What's that Skippy? Timmy fell down the well again? #2: life is like a .... layer cake?

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Blog entry by timrowledge posted 10-17-2008 04:52 AM 1944 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Wherein skippy gets laid Part 2 of What's that Skippy? Timmy fell down the well again? series no next part

My momma allus tol’me…. dang, I wish I’d listened to what my mother told me. “What was it she told you?”, you say. “I don’t know, I didn’t listen!”, I reply.

Anyway, last time I was complaining about Layout. This time I’m going to complain about SketchUp layers, or more precisely about the rather tedious time I had using layers to separate out the components and dimensions in my printer cupboard. I had a modest number of components – after all it’s only a simple faceframe cupboard – but it still took ages to create each layer, move copies of the components to the appropriate layer, dimension each component and move the dimension items to the right layer and then go through each scene setting all the right layer visibility flags. Sigh. Of course, any time an edit was needed I had to be careful to move any new items to the right layer and check each scene to make sure it was all clean.

It might well have been simpler and quicker to create a separate file for each component drawing!

File at should you be interested in how I did it. I’d attach the Layout file if I could work out how to!

5 comments so far

View ChicoWoodnut's profile


904 posts in 3844 days

#1 posted 10-17-2008 06:18 AM

That’s a nice model. You are obiously addicted.

I just make separate files for my exploded components by copying components and pasting them into a new file. I don’t know which method is easier but your’s sure is prettier.

-- Scott - Chico California

View timrowledge's profile


45 posts in 3562 days

#2 posted 10-17-2008 09:26 PM

Y’know, it might be possible to write ruby script that would save out a file for each component.

View timrowledge's profile


45 posts in 3562 days

#3 posted 10-27-2008 07:06 AM

Useful tip I noticed somewhere – ad the ‘addhiddenlayer’ plugin. When you add a layer it is set to non-visible in all scenes. Saves having to go to all scenes and manuall hide it. Nice, simple , helpful.

View timrowledge's profile


45 posts in 3562 days

#4 posted 10-28-2008 01:14 AM

Ooh, that’s interesting – the forum software decided to interpret the underscore characters before and after the ‘hidden’ in the plugin name as meaning italicise the word. How odd.

Dave said “I’d like to see the finished piece.” – Hah! So would I! No building time right now. If I have time, I don’t have money and vice versa… The design is simply a development of the FWW ‘Colonial Cupboard’ that Mike Dunbar did a build article on some years ago. So far variations on it have made a nice pair of bookcases as well as original cupboard. Oh, and an outline for a kitchen dresser.

Saving components out to files – if we had a ruby to do it, then the workflow might go something like
a) do design in main file
b) save each component to a separate file
c) dimension each component in its own file
d) use Layout to make nice document of all components
e) if alterations needed, make in individual file and ‘reload’ back into main file as appropriate
Sure, it’s not as nice as having some way to have totally separated scenes in the one file.
I wonder if it might work to modify the hidden layer script so that it makes a new scene, adds the layer (might as well name it the same or a trivial derivative), makes it visible in the new scene and invisible in all others, plus makes all other layers invisible in the new scene?

View timrowledge's profile


45 posts in 3562 days

#5 posted 10-28-2008 06:23 AM

I agree about the amount of hassle Dave, completely. Well, unless someone wrote a really clever script to handle it all. Which I’m not about to do, since I really don’t see a lot of pleasure in programming in a system with no proper tools.

I like your suggested workflow. And I still wish you could do the dimensioning in Layout… And I wish the 3dwarehouse would store Layouts.

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