Another drafting software question
#11
  
I am brainstorming and planning a big master closet make over for my wife. She has a big—McMansion style—closet all to herself. It was trimmed out about as cheap as you can imagine—flat ceiling paint to boot. I am wanting to build her a boutique style closet with no holds barred. I am planning on a combination of open shelves, cabinet doors, chest of drawer systems, shoe racks and nice hardware.

Design and plans are my biggest hurdle with any project. Making up my mind and fearing a mistake slow me down considerably. Knocking out a Woodsmith plan is typically quick and easy for me. I’d like a similar experience—as much as possible—for a project this size.

I don’t use any design software but I think it may be time well spent—and long past due—to commit myself to learning Sketchup or similar.

My questions are; Is Sketchup still the go-to-best-value that does what it should. Are there better programs out there now? My biggest concern is how long it will take me to get good enough with it to design this project. I know it’s a loaded question but is 10-15 hours worth of doodling while following tutorials reasonable? I am pretty computer savvy. Any others you’d consider over Sketchup at a reasonable price? Any advise would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Damon


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#12
  Re: Another drafting software question by Kansas City Fireslayer (I am brainstorming a...)
SketchUp is probably still the most accessible and has the largest body of tutorial materials around. Generally, just like asking who makes the best tablesaw or other woodworking tool, people who answer are going to tell you the one they use is the best. If the software isn't free, it'll have a trial period. You can try some of them and see what you think.

My opinion is that SketchUp is a very good option for designing and detailing woodworking projects. You can create something your bride can view and understand as well as create the plans, cutlists and other stuff you need to be able to build the project.

I think 10-15 hours would be plenty providing you get a good solid foundation to start.

I sent you a PM.
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#13
  Re: Another drafting software question by Kansas City Fireslayer (I am brainstorming a...)
SketchUp is ideal for what you want to do. That's the big advantage; you model stuff that fits in a 3D model of the room, changes don't take long and you can show the customer what the finished product will look like. If you make the model carefully SketchUp will tell you everything there is to know about each and every part.

10-15 hours should get you going, provided you are learning good techniques and you're willing to practice and learn from your mistakes. You could also spend that much time searching YouTube for decent information.
Bob Lang
ReadWatchDo.com
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#14
  Re: RE: Another drafting software question by Bob Lang (SketchUp is ideal fo...)
(01-14-2019, 03:33 PM)Bob Lang Wrote: SketchUp is ideal for what you want to do. That's the big advantage; you model stuff that fits in a 3D model of the room, changes don't take long and you can show the customer what the finished product will look like. If you make the model carefully SketchUp will tell you everything there is to know about each and every part.

10-15 hours should get you going, provided you are learning good techniques and you're willing to practice and learn from your mistakes. You could also spend that much time searching YouTube for decent information.

SketchUp is absolutely worth every minute you put into learning it..  It's almost like you can completely design and build your project, down to the smallest details, first, virtually, before making any sawdust.. Then when it's time to actually build, things go very smoothly.  I only kick myself for going so long without having learned it.
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#15
  Re: RE: Another drafting software question by mound ([quote='Bob Lang' pi...)
(01-14-2019, 03:45 PM)mound Wrote: SketchUp is absolutely worth every minute you put into learning it..  It's almost like you can completely design and build your project, down to the smallest details, first, virtually, before making any sawdust.. Then when it's time to actually build, things go very smoothly.  I only kick myself for going so long without having learned it.

That's a thing I found out first hand when I started using SketchUp over 15 years ago. After designing a project in SketchUp, building it in the shop is like building it for the second time. No surprises and everything goes quickly and easily.
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#16
  Re: Another drafting software question by Kansas City Fireslayer (I am brainstorming a...)
I have used Sketchup some. So, I'm certainly no expert. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong. I have read some concerns that, I think, only apply to the free version. The concerns are regarding Sketchup becoming cloud based and becoming quite sluggish to use. If I understand correctly, this doesn't apply to the paid version. However, so far at least, you can still download one of older versions that gets installed rather than being in the cloud. Maybe someone else can elaborate on this.
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#17
  Re: RE: Another drafting software question by Willyou (I have used Sketchup...)
(01-14-2019, 08:02 PM)Willyou Wrote: I have used Sketchup some. So, I'm certainly no expert. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong. I have read some concerns that, I think, only apply to the free version. The concerns are regarding Sketchup becoming cloud based and becoming quite sluggish to use. If I understand correctly, this doesn't apply to the paid version. However, so far at least, you can still download one of older versions that gets installed rather than being in the cloud. Maybe someone else can elaborate on this.

