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What is an easy program to use for design

by allaboard
posted 08-15-2016 05:37 PM


27 replies so far

View SyndicateCoTToN's profile

SyndicateCoTToN

9 posts in 1184 days


#1 posted 08-15-2016 07:30 PM

I use adobe illustrator if it is just a simple layout or ‘sketch’. Rhino for everything else. Rhino make it easier to create compound curves or export paths to a CNC encoder. Neither one is free, but they work great.

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fivecodys

1413 posts in 2000 days


#2 posted 08-15-2016 07:58 PM

I use SketchUp. There are a ton of you tube tutorials for this application. I think I have learned the most from Jay Bates channel.

-- When you leave your shop for the night, make sure you can always count to 10.

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JayT

6162 posts in 2575 days


#3 posted 08-15-2016 08:05 PM

I use Sketchup, as well, and really like it. Haven’t found anything I can physically build that cannot be done in Sketchup first. It really helps when looking at proportions or seeing where a problem area might be before actually cutting into anything.

-- In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

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ArtMann

1365 posts in 1180 days


#4 posted 08-16-2016 02:04 AM

I am going to have to disagree with the Adobe Illustrator recommendation. It is not easy or straight forward to learn and, although it provides hundreds of unique features for illustration purposes, it is awful at creating mechanical drawings you can build by. I know because we use it and my wife is a 30 year veteran visual designer who made her living using it for more than a decade. It is also very expensive and you can’t buy the software. You rent it by the month. We use it and Corel Draw to create artistic designs for 2-D and 2.5-D CNC carving.

I use Sketchup for cabinet and furniture design and it would be hard for me to imagine a more appropriate piece of software for the purpose. The basic version is absolutely free. Many books have been written specifically to describe how to get the most out of it as a woodworking tool. That should tell you something. You can buy dedicated cabinet CNC design software but it is expensive and isn’t very versatile for anything else. I would probably use that if I built cabinets for a living.

Among the largest of the CNC router software companies is Vectric. Both of their premium products will import Sketchup drawings as either a true 3-D file or (more usefully in most cases) as a 2-D flat file which includes the various components needed to build the design.

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johnstoneb

3100 posts in 2536 days


#5 posted 08-16-2016 02:06 AM

Sketchup

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

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JAAune

1864 posts in 2680 days


#6 posted 08-16-2016 02:27 AM

I use Sketchup. Just finished a mockup of a missal stand for a church.

It looks unbalanced in that image. I still need to study it further to determine if proportions need adjustment or not. This is almost as good as prototyping for fleshing out overall shapes and proportions and it’s much faster.

Details get added later.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

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BB1

1360 posts in 1211 days


#7 posted 08-16-2016 11:30 AM

I tried to use Sketchup and felt like I was going in circles in trying to get a basic shape set. Based on the reports from many others I will need to give it another try. Are there any “how to” resources on using Sketchup that others have found to be helpful?

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dhazelton

2837 posts in 2660 days


#8 posted 08-16-2016 11:47 AM

I downloaded Sketchup and it made my head swim, too. And I came from a world where I used Quark, Illustrator, Photoshop, Pagemaker and all that stuff. I like to draw by hand. But if I was committed to learning a program I guess it would be Sketchup.

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CharlesA

3381 posts in 2161 days


#9 posted 08-16-2016 01:01 PM



I tried to use Sketchup and felt like I was going in circles in trying to get a basic shape set. Based on the reports from many others I will need to give it another try. Are there any “how to” resources on using Sketchup that others have found to be helpful?

- BB1

Part of it is finding a good way in. I tried one sketchup for woodworking instruction video, and the instructor and my mind just didn’t work well together. Then I tried Bob Lang’s approach, and it all clicked for me: http://www.popularwoodworking.com/sketchup-tutorial-learn-how-to-use-sketchup-for-woodworking

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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BB1

1360 posts in 1211 days


#10 posted 08-16-2016 01:07 PM


I tried to use Sketchup and felt like I was going in circles in trying to get a basic shape set. Based on the reports from many others I will need to give it another try. Are there any “how to” resources on using Sketchup that others have found to be helpful?

- BB1

Part of it is finding a good way in. I tried one sketchup for woodworking instruction video, and the instructor and my mind just didn t work well together. Then I tried Bob Lang s approach, and it all clicked for me: http://www.popularwoodworking.com/sketchup-tutorial-learn-how-to-use-sketchup-for-woodworking

- CharlesA

Thanks – I’ll have to check that out. Not sure if the version matters – mine is Sketchup 8 (was a free download).

