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I downloaded a copy after a recent post, but have too many other projects running to learn how to use it....
Most of my projects are small bowls and trays using templates.
 

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Oliver (Prof. Henry)
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I used Sketchup for many years until my older free version would no longer work with my updated operating system. When I tried to update Sketchup, I discovered the price was too high for my occasional use. However, after seeing your post, I looked to check their current pricing and found a Free online-only version is available. Now I can use Sketchup again for those projects where it can help. Thanks for the Sketchup reminder.
 

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Sketch Up is really easy to use. As with everything, there is a learning curve, but I find it fantastic for project like planning the construction of a deck, or a "She Shed" or anything like that.

As I get older, I can AFFORD the higher priced software, but I can't seem to find the TIME or the ENERGY to learn how to use it. 😕

After the first of the year, if the country hasn't gone MAD MAX on us, I believe a nice 3D printer is in my future.

Joe

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Boy, I use Sketchup all the time for anything involving more than 2 pieces of wood! I've used it for room layouts, yard layouts (in the simplest 2D form) as well as woodworking. I've just completed designing a horizontal router add-on to my router table and, as usual, I find that using Sketchup reveals the flaws in my design thinking well before digging through my pile of lumber. I've spent a few days refining my approach (for the router add-on) - rejecting a couple of ideas and adding a couple. The ability to create in 3D and to perform some of the same operations as you would with real wood (e.g. dados) is very helpful in thinking things through - both in terms of design and construction. So now I'm ready to make some sawdust.

I am still using Sketchup 2017 for the Mac, which is no longer supported but my current Mac OS will still run it and it has all the features I need. I've messed with the on-line version very briefly and while I think I could live with it for some things, my recollection is that its hard to save projects and, overall, the features are more limited (at least when I last messed with it). One does now have to use the on-line version to import designs from the 3D warehouse, but I can copy them into my Sketchup 2017 version. I've used it since it was a Google product - and certainly in the time up to the 2017 version, there were improvements that have been useful. But it has served me well - and I've designed a couple of fairly complex projects with it. I still managed to slide back down the learning curve when I haven't used it in a while, so I have to relearn things, but for the most part that doesn't seem to be a huge problem that a few expletives can't fix. Trimble does have some pretty good on-line tutorials and there are some Sketchup for woodworkers books out there - the ones I have are by Joe Zeh and by David Heim

I haven't yet had to confront what to do if the 2017 version won't work anymore (my current thinking is to not upgrade the OS on one of my older Macs just to avoid having compatibility issues arise) - I really, really, really dislike "subscription-based" software (thank you MIcrosoft... not).

- Rich
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Boy, I use Sketchup all the time for anything involving more than 2 pieces of wood! I've used it for room layouts, yard layouts (in the simplest 2D form) as well as woodworking. I've just completed designing a horizontal router add-on to my router table and, as usual, I find that using Sketchup reveals the flaws in my design thinking well before digging through my pile of lumber. I've spent a few days refining my approach (for the router add-on) - rejecting a couple of ideas and adding a couple. The ability to create in 3D and to perform some of the same operations as you would with real wood (e.g. dados) is very helpful in thinking things through - both in terms of design and construction. So now I'm ready to make some sawdust.

I am still using Sketchup 2017 for the Mac, which is no longer supported but my current Mac OS will still run it and it has all the features I need. I've messed with the on-line version very briefly and while I think I could live with it for some things, my recollection is that its hard to save projects and, overall, the features are more limited (at least when I last messed with it). One does now have to use the on-line version to import designs from the 3D warehouse, but I can copy them into my Sketchup 2017 version. I've used it since it was a Google product - and certainly in the time up to the 2017 version, there were improvements that have been useful. But it has served me well - and I've designed a couple of fairly complex projects with it. I still managed to slide back down the learning curve when I haven't used it in a while, so I have to relearn things, but for the most part that doesn't seem to be a huge problem that a few expletives can't fix. Trimble does have some pretty good on-line tutorials and there are some Sketchup for woodworkers books out there - the ones I have are by Joe Zeh and by David Heim

I haven't yet had to confront what to do if the 2017 version won't work anymore (my current thinking is to not upgrade the OS on one of my older Macs just to avoid having compatibility issues arise) - I really, really, really dislike "subscription-based" software (thank you MIcrosoft... not).

- Rich
Thank You Rich! That gives me a bit more Grist for the Mill! Very Helpful.
 

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I've been using Sketchup since it first came out and was a Google product - free and super useful. I stayed with it for many, many years, always upgrading as long as it was free. I use it only as a hobbyist and could never justify the cost. My wife owns the last paid, non-subscription version because she uses it in her theatre scenic design work. That version has lots of nice features that allow the creation proper drawings you can give to a master carpenter for building.
With the advent of the subscription model, the price went beyond what she could justify for her business, so she lives in fear that a future MacOS update will kill off her version of SU. I still run the last free version from time to time but discovered that all of my files opened just fine in the web version so I'm pretty much set if I update my MacBook Pro and SU stops working.
I do a lot of designing of 3D-printed stuff for theatres and escape rooms (and me) and SU simply doesn't cut it because that's not what it's designed for: it's for architecture, woodworking and landscape design (and theatre sets). It's not parametric and has a problem with small dimensions - sometimes planar surfaces stop being planar and everything collapses in a heap. Being parametric means I can couple dimensions so that if I change one, the others change with it. SU can't so modifying a design to change one dimension can be a nightmare.
For this reason, I have migrated to FreeCAD after tinkering in Fusion360 and a couple of others. I really liked F360 but the free version is somewhat limited and the CAD files are proprietary - if Autodesk decides to quit offering a free version, all my designs are gone. FreeCAD is different from and less polished than F360, but it is open source and under constant development. There are zillions of tutorials in every language imaginable and finding help or guidance is pretty easy.
FreeCAD is not at all like SU and I spent a year un-learning the SU paradigm so I could use FreeCAD properly. It requires more discipline to use FC I think, because there is an important order-of-operations you need to follow to create and object that can be printed or built. I'm old but the learning process has been very exciting and I can spend hours refining a design and printing prototypes. Eventually my wife comes up and reminds me I was supposed to cook...
 

