New to Sketchup - Noob annoyances

just download a pre-made door dynamic component…

you can edit it’s aesthetics, using ‘Make’…


Ah - thanks, I’ll try that :slightly_smiling:

Tried the door idea but everything has a frame around it. I’m after hinging a bench work top. I’ve tried installing a hinge directly as it said it could be rotated. After lining everything up neatly I realised that they just stated the obvious and the hinge just moves like anything else in sketchup. Nothing dynamic.

Think I’ll pass on this whole idea. Sketchup is all right for plotting ideas but anything more than primitive shapes fixed to a single place. What a waste of time today was.

I managed to install this after a bit of hacking. Now I can’t find any tutorials on it

Yeah… As far as I know, it’s a pet project of the creator. I’m not sure that he has put out much in the way of documentation.

For all things SketchyPhysics, go to SketchUCation

Shameless Plug
Here’s a link to a video showing a model I am particularly proud of

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Thanks DanYHKim

Interesting video/sketchup. Looks like a lot of work has gone into it and it works well.

I couldn’t use SketchyPhysics due to my install being 64 bit. I did manage to get MS Physics installed (eventually) however after playing around with it I found that for some reason the hinge would pull apart slightly under pressure. Also the grab tool that aided me to pickup and lower the hinged board would only allow me to move it so far up when gravity was selected for some reason. There was also bugs with rendering the model which just ended in frustration. I’ve spent less time putting my model together than I have looking for a way to make a small amount of interaction.

I’m just keeping to the vanilla version for now. If I want to do anything more complex then I’d probably just use blender which in the end will be a more powerful application with better support.

Thanks TheOnlyAaron

I think its full of bugs. Some things just didn’t work out even though they worked in other places. For instance, a hinge attached to a surface that is already being hinged becomes detached. There is also problems with gravity stopping the grab tool from pulling something up past a certain point for some reason (turning gravity off allows me to pull it up further). Tons of other issues which I just don’t have time or knowledge to workaround.

Please don’t take this as an argument, but a quick look at sites like SketchUp Artists lead many to feel differently about what SketchUp is good for. And I would counter that any time spent learning something is not a waste. There’s a point in learning SketchUp when all of a sudden you realize that you can actually model proficiently with it.

I had a similar experience with downloading SketchUp years ago, and finding it didn’t work for me. Then, a few years later, I had a need to start 3d modeling for manufacturing, and I decided to give it a real try. It took about 20 hours of learning to hit the sweet spot for me. Taking a class or working with someone experienced can cut that down dramatically. I recommend starting with the rules for success and go from there.

Lastly, why do you want to animate the hinge, depending on what you are looking for you may not need true animation? When I need to model movement, I typically just rotate-copy the moving part (group or component) to the extents of the range of motion to see where the clearances will be. If need be, I can use layers to switch positions with scenes to roughly simulate motion. It is kludgy, but it works for basic verification of fit.

If anyone can recommend a simpler or more realistic way of doing what I’m talking about, I’m interested.


Thanks jesse_s

As far as I see it the community seems strong in spirit and everyone on here has been really helpful and spared me their time.

Since I’ve had time to let the dust settle I suppose this is a post which first addressed my frustrations and then did nothing but frustrate me further. I think initially they promote the paid for product which increased my expectations from not really ‘expecting’ anything and just being both grateful and amazed to seeing only a product that would cost me more money than the cost of an entire garage conversion (which is why I’m using the product to help with my project at home).

Because they ‘bigged’ it up to a professional level for me having something as simple as an easy rotated group which was attached to an edge of another group wasn’t much to ask for.

Since I’ve accepted that this can’t be done (let’s just agree that point since I can’t afford the pro version, the 3rd party plugins are buggy or if they do work they are missing documentation or can’t be installed on a 64 bit version) I’m just looking at sketchup as it is in vanilla format and I will do as you suggest and use the basic manipulation tools or layer a few scenes for primitive step animation (which isn’t too bad for what I need to accomplish).