Not sure what they've been doing lately... I use SketchUp Make 2017, free, and it does everything I've asked of it.. It's a desktop application on my Mac.. I did try the cloud based version, didn't like it.. found it sluggish (despite good bandwidth) and seemed lots of my keyboard shortcuts I was used to didn't work..  I admit I didn't give the cloud based version much time so my opinion is probably ill-informed.
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#18
  Re: RE: Another drafting software question by Willyou (I have used Sketchup...)
(01-14-2019, 08:02 PM)Willyou Wrote: I have used Sketchup some. So, I'm certainly no expert. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong. I have read some concerns that, I think, only apply to the free version. The concerns are regarding Sketchup becoming cloud based and becoming quite sluggish to use. If I understand correctly, this doesn't apply to the paid version. However, so far at least, you can still download one of older versions that gets installed rather than being in the cloud. Maybe someone else can elaborate on this.

It sounds like you've read some misinformation and have some incomplete information. Trimble has discontinued development of SketchUp Make (the free desktop client version) and are directing their efforts into SketchUp for Web. This includes SketchUp Free, SketchUp for Schools, and SketchUp Shop. These are all designed to run in your internet browser so operating system isn't a consideration. This makes it possible to run SketchUp on Linux machines and on lightweight notebooks like Chromebooks. With the education sector being a huge focus for them, this browser-based approach is a much more manageable way to implement SketchUp for the wide variety of platforms out there. I've used both SketchUp Free and SketchUp Shop quite a lot. I haven't found either one to be sluggish at all.  In fact, I don't see any speed difference between desktop SketchUp and SketchUp web. The user interface is different from the desktop client versions but all of the same native tools are present. Switching over to SketchUp for Web is like getting in a new car and having to figure out the radio and the heater controls.

In addition to being able to run on wimpy little notebooks and such, there are other benefits to the web based version. First, if you are saving your files to your Trimble Connect account or to the 3D Warehouse, you can access them on any computer anywhere with an internet connection. There's no software to install. Also, every time you start SketchUp for Web you are getting the latest version. Because of the way it's set up, they can push updates at any time. I've seen some weeks where they've pushed 2 or 3 updates. Can you imagine getting a message telling you to install the latest version of a program every time you start it up? Most people wouldn't take the time to download and install the latest.

You do need an internet connection to open Sketchup for Web, access the 3D Warehouse and save files to your Trimble Connect account but once it's open, you can model to your heart's content without a connection.

Currently the downside of the web based versions is there's no implementation for extensions although the development team has been working on ways to change that. FWIW, the vast majority of SketchUp users don't use any plugins or extensions anyway so this isn't really a huge deal. 

SketchUp Free is available for non-commercial use. SketchUp Shop has additional import/export options, like DXF/DWG and pro tools like the Solid Tools. Shop is licensed for commercial use.

SketchUp 2017 Make as well as SketchUp 2016 Make are still available for download and are available for hobby use. Those who are using 32-bit operating systems of sub-standard graphics cards will want 2016 due to it's availability for 32-bit operating systems and it's ability to let you offload rendering duties to the CPU. 2017 and later require graphics cards that are up to the job.

If you are using SketchUp for commercial work, of course you need Sketchup Pro. That includes LayOut which is designed to create documentation from your SketchUp model along with other files such as CAD files, spreadsheets, text files and images. Even if you are a hobbyist using SketchUp, if you make your own plans or want to create full size patterns for projects and your time is worth anything, SketchUp Pro would be the way to go. Making a full size pattern for something like the parts for chairs like I show below only takes a few moments.



Or, if you need to create CAD files for your CNC router, you can do that with SketchUp Pro.

But for the hobbyists who don't need much capability, take your pick. SketchUp Free or SketchUp Make.
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#19
  Re: RE: Another drafting software question by DaveR1 ([quote='Willyou' pid...)
Nice writeup Dave!

Will Sketchup Pro/Layout continue to be available as a native desktop application?
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#20
  Re: RE: Another drafting software question by mound (Nice writeup Dave! ...)
(01-15-2019, 09:23 AM)mound Wrote: Nice writeup Dave!

Will Sketchup Pro/Layout continue to be available as a native desktop application?

Thank you.

I'm not privy to Trimble's plans but at least for the foreseeable future, I expect SketchUp Pro/LayOut to continue as a desktop application. Extensions seemed to be used more by pro users and since there's currently no way to implement extensions in the browser-based version, that would be a huge problem for many of their customers. At this point there's no alternative to LayOut either. It wouldn't surprise me to see some sort of package offering for SketchUp Pro and LayOut along with access to some browser-based version. That would be useful if you're going to job sites or to meet with clients.
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