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Sketchup Tutorial

Come find a how-to on how to do something, or come write your own for other people.
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Sketchup Tutorial

Unread postAuthor: inonickname » Fri Feb 19, 2010 4:16 am

*This assumes basic internet/computer/thought/common sense skills.

Google sketchup can be downloaded here.

Google sketchup is a fairly small (in size), easy to use modelling program. So..I'm writing a tutorial on how to use it, similar to my paint tutorial a while ago.

When you run sketchup you'll be greeted with this screen:Image
Choose a template that sutis you. I use product design and woodworking, and seen as I speak in metric I use mm. You can use whatever template or increments that suit you, but I reccomend the product design ones. (If you wanted to, you could use one that includes the model of a person for size comparison of a whole cannon).

Line/draw tool:
This tool is as simple as it gets. Click to start a line, move your mouse, click again to finish the line. If the box is complete (no breaks) it will become shaded. The line color will change (eg. blue, red green) depending on what axis the line is parralel to. This is useful to keep your drawings on the right dimension and to keep them square (parralel) and accurate. For some angles the line can also turn purple (parralel to edge), which can be used to align two angled lines.
Image
If you start a line, then (while still having the line rubber-banding) mouse over a point (eg endpoints, midpoints), then move the line back to line up with an axis a light dotted line can appear, reading "from point". This is useful to end a line in the right place (to line up with the end of another line, so a straight edge can be drawn). The color of the dotted line will also change depending what axis it is aligned with.

Instead of clicking in two random places, you can draw lines to the exact length you need. Start the line (first click), and aim it in the exact direction you want (often aligned with one of the axis). Then just type the distance wanted (this is where your template comes in..if you're using mm this measurement will be in mm) and press enter (return). A line will be drawn in the direction you had aligned and the distance you entered. The number you are typing (dynamic) will appear in the bottom corner.

Rectangle, circle and arc tools:
Image
These tools are quite useful for building shapes quickly, particularly the circle and arc tools. These work in a similar way to the pencil tool, just a few clicks. The rectangle begins from one corner and is extended out. The circle begins from the centrepoint, and the arc has two points selected (outer points) then the arc extension length selected.

The rectangle dimensions can be altered precisely by typing in the distances separated by commas (eg. 10,35- L x W). The circle startpoint can be selected, then the radius can be entered in the same way. To accurately draw arcs, select the startpoint, enter the distance and direction as you would for a line, hit enter, then select the extension (which can also be typed in).

A dashed line can appear within the rectangle (to represent a square or golden section- aka two 3, 4, 5 triangles inside the rectangle) and the circle radius can be aligned upon an axis. The arc tool can also 'snap' to a semicircle automatically (mouse it to roughly a semi circle, and it will snap to it).

Component, Eraser, measure and paintbucket tools:
Not so vital tools. Make component is useful when you are working with a large number of objects and would like to be able to move and edit each part separately. Highlight the parts you wish to make a component, select "make component" from the toolbar and enter details such as a name and description, alignment etc.

Eraser tool is self explanitory. Select it, click (and drag if you wish) to destroy lines (that you probably didn't want destroyed). Edit -> Undo if you delete something you didn't want to.

The measure (tape measure) tool is usable by you to gather the dimensions between points. Click to start, measure the line then click again to stop measuring. Also aligns with the axis'. Useful to determine how far to push something (eg. to make a hole through a shape) or similar.
Image
The paintbucket tool is mainly cosmetic. Click it, select a material (fake looking, at that) or color, and paint surfaces as you wish. Helpful to differentiate between different objects.

Push & pull tool:
Used to pull and drag faces to create 3d objects. Select it, mouse over the face (it will show a blue selection shading). Move your mouse to change the elevation, click again to finalize.
Image
Pressing ctrl then clicking will create a new layer upon the other (think of pulling something as a continuous cake, and ctrl + click as a layered one). The main use for this is to delete parts of a cylinder (or similar) after it has been drawn, eg. making minigun barrel supports.

