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fixerdave
05-24-2011, 11:39 AM
I've taken the plunge and learned SketchUp, I've got these really nifty models that I can rotate and see with the doors open and closed... Now what?

What's the best way to get working drawings out of the program?

On my first go, I created a separate scene where I just placed all the components I made, rotated and aligned them, did the dimensioning on a separate layer, and then fussed around until I could get a decent printout of each. I was not happy with the process.

This time, I'm trying to dimension each component while they're in place, putting the dimensions in 3 layers (front/side/top). The idea was to create printouts as I go for each component by hiding all the rest. This is not going well and I can't help feeling there has to be some better way.

So, short of dragging the laptop to the workbench, what do people that make real stuff actually do?

RB211
05-24-2011, 12:35 PM
So, short of dragging the laptop to the workbench, what do people that make real stuff actually do?

Use solidworks.

Evan
05-24-2011, 01:41 PM
Step one is your work flow. Every part in a project should be made into an individual group or component. If there is only one of something then a group will do. If it is something that is used multiple times then make it a component. A component may be saved for reuse in other projects. Also, if something is made a component then even if there are hundreds of them in the drawing it doesn't slow down the program. Components have only a single representation in memory and are repeated multiple times in the drawing. If you make a change to a component all instances of that component change at the same time. This is very useful and a big time saver when used correctly.

By making every part a group or component it is easy to extract a copy of any part and drop it to the X,Y plane for making a 2D 3 view.

Here is an example of a project I am working on. It is a half size version of my CNC mill that has nearly the same working envelope. Every part is a group which are then grouped together to make sub assemblies. Materials are colour coded.

http://ixian.ca/pics8/minimill1.gif

Then I use a plugin called CadUp which explodes assemblies and parts to various views on the X,Y plane, like this:

http://ixian.ca/pics8/minimill2.gif


You can get it here:

http://forums.sketchucation.com/viewtopic.php?t=35096

.RC.
05-24-2011, 05:17 PM
Use solidworks.

Yea and like all of us I am sure he has a spare $5 000 to buy a copy of it..

RB211
05-24-2011, 05:19 PM
Yea and like all of us I am sure he has a spare $5 000 to buy a copy of it..

Try harder, if there is a will, there is a way.

.RC.
05-24-2011, 06:21 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5chhZfEHU84

justanengineer
05-24-2011, 07:58 PM
Use solidworks.

x2 on this one. Regular price = ridiculous. Special sales = :) Last year they had a special for college grads for $210 (for the class of 2010). Unfortunately I already had it.

Evan
05-24-2011, 08:28 PM
I am pretty sure that the $210 is a yearly licence fee.

mochinist
05-24-2011, 08:45 PM
I'm sure RB211 is suggesting something a lil different than a student version

http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/threatlevel/2009/06/picture-13.png

The $210 is a one time fee for two years if I remember right, and all your prints will have a "solidworks student edition" watermarked across the page. I have a legit version by the way, I make money with it and wouldn't pirate something like that at my business. For home use only, I would be tempted, but seeing what Evan and others can do with Sketchup, I think why bother with the risk of viruses, spyware and potential fines.

fixerdave
05-24-2011, 09:51 PM
...
By making every part a group or component it is easy to extract a copy of any part and drop it to the X,Y plane for making a 2D 3 view.
...
Then I use a plugin called CadUp which explodes assemblies and parts to various views on the X,Y plane, like this:
...

Ah, see, now that's why I posted the question. I knew there had to be a shortcut. Thanks Evan.

Now, I just have a workflow question or two:

* Do you take each element you want the CadUp views of into a new sketchUp file or just build up all these layers in your main model?

* Do you export the results to some other CAD program and dimension there or just dimension in SketchUp?


As for those recommending solidworks... Well, I make a living managing Windows computers, computing professional with 25years experience, yada, yada... I am well versed in bittorrent (and all the variations that came before) and, yes, I've downloaded rather large quantities of proprietary applications through the years, including solidworks at one time or another. Bin there, done that.

But, a funny thing happened... I discovered Linux and, well, I can't be bothered by all that junk any more. It's not a moral decision... I personally despise the notion of copyright. Blogged about it here: Keliso (http://keliso.blogspot.com/search/label/Copyright). Basically, I hate software that's protected by Digital Rights Management (DRM). Again, blogged about it here: A teaspoon full of sewage
(http://datadave.blogspot.com/2009/07/teaspoon-of-sewage.html)
I decided on SketchUp because I can run it under wine in Linux. It seems to work well enough for my needs and there's no DRM. I was just stuck on how to easily get useful output. Evan's suggestion will likely get me to where I want to be.

David...

Evan
05-24-2011, 11:45 PM
To use CadUp you first move the entire model well away from the origin. Then you select the part or assembly to lay out. CadUp creates a copy at the origin and then proceeds to create all the views. Sometimes it overlaps the views on each other but it is a simple matter to shift them with the mover tool to separate locations as you want.

Selecting too many parts at once will really slow down the layout. Keep an eye on the bottom status bar to see what it is doing.

I dimension in Sketchup. It works well enough.

justanengineer
05-25-2011, 11:24 AM
The $210 is a one time fee for two years if I remember right, and all your prints will have a "solidworks student edition" watermarked across the page. I have a legit version by the way, I make money with it and wouldn't pirate something like that at my business. For home use only, I would be tempted, but seeing what Evan and others can do with Sketchup, I think why bother with the risk of viruses, spyware and potential fines.

According to a friend that bought a seat, its a regular Solidworks seat, but some of the advanced features (movies etc) are disabled. Solidworks student edition was free the last I checked, at least at my school it was because we had access to the full version w/FEA through the network and lifetime (supposedly) remote access. My seat was paid for by my former employer, not pirated, and I wasnt suggesting doing so though that is an easy solution for those who wish to ignore the law.

For students there have been many ridiculously good deals lately because companies/organizations needing to generate revenue. Blame it on the economy, but even groups like the SAE, who have a regular special for students transitioning to professional memberships have been cutting the price. Normally dues for the SAE are just over $200 total for the basic membership for the first four years after college if you were a student member previously. Recently they had a promotion where the price was dropped to $80 total for a basic membership for four years. I was honestly debating it until I saw the special, then there was no question in my mind.