Anyone want to take a crack at my workflow?

So I started this new job at the end of Januari 2022. It’s a factory that produces glazed bricks in any shape and color. Because of the diversity in our products, the factory has a need for production drawings.
I haven’t used SketchUp in over 10 years prior to this job and, I do have a pretty solid workflow for the moment but can’t help but feel I could be more efficiënt.

My workflow as is:

  • Once an order confirmation gets in I start with moddeling the bricks in SketchUP and save them as Components. I do not save any models.

  • After some days (usually) our sales dept. has worked out the tracking number for each brick, this number is used for the administration during production and needs te be added to the production drawings.

  • I then open the component as a model and rotate the brick to the right orientation (there are 2 orientations per brick usually, used in different stages during it’s production).

  • The model is sent to LayOut where I add dimensions and other critical information. I have a preset Template where I have things like the date in smart text? I have set up 7 Viewports, front, back, left, right, top, bottom and an isometric one. I have to “zoom to extends” every one of them and then set a scale of 1:5 every time I make a new drawing.

  • I save the LayOut file locally in case I made a mistake and/or need to edit something.

  • I export the LayOut as PDF and save it on the company disk where everyone who needs to, can acces it.

So this workflow seems to work ok, but I know there’s something called scenes. Could scenes help me fix the clunky workflow in the LayOut part? If so, what tutorials are good to follow for that bit? And ofcourse, any other tips are very welcome.

Send me one of your LayOut files so I can see your setup and I’ll take a look to give you some guidance. If you don’t want to make the file public send it to me via a private message. Click on my name here and then the Message button.

[File has been removed]

Here you go.

Got the file. It’s not private so if you dfon’t want the entire world to have access to it you should edit your post and remove it. I’ll look at it and get back to you.

OK. So yes, you should be creating scenes in the SketchUp model to use for theviewports in the LayOut document. You have been using the Last saved SketchUp view and editing the camera position. The problem with this is that you have no fixed view reference for the viewports. If you have some reason, or accidentally reset the Camera properties for the viewport you wind up creating a lot of problems for yourself.
Better practice would be to use the scenes in SketchUp and set each viewport’s scene accordingly. Leave the Camera properties unmodified (no Reset button) for all of the viewports.

I created a new SketchUp file with scenes for your tile and then reworked the page in LayOut. You can look at the SketchUp file by right clicking on one of the viewports and choosing Open with SketchUp. Also, in LayOut I created layers for different entity types.
Screenshot - 10_18_2022 , 10_08_24 AM

Here’s the LayOut file:
EP - 20200100KKKK0 - Penant afdek.layout (247.1 KB)
You’ll notice that the LayOut file is less than 3% of the size of your version of it. This is due to purging unused stuff from the SketchUp file.

If you wanted to do it, you could make custom Autotext fields for all the text I show highlighted. Then you could leave the layer for that text locked and change it in Document Setup>Auto Text.

To make your work flow easier you could set up a SketchUp template for your tiles which alreaady has the scenes for the various views established. Then you could set up your LayOut template usiing a proxy SketchUp file (created with your SketchUp template) with the viewports laid out on the page. After setting up the SketchUp file for a new tile and saving it, you can open the LayOut template, go into Document Setup>References and relink the SketchUp Proxy file to your new tile file. Then fill in the Auto Text fields, close Document Setup and add the dimensions as appropriate for your new tile.


Thinking about what you wrote:

Actually, by saving a component you are saving a model. Components are SketchUp models.

If you are going to go to the trouble of modeling the tile you might as well have it set up to go directly to LayOut once the design is finalized. If you use a template set up as I described in my previous post to do the initial tile model, it’s no more work. In fact it’s probably less work.

Here I’m showing a template set up with a proxy tile model and then replacing it with your green tile.
Next steps would be to complete the title block text in the Auto Text window, update those areas A through E, and add dimensions.

Here’s the LayOut template I set up and the Proxy SketchUp file. You can delete the proxy tile component and purge unused in the SketchUp model. Then save the .skp file as a template to use for future projects. Save the LO file as your template for futre documents and you’ll be set. If you want you can of course edit scene names in SketchUp and Layer names in LayOut to convert them from English to Dutch.
Proxy Tile.skp (43.7 KB)

Tile Template__Saiko.layout (150.7 KB)


Dave, you’re a hero for going through all this! I’ll have to dig into this once I find the time. I did have a hunch I wasn’t working very efficiënt but with this I can probably shave off 15 mins of work per drawing.

Thanks a bunch!

Btw, my SketchUp file was so big because I draw alot in that one model. I do tend to purge it every 1st of the month. The components I save are mostly the “basic” bricks that are more frequent than once in a life time. Every odd order that needs, for example, a corner cut off is modeled from that base component and won’t be saved.

The directory which has all my components is also used as a “database” to look up bricks we have made in the past. Hence why I work it like I do.

This drawing shows a brick that we do not produce. It’s from a project well before my time on this world and we dusted it up as a one time emergency solution. I don’t think this file will be particulary usefull to anyone but me :slight_smile: