Draw line that's offset 48" + (8' / 2)

Hi Scetcher Uppers.

I’m very new at SketchUp and am trying to learn the best/fastest workflows for things. I’m designing a temporary crane for a deck that needs to reach to the center of an 8’ hot tub that’ll need to clear a lower deck that’s offset 40" outside of the upper deck upon which I am constructing the temporary crane. Bottom line is, I need to make sure that the lift point of the crane is 8’ / 2 + 40" beyond the edge of the deck I’ve already drawn. Can anyone tell me what the syntax is to use an expression like that as input the same way you would in Rhino, Fusion360 or any spreadsheet application? I haven’t been able to figure out how to do this in my other Google searches and I’d be floored if it wasn’t available somehow. Can anyone tell me what I’m missing or what the best/fastest workflow is?

Thanks so much in advance!

Basically, with a few simple (and sometimes inconsistent) exceptions, you can’t .

Pre-calculate the length you want (88” in your case based on what you say in the text, or 96" from your topic title). Don’t rely on the VCB / Measurement box to evaluate arithmetic expressions.

You will only sometimes get the answer you expect.

Enabling standard arithmetic expressions in the VCB might be a useful Feature Request. It is particularly odd that it works for some things, or in some conditions, but not others. That gives the misleading impression that it might be capable of doing more than it actually can.

In fact, the whole concept of the VCB is worth review, given that it causes quite a few issues, the main one being that people expect to be able to click into it for editing and then get told by the likes of us not to be so foolish!

Thanks for the honest answers guys. I think this’ll be a deal breaker for me. It looks like this is something that’s been in the request queue for years now with no development attention. I think I’ll stick with CAD and their set of quirks, inefficiencies and development oversights. I would have switched for this one feature but alas. Hopefully someone will fix this sooner or later!

I can’t see that this issue should be a dealbreaker.

Unless you are already familiar with an alternative CAD program, the learning curve is likely to take longer to traverse and to be a lot harder to work your way through.

Give SU a go.

It can be free - at least to try it out. And less expensive than most alternatives with similar functionality, even if you use it for commercial purposes.