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Forum topic by lumbering_on posted 10-17-2018 02:31 AM 1744 views 0 times favorited 55 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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lumbering_on

578 posts in 725 days


10-17-2018 02:31 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I’ve been using Sketchup Make for the past few years, and I’m by no means an expert, but I can get by in it. However, I recently tried the web version, and I’m really not a fan of it. As they are no longer supporting Make, I’m seriously considering whether I want to continue with Sketchup or move to another program.

I’m looking at Fusion 360 or another CAD program as an alternative. Does anyone else use one of these other programs? Is it easy to make the transition? Or is the new Web-based program not nearly as bad as I think?


55 replies so far

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6343 posts in 3429 days


#1 posted 10-17-2018 05:02 AM

lumbering_on,

I can’t answer your question, cause I’ve never learned to use Sketchup….I do all my drawings the old fashion way….on a drafting board…I got a degree in drafting back in the ‘70s, so I’ve always did it that way…There is just something about drafting by hand with a board, T- square, and a pencil, and a ruler…..For myself personally, it’s a challenge…..!!

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....!!

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

1897 posts in 809 days


#2 posted 10-17-2018 05:49 AM

I don’t have a drafting degree, but putting my thoughts on paper with a sharp pencil has always worked for me. Heck you can even source free graph paper online, a few layout tools you already have, and you are going.

Links to free graph paper, many can be scalable by taking the image on a thumb drive to a print place, and having them work the grid up to your specifications. Using 1/4” 1/2” and 1” blocks takes the work out of it. Place I go to can print a 60” x 80” grid, that’s a big project. You should be able to choose a thickness of paper too, so instead of an obscure %$#( on your computer you have a workable pattern. Learning curve for that is ZERO.

-- Think safe, be safe

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WoodenDreams

374 posts in 145 days


#3 posted 10-17-2018 07:31 AM

I don’t use sketch up, though there’s many that like it. I keep drafting pads it my shop & use a drafters ruler. and draw everything up myself, including material chart (cutting and final board size chart). Put all my plans in a three ring binder, sectioned under sub headings of projects.

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EarlS

2098 posts in 2583 days


#4 posted 10-17-2018 11:52 AM

Compared to traditional drafting or CAD, I’ll take SketchUp.

I’ve been using the free version of SketchUp for 2-3 years, off and on, and generally I’ve been satisfied with it. The 3D model is a great way to “build” something. Adding things like dovetails or mortise and tenons can be rather tedious and frustrating. Being able to make drawings of each piece with all of the dimensional details is also a nice feature, even though it can also be tedious.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

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lumbering_on

578 posts in 725 days


#5 posted 10-17-2018 11:54 AM

Unfortunately, my drawing skills are at such a high level that my stick men commit suicide. :(

My father actually bought my brother and I a drafting table when we were younger. It was a great table with the rubber sheet and the drafting ruler with the pulleys. I was fully capable of drawing straight lines, but that was actually about as far as I made it.

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fiddlebanshee

240 posts in 3180 days


#6 posted 10-17-2018 12:02 PM

Following because I too have been very disappointed with webversion of sketchup. I downloaded the last sketchup make version but after the trial period was over I was no longer able to download my projects from the web app into the stand alone version! Boooo! Had to redo several projects as my internet connection at home is just not fast enough to work online in the webapp. Sketchup seems to forget that not all users live in areas abundant with internet connection speed.

So far I have not been able to find any other stand alone program that doesn’t break the bank. So, if anyone has any suggestions, apart from pen and paper (lol) I’d also be very keen to hear them.

-- As if I needed another hobby!

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RichBolduc

573 posts in 351 days


#7 posted 10-17-2018 12:43 PM

I do everything in Solidworks.. It’s not free though… Starting license is like $3500, luckily I get a home use copy through work. If you’re a student, you can get a version for $99. I’ve been using SolidWorks since 2003.

Rich

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HokieKen

7506 posts in 1373 days


#8 posted 10-17-2018 12:52 PM

I use Solidworks as well. But, like Rich said, it’s not a viable option for most financially. In addition to student licenses, they also offer low-cost licenses to active/retired military.

There’s also an app for the iPad that a buddy of mine has been using that he’s doing pretty well with and liking. I don’t recall the name but there aren’t that many available. I’ve been tempted to try using my tablet for ease in the shop but I’m pretty ruined after using Solidworks…

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View YesHaveSome's profile

YesHaveSome

129 posts in 493 days


#9 posted 10-17-2018 01:58 PM

I started using Sketchup a couple of years ago and have never liked it. Over the past couple of months I’ve committed to Fusion 360 and love it and dont think I’ll ever use Sketchup again (I also use AutoCad).

