New SketchUp User Having a lot of trouble


#1

Hello there. I’ve tried to give SketchUp a go several times but consistently find myself getting frustrated and returning to paper.

I am mainly trying to use SketchUp to help me design built-in furniture for houses. It takes me so long to design something that I give up and go back to my trusty paper and pencil.

Where I find I get stuck is with the editing of an existing component. Say I go draw a room, or even a house (like in the tutorial videos) I don’t have too much trouble, but then I want to go and do something like add a new wall, or add a new bookcase, I come unstuck.

The issues I have are say I have a wall, and I’ve got all the skirting along the bottom of the wall, and I go to cut a piece of the skirting out to place the new bookcase and then draw new skirting around the front of the new bookcase I find that I can’t figure out how to just quite simply take a chunk of the skirt out.

This and trying to master the camera is what gives me the most frustration. I use a trackpad and find that sometimes the zoom just stops working, and those insane key combinations to pan are ridiculous.

I’m yet to buy a copy of pro, I want to; but, I just can’t get over the frustrations.

Any help on how to get over my frustrations would be greatly appreciated.


#2

Your dilemma reminds me of trying to drive a nail with a screwdriver. I think you may be having difficulty with understanding how to use the appropriate tools for the jobs you want to do.

Because no model accompanies your post, it is hard to evaluate your exact issues in working with the software, but I would generally recommend becoming conversant with the various tools in SketchUp and how to use them.

To that end, take a look at the following tutorial videos for an in depth approach:

http://www.sketchup.com/learn/videos/58

Explore the videos listed in the Playlists tab, especially the Toolbar Series. As you gain familiarity with the Toolbar Series, review the videos under the “Familiar with SketchUp” tab (the Techniques series videos). You may want to download many of these to save to your hard drive so you can view them at your leisure.


#3

Hi there, I already watched those videos. Let’s take a project I’m currently working on. I started with a current state of my sons wardrobe, I designed what he currently has.

Now. I’m trying to add in extras by cutting back the skirting 450mil deep from the back wall and adding built in shelves and drawers. Firstly, I can’t figure out how to cut the skirting to length, it keeps pulling all the other walls out no matter what I do. If I try delete all the skirting and start again I end up with all these lines still there from the original skirting. I gave up last night and went to pencil and paper. The shelf at the top is going also.

I was also having so much trouble with the walls in the way so I started moving them to two separate layers (walls front left, walls back right).

As mentioned, I’m not having as much of an issue creating a new scene, I’m having my biggest issues manipulating the scenes that are already there. It’s like as soon as I add a new object it’s almost impossible to adjust that object independently of all other objects.

Tristans Wardrobe - Original.skp (144.5 KB)


#4

Also note that the internal sides of those walls used to go all the way to the bottom, but I added the skirting on to them, so that ended up rather than creating a new box object, turned the walls into a strange shape so that when I remove the skirting, the wall doesn’t go to the floor anymore.


#5

Unlike other CAD software Sketchup does not allow geometry to occupy the same space, lines, points will merge and be sticky. Objects are created from raw geometry in layer 0, then either grouped or made a component and then if required placed on a layer.

Always start and use layer 0 to create, say the walls, group the geometry, name and place on a layer if required, The door jamb and shelf are ideal components as its likely they will be used again,

attached amended example
Tristans Wardrobe - amended.skp (100.3 KB)


#6

Tristans Wardrobe - Modified.skp (119.0 KB)
Hello @brettryan,

Apologies for assuming you had not viewed the intro vids. You may find some informative material if you watch some of them again, particularly those dealing with layer management and using the move tool.

I adjusted some of your model characteristics to allow for easier editing. Although your model only had a few layers, you assigned ungrouped, raw geometry onto those layers. None of your entities had been grouped or formed into components, so when you attempted to modify the wall configuration for example, you found that your cursor caused the wall position to shift in an unbecoming manner.

You should use groups and components to separate individual built up items from raw geometry. This prevents things from sticking to each other. It’s also a good idea to place specific items (once grouped or componentized) on specifically named layers. As your models become larger and more complex, layers can be used effectively to control visibility

Open the Entity Info Window on the modified model and look at the small changes that were made. To modify your walls now, simply edit the group it occurs in with no risk of it conflicting with adjacent geometry.

