I have been learning Sketchup to prepare some projects that I want to be able to repeat for sale etc. I’m getting through the design ok and learning the techniques of Sketchup- possibly not as well as the experts – but getting a result. My biggest problem has been to present all the parts for cutting.
I installed the cutlist plugin and played with the outputs but have not been very happy with the graphics output and the layout on different timber thicknesses, in fact I can’t seem to get it to use different timber thicknesses to work with. Maybe I’m not setting it up right.
Anyway – I have downloaded another cutlist program (also free) called MaxCut 2 and I am impressed with the details one can set up in it. It does however require you either enter all the part sizes in manually or import them as a CSV file. When you are making a sideboard as I am doing there are a LOT of components involved and manual entry is tedious, to say the least. So I set to to get the cut list CSV file output from Sketchup to work in MaxCut 2. Yay, I have done it.
This may interest you guys.
Sketchup cutlist outputs a csv file as normal with a variety of fields separated by commas.
MaxCut 2 requires a csv file that has all its fields encapsulated by quotes (eg “name” or “200.50” etc)
I love open source software and use OpenOffice Calc for spreadsheets.
I set up a spreadsheet with 2 pages.
Into the 1st page I imported the contents of Sketchup’s csv file
Into the 2nd page I imported a sample of a CSV output I created in MaxCut 2. I needed this to get all the headings. I then removed all the the ”” using the find and replace (replace with nothing).
Then in the 2nd page I copied over the contents of the fields I wanted from the 1st page (eg =Sheet1.E2). These will of course be in different columns. (eg Description, Quantity, Length, Width, Material, etc)
Then copy all these fields down the columns.
Also copy the remaining fields (needed for MaxCut 2) down the columns.
Once you have the complete new spreadsheet in place select all the cells and define them as TEXT.
Now you can Save As
Choose CSV and select the filter option and click Save. This will take you to a filter settings window. Set the “Quote all text cells” box. I haven’t check the details of how you would output this from Excel but it should be fairly similar.
Your output will now have ”” around every field in the resulting CSV file and can be Imported directly into MaxCut 2.
I think MaxCut 2 is worth a loo kat and it includes a whole host of settings for you wood database. The graphics output a clear (including the blade thickness and vertical and horizontal cuts). You can edit all the graphics features.
It also has costing/billing etc built in.
I would love to hear some of your thoughts on this.
Sketchup doesn’t run on Linux “unfortunately” (I wish it did) – nor does MaxCut so I am running VirtualBox on my Linux system and I have Windows XP running as a virtual machine in there. It’s lovely as I have seamless mouse movement between Linux and Windows. You do need at least a dual core processor and a few gigs of memory to have it work well.