Google SketchUp
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Kyle Purcell
(dufus934) - F

Locale: North Texas
Google SketchUp on 12/03/2007 14:34:16 MST Print View

I've been getting familiar with Google SketchUp and I am amazed by how easy it is. However, the tutorials that google has set up don't address all the questions that I have. Is there anywhere else is can go to learn more?

larry savage
(pyeyo) - F

Locale: pacific northwest
I asked ... on 12/03/2007 15:36:50 MST Print View

I asked the 3D AutoCad guys here on my job site about it and they laughed and laughed, every once in awhile one of them looks over this way and they start to giggle like 12 year old girls, very soon I'm going to remind them how the food chain works ... one of them told me there is a Google SketchUp for Dummies out now before walking away in a fit of chortles.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Google SketchUp on 12/03/2007 18:29:08 MST Print View

Hmm, let's see:

AutoCAD full version - $4,000
Google SketchUp - $0

Tough choice.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: I asked ... on 12/03/2007 18:36:25 MST Print View

one of them told me there is a Google SketchUp for Dummies out now before walking away in a fit of chortles.

Show that guy this

(short, chortle)

Adam Kilpatrick
(oysters) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
payout about google sketch up on 12/03/2007 19:58:46 MST Print View

it frankly really annoys me how some people get on their high horses about software and which and why to use, and laugh at you when u suggest something that is relatively simple/cheap/free to try and do a job they would normally use several (or more) thousands of dollars worth of software for.

My honours project is in GIS and Remote Sensing. The two programs I use for it, ArcGIS (info License) and ERDAS Imagine, are pretty much the bees knees in GIS and Remote Sensing software, and have a cost (Im not sure of the Uni's site license costs, but they are considerable) to match.

Yet, they cant do what I want. No where near. I now have to learn to code in Python (with no programming experience) to do the sampling and analysis I need to do. Its likely that the end result of my honours project will be a couple of pages of code, and outputs, no thanks to ESRI and Leica.

If you can find something that does the job you want to do-go for it. If you make it yourself-go for it. And when the "pro's" give you grief, remind them that they need a program worth x-thousand dollars to do what you do for free.

Sounds like they are typical immature geeks to me.

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: payout about google sketch up on 12/03/2007 20:38:04 MST Print View

I've switched over to Linux for my home computer. Seeing my options as 'upgrade' to Vista in the coming year or two or find something else, I decided to go with something else. With Linux I get all the pretty effects of Vista and Mac (and then some!), a huge community of people that can help me through any tough spots, a stable, secure system, and all of it for absolutely no cost.
I try to stick with free software as much as I can even when I use my Windows machine at work. The funniest argument against open source software I've heard is "If it were any good they would be able to make money off of it, instead they give it away for free. It must not be very good at all." For open source developers its not about money, its about freedom to do want you want. There's nothing wrong with making something that will be useful for someone else and expecting nothing in return. If you can find a way to change a program to make it better or more suitable for you, why not be allowed to do it? And if you can find a program that does exactly what you need for free, what would possess you to run out and pay hundreds of dollars for a program that does the same? Case in point: I use Open Office for all of my word processor and spreadsheet needs. I can save my documents in .doc and .xls format, so everyone else can use it, I can open Word and Excel 2007 documents with ease (even Word 2003 can have problems with that :)), and I can save my document as a PDF with nothing more than a click of the mouse; why would I buy Microsoft Word?
Maybe this sentiment is related to the fact that I love to make my own gear. I like to have the freedom to make something just the way I want it. I also like getting things on the cheap. Nothing is much cheaper than free.

Adam

PS. Sorry for the long-winded reply. You've touched upon another of my interests: computers.

Joy Menze
(catamountain) - M
SketchUp stuff on 01/01/2008 22:14:00 MST Print View

Go to some of the SketchUp forums to hunt down or ask specific questions. You can upload images, SKP files, etc to get specific troubleshooting: Google SketchUp Free, Google SU Pro, and Sketchucation. Your chortling ‘CAD experts’ don’t know what the program can do. One of the things many former CAD-types note is, with SU they can spend more time with the creative process of creating/drawing than manipulating a stiff program.

