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The Sketchup Learning Curve

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Blog entry by rookster posted 2347 days ago 5154 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The recent Sketchup Challenge at LumberJocks inspired me to abandon Visio as a drawing tool and learn Sketchup. Sketchup will clearly save hours of drawing time, but learning the tool is taking some time. To develop my skills, I started drawing something I’ve already built, an Inkle Loom, and plan to revise the plans to increase the weaving capacity.

What I’ve found is that the basics are easily mastered, but the tool is so powerful, I want to do more than I ever would have considered in Visio. For example, I want to round all the edges of the tensioning arm and put the inclined plane on the screws and nuts. Is this crazy?

Anyway, this weekend I wrote about my reactions to Sketchup and posted a the current drawing for the Tensioner Arm (the .skp link is at the bottom of the post). I’m hoping those of you who participated in the Sketchup Challenge earlier this year will be able to suggest ways of doing the round over on the tip and back edge of the object. I keep losing the skin on the curves when I attempt it.

-- Rookster, (http://www.robertkarl.org/woodworkingblog/)



8 comments so far

View Brad_Nailor's profile

Brad_Nailor

2526 posts in 2456 days


#1 posted 2347 days ago

When a face disappears when editing, as long as there is the proper geometry left to support it, all you have to do is trace over one of the edges and the face will pop back in place. If it still doesn’t, than that means you have a gap somewhere in the line work, or maybe some edges are now not coplanar. I played around with your model a little and I was able to radius the other upper edge on the angle. It was a little tricky but it’s doable.

-- http://www.facebook.com/pages/DSO-Designs/297237806954248

View rookster's profile

rookster

67 posts in 2648 days


#2 posted 2347 days ago

What did you do to to produce the radius? I tried drawing a curve and extending it back, but it didn’t follow the line. I tried intersecting, but it removed the skin (and when I tried adding the skin back, it claimed the edges weren’t coplanar, which I believe, but don’t know how that happened).

I’ll try working with it again tonight, but a description of what you did might be helpful.

Thanks, David!

Also: have you any idea how to make a screw with the inclined plane? I feel like if I could do that, I could do just about anything with Sketchup.

-- Rookster, (http://www.robertkarl.org/woodworkingblog/)

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8699 posts in 2598 days


#3 posted 2346 days ago

I should be learning Sketchup or working on my website. Just like hangin’ with you guys. Really admire the people with Sketchup skills.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View Brad_Nailor's profile

Brad_Nailor

2526 posts in 2456 days


#4 posted 2346 days ago

I will play around with your model today and post what I did to see if it’s what you were looking to do.

-- http://www.facebook.com/pages/DSO-Designs/297237806954248

View rookster's profile

rookster

67 posts in 2648 days


#5 posted 2346 days ago

Thanks, David. I did a little bit more playing with it yesterday and think I got a little closer using intersection. My insight was to turn the angled plane parallel with the axis, now I just need to figure out how to make sure both ends of the curve intersect with the edges. Every time I tried this time round I had the opposite problem of before: I had skin on the curve, but the rest of the skin disappeared. :P

-- Rookster, (http://www.robertkarl.org/woodworkingblog/)

View Blake's profile

Blake

3432 posts in 2373 days


#6 posted 2346 days ago

I think I have had the same problem. When I created my router table in Sketchup I needed to make the router plate, which is just a 3/8” thick rectangle with radiused (rounded) edges. How hard could this be? I couldn’t figure out how to round the edges.

-- Happy woodworking! http://www.openarmsphotography.com

View rookster's profile

rookster

67 posts in 2648 days


#7 posted 2346 days ago

You’ve got it Blake. I know it will be easy once I know how to do it, but until then it’s the hardest thing in the world.

-- Rookster, (http://www.robertkarl.org/woodworkingblog/)

View rookster's profile

rookster

67 posts in 2648 days


#8 posted 2341 days ago

So I’ve been thinking about and working on this problem. Still don’t have the right answer if I need to actually have a roundover applied to the piece, but now I can make it look like it's rounded over. For now that’s close enough.

-- Rookster, (http://www.robertkarl.org/woodworkingblog/)

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