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I've been using SU for a very long time - since it was a Google product. My relationship with it is love/hate. I know it really well and can bang out somewhat simple stuff in no time at all. Currently using the free V17. About a year ago they made a concerted effort to push people into the newer one by doing things like shutting off access to the parts warehouse. So, I use it less. I mostly use if for modeling woodshop projects. I can import the files into VCarve Pro if I want to cut it on a CNC router. That actually works quite well.

What I don't like about SU is that you really can't do small scale stuff - their test for whether 2 points are in the same location is way too coarse. That causes all sorts of grief - for example intersecting 2 lofted surfaces often gets you weird holes. You can scale up 10 or 100X to get around the problem but when you scale back down it often has problems. Don't know if they have fixed that, last time I checked it was still a problem.

I also use F360 and FreeCAD. Each has their value and drawbacks.
 

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I can't get over the initial learning curve with Sketchup. Anyone know of a good, thorough tutorial online? Something more complete than a short "here's how you draw a board" video?
Fire up the google machine and do a search. A good set of tutorials is from Matthias Wandel
I can't get over the initial learning curve with Sketchup. Anyone know of a good, thorough tutorial online? Something more complete than a short "here's how you draw a board" video?
There's also a lot of info right here on Router Forum - SketchUp Guide for Woodworkers
 

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I use SketchUp for everything I do, even for trivial stuff. This forces me to keep my "mental tools" sharper. Yes, it is now a subscription model; the company has to turn a profit. Many of you likely belong to local non-profit woodworking clubs; in the US the club may have a 501C3 form on file with the IRS. If you are a non-profit, you can purchase ($55) an annual SketchUp Pro license via
I never particularly liked building things using the traditional 3 view drawings. SketchUp allow you to see things in 3-D. I learned SketchUp from the 2010 book "SketchUp Guide for Woodworkers" by Timothy S. Killen. While the book is dated, the exercises in the book are still relevant today. I have co-taught four SketchUp classes for my local woodworking club, each consisting of four two hour sessions. Don't expect to spend two hours and be able to draw a Queen Anne highboy chest.
 

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When someone saves a file in the latest format and puts it up for download the 2017 version won't open it. I never really got a chance to use it very much. Made a few drawings with it but never really had a need for it. After 40 years of buyin g CAD programs and none of them still useable It became less practical for me. I found once I built it in SU my desire to build it in the real world was gone....ha! I design a lot of smaller stuff in vcarve as it can be used to cut parts out.
Monthly or yearly pricing programs just don't fit my style. Sometimes I will lay something down for a year and then pick it up again.
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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When someone saves a file in the latest format and puts it up for download the 2017 version won't open it.
Does SketchUp have the option to save in an earlier version? The reason I ask is that CorelDraw allows me to save all the way back to Version 11 if I'm sending a file to someone with an older version (I'm on X8 or 18).
 

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When someone saves a file in the latest format and puts it up for download the 2017 version won't open it. I never really got a chance to use it very much. Made a few drawings with it but never really had a need for it. After 40 years of buyin g CAD programs and none of them still useable It became less practical for me. I found once I built it in SU my desire to build it in the real world was gone....ha! I design a lot of smaller stuff in vcarve as it can be used to cut parts out.
Monthly or yearly pricing programs just don't fit my style. Sometimes I will lay something down for a year and then pick it up again.
But you can use the Save As option and save a version that is compatible with SketchUp 2017.
 

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Does SketchUp have the option to save in an earlier version? The reason I ask is that CorelDraw allows me to save all the way back to Version 11 if I'm sending a file to someone with an older version (I'm on X8 or 18).
Yes it does. But when you pull down a newer version off of the web trying to get a version you can open is a pain. If one had a friend that had a newer version that could open it and save it as a 2017 version that would work. It can be done but it's klunky.
 

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A great and FREE program for this kind of work is something called DESIGN SPARK MECHANICAL. It works like SketchUp, but it seems even more powerful, and there are ample You Tube training videos for the software.

Joe
My problem with becoming more (ahem) mature (haven't quite reached excessive maturity yet) is - besides becoming grumpier - rewiring my brain... I think I'll continue to ride this sketchup horse until one of us gives up... One of the things I like about SU is a trick I think I learned from an early Matthis Wandel tutorial about setting up different scenes to give, for example, an assembly drawing and one that is an exploded view that can give dimensions. Here's an example:
 

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My problem with becoming more (ahem) mature (haven't quite reached excessive maturity yet) is - besides becoming grumpier - rewiring my brain... I think I'll continue to ride this sketchup horse until one of us gives up... One of the things I like about SU is a trick I think I learned from an early Matthis Wandel tutorial about setting up different scenes to give, for example, an assembly drawing and one that is an exploded view that can give dimensions. Here's an example:
Rectangle Parallel Technology Drawing Diagram
Rectangle Font Parallel Engineering Technical drawing
 
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