This is a round-up of some nice SketchUp plugins and techniques that will help with pattern-making. Most downloaded scripts will be placed in the program’s Plugins folder. A few developers will direct you to place their work in the Tools folder. Place the script file(s) as directed and restart the program.

Once you opened the program, most of the scripts can be found under the Plugins menu. However the developers can locate their scripts under any of the menus. (If you don't see the Plugins menu, go to Window > Preferences > Extensions > Ruby Script Examples and check the box.)

Most scripts contain instructions. Open the script in a plain text editor like Notepad to read/edit. Do not use a program like Word. It will introduce extra formatting code that will disable the script. (And if you forget which menu contains the script, the code for the menu is usually towards the bottom of the text.)

Your favorite plugins can also become keyboard shortcuts, Window > Preferences > Shortcuts.

An aforementioned plugin mentioned in this BPL forum is Soap Skin & Bubble, (and it runs in SU6 free). The plugin files lives in the program’s Tool folder. The loaded plugin creates a toolbar in the program. Assuming the plugin was installed correctly in the Tools folder, it may need to be ”turned on”. In the program, check Window > Preferences > Extensions > Soap Skin & Bubble. And you may need to check View > Toolbars > Soap Bubble. This it the Pro thread with the most creative applications of SSB. It’s fun and useful for guesstimating tensile structures. It’s not so useful for making flat patterns however. But if the tensile surface is rotated parallel to the xy plane, a script called flatten.rb will at least flatten it. My older version of flatten destroys the face(s). If that happens just redraw an edge.

Another mesh script is bez-patch, (a repackaged, easier to install zip is towards the bottom of the thread.)

The script jf_unfoldtool.rb will unfold dimensional models. That blog contains both the script and a SKP tutorial.

Many equations can be graphed with graphit.rb. But the most recent version of k_tools.rb has more robust graphing features. Search that Ruby API discussion group using the word 'klaudius' for more threads with info about the features in this plugin. Being a freebie, you need to dig a little to figure it out. Once the file is deposited in the Plugins folder and the program reloaded, the script is accessible via the Plugins menu.

An excellent SU script repository for SU addicts is the Ruby Library Depot. A copy of bezier.rb and bezierspline.rb lives in the Geometry-Drawing section. Bezierspline is the superior script. It’s a steroid-enhanced version of bezier.rb. Once installed both live in the Drawing menu and bezierspline comes with a toolbar too. Be sure to download the PDF instructions. More instructions live in the downloaded ZIP file too.

I have been collecting copies of all instructive stuff, like the bezierspline instructions, into a folder and drag the folder to the quicklink area of the Windows taskbar. There’s no quick way to store saved text instructions within the program’s Help menu unless they are SKP files.
Skippies could be stored in C:\Program Files\Google\Google SketchUp 6\Resources\en-US\selfpacedtutorials and retrieved via Help>Self Paced Tutorials.

Grids also can be useful to help layout full-sized patterns of your SU model patterns. Look for parametic_grid.rb, also at the Ruby Library Depot. Go to Tools>Grid, click out an initial, default grid in any orientation you want. Select the grid, r-click for the context menu and Edit Grid for custom grid size. Another grid script is cgrid.rb. It requires at least SU5 Pro, but many such scripts now also load in SU6 free. I own Pro, so I don’t yet know if it works in free. (This last site has sketchup.rb. Don’t download it. The program already comes with the script. The SU6 version of sketchup.rb lives in the Tools folder).

Some layout methods: for complex curvy stuff derived from orthographic views see seat back.skp, (it’s one way to make a complex path for SSB) and faucet bit.skp, for complex extruding and for more extruding methods.

Sorry about the length, but I like the program. It's useful.

Edited by catamountain on 01/01/2008 23:37:16 MST.