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-   -   Intimidated by sketchup (https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f29/intimidated-sketchup-205386/)

clickclackclunk 06-30-2018 01:16 AM

Intimidated by sketchup
Is anyone else super intimidated by sketchup? It feels so hard to start in a computer and think everything through.

hawkeye10 06-30-2018 02:44 AM

Hey Rami, I feel the same way. I looked on You-Tube and the videos are so boring I can't watch them. I am 76 so that is part of the problem but I am a person that needs to learn from doing.

PS- I do have it downloaded. :wink:

Steve Neul 06-30-2018 07:49 AM

I don't do well with computers at all so I won't even look into sketchup. I will continue to use my drafting table.

AlWood 06-30-2018 11:13 AM


Originally Posted by Steve Neul (Post 1993984)
I don't do well with computers at all so I won't even look into sketchup. I will continue to use my drafting table.

What is sketchup? :)

Mikhail2400 06-30-2018 11:27 AM


Originally Posted by AlWood (Post 1994014)
What is sketchup? :)

Sketchup is the enemy!!

Im okay with computers but i find Sketchup a bit confusing. While i understand individual actions on it combining them is where i get mixed up. Like Steve ill just keep drawing out what i need.

Steve Neul 06-30-2018 01:58 PM


Originally Posted by AlWood (Post 1994014)
What is sketchup? :)

It's computer aided drafting software.

Pineknot_86 06-30-2018 05:16 PM

Sketchup is what you put on french fries and tater tots, isn't it? OK, I looked at it and decided to keep my spiral notebook and pencil.

gmercer_48083 06-30-2018 07:08 PM

Rami, Sketchup in the beginning is like anything learned. I suggest that you start out by making a box. Then add dimensions to it. then use the push pull tool to change the size of the box and you will see the dimensions change as you distort your box. There are a lot of videos on the internet for beginners to learn from. I found it helpful using a second computer to watch the video while using Sketchup on the first computer in order to do as I watched. Don't give up it is worth using.

pro70z28 06-30-2018 07:48 PM

I use Flexisign, only because it's what I've drawn with since 1992. When I design a project, I use Flexi first. No paper is harmed during the designing of anything here. If I don't like how it's turning out, It's a simple process to back up, start over or reshape one thing or another. I even used it when I drew up plans for the addition on the house. I put all the existing house dimensions, roof lines and angles into the document, drew the new addition, and I'll be if it didn't work. Flexi has a list of other CAD programs it can simulate and while they are different, they all have similarities.
Like most new things, it's just a matter of doing it, messing up a few times and trying again. and again.

zild1221 06-30-2018 09:12 PM

Don't be intimidated by sketchup! It is really easy to get into, and once you start to use it a little more, you can tailor it to your individual needs.

I use mine for quite a few different things. First off, I design kitchens, bathrooms, whole home interiors for my renovations. I also use it for designing parts to be 3d printed or CNC cut via router or waterjet.

My advice would be to just jump into a project. Go into the settings of sketchup and change your toolbars so you have all tools. Then as you go, watch tutorials to figure out issues that you're hung-up on. Learning hotkeys and key modifiers is an absolute must to unlock the full potential of sketchup and speed up drawing time.

My other biggest piece of advice is learn how groups and components work. You want to think of everything you're designing as a lot of small pieces that come together. For example, if I'm designing a cabinet, I'll start with the box. Every side of the box will be it's own group to form each sheet of plywood. The face frame would be multiple pieces just as I would cut them in the shop. Then I group those pieces into one larger piece as the face frame. That way it's easier to manipulate parts of your drawing without messing anything else up.

I would definitely recommend sticking with it. At the entry level, it can be very basic and simple. Once you start to peel back the layers, it can become very complex. And then you can add in thousands of task-specific extensions that make your life easier and add a ton of additional capabilities to the software.

WeebyWoodWorker 07-01-2018 02:01 AM

I'm young but I've never been good with computers. I can use auto desk but I'd much rather just do all my drafting by hand. If I ever need help doing anything fancy though I'm good friends with a drafting teacher (Lucky me). Sketch up isn't too hard to learn but I've never really bothered with it.