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000

2859 posts in 1263 days


#11 posted 08-16-2016 01:10 PM

Thanks – I ll have to check that out. Not sure if the version matters – mine is Sketchup 8 (was a free download).

- BB1

Go find Sketchup 16, (it’s still a free download) might as well be up to date…

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BB1

1360 posts in 1211 days


#12 posted 08-16-2016 01:37 PM


Thanks – I ll have to check that out. Not sure if the version matters – mine is Sketchup 8 (was a free download).

- BB1

Go find Sketchup 16, (it s still a free download) might as well be up to date…

- jbay


Thanks – will have to look into that.

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BobLang

169 posts in 3764 days


#13 posted 08-16-2016 02:45 PM


I tried to use Sketchup and felt like I was going in circles in trying to get a basic shape set. Based on the reports from many others I will need to give it another try. Are there any “how to” resources on using Sketchup that others have found to be helpful?

- BB1

Part of it is finding a good way in. I tried one sketchup for woodworking instruction video, and the instructor and my mind just didn t work well together. Then I tried Bob Lang s approach, and it all clicked for me: http://www.popularwoodworking.com/sketchup-tutorial-learn-how-to-use-sketchup-for-woodworking

- CharlesA

Thanks for the kind words Charles. I haven’t been with Pop Wood for a couple of years now, but I’ve written and published two books (soon to be three) about using SketchUp, including “Woodworker’s Guide to SketchUp”. I teach SketchUp regularly and have a ton of free SketchUp information available on my website.

I spent a lot of time studying how people learn, and most important, what they get stuck on in learning how to use SketchUp.

-- Bob Lang, https://readwatchdo.com

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Notw

714 posts in 2117 days


#14 posted 08-16-2016 02:50 PM

I am trained in AutoCAD so I naturally lean towards it because for me it is fast and easy. But the ease of use and learning curve for Sketchup is a lot faster. If you ever do want to try AutoCAD there is a free version that is very similar called DraftSight.

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CharlesA

3381 posts in 2161 days


#15 posted 08-16-2016 03:10 PM

I’m no sketchup wiz, but I do use it for design work and really like it. For me, the big thing was to realize that constructing in sketchup is not the same as constructing from wood. When I started I tried to “construct” in sketchup the way I’d construct in wood. Let’s say I was making a simple bookshelf from 8” boards, 6’ x 3’. With wood, I would take two 6’x8’ boards and 5 34 1/2” x 8” boards, join them and have a bookshelf. I tried to do that with sketchup, making individual boards and then putting them together—what a mess.

Then I learned that in sketchup I
  • start with a 6’x3’ rectangle
  • push/pull it to an 8” depth
  • draw in the open spaces with rectangles
  • push/pull them to 0 to create the shelves
  • draw in a few lines to distinguish the individual pieces
    and I have a bookcase.

The end result looks the same, but the process to get there is totally different.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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000

2859 posts in 1263 days


#16 posted 08-16-2016 03:26 PM



I m no sketchup wiz, but I do use it for design work and really like it. For me, the big thing was to realize that constructing in sketchup is not the same as constructing from wood. When I started I tried to “construct” in sketchup the way I d construct in wood. Let s say I was making a simple bookshelf from 8” boards, 6 x 3 . With wood, I would take two 6×8 boards and 5 34 1/2” x 8” boards, join them and have a bookshelf. I tried to do that with sketchup, making individual boards and then putting them together—what a mess.

Then I learned that in sketchup I
  • start with a 6×3 rectangle
  • push/pull it to an 8” depth
  • draw in the open spaces with rectangles
  • push/pull them to 0 to create the shelves
  • draw in a few lines to distinguish the individual pieces
    and I have a bookcase.

The end result looks the same, but the process to get there is totally different.

- CharlesA


I used to draw like that. Now I make everything into components.
Draw 1 side, put in dadoes, shelf holes, whatever. Make a component, copy and flip, move 36” to the other side.
Draw top shelf , make into component, copy and flip to bottom or use multiples for bottom and shelves.
Lots of times it’s easier to copy a component, make it unique, then modify it. Much easier than to redraw items.

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CharlesA

3381 posts in 2161 days


#17 posted 08-16-2016 03:30 PM

For me it depends on how closely I’m going to use the drawing. On something like a bookshelf, for instance, I usually don’t draw in the joinery because I find that it is mostly wasted work on my part since I already know their dimensions in 3/4” stock, let’s say. If it is a more complicated build, unusual dimensions, etc., then I draw more and use components.