Here’s what I like about Fusion vs Sketchup

1) Licensing: if you are a hobbyist or a startup (less than 100k revenue per year) then it’s free. Sketchup Make is free as well but their move to web based is a no no plus, technically, you arent allowed to use Make for any business purpose. You’re supposed to drop $600 on the pro license.

2) Parametric modeling: It’s a bit cumbersome to learn but once you get the hang of it, it’s awesome. You don’t have to have every single dimension thought out before starting. Just set the parameters and then change em up later and your design will update

3) Sketchup is glitchy (at least for me). There are too many times where Sketchup just doesnt do what it’s supposed to and it’s very frustrating.

4) Precision: it’s a lot easier to be precise with Fusion than Sketchup. I feel like Sketchup requires you to either eyeball it or drop construction lines all over the place to get things right where you need them.

I am not an expert in Sketchup so these perceived shortcomings might just be a lack of experience. I will say that Sketchup is easier to “just start drawing something”. Fusion is more cumbersome at first but once you get the hang of it things get a lot easier. There’s a ton of good tutorial series on YouTube.

-- But where does the meat go?

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bondogaposis

5148 posts in 2586 days


#10 posted 10-17-2018 02:04 PM

I am a long time user of CAD. I have tried to learn sketchup and really struggled with making the leap from 2D to 3D. In the end I fall back on CAD because for me it is just faster.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Ripper70's profile

Ripper70

1191 posts in 1143 days


#11 posted 10-17-2018 02:12 PM

Check this out. May be worth serious consideration.

Why switch from SketchUp to Blender

https://www.blender.org

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

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lumbering_on

578 posts in 725 days


#12 posted 10-17-2018 02:57 PM

YHS, thanks for the input on Fusion. I’ve hear a lot of good things about it, which is why I’m looking into it. There doesn’t seem to be as many woodworkers using it, so there are less resources, but it does seem worth the effort to learn it.

Rich, thanks for the info on Solidworks. Looks like I can get it for $40/year, so I’ll look into it.

Ripper, I’ve actually seen those resources, but Blender just seems to be a bit of overkill for what I’m looking for. I’ve seen one video where someone did a subway station in a few minutes, but I think the learning curve is likely a bit steep.

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

2123 posts in 2873 days


#13 posted 10-17-2018 03:05 PM

I have used sketchup but not for a year or so. I didn’t know they were breaking it. It’s a pity. I found it fine for what I was doing.

I spent 20 years at Intergraph and in later years used mostly Bentley Microstation. It’s always been 3d as long as I can remember. Bentley will not sell me a cheap 10-year-old version for home use. So, I have used free sketchup. I have some former Intergraph friends who work for Bentley, but no “friends and family deal either”.

Microstation is now $5360, so not going to happen for me.

One of the mechanical engineers where I work uses Microstation, but probably a very old version.

View YesHaveSome's profile

YesHaveSome

129 posts in 493 days


#14 posted 10-17-2018 03:23 PM



Check this out. May be worth serious consideration.

Why switch from SketchUp to Blender

https://www.blender.org

I tried Blender and it’s interface is a mess. I also learned that it’s not good for woodworking because it’s not meant to be precise. It’s insanely powerful and you can make some pretty amazing scenes with it but it’s just not geared towards something like woodworking.

- Ripper70


-- But where does the meat go?

View YesHaveSome's profile

YesHaveSome

129 posts in 493 days


#15 posted 10-17-2018 03:27 PM



YHS, thanks for the input on Fusion. I ve hear a lot of good things about it, which is why I m looking into it. There doesn t seem to be as many woodworkers using it, so there are less resources, but it does seem worth the effort to learn it.

Rich, thanks for the info on Solidworks. Looks like I can get it for $40/year, so I ll look into it.

Ripper, I ve actually seen those resources, but Blender just seems to be a bit of overkill for what I m looking for. I ve seen one video where someone did a subway station in a few minutes, but I think the learning curve is likely a bit steep.

- lumbering_on

Check our Lars Christensen’s YouTube channel. Most of his stuff his engineering and CAM but he does quite a bit that is directly related to woodworking. He’s also very quick to respond to questions via email. Also, Jay Bates did a long tutorial that was pretty good. Paul Jenkins has done a few.

For me, the biggest hurdle was figuring how to approach the sketches so things worked together. Once I got that down I started to move pretty well. If you dont have to make things parametric you can move really quickly.

-- But where does the meat go?

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