Using 3 D SketchUp Design Software. Building Blocks Tools

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1 Using 3 D SketchUp Design Software Building Blocks Tools Introduction Google s SketchUp is an easy to use drawing program capable of building 3 dimensional (or 3 D) objects (SketchUp also does 2 D easily). The purpose of this workshop is to introduce the use of SketchUp to model furniture. This section introduces some of the basic concepts and tools used when modeling in SketchUp. With SketchUp everything is either an edge or a face. Edges can be thought of as lines. When three or more edges exist in the same plane (a flat surface) and are connected, they form a face. If one of the edges that bounds the face is removed, the face is also removed. Some characteristics of edges and faces are: Edges are always straight lines (arcs and circles consist of short straight line segments). Edges have no thickness (but they can appear to have thickness). Faces will always be completed surrounded by edges. Faces will always be flat (curved surfaces are made of many flat surfaces). Faces have no thickness. The final concept to introduce is that SketchUp is a surface modeler. What we mean is that it is more like building a model out of thin paper rather than modeling with clay (solid modeler). Getting Started The best way to learn SketchUp is to jump in and use it. This guide is meant to help you have a good experience as you jump in. Open Google SketchUp by double clicking on the icon. Click on Choose Template button Select Product Design and Woodworking Inches Click on Start Using SketchUp button The SketchUp program opens. The screen is dominated by the modeling window: at top are the menu bar and the starter toolbar. In the modeling window you see the three colored modeling axes. The red and green lines are horizontal and define the ground plane, while the blue line defines the vertical direction. At the bottom is the status bar: on the left side of the status bar are hints as SketchUp guesses what you want to do, and on the right side is the Length (sometimes Measurements) box (more on that later). You may have to remove the human being in the modeling window by selecting the Select unsuspecting fellow and choose Edit/Delete. tool, click on the Before we start drawing, we need to cover how to move about in the 3 dimensional modeling window. You can view your work from different angles by using the Orbit function. Click on the Orbit tool and then click in the modeling window to rotate your view. Once you use the Orbit tool, you can use Camera (on the menu), then Standard View / Iso to re establish your initial view. You will note that orbit is also on the Camera menu. Zooming in and out is best accomplished by rolling the scroll wheel on your mouse. Note that the SketchUp zooms in on your cursor s location. There is also a Zoom tool on the toolbar. A very useful zoom function when you

2 get lost in the modeling window is Zoom Extents. Clicking on this tool will fill your screen with you design should you misplace it. Both Zoom and Zoom Extents can be found on the Camera menu. The Pan function moves the screen left, right, up, or down, but gets us no closer or further away to the model, and does not rotate about the model. To Pan, combine Shift + Orbit, or click on the ghostly severed hand in the toolbar. Orbit, Zoom, Zoom Extents and Pan are all on the Camera menu, but that is a very inefficient method of using them. Let s begin drawing by drawing a square using the Line tool in the menu. Sometimes called the pencil tool, the line tool is used to draw edges or straight lines that make up objects in SketchUp. Click on the Line tool Click where you want the line begin between the red and green axes. As you move the cursor notice the black line may change colors to red, green or blue. These colors indicate the line is parallel to the axis having that same color, and is part of SketchUp s smart screen tips that help the user model in 3D using a 2D screen. Move the cursor so your line is parallel to the green axis and place it where you want the line to end and click. Look in the lower right box labeled Length and you will see the line length (in inches). You can enter a number from the keyboard to establish an exact length (even though you have clicked once to establish the endpoint). Enter 36 to make the line 36 long. Move the cursor over the endpoint and draw a second line 36 long parallel to the red axis. Close the box by drawing two more lines in a similar fashion. Congratulations! You should see that the surface area of the square is shaded, forming the face, completely enclosed by edges. Should you make mistakes, you may have need to use the Eraser tool clicking on the line or edge that you want to erase. by clicking on the icon and then You also may have noticed other SketchUp screen tips that are generally called inferences. Point inferences occur when the cursor is moved over certain parts of the model. You can move your cursor over the square just drawn and see endpoint, midpoint, on edge, and other inferences. The complete list of Point inferences is: Endpoint = green Midpoint = light blue Intersection = red X Circle center = green On Face = dark blue SketchUp also uses Linear Inferences which are temporary helper lines that appear as you move the cursor around objects in the modeling space. Here is a listing of the Linear Inferences: 2 On Axis = a drawn line parallel to an axis turns the same color as the axis From Point = a dotted line indicating the cursor is lined up with a point Perpendicular = the edge you are drawing turns reddish purple to indicate it is perpendicular to another edge Parallel = the edge being drawn turns reddish purple to indicate it is parallel to another edge