Mikhail2400 07-04-2018 01:34 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Been playing with Sketchup last couple days and along with some extensions (which i just figured out how to use) I managed to draw my in progress shop. Heck i even put a contractor table saw in it which looks a bit like mine.
Guess its like anything else, the more you mess with it the more you figure out about it. Truth be told the program did 90% of the work.

flytoolow 08-25-2018 01:03 AM

Are people using the free version, Sketchup Pro, or Sketchup Shop?

hawkeye10 08-25-2018 07:45 AM


Originally Posted by flytoolow (Post 2004510)
Are people using the free version, Sketchup Pro, or Sketchup Shop?

I have read that the free version is all a woodworker needs.

SwampRat 08-26-2018 01:18 AM

I use the free version, although the pro version is so much nicer for me (I ran the 30 day trial). the biggest advantage over paper is being able to rotate your view 360 degrees. On my current project, being able to view it from different angles identified where I had mistakenly used 1 1/2" long tenons into 1 1/4" deep mortises. Instant feedback on dimensions is really nice too.

With the pro version you an generate a material list of all your components, which is amazing, but not worth $700+ for a guy who doesn't get income from his wood-working.

jknupp 12-09-2018 04:39 PM

I'll preface by saying I'm in IT for my "real" job so I tend to pickup software programs pretty easily.

That said, I found that this site (http://sketchupforwoodworkers.com/) is a great place to start for people just starting with Sketchup.

Personally, I like the program a lot. I tend to start designs/project with a sketch in my journal, but once that's done, I move over to Sketchup. Once you get the hang of how Sketchup wants you to work, it's a pretty good program. Love the add on that let's me print out a full cut list for the project.

For those that asked, I find the free version just fine.


david989 01-03-2019 10:49 PM

I love Sketchup. I'll admit there is a learning curve but like any new skill start simple and work up. Years ago I worked in a drafting office with a drawing board and T square, then moved on to Autocad 2D. For me it took a little while to get into working in a 3D environment in Sketchup. After several years I am still learning new stuff. There are many plug ins to help with modeling. Right now I am drawing plans for a new workbench. Moving the legs and vise position takes moments. Not sure how much time erasing and redrawing it would take to do what takes me a couple of minutes in Sketchup. The biggest problem I have is printing full size. I know how to do it I just don't have a large enough printer. My work around is to bring the drawing up on my laptop in the shop. I still have a drawing board, T square etc. I don't remember the last time I used them though.

All that said I fully understand if you are not comfortable using a computer. In that case I would agree that Sketchup would not be for you. My brother in law uses pencil and paper to draw his plans. I've tried to show him how to use Sketchup but he says no way would he use it.

Totally agree with Justin's suggestion above if you are interested in learning.

Red5hft 01-04-2019 09:49 PM

Right there with you! Just havenít committed the time to learn it. I think some instruction would be helpful. Itís on the to do list.

Pineknot_86 01-05-2019 07:59 PM

Gaveup on Sketchup; went back to the pencil, paper and ruler.
Ever wonder how people built houses and furniture 100 years ago?

RickKr 01-06-2019 12:59 PM

I have tried figuring out Sketchup at least three time, starting when if first came out. I'm 71 but fairly computer savy and have used CAD programs for decades. I have given up on Sketchup. The learning curve has been too much.

However, I am currently making a run at using Fusion 360, which is also a cloud-based 3D CAD/CAM program. Because I have some spur gears I want made with a CNC router. With help from someone who uses it commercially, I've been able to create the gears, but that is because there is a script that generates the gear drawing given the properties of the gear that you enter into fields. Very slick.

Fusion 360 generates the G-code and toolpaths required for the CNC operations.

What I am having difficulty with is learning how to draw and place features on the generated gears, but that is just another learning curve matter. I have started the video based tutorials which should get me where I want to be, but I've only just begun and there are many other things demanding my time.

I'm at the stage where I could deliver the Fusion 360 gear files to someone and they could cut the gears with just a single center hole and I would add the other features manually (peg mounting holes and spokes) by modifying one gear of each size into pattern boards for using a bearing-guided router bit.

The learning curve for Fusion 360 seems quite similar to Sketchup, but the difference for me is that I have a reason/purpose for learning now that I lacked when trying to learn Sketchup.


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