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Old 07-29-2010, 09:09 AM   #1
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So I have my drawings of my deck plan all ready to go and want to make a 3d model of it, but am having one hell of a time learning SketchUp. Does anyone have any beginners tips on how to 3d model with Sketchup. My deck plan is attached so anything to get me going would be greatly appreciated. This was done in an old version of CAD by a friend.
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Old 07-29-2010, 09:23 AM   #2
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For what you are doing sketchup is great. With the sketchup download come links to video tutorials. You just have to spend the time learning it. Its no different than anything else you learned in school.

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Old 07-29-2010, 05:59 PM   #3
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Hi DAdams,
I love sketchup! I suck at it, but it's fun all the same.
I would suggest making sample stock lumber pieces. eg: 1- 2x4x8 east/west 1- 2x4x8 north/south etc. etc. etc. Place them in a lumber yard space or in your materials or components files. Then you can copy them and place them where you need them.
This way you can build it as you would build the real thing. It really helps to be able to go through it step by step.

Good luck.
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Old 07-30-2010, 09:39 AM   #4
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Man.. this thing is difficult.. i played with it for hours, but guess I cannot wrap my head around 3d and the controls... i got the basic layout of the deck to scale on there.. the only problem was when it came to pulling it into 3d and shaping out the posts. I dont really need it, but it would have been a nice to have! :D
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Old 07-30-2010, 09:44 AM   #5
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It seems like a nightmare to learn, but in the end it's pretty easy once you figure out a few key things. I'd highly recommend the tutorials. They will get you going pretty fast.
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Old 07-30-2010, 12:21 PM   #6
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Just a CAD newby, but I usually use in order:
1). The ruler tool to space away from other solid objects(so the program doesn't confuse the two).
Drag it a bit longer to confirm it's on the correct plane. Type the dimentions in the dialog box.
This tool is always safe to use.

2). The rectangle tool to estimate the shape/size.
Type the dimentions in the dialog box.

3). Then the push/pull tool to pull the 3-D shape out of the 2-D drawing. The tool also puts holes through shapes.
It has to be a complete shape or this won't work.
Type the dimention in the dialog box.

+Change views for different proceedures.
+With any of these, if you hover the tool onto another face it automatically makes them even/parrallel. This is nice with repetative objects. Also making a wall switch(eg) out in space, then copy/rotate/pasting onto a surface saves time.
+Working slower often is much faster. If you wait a second, the endpoint is picked up and you can be sure. Sometimes it will "look" connected, but it's not.
+The program naturally wants to make 3-D objects. If there are a bunch of connected lines it will sometimes get confused, and decide for itself which are connected into a shape.
Stay simple.

The initial things I found difficult with the program were:
-Connecting to one of a distant cluster of endpoints because the mouse would jump around between them. (Use the middle wheel to scroll the view in and out while holding down the button.)
-Selecting endpoints. (Be careful because this goes all the way through the model.)
-Changing to a different working plane. Still haven't figured this out.

It's a little tricky to start but keep experimenting with basic shapes. It becomes a lot of fun with practice. Thx google.

Last edited by Stillwerkin; 07-30-2010 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 07-30-2010, 12:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stillwerkin View Post
Just a CAD newby, but I usually use in order:
1). The ruler tool to space away from other solid objects(so the program doesn't confuse the two). Drag it a bit longer to confirm it's on the correct plane. Type the dimentions in the dialog box. This tool is always safe to use.
2). The rectangle tool to estimate the shape/size. Type the dimentions in the dialog box.
3). Then the push/pull tool to pull the 3-D shape out of the 2-D drawing. It first has to be a completely connected shape or it won't work. This tool also puts window holes in walls. Type the dimention in the dialog box.

+With any of these, if you jump the tool onto another face it automatically makes them even/parrallel. This is nice to have with repetative objects. Also making a wall switch(eg) out in space, then copy/rotate/pasting onto a surface saves time.
+Working slower often is much faster. If you wait a second, the endpoint is picked up and you can be sure. Sometimes it will "look" connected, but it's not.
+The program naturally wants to make 3-D objects. If there are a bunch of connected lines it will sometimes get confused, and decide for itself which are connected into a shape.

The initial things I found difficult with the program were:
-Connecting to one of a distant cluster of endpoints because the mouse would jump around between them. (Use the middle wheel to scroll the view in and out while holding down the button.)
-Selecting endpoints. (Be careful because this goes all the way through the model.)
-Changing to a different working plane. Still haven't figured this out.

It's a little tricky to learn but keep experimenting with basic shapes. It becomes a lot of fun with practice.

Good info.. you raised alot of the same problems I was having... designing a shape and putting in the right dimensions, then one line would be off... probably it snapped to an oft guide. I have still been playing, and some of your tips will definitely come in handy.
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Old 07-30-2010, 02:54 PM   #8
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Glad to save another the grief. There are also some cool youtube vids.

I forgot the two most important: Make progressive saves, and build solid on top of solid! This may require leaving in hidden lines to keep objects seperated.

Found out this out the hard way. First I made the floor outline..then added rectangles for the supporting walls...then deleted lines to connect them all...then added finishing touches...then went back and decided to re-configure the walls...Aw heck, I don't know what I did.

Somewhere along the line I erased/didn't erase something. I couldn't fill in the basement ceiling with a solid box because of all the stuff piled up on top.
Oh yeah, and figuring out which were the non-parrallel lines deep inside.....LOL.

Ended up erasing half of it and redoing. Should have kept it in order, and finished the "building blocks" first.

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