3 Tangent at Vertex = a drawn arc turns light blue to indicate tangency (hence smooth transition) with an adjacent arc Ground Plan = by default you begin drawing on the ground plane (between red and green axes) unless otherwise specified It is always a good idea to frequently save your work, so do so now with File/Save and name it TestShapes. An easier way to draw a square is to use the Rectangle tool. Click on the Rectangle tool and locate the first corner between the red and green axes. We will make this square 48 x48. Do this by entering from the keyboard 48,48 (then hit enter). You will see it automatically fill in the Dimensions box in the lower right of your screen. Viewing Tools Drawing Tools Orbit Zoom Zoom Extents Pan Erase Line or Pencil Rectangle Circle Arc Push / Pull Follow Me Allows the user to move around objects drawn in the modeling window. Zoom in and out on object in the modeling window. Can also use the mouse scroll wheel. Fills the screen with drawn objects. Moves user view to left, right, up, down, but does not change distance nor rotate. Click edges to erase them. Draw edges with or straight lines, click to start and click to finish the line. Create a rectangular object without drawing individual lines (or edges). Create a circular object. Creates an arc between two sketched lines. Used to extrude 2D flat faces into 3D shapes by either pushing or pulling. Utility Tools Move / Copy Rotate Select Dimension Tape Measure Offset Many objects will need to be selected first. Simple select Move tool, then click object, move the cursor, click to locate object. Pressing the Ctrl key first will make the action moving a copy. Allows user to select parts of the object. Measures distance between two selected points and places that value in the modeling space Can measure distance but more importantly used for Guidelines. Use Offset tool to create parallel edges to existing edges 3

4 At this point the two squares may not look very square. This has to do with our perspective. If we look at these squares from the top perspective they will look square. To do that, click on Camera/ Standard Views/ Top, and the drawn objects will appear to be square. Now, return to an Isometric view, click on Cameral/ Standard Views/ Iso(metric). Using the Circle tool, insert a 12 radius circle onto the ground plane as follows: Click on the Circle tool. Use the cursor to place the center of the circle (left mouse click to fix the position). Type in 12 and hit the enter key. By this time you should be getting the feel of the ease and power of SketchUp, and we are just beginning. Going 3 Dimensional Making these 2 Dimensional shapes 3 Dimensional is easy to do using the Push / Pull tool. To make a cube from the 36 x 36 square (the first one we made) do the following: Click on the Push / Pull tool. Hover the cursor over the face of the 36x36 square. Click and move the mouse upward but do not click again. Type 36 and hit the enter key. You should now see a 36 inch cube resting on the ground plane. In a similar fashion make the other square 24 inches high, and make the circle a 12 inch high cylinder. Take a few moments to play with the Orbit, Pan, and Zoom tools. When you are done, or get lost, simply click on the Zoom Extents tool to restore to an Isometric view. Make sure you save your work using File/Save and name it TestShapes. We can use the Arc tool curved top. to further modify one of the blocks (I chose the cube) by making an arched or Select the Arc tool. Click on one of the vertical edges (On edge) of the cube approximately ¼ of the distance from the top. Move the cursor across the face and click on the other vertical edge, making sure that the connecting line is parallel with the major axis (and hence the top edge). Now move the cursor to the midpoint of the top edge and click. You should see your drawn arc. Now, the Push /Pull tool will be used to remove both sides of the arc, forming an arched top: Select the Push / Pull tool. Move the cursor to the face area above the arc (you will see the face covered with small blue dots). Click on the face and gently move the cursor towards the back face. You should see an arced surface extend to the back face of the block. Click to permanently remove the material. Hit Esc if it does not look right. IF you MESS this up, you can go to the Menu and click on Edit / Undo Push / Pull to get another chance! 4