But for beginning with sketchup, especially, I found the former to help get me going much faster.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View JayT's profile

JayT

6162 posts in 2575 days


#18 posted 08-16-2016 03:34 PM


I used to draw like that. Now I make everything into components.
Draw 1 side, put in dadoes, shelf holes, whatever. Make a component, copy and flip, move 36” to the other side.
Draw top shelf , make into component, copy and flip to bottom or use multiples for bottom and shelves.
Lots of times it s easier to copy a component, make it unique, then modify it. Much easier than to redraw items.

- jbay

That’s what I do, as well. Components are a great way to make adjustments to multiple identical pieces at once. Also makes is a lot easier to examine each individual piece. If all I want is a overall look or proportions, then Charles’ way works, but lacks flexibility to break the piece apart.

Biggest adjustment I had to make with Sketchup is learning that many times it’s faster and easier to add to something instead of taking away. Started out treating parts like real lumber and removing stock to get the final shape. For a lot of shapes and pieces, it’s easier to combine pieces together in the program in ways you never could IRL.

-- In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

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allaboard

5 posts in 1013 days


#19 posted 08-16-2016 03:53 PM

Great input guys! Thanks for your help. I’m going to watch some videos and try a few downloads.

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helluvawreck

32086 posts in 3230 days


#20 posted 08-16-2016 03:55 PM

Turbocad is a handy CAD program that is quite useful and powerful for its cost.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- helluvawreck aka Charles, http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

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000

2859 posts in 1263 days


#21 posted 08-16-2016 04:28 PM


For me it depends on how closely I m going to use the drawing. On something like a bookshelf, for instance, I usually don t draw in the joinery because I find that it is mostly wasted work on my part since I already know their dimensions in 3/4” stock, let s say. If it is a more complicated build, unusual dimensions, etc., then I draw more and use components.

But for beginning with sketchup, especially, I found the former to help get me going much faster.

- CharlesA

This is true. I will draw like that when I just want a visual.
I don’t agree with learning that way though.
It was so hard trying to modify things and move lines and stuff, everything sticking together. I found it to be quite confusing and difficult.
I almost quit using sketchup until I learned how to use components. (Big Thanks to Dave R.)
Learning from one of the best was a privilege we no longer have here, great asset we lost when Dave left…

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xeddog

230 posts in 3371 days


#22 posted 08-16-2016 05:17 PM

If you have a windows computer, and don’t mind having to use the cloud, AutoDesks Fusion 360 seems like a very powerful tool. Free for personal use and there are a lot of good training videos to get you started. I tried it and liked it, but my main computers are all Linux so I couldn’t really use it like I wanted. But if I was a Windows user this would be my choice.

Wayne

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MadMark

979 posts in 1816 days


#23 posted 08-16-2016 05:32 PM

.5mm mechanical pencil & 5-subject notebook . . .

I can sketch faster than I can feed it into CAD. Let the creative juices flow fast and furious and capture the gist without messy details. The are rules for proportion & spacing that allow you build without all the cipherin’ Ex: space two hinges 1/4-1/2-1/4 for strongest grip, finding the center of a big round piece with a string & pencil, etc.

I have AutoCAD and am proficient in it but to the extent I need details it all goes in the notebook.

M

-- Madmark - [email protected] Wiretreefarm.com

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Robert

3374 posts in 1844 days


#24 posted 08-17-2016 12:10 PM

It really depends on how tech savvy you are, or how old you are.

Because I don’t use Sketchup frequently, there will be a (re)learning curve everytime I try to use it.

I usually start by sketching, refine and finally draw to scale. I can do it faster than any other way.

I use the large size artist paper that comes in pads and have a less stressful time doing it that way.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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canadianchips

2626 posts in 3360 days


#25 posted 08-17-2016 12:50 PM

Some people will roll there eyes.
Ive used auto cadd.
Ive used sketchup.
I keep going back to what I started on 29 years ago.
I started with graph paper and pencil…...worked great…....filing system became cumbersome,
NOW I still use “Excel spreadsheet and PAint”
I adjust excel cells to size of graph paper and import pictures from drawings from paint
After several years I have kitchens, bathrooms, sheds etc all stored on computor.
All Im saying is use what you get comfy with.

This is the proposal for my barn Im moving.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

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allaboard

5 posts in 1013 days


#26 posted 09-11-2016 04:44 AM

Thanks for all of the feedback!

I ended up downloading sketchup, and now I’m working up a table design for the green egg. Used google, looking for some ideas and came across these cedar tables. I like the small one. Just need to make a few modifications in SU.

View Rentvent's profile

Rentvent

151 posts in 1212 days


#27 posted 09-11-2016 02:35 PM

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