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Old 04-10-2015, 11:08 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by taskswap View Post
I have a lot of trouble making components inside things, like modeling cabinets inside the chassis. It seems to be a huge amount of work to get all the right things selected when making the actual component because things are already cut. The only trick I've found is to do something like copy the chassis to a new location, cut out everything I don't want (so I just have the side wall profile, for example), model the cabinet THERE, then I can more easily select everything and make the component. Any tricks for that, or is that the best way?
I had the same problem (if I'm understanding you correctly) and the best way to get things to work right is to make sure everything is a component.

Let's say you've built a wall and want to add some cabinets to it. If the wall is just a set of faces, there is a good chance you'll end up changing one or more of those faces as you build the cabinet. If instead you select the wall and make it a component—let's call it wall—then build your cabinet outside of that wall component, there is little chance you can inadvertently change the wall properties. To avoid accidentally opening the wall component as you work, you can use the View/Component Edit/Hide Rest of Model command to hide everything not inside the component you're working on. You'll still see other components nested inside whatever you're editing, but higher-tier components will be hidden. When you're done modeling the cabinets, make them a component—kitchen cabinet, for example—and then select both the wall and cabinet components and make them a component. Name that component something like wall and cabinets. When you want to add a bathroom cabinet, open the wall and cabinets component and build a new cabinet in the bathroom. Once again, when that cabinet is done, make it a component by itself. Now you'll have one wall and cabinets component with a wall, bathroom cabinet, and kitchen cabinet components inside it. Basically, you want everything to be stored inside a hierarchy of components, from the largest to the smallest.

(With the wheels I have been working on, I have everything inside a component called wheel assembly. That component contains components called tire and rim and wheel hub. The wheel hub component further contains center hub and spokes components, and so on.)

The Hide Rest of Model command is a toggle switch, so that setting stays active until you re-select it from the menu. Since I switch from this view as I work, I set up a keyboard shortcut to toggle back and forth between showing and hiding the rest of my model. I don't know if this is exactly the same for Mac OS X and Windows versions of SketchUp, but you can add keyboard shortcuts in Preferences by selecting Shortcuts and finding the View/Component Edit/Hide Rest of Model
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Old 04-10-2015, 04:22 PM   #12
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Whoops. I guess it was so late that I forgot o finish that sentence.

... you can add keyboard shortcuts in Preferences by selecting Shortcuts and finding the View/Component Edit/Hide Rest of Model item, then add your own key or key combination to create the shortcut.

If you want to add to an existing component, but don't want to risk screwing up the geometry inside that component, you can use this trick: Build the new parts outside the component you want to add to. When you're done and happy with the results, use the Cut command to erase the new parts and copy them to the clipboard, then open the existing component and use the Paste in Place command to drop the copied geometry into the exact location from where it was copied, except now it will be inside your component, right where you want it. Paste in Place is another command without a keyboard shortcut, so use the tip from my previous comment to create one if you find this is something you use a lot.

I want to add also to my remarks about the Hide Rest of Model command. In that same submenu is a command that toggles the ability to Hide Similar Components. If you use the trick of creating a model that is one half of a symmetrical model while the other half (a mirrored copy of that component) is open next to it, Hide Similar Components will allow you to see parts of your model that may not be hidden by the Hide Rest of Model command. Hide Rest of Model only hides everything that isn't your open component, and since you may have one side of your model blocked by its mirror image, you'll need to toggle that other half on or off as you work.
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Old 04-10-2015, 07:29 PM   #13
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This thread is like the best thing I've read on here. I'm fine cutting pipe, wires, and steel, but SketchUp has been SOOOOOO frustrating. Thanks for all the tips!
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:51 PM   #14
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I'm kind of kicking myself... for a long time I've dismissed sketchup as another of Google's projects that are kinda so-so owing to their "everything runs in a web browser" mentality. Either I was entirely wrong, or it has come a long way (probably the former). Wow!

