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SketchUp

Posted by joeabbott on February 25, 2009

It started a few days ago. Well, OK, last weekend. I was ready to post a few details about the project I was undertaking (putting the vise on my workbench) when I thought I would explain what’s going on. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the proper vocabulary to do it justice. So I thought I’d show a picture.

The problem with that idea is that installing the vise on would require explaining the “guts” of the workbench and I would either have to take it apart for the photos, or find another way. That way, I settled on, was SketchUp.

capture

At one time I had a CAD program from back when I beta tested a Mac version of AutoDesk’s cheap CAD software. It’s been so long I forget the proper name and just last year I gave all my old disks to Goodwill or some other donation place. Anyhow, I had some pictures from when I originally built the bench but they’re long since misplaced. I could look for them or just build new ones. I opted to build new ones and had heard a bunch about SketchUp. Time to see what it was all about.

Going to http://SketchUp.com redirects you to http://sketchup.google.com and, in simple Google fashion, offers a clean interface with just a few options. One option is an uncharacteristically gaudy button to download a copy of the software. A few clicks later and you have the program.

I wouldn’t say I’m a slow learner but I’m not called “Flash”, either. So, in my own way, I’ve tried a few things, watched a lot of videos, researched a bit more, and am approaching a completed model. With my weekday time for this almost nil (we’re heading into a shipping cycle and I’m starting to put in more time at work) and my weekends being spent outside when I can, I just play a bit here and there. SketchUp is pretty powerful and really simple so, to be honest, I could have just built my bench model in a few hours. But as I like to understand entire systems, it’s a bit of playing, watching the videos and playing along, and then modeling. Soon I’ll have the model and can post pictures.

And then get to enjoy the real fun: actually mounting the vise to my bench!

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