I'm a pen and graph paper kind of guy... - Router Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-18-2020, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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Default I'm a pen and graph paper kind of guy...

When I design something, I do it with graph paper & a pen. A couple of drafts later ... I head to the shop.

I'm doing more corporate work now, and that's not exactly, uh, professional.

My son, the engineer, turned his nose up on my state of the art. He seemed to think there should be CAD software in my future.

So ... is Sketch up still the recommended solution for a somewhat computer literate woodworker, or is there an alternative I should be considering? Here are 2 current projects:

1. A tequila gift box that will be presented to the cast & crew of a TV show. It holds a bottle of Patron + 4 shot glasses. 8" x 10" x 6", approximately. This is the project that the Engineer thought I needed a better plan than a sketch on graph paper (and he was right). I'm making 100 copies.

2. A retail display for a new hair product. I'm making a 3-step display with holes CNC'd in the steps to hold the product. A display back slips into a slot, and that back will hold the printed point of purchase display. I'll be making 2,500 copies.

Your wisdom, as always, is much appreciated.

Some eye candy of recent projects ... that got designed in Aspire. Well ... at least part of them did.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-18-2020, 05:23 PM
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Henry, those are great projects. I really like that contrasting wood.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-18-2020, 05:48 PM
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Very nice Henry . As Tom mentions ,the contrast is a really nice touch
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-18-2020, 05:59 PM
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I'm a CAD kind of guy. Always draw everything out before hand in Sketchup. Personally, I still draw even small stuff in SU because that's my process and my handwriting, frankly, sucks so bad I have a hard time reading my own scribbles.

That said, the latest SU is web based and I've heard a lot of complaints about how bad it is. I have have an older version that predates their move to web based. You should try it, though. It may work ok for you.

If you have aspire, I'd think that is enough CAD for your needs.

Measure twice, cut once and CROSS OUT THE WRONG MARKS.

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-18-2020, 07:48 PM
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I do it differently. No graph paper and pen for me. With me it is lined spiral notebooks, and a mechanical pencil, AND a very good eraser. Rough sketch until I get what I want, fine tune it a bit. THEN I go to graph paper (I consider it too valuable to use it for drafts) to finalize it, usually with a mechanical pencil, but often go over that with a pen. And it works very well for me. In fact, depending on what I want to make, can often work directly from the rough draft.

I think I had CAD once. But a shot of penicillin took care of it.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-18-2020, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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If you have aspire, I'd think that is enough CAD for your needs.
Aspire is great for my CNC, but it doesn't make multiple small box parts, convert to 3D, blow them up, rotate the assembly, etc. At least not with my skill level.

I do use CBDesigner 2.0 that was recently commented on in this forum, and I did buy a program to optimize sheet stock usage when I was doing a few nice orders of plywood boxes.

The current tequila gift box is for a client that's literally pushing me to shave every 1/8" possible out of the design, and a CAD program would have helped. Having to answer "how big a hole do you need for a tapered shot glass so that the rim is the same height as the oddly shaped Patron bottle" is probably always going to be answered with trial and error ... but then converting that to a nice drawing would be much more impressive to the client than my scratchings.

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-18-2020, 08:47 PM
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I'm not an Aspire user but it seems to have pretty good modeling tools. I agree, it's not an engineering style CAD system. Maybe F360 isn't overkill for you, it is definitely very capable.

Sketchup is good at building 3D woodworking models and the paid for version has DXF export that Aspire can import. It basically sucks at CAM and I would avoid the web based versions. I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with it. Don't try to work on really small features with it as it pretty much falls apart and it lacks the "sketch plane" feature that other have (like F360). Sketch planes make it easy to draw a 2D object for manipulation. In SU, it's harder to do that because it winds up snapping to random things and you wind up drawing in 3 dimensions.

edit: one thing SU has going for it is the 3D warehouse. It has a huge number of objects you can just drop into your drawings. Not sure that helps other than with client presentations.

Measure twice, cut once and CROSS OUT THE WRONG MARKS.

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-18-2020, 11:30 PM
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I am a sketcher and occasionally use graph paper to get an idea of size and proportion. For some drawings, I use the drawing set in Micro$oft Word. It keeps lines square and plumb. I've posted many of these over the years. I like the discipline of working with precise, straight lines.

But I actually work from the mental image I form of the easier projects, with a little help from my sketch on basic dimensions. I've pretty much settled on story sticks for inside measures, cutting slightly proud and trimming down for an exact fit. Luckily I grew up in the radio age, so my ability to visualize is pretty dang good. Many kids today just can't visualize or form persistent mental images.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-19-2020, 04:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
I do it differently. No graph paper and pen for me. With me it is lined spiral notebooks, and a mechanical pencil, AND a very good eraser. Rough sketch until I get what I want, fine tune it a bit. THEN I go to graph paper (I consider it too valuable to use it for drafts) to finalize it, usually with a mechanical pencil, but often go over that with a pen. And it works very well for me. In fact, depending on what I want to make, can often work directly from the rough draft.

I think I had CAD once. But a shot of penicillin took care of it.

I'm with you on this one, Theo...
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-19-2020, 06:42 AM
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My son is an ME and spent part of his co-op time at a CAD-CAM system. He later told what he didn't want to do as an engineer. I tried Sketchup. Gave up. Son's boy has my father's drafting pencils, triangles, etc. Wonder how many things were invented or improved on by drawing on a napkin or piece of cardboard?
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