5 You will have to repeat the Push / Pull operation for the other side (again, above the arc). The following Figure 1 illustrates what I have drawn to this point. Selecting Object The Select tool characteristics are: can have an important impact on what you are trying to accomplish. Some of its useful Single click will select a face; double click will select the face and edges; triple click will select the whole object. Click on anything to select it; hold down Shift while clicking on multiple objects to select them all. Drag a box to select several objects at once. Left to Right (window selection) only things totally in the selection box will be selected. Right to Left (crossing selection) anything touched by the selection box will be selected. Moving and Copying The Move tool is easy to use, but its simplicity can take some getting used to. Should you make a mistake using the Move tool, hit Esc to cancel the move operation. Click on the Move tool. Click on the object you want to move, move the object, and then click again. Try to move the cylinder you have drawn using this technique. You should find it easy. There are some additional techniques that can help you place objects. To place one of our boxes on top of the other: Using the Select tool triple click on one of the boxes. Using the Move tool, Click on the lower left corner of that selected box. Move the box and align the cursor over the upper left corner of the other box, then click. 5

6 To Copy, we modify the use of the Move tool by pressing the Ctrl key. When the Move tool is selected and the Ctrl key is pressed, a small + will appear next to the cursor to indicate the Copy function is active. Pressing Ctrl again will cancel the Copy function and remove the + symbol. You can practice Copying whatever object you have in your modeling space as follows: Use the Select tool and triple click on the object. Select the Move tool and then press the Ctrl key to activate the Copy action. Click on the selected object and drag the cursor to locate the copy elsewhere. Click the mouse to fix the new copy s location. Dimension Tool The Dimension tool measures the distance between two selected points and leaves a dimension label adjacent to the object. It is easy to use Tape Measure Tool The Tape Measure tool can be used to measure distances and to create guidelines (also called construction lines). Click on Tape Measure tool and then measure the distance between two points on an object. Click on an (indicated) point or edge and move the tape measure tool to another point you will see the distance displayed in a box. Another useful function is creating guidelines using the Tape Measure tool. Three types of guides can be made: parallel line, linear line, and guide points. For a parallel guideline, after clicking on the Tape Measure tool, click on an edge (avoid mid and endpoints) and move the cursor to one side or the other, and enter the distance away you want to establish the parallel guide. To make a linear guideline along an existing edge, click on the end or midpoint and then click somewhere else on the edge. To create a guide point, click on a mid or endpoint and then click again somewhere else the small x that appears at the end of the dashed line is the guide point. Offset Tool The Offset tool is useful if you are making window trim for example. Unlike the guidelines, the lines made by the Offset tool are full fledge edges. To practice, bring back the solid box that was 48 x 48 x 24, or make a new box that size. From that solid we will construct an open container using the Offset tool. Using the Select tool and holding down the Shift key, select the four edges of the top of the box. Then click on the Offset tool, click on one of the selected edges (not a mid or end point) and move the cursor to the inside of the edge but do not click. Enter the number 2. You should see a smaller box inside the top of the larger box. Click on the Push / Pull tool and click on the smaller, inner square and move the cursor downward. Enter the number 22. 6

7 You should wind up with an open container as shown in the Figure 2. 7

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