I think since I’ve started on Sketchup and have managed to pickup quite a lot in such a short space of time I can’t see it will be something that I won’t continually use. I think my frustrations are driven by how much I love this program as opposed to hating it, just feel disappointed in not so much the missing feature (or the one that isn’t readily available) it’s more to do with the wild goose chase I’ve had to get no-where.

But one thing is extremely attractive, inspirational and has not let me down is like I say the community behind sketchup so for that I thank you all! :smile:

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@Dal1980, I’m glad to hear that. I’m not yet convinced that there’s not a way to create a hinge effect for a bench top without using Pro features or a Physics Simulator. As a direct post with a subject line like “How to model moving parts with SU Make?” I think you might get the answers you seek.

What is the end result you are looking for? You haven’t explained that.
If you want fancy animations to showcase your work then that can be done, it takes work and can cost money.
However, if you simply want to be able to open and close doors you can add simple pivot points centered on the hinge.
These pivot points or handles can be place on a layer that you can turn on and off as necessary.
You can even use these handles to create the multiple copies needed to do a scene to scene animation.

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Thanks Box

That’s exactly what I need! Thanks very much.

Is that a plugin or do I just need to look for a menu in my vanilla setup?

I know how to angle and group stuff but not come across setting pivot points.

:slight_smile: I’m very happy with this concept!

they are just a group of circles on there own layer so you can turn them off…

Box just created some reference circle segments to use as inference locks while he applies the standard rotate tool. Simple but effective.

The helper circles are handy when it is awkward to click on the desired axis of rotation because other parts are in the way, e.g. for the inset doors @Box showed.


I’ll check them out tonight :slight_smile:

James Dalgarno

m: 07870 880 413

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential, may be legally privileged, and are for the intended recipient only. Access, disclosure, copying, distribution, or reliance on any of it by anyone else is prohibited and may be a criminal offence. Please delete if obtained in error and email confirmation to the sender. The company will not be legally bound by any views, opinions or figures in this email as they are personal to the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.

We really don’t need your email signature. i’m sure there are many that will find this info useful.
By the way your website appears to be broken. Ive just sold your phone number to a marketing firm that assured me they will only call when it is convenient.


Haha thanks Box

Should have checked before sending :confused:

This has become more of a hobby address but I still use it for the odd business related email. is a working hobby site though (still be updated) this garage conversion project will make it on there eventually and I can now include my sketch up file and screen grabs to explain the planing :slight_smile:

Thanks for anything you’ve signed me up to, I appreciate the spam :smiley:



A bit of history might put things in a better perspective.

SU was designed by architects to make simple stuff quickly. It’s been added and adapted a bit to get more flexible. Along the way, Google bought it and developed it as a freebie— before that it was Pro only. Eventually they got tired of it and Trimble took over.

All along, most of the extension of the program has been done by mostly volunteer (and some paid, as you’ve discovered) Ruby scripters making plugins. Some functions that other programs would consider core are available only through plugins. The quality on these varies considerably. Some of the freebies don’t really work, some are quality programming doing important functions. If you read the forums, the ones you hear about a lot are the latter.

SU has some significant limitations and some strong positives. One of the biggest positives is that you can do a lot, quickly, for free. One of the negatives is that constructing some things with a simplified interface can be challenging, to say the least.

Since Trimble has taken over, there’s been a movement to make it easier for the volunteer scripters to get paid and to organize the plugins in a more easily findable manner. Dare I say, to acknowledge that much of the good of the program comes from the plugins.

A lot of the folks here use other programs for other types of modeling. Maya, Rhino, various forms of AutoCAD just to name a few. I’ve done simple quickies and very complex curvilinear projects both in SU. The quickies go faster ;?) I’d suggest that you try it enough to find out what works for you and continue to use other programs as well for the other things.

That said, when I’m doing something like you seem to be (not often, I like doors just fine closed) I use scenes. Draw the doors twice, in two positions, and put them on different layers. Save one scene with the doors open, one with them closed. Then you can do an animation, which fades from one view to the other. Change point of view, color, backgrounds, time of day/shadows, and adjacent objects as well if you have a mind to.

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