulans in one thread. excellent :)

Colour by layer makes sense.. can't bring myself to leave out the U when I type colour though.

Layer colours were a big help in AutoCad but not important here so it was just curiosity.

Thanks again.
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Re: CAD

Postby Dave R » 12 Mar 2016, 14:49

Robert wrote:Fork handles and Romulans in one thread. excellent :)


That's probably never happened before in the entire history of man. :)


Robert wrote:Layer colours were a big help in AutoCad but not important here so it was just curiosity.

Thanks again.


I don't find the need very often but they can be useful for looking at how your model is organized.

And gentlemen, you're quite welcome.
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