Does anybody know a way to work with simple moving parts? I see some youtube videos showing sketchup with the sketchyphysics plugin. It looks great, but from the project's google code page it seems the plugin is pretty dated and I get the idea it might not work with current sketchup.
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Old 04-11-2015, 11:51 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by taskswap View Post
This thread is like the best thing I've read on here. I'm fine cutting pipe, wires, and steel, but SketchUp has been SOOOOOO frustrating. Thanks for all the tips!
I used to hate it. My first attempts at modeling my home were, as you say, frustrating. I tried to create everything without using any components and would frequently have to fix problems that arose because of it. It's only recently that I've been able to fully understand the software's tools thanks to YouTube.

Here's another tip: When building your model, use real-world dimensions to start, but when you start working in very small details, scale the model many times larger than real life, make the necessary changes, then scale it back down to normal size. SketchUp seems to have difficulty working at dimensions smaller than a few hundredths of an inch, and some curves and angles at that scale won't interact as they should, but when you scale everything up, they work fine.

I've had trouble when using the Follow Me tool to router a fine curve onto the edge of a model. With a very tight radius, sometimes the intersections will get muddied up. Another advanced feature is the ability to intersect faces to create new shapes, and at normal scales, this feature can get confused. But at scales one hundred times normal scale, it works better.
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Old 04-11-2015, 11:58 AM   #16
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Does anybody know a way to work with simple moving parts? I see some youtube videos showing sketchup with the sketchyphysics plugin. It looks great, but from the project's google code page it seems the plugin is pretty dated and I get the idea it might not work with current sketchup.
I can't comment on that particular plugin, but I know that a lot of plugins are very powerful, if not inexpensive. For a free app, SketchUp has a lot of very expensive add-ons.

Some of the models available in the 3D Warehouse are "dynamic" components that have different capabilities built in. Some doors, for instance, can be opened and closed by using the Interact tool (instead of having to use the Rotate tool by carefully placing the center of rotation, the Interact tool knows where the hinge is located and how far the door can be opened or closed, and will act accordingly). Unfortunately, dynamic components can be created only with the Pro version of SketchUp—they can still be downloaded and used by the basic version.
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Old 04-11-2015, 12:22 PM   #17
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Here's an early plan I did


Dick
Where did you get that grid pattern background and the slash marks inside your walls? Is that in the app or is it something you found online?
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Old 04-11-2015, 04:08 PM   #18
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Section Planes can be situated along any plane in your model and by using angles other than vertical or horizontal, you can expose some geometry in interesting ways. You can also embed section planes inside components so they affect only those components and other components nested within.

Keep in mind that when I say a component is "inside" or "outside" another component, I don't mean one is physically within the measurements of another, but that one is hierarchically above or below the other. Two nested components can be anywhere in your model's world in relation to each other.

Here I've placed a section plane at an angle within the bus shell component. It cuts through only the outer skin as well as the window, door, and roof components that are inside the shell component. The interior cabinets and other stuff are inside the overall bus component, but are unaffected by the section plane because the outer shell is like a sibling to the cabinets, rather than a mother or father. A section plane placed inside the bus component would affect everything in the bus, but nothing outside of it, like a mailbox or tree placed next to it, for example. Also, a section plane placed outside the bus would slice through everything in the SketchUp model.
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Old 04-11-2015, 05:32 PM   #19
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The difference between the Orbit tool and the Look Around tool: Using the Orbit tool allows you to move around what you're looking at. By clicking and dragging, you are orbiting around wherever you clicked. Using the Look Around tool lets your point of view remain stationary while you inspect the scene from that point. One moves the camera around a point while the other swivels and tilts the camera from a fixed point. Each one is useful, but they behave very differently.

There are a lot of keyboard shortcuts for the various tools. In some cases, you can just hover your cursor over something in the tool palette and it will display the name of the tool followed by the shortcut key, but a lot of the tools don't show a shortcut. This doesn't mean they don't exist, however. I've accidentally found shortcuts by typing an incorrect key and switching to a new tool that I wasn't expecting. I use a Mac, but a lot of them are probably the same on Windows and a lot of them are easy. "O" summons the Orbit tool. "R" is for Rectangle. Some of them aren't so obvious, like "Q" bringing up the Rotate tool.
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Old 04-11-2015, 05:57 PM   #20
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Where did you get that grid pattern background and the slash marks inside your walls? Is that in the app or is it something you found online?
Now that I think about it, I don't think this was done with sketchup, I'll have to go back and look at the files.
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