The push pull tool can also be used precisely by selecting the direction of push/pull then entering the height/depth to push to then pressing enter/return, in a similar way to other functions.

The push/pull tool and also be used to push shapes out of objects to create a hole/path through them. It refuses to push/pull curved surfaces, but there is a workaround here if you're keen.

Move & Rotate tools:
Need little explanation of what they do. The move tool can be used to drag faces (mouse over the face, click + drag). To drag entire shapes (or components) select them using the select tool (the mouse pointer) then use the move tool to drag them. A line is shown from the original drag point to help show direction (and return it if you change your mind).

The rotate tool can be a little finicky. If you have problems using it, try this:
1. Select a face. Pretend this face has a small axle protruding into it (from the protractor center).
2. Select a basepoint. If something is facing south, then 180 degrees (south) would be a good point).
2. Rotate the part. This is expressed in degrees from the basepoint and can be manually entered by entering the degrees (eg. 258) then pressing enter.
The part will rotate about the center point of the protactor (the first click you made). If you have problems with it, just practice rotating something simple until you get the hang of it.
Image

A note on the select tool:
I nearly left this out. Click to select a line. Drag to select a shape. Click to deselect. Ctrl + click to add more lines to a selection.

However, remember this:
1. Dragging from top left to bottom right only selects lines that are completely covered by selection.
2. Dragging from bottom right to top left selects any lines touched by the selection.

Offset tool:
This copies the object selected (select a face, the blue selection shading will occur before clicking) and scales it proportionally in or out. Useful for creating the exact same shape..but bigger, layers, coatings, walls etc.
Image
This can also be used precisely by selection direction (aka- bigger, smaller, in, out) then entering the distance as usual and hitting enter. The distance entered is the length between the edge of the selected face and the edge of the new shape.

Orbit, pan, zoom, move + zoom:
These are just your move tools. THESE DON'T MOVE THE PART, JUST THE CAMERA! Orbit rolls (orbits, lol) your camera around the mouse click. Pan slides the camera across the mouse click, and zoom moves the camera closer and further away. I usually just use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out (it will zoom in centered basically around your pointer).

Publishing/finishing your drawing:
Let's pretend you've finished your model, and you want to hand it to a worker/drafter/machine operator/spudgun fund supplier, but it has to be printed out. You can obviously manipulate views to get orthagonal views of the shape, and take screenshots of any angle you need. But if it's printed, they lose all the digital dimensions that were accosiated with the model. So, those dimensions need to be represented somehow.

So, for example we have this bracket that needs machining (the dimensions are random, yes):
Image

So to begin with..we'll add dimensions to it. Under the "tools" menu click "dimensions" (a tick will come up next to it in the menu). Now, click on two points (eg. endpoint, midpoint) and a measurement arrow will appear. Drag it away from your piece (or offset it the distance you want, the usual way) and you get a nice arrow with the distance on it. Repeat as required.

So..after a few dimensions have been added we get this:
Image

Under the same menu you can add text, 3d text etc.

For the time being, that's almost it. If anyone wants more added, like layers etc. Then feel free to yell out, but this should be a good start for anyone new to this.
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Unread postAuthor: Crna Legija » Fri Feb 19, 2010 6:11 am

Thanks for this. Iv had sketchup for a a bit but never got into it. I didn't know you can put dimension you want in.

The only thing i can think of is do you know how to make a pipe flush to the inside of a circle, the way you'd make a barrel inside a vortex block
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Unread postAuthor: inonickname » Fri Feb 19, 2010 6:16 am

-_- wrote:Thanks for this. Iv had sketchup for a a bit but never got into it. I didn't know you can put dimension you want in.

The only thing i can think of is do you know how to make a pipe flush to the inside of a circle, the way you'd make a barrel inside a vortex block

That's one problem with sketchup. It doesn't particularly like pushing curved surfaces, so you need to go through a few functions to do something like that. You need to use the intersect function to do this. I'll see if I can add it to the tutorial.

https://groups.google.com/group/sketchu ... 80dd83282f

There are also plugins available, seen as this pains me regularly I'll try a few and get back to you.
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Unread postAuthor: psycix » Fri Feb 19, 2010 6:54 am

You can put a rod into the vortex block, select both and do intersect, then remove any excess material. Voila, a hole for the barrel.



