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Afordable Alternatives to Sketchup?

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Forum topic by Kirk Hutcherson posted 281 days ago 4932 views 2 times favorited 42 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Kirk Hutcherson

38 posts in 548 days


281 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: sketchup project design

I have been seeing a lot of references to Sketchup and I have looked into it. I think it would be helpful but the price tag ($495 + $95) is a lot for a piece of software that I would use as a hobby. I haven’t spent that much on any of my tools as I buy mostly used or hobby quality tools.

Anyway, I was wondering if there were any more affordable alternatives to Sketchup Pro. I saw where Google had a Sketchup Free but my internet security blocked it.

Thanks,
kirk

-- Kirk


42 replies so far

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HerbC

1152 posts in 1455 days


#1 posted 281 days ago

Find out what you have to do to get Sketchup Free version. If you’re at a work network, discuss matters with whoever runs and controls your network. If you are in a home network and can’t figure out on your own how to “defeat” the Internet Security, post back details of what it happening, including what program is blocking this action and what exact error messages you’re getting when you try to download.

Good Luck!

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

View BobLang's profile

BobLang

96 posts in 1996 days


#2 posted 281 days ago

SketchUp Make is still free and you should be able to do anything you would want as a hobbyist with that version. With the release of SketchUp 2013 the first 8 hours of the free version (SketchUp Make) is actually a trial of the paid version, and the EULA refers to the paid version.

Hard to beat free.

-- Bob Lang, http://readwatchdo.com/

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HerbC

1152 posts in 1455 days


#3 posted 281 days ago

BTW, Google sold Sketchup and no longer provides the program. The current free version is called Sketchup Make and can be downloaded from here.

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

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HerbC

1152 posts in 1455 days


#4 posted 281 days ago

Listen to Bob, after all, he wrote the book Woodworkers Guide to Sketchup 7

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

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redSLED

687 posts in 488 days


#5 posted 281 days ago

I’ve been using Excel on Macs or PCs for a long while to do very quick drawings of front, left/right and top views of pieces I want to build. (Note: no 3D available!) I use this method for working out details and proportions that I may not be able to easily visualize in my head.

How to do drawing on Excel:

1. Open up a new worksheet.
2. Highlight all columns (click the upper left column/row cell)
3. Resize one of the columns by dragging your cursor over a column’s top cell margin – enough so that all the worksheet cells look square (I use a value of .22 inches)
4. Then just use lines/borders, colours and ‘insert > shape’ to make drawings. I manually calculate each square to be either 1” or .5” or .25” (depending on how detailed I want my drawing to be). Also reset your screen view size to 50% to 25%.
5. Excel is great in that you can save multiple renditions of your drawing under different tabs, or simple copy/paste in to other worksheets. Inserting and moving notes around is a snap with ‘insert > text box’

Example – see below basic workbench drawing using Excel.

-- Perfection is the difference between too much and not enough.

View Kirk Hutcherson's profile

Kirk Hutcherson

38 posts in 548 days


#6 posted 280 days ago

Thanks for the tips!

My internet security was stopping me from going to a site that had it saying that it was an unsafe site. I could have moved forward but decided not to.

I can try to find Sketchup Make on a safe site. Thanks for the link. I’ll have to try it from my PC or laptop.

I never considered user excel. That is brilliant!

-- Kirk

View unbob's profile

unbob

360 posts in 499 days


#7 posted 280 days ago

Well, this is an alternative, low cost can not crash or add a bunch of crap on your computer like the free sketchup did to mine. Getting around to doing a work bench myself, such a simple item, does not need to be computed. I found for myself drawing many things up, aids me in actual operations of construction. A side benefit of vastly improving lay out skills on work pieces!

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redSLED

687 posts in 488 days


#8 posted 279 days ago

I’m with unbob for simplicity. I remember drafting in ink for a 6 month stint – had to stay pretty focused.

-- Perfection is the difference between too much and not enough.

View WillAdams's profile

WillAdams

78 posts in 590 days


#9 posted 278 days ago

Before committing to Sketchup Make read the license—not really free.

View Scott's profile

Scott

100 posts in 819 days


#10 posted 278 days ago

I keep meaning to install some 3D modeling software and apply them to woodworking but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. I personally don’t like Sketchup because I’ve used real CAD/3D modeling systems in the past and I like the process that those allow me to use.

I like to start with blocks and removing material, as opposed to trying to build up complex curves/shapes. To do that in Sketchup I’d need the pro version and I don’t feel it’s worth the price they’re asking.

I intend to try Blender first, but after a quick search I’m also seeing something called Hexagon which might be promising.

View Dark_Lightning's profile

Dark_Lightning

1665 posts in 1704 days


#11 posted 277 days ago

You can get VISIO Standard for $100 last time I looked. You have to make your own iso views, but orthogonal views are simple as pie. I use VISIO Professional and save sheets as .dxf files. I’ve made tools that way. A .dxf can be translated into MasterCam and the part directly machined. Of course, the Professional version is $1k, which is likely more than you want to spend.

View Kirk Hutcherson's profile

Kirk Hutcherson

38 posts in 548 days


#12 posted 277 days ago

Some great ideas and suggestions! Thank you all SO much!

-- Kirk

View lew's profile

lew

9937 posts in 2351 days


#13 posted 277 days ago

Sketchup Make 2013

www.sketchup.com/download/all

Second one on the list

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

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Rick

6455 posts in 1628 days


#14 posted 277 days ago

Agree 100% with unbob! Some of this stuff that people think they need, to do Simple Projects is WAY out of hand.

I’ve done Dozens of my own Projects with a Pad & Pencil. Most of them aren’t even a Sketch just basic notes and take it from there.

Perhaps it’s My Degree in Architecture that I got MANY YEARS ago using the same type of equipment shown in unbob’s picture. NO Electronic Aids. It was Your BRAIN that did all the Calculating. You were also Graded on the Quality of your Hand Written Drawing Notes.

You also used up a lot of erasers …LOL…

Yea! I know “We’ve Progressed a lot from there.” Have we really? Been to a Mall Lately and watched all The Zombies walking around with their Newest Electronic Gizmos?

No offence intended Folks. We where all brought up in our own Different Environments.

-- COMMON SENSE Is Like Deodorant. The People Who need It Most, Never Use It.

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GFYS

711 posts in 2066 days


#15 posted 277 days ago

I’d hardly call craftsmen that produce extremely accurate 3D models of high quality reproducible, plans of projects that can be shared with another on the other side of the earth in 2 minutes…zombies.

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