Inyone use Sketchup, free or pro?

Awl --
I mentioned sketchup in my previous post, and that the Pro version costs $750!! Sheeit, Alibre Pro is only $477, the better TurboCads $6-700.....
goodgawd....
Does anyone use either sketchup, and in what context?
For example, if you wanted to show/communicate the general idea of a part, would it really matter whether you used SW or sketchup?
In a shop, might an economical "distribution of seats" be one or two paid seats of SW, and a whole bunch of "seats" of free sketchup, for simpler stuff? Which could later be formalized into "real" cadcam, when necessary?
Just thinking out loud.....
Right now, I "communicate" my idears with.... Paint!!!
Hmmm, did I just make a mistake admitting that?? Izzat sort of like the machining equivalent of getting caught masturbating?? By yer mom??? goodgawd.....
That happened to a friend of mine.... he was never the same afterwards..... and the fact that his mom watched for a goodly long time didn't help either.....
--

EA



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

On hotdogs sometimes--though usually, I use Smustard...
--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Only commies use sketchup on hotdogs. Real 'Muricans use smustard.
That's how you can spot the commies. They don't know who won the World Series two years ago, either.
--
Ed Huntress



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I use free. It helps if you get into the habit of not using it freehand, of entering dimmensions on everything as you go. Since I work in imperial, I love that I can enter feet, decimal inches, and mixed fractions at any given moment.
My biggest frustration is when drawing smaller details, down in the 1/64 range, it has trouble sometimes with geometry clashing with the roundoff error. I also get some ...interesting... results when intersecting complex shapes with the model (it will mess up how it intersects the planes, I again suspect the roundoff error has a hand in this) but when I can get it to work right it's very rewarding, and I find most of the time when I can't get something to work right it's really a reflection of an error my construction of the model.
Oh, and it's also really easy getting sucked into showing way too much detail, rounded corners, etc. etc. when in the end, you're just trying to get a quick overall sketch. All the mathematical complexity of a very detailed model starts to slow things down a lot, at least on the older systems I seem to always end up using it on ( < 1 GHz and < 1GB mem ). It can help to deliberately force yourself to simplify your concepts some ("OK, I can figure out how to draw all these little details, and it was fun and looks awesome, but now I'll replace all that with a simple shape because what I really wanted to know would work or not is over here...") If you stick with a reasonable complexity, it's also surprisingly capable on those older machines as well.
As to the models, I've done everything from working out which patio block layout would work best for our front walk, to furniture, outbuildings, and design improvements on the loader I made for my garden tractor. I especially appreciate the ease with which you can manipulate your viewpoint around the model, it makes for a much better feel how something is going to look or work.
It was one of the fastest systems for me to pick up. My favorite before that was Alibre, I find this more fun to use, since it seems so much easier to just jump in and go.
It can be as formal or as quick-and-dirty as you want to be. I also will use it to add dimensions and save a screen capture when I want a working drawing or to show someone a concept as a printout or email a .jpg to someone who doesn't use it.
I have found it be both a useful tool and a fun intellectual toy for noodling with ideas. In the end, that's what I enjoy about it the most, that I can just jump in and use it to play with concepts at the drop of a hat.
My suggestion is for you to go ahead and install it on an existing machine and see what you can do with it--once you fully catch on to how it works, you may end up kicking yourself for not using it sooner.
There's also tons of tutorials out there on how to use it, from woodworking magazine websites to youtube etc. Any weird way of trying to construct something and someone has probably come up with at least one way out there. There's also a bunch of premade models available, too, which can really help if you're just trying for a quick mockup of something (for example, making a jig out of a bar clamp).
That help you at all? --Glenn Lyford
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

With the free version, my only problems have been - as you mentioned - intersecting planes, the fairly UNintuitive way Sketchup flops plane figures around the axes as you're trying to place them, and applying photo textures. Textures seem to "float" above the surface to which they are applied, and camera pans result in wierd "blanking" artifacts where the underlying surface shows through the texture at various angles.
I built a fairly complex model of the Bayside lagoon, Skytower ride, Island set, Foot Causeway, and Bayside stadium at Sea World of Orlando for a set on which to shoot fireworks show simulation animations. All of the models are textured with photos of the actual buildings (BTW, learning to wrap a five or six view 2D photo set around a 3D object took some fiddling! <G>)
It took me about five days, mostly learning how to work around those twitches.
Some of the textures still flicker during helicoptering around the site, but overall it looks very good and presents a very "solid-feeling" virtual environment.
LLoyd
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.