I use sketchup mostly to draw diagrams. I set the view type to parallel and view angle to "top" then I just draw stuff out in 2D. Better than MS paint as it is easy to drag dimensions around, or when you create something with a piston (make it a component so that it doesn't merge) you can move the piston back and forth in your diagram to look how the system is in different states.
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Unread postAuthor: inonickname » Fri Feb 19, 2010 6:57 am

Shameless double post:

I spent a while messing around with it until I got it sorted out completely. Here's the process.

1. Draw (for example) the vortex block completely, with each part (including the hole drilled through, but not the barrel).

2. Now draw a circle the that has the i.d. of the barrel just above your vortex block, inline with the route you want your barrel to take.

3. Extend (just roughly) that shape so that it is long enough to "drill" a hole through your block (and the rounded section).

4. Move the cylinder down into the exact place you want the hole to be. Pretend that it's the path of the drillbit.

5. Select the entire shape (block and cylinder).

6. Edit -> intersect with model.

7. View -> turn on hidden geometry lines.

8. Delete the cylinder (the parts that extend out from where the hole would be), piece by piece.

Hopefully you should end up with this:
Image

If you need pictures, more illustration, detail, step by step or even a video don't hesitate to ask. (or, if you just want the block made to your dimensions and sent to you).
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Unread postAuthor: Crna Legija » Fri Feb 19, 2010 7:24 am

Thanks i gave it a shot after i posted never got it, Then tryed what you did and yep it work not to hard when you do it the first time.
some times it just dont work out and disapers.

Ill post my bbmg soon, when i get is finished up i need to find a 8mm barrel. I got shotgun shot as ammo
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Last edited by Crna Legija on Sat Feb 20, 2010 8:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postAuthor: POLAND_SPUD » Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:27 am

Hopefully you should end up with this:

yeah it does work, but not always as good as it should

ohh btw thx for posting it
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Unread postAuthor: inonickname » Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:32 am

POLAND_SPUD wrote:
Hopefully you should end up with this:

yeah it does work, but not always as good as it should

ohh btw thx for posting it

Yeh, it takes a bit of practice to delete the right lines. It ends up messy and sometimes doesn't really work at all if you delete the wrong ones. I start with hidden geometrical lines on and delete the horizontal ones looking directly forward at it.
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Unread postAuthor: inonickname » Mon Mar 08, 2010 2:54 am

Well, I've been using autocad in my tech graphics class and just got it to use at home. How many people here have autocad or similar CAD modeling programs? If there's a fair few I could do a tutorial on it. It may end up being a video + talk tutorial seen as there would be a fair bit to cover, even for just the basics.

Example:
Image
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Unread postAuthor: dewey-1 » Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:41 pm

inonickname wrote:How many people here have autocad or similar CAD modeling programs?


I have used autocad versions 12, 13, 14 and 2006.

I can help you if there is anything you that you may have problems with.

Drawing in 2D is relatively easy. 3D is little more complex, especially when using Boolean operations. It take a lot of practice and thinking sometimes for complex shaped items.

Sketchup 7.0 (the freebie) had the dwg import. The new free version does not.

Click on my signature for spudgun 3D models.

They were all created in autocad then converted to sketchup.
You can also see the renderings here:

http://www.spudfiles.com/forums/sketchu ... 17755.html
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Unread postAuthor: Cannibal Corpse » Mon Mar 08, 2010 2:52 pm

I use AutoDesk inventor all the time, only use autocad at school.
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Unread postAuthor: inonickname » Tue Mar 09, 2010 5:16 am

Well a tutorial obviously won't be useful to you dewey (or basically anyone who's done a course in it) but if I get around to it I'll record some use of AutoCad with a mic input and put it up on youtube for viewing and learning pleasure.

No promises though.
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