Also, what you refer to as skirting is properly called a “base” (at least in U.S, vernacular). You should pay attention to the interior and exterior faces in your models as well. You left one of the outfacing walls in the wardrobe painted with the interior blue color. Outfacing surfaces should be white in the monochromatic style view. This also can affect models particularly if you render a surface or if you intend to 3d print your models.


#7

Apologies for assuming you had not viewed the intro vids. You may find some informative material if you watch some of them again, particularly those dealing with layer management and using the move tool.

Thanks, it’s cool, I shall do.

I adjusted some of your model characteristics to allow for easier editing.

Thanks so much. I need to learn to know how it is that you did it.

Although your model only had a few layers, you assigned ungrouped, raw geometry onto those layers. None of your entities had been grouped or formed into components, so when you attempted to modify the wall configuration for example, you found that your cursor caused the wall position to shift in an unbecoming manner.

Yeah, that’s one of my big frustrations that caused me angst. For example, to create the skirt I would measure up 60mm from the floor with the tape measure, draw a line then pull out, but that made the skirt become part of the wall itself, how do I do this without it becoming part of the wall?

Open the Entity Info Window on the modified model and look at the small changes that were made. To modify your walls now, simply edit the group it occurs in with no risk of it conflicting with adjacent geometry.

Does this mean for every wall etc that I want to not become a part of something else, I need to group them first? For example, with your modified model, I still can’t figure out how to cut the skirting.

Also, what you refer to as skirting is properly called a “base” (at least in U.S, vernacular).

In Australia it’s called skirting, we call the door frame skirt an architrave.

You should pay attention to the interior and exterior faces in your models as well. You left one of the outfacing walls in the wardrobe painted with the interior blue color. Outfacing surfaces should be white in the monochromatic style view. This also can affect models particularly if you render a surface or if you intend to 3d print your models.

The external walls are actually still internal, they don’t exist as there’s actually brick around them, this is a partial drawing of a built in fixture within the house. I left the outfacing walls like that sort of intentionally.


#8

Yes, exactly that. Any geometry that you want to isolate (not stick to adjacent surfaces) should be placed in a container group or a container component. You can dbl click on the container element to edit it. While inside the container context, adjacent surfaces and edges will stick to other entities in the same container context.

Now that the base trim (skirting) has been made into a group you can open the group and begin editing it just as you would while building your original model.


#9

This may help: Skirting.skp (1.2 MB)

(This is how I make and cut skirting boards, but there are other ways to do it.)


#10

I think it’s been said in a few ways, but to say it another way, when you talk about pulling geometry out to make it a separate group, I would suggest a completely different approach. Create your group when you draw the very first rectangle and work inside that group from then on. Your wall should be a group before it’s ever a wall and the skirting/ trim should be a different group from the start.

This isn’t a hard rule, different people work very effectively with other methods, but with the frustrations you describe, this may be an effective way to work.


#11

Few things come to mind reading your first post.

One could say the same thing about using a trackpad to navigate your model.
Start using a 3 button(+wheel) mouse.
Also apply a section plane through the house or room, disable displaying it but not the section cut and save one or two scenes with these settings (preferably one without camera location included).

Get a cross section of the wall skirting and use it with ‘Follow Me’ on a separate path describing the base new bookcase or whatever you are adding to the room.
The bookcase should be a group or a component so its geometry won’t merge with wall geometry.


#12

Brett is correct . Walls should be a group or component, skirting should be a group or a component & the robe should be the same. You need a 3 button mouse to pan and orbit efficiently.


#13

IMHO you should always use components vs groups , they give you much more flexibility. The definition of components is invariant when you move, rotate, scale, so one entity can be reused in many cases. The attached model was done that way. At inside corners, as I am sure you know, cope joints would be used since closing miters is hard and miter joints on outside corners. These operations will change the definition ( Su model) although there are ways around that. The attached model does not have any cope or miters so you can see what is going on.
There are a number of forums related to wood working check those out. FineWoodWorking has one Called DesignClickBuild that covers many subjects you may find helpful. ChiefWood Worker also but he has not posted .skirting_mac1.skp (96.1 KB)
Two links for info
http://www.srww.com/blog/
http://www.finewoodworking.com/blog/design-click-build