Sketch-EZ a tool to draw on

I apologize for being so off topic.
I have been a SketchUp user since V2 and have moved on to teaching it. Still, I get this group sent to my phone !

My point:
I have developed this modern version of an old fashioned drafting board.
For me, I use it for field visits and notation and discussing the job with customers and subs. It works fantastic ! It’s very light and convenient. It was made for construction and architectural professionals. With your help and BACKING we can make this tool affordable to the people of the world who need it most.


Thanks! :smiley:

To me, it seems like an odd, anachronistic new product in 2015. You don’t see this as a huge step backwards? I’m afraid I do.

The next step in portable drafting/modeling/communication tools, I think, will involve a tablet and software, not a magnet and steel plate. Of course, maybe that’s just me.


Reminds me of this item from my little “museum”

Faber-Castell A3-size “Zeichenplatte” from the early 1980-s


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I was thinking the same thing … I still occasionally use my Draftette I bought about 35 years ago:

From the February, 1956, Popular Science:

Personally, I prefer 5-per-inch ruled graph paper that I can scale in decimals.


(Moved to CornerBar, as it really does not belong in any category here.)

This is NOT SketchUp specific, and is a blatant advertisement, revenue campaign, etc.


You can’t be serious about this. There may be potential for using such a device to field record existing buildings, but I would not use this for anything but a simple one or 2 story tenant fit-out AsBuilt (which essentially shows only the exterior walls with a few intervening demising partitions. Now that I think about it, I would not even use it in that case. Even though it is compact, the device is too cumbersome to rely on for daily use, especially when so much of the process has been digitized.

Was this video developed during the 1960’s?

No I do not.

Do you make all your sketches on a computer?

It’s really designed for developing nations.
I could argue endlessly about the subject but I am surprised by what you
are saying. Did you watch the video? You really think everyone should buy a
computer, carry it everywhere, have software and know how to use it to
make a simple drawing?

You join a specific forum website, implemented to support a specific software, and the first thing you do is post an advertisement or request for product startup revenue, for your own product. (Which has nothing to do with software at all, much less SketchUp.)

I invite other members to join me in voting this thread as spam.

[url]Whois Lookup Captcha



Not 100%, but a lot more often than I did back in the day, before using SketchUp! (I estimate that less than 10% of my work is sketched with a pen or pencil on paper any more because it’s so easy to conceptualize with this software.)

Yes you are of course right.
Maybe my feelings of this group, an assembly of creative people is not so
open to different ideas. That maybe this group. I use and recommend to my
students, is unable to accommodate a broader perspective than their
limited self interest.
This is not a product YET. I am not a businessman with limited self
interest. I am a person committed to enabling the 90% of the world not
using a computer, to have a simple inexpensive and useful tool for design
and collaboration.

I know that is not you, not anyone in this group. Forgive me for my

That’s like calling a tin can and a string the next generation personal communication device.


We still have shovels, hammers, pencils, horses. Why not a sketching board you can draft on?

This is only a simple board for sketching. A way to draw a straight line. I am not advocating that you start using it to make the plans you give to your customers.

A typical drawing for me uses laser distance meters, a tablet, cameras, Corel, Chief Architect, Sketchup, and Adobe. One of those tools is a sketch pad. I don’t use it a lot.

So this board I have come up with might be useful to you also. Maybe not so much. I can tell you that it works real well as a drafting board in my honest opinion.

It is my hope that if it gets some market traction in the developed world, that it could be made and sold for less than $10.00 in undeveloped countries.

So here I am asking for your assistance, that you consider this not for my personal gain, but as a jesture to enable someone less fortunate the opportunity to create their visions.

Please don’t refer to me as spam!


[quote=“duanemackey, post:12, topic:15602”] (in video) … One day I discovered that a common refrigerator magnet is magnetized in parallel lines of force. …
Note that a stong magnet may disturb the lines of force immensley. Got to get them back after repositioning the strip on a metal sheet door (refrigerator).
I like the idea. And as you probably will admit, it’s not likely to be a replacement for SketchUp in any way. As you say, it can be of help to people who can’t get their hands on a computer or an (outdatet) draft tables.
The price of material may be too high: one magnetic sheet plus one large magnetic (cut off from the same sheet) strip are the essential parts here, the rest can be found anywhere.
If you’re not into making (huge) profit out of this, I think the subject suits the corner bar forum section. It at least brought back good? old memories to a lot of us.

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You are very right about everything and yes a strong magnet will wreck it.
Took me a month to find that out!

The price is way too high!
The 1-1\2 sheets cost me almost $3.00. The straight edge will cost a couple
bucks in low quantity. Shipping and getting it all off the ground is what
that price represents. I have spent thousands perfecting this.

I will send you materials to make one for yourself, free of cost, if you
agree to make and post about it.

But it’s the idea :

An inexpensive tool for a person to make a technical illustration with.

I have a drafette, Vemco drafing machine and other stuff. Don’t use any of it any more except some of the compasses and half-circle template, but it all still gives me warm fuzies.

Sounds like a good, humanitarian project - something for or unicef.

This is my favorite compass - very cheap and easy to set up. And it can be transformed to a beam compass if you have two. Back when I got it for 8th grade geometry it was the best available option I could find at the local Skaggs drugstore. Over the years I’ve grown to appreciate its simplicity and ease of use. One can still buy replacement parts.

Thank for your support !

So what about the energy and trouble SketchUp went into trying to create a
multitude of fuzzy “styles” to make your machined image look hand drawn. It
kinda works. Kinda.
Is that idea lost here?
Is there something wrong with doing it the old fashioned way?? If there is,
why does SketchUp have so many styles to the point of creating your own ?

Duane, I think you’re missing an important distinction. While there may indeed be a certain nostalgia for “the old fashioned look,” I really think there’s hardly anyone who misses the old fashioned way of doing things. I’m no stranger to drafting and drafting instruments–I started my career as a draftsman using ink on linen and pencil on mylar or vellum, and I used to love it. I hated going home from work at night. I used to buy myself new drafting instruments to cheer myself up when I was feeling blue. But that was almost 40 years ago. Part of the thrill of a technical job is being at or near the cutting edge of something. If I were just starting now, I could never be happy using quaint old drafting instruments, and I’d have a hard time competing if I did.

I understand that the general practice in emerging nations now is for people to proceed directly from Bronze Age technology to working on their own tablets and laptops. There’s no need and no point in stopping off at most of the intermediate technologies: they’re not as good, not as fast, not as cheap.


@Duane, leverage this forum dialog into as a learning experience into what you as in inventor will encounter as you switch into being a marketer. You will have to work on your presentation to sell it to Habitat, UNICEF, Bill Gates’, wherever. If you are based in the US, Score may be one place to help you set things up to sell your project.

OK, here is my experience. I started drafting additions on houses as a
young man just out of the local community college. I was very successful. I
got to where I could measure and draw( by hand) an addition in about 8

Now that drawing takes much longer. Like about 15 hours. Granted, the
ability to model in 3d is incredible and that is what my contractors want
to make the sale

On the permitting side, that 3d drawing is about useless. I know you can do
it, but there is a huge sacrifice in the effectiveness of SketchUp doing
floor plans in 2d without looking elsewhere for a solution. I would bet
that I could draw, by hand with my board, a permit ready set of plans
faster than many persons in this group using only SketchUp.

Those people you speak of are not moving from the bronze age. The are
moving away from poverty in the modern age, well aware of their poverty.
They are well aware of your advantages over them too.

Duane, trying to make this about me being elitist is a cheap shot, irrelevant, and untrue. What an absurd argument. A technology that hasn’t learned to smelt steel is called Bronze Age.