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Old 01-26-2013, 20:19   #1
RWBlue
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Google Sketchup

I would like to draw up something and have someone make it. It is a fairly small gun related item.

Is Google Sketchup my best option?

Who has used it?
What do I need to know to make this as painless as possible?
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:27   #2
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Depends on what you want to draw and whether you want it in 2D or 3D. I use Sketchup fairly frequently to design my woodworking projects and speakers, but I'm no expert. If your design is somewhat simple and you want a 3D rendering, than Sketchup is the way to go. If 2D is fine and you want to get more intricate, than a good vector drawing program might be better. Sketchup does 2D as well, but I've never attempted it.

Nice thing about sketchup is it uses real measurments (in/ft or cm/m) and ypu can construct all of the pieces and then "build" your project in virtual reality before actually building it. This helps to correct measurement errors and design flaws before spending any money.

Sketchup has a learning curve, but it's not too terribly steep.

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Old 01-28-2013, 09:34   #3
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I want to draw in a way that I can hand it off to an engineer/machinist to build. I would prefer to do it once and be able to hand it off to machinist, to build 1. Then to someone with CNC or a 3d printer to build more than one if needed.

I fiddled around with sketchup over the weekend. It looks fairly intuitive to do simple stuff. I just question if it is detailed enough for a more refined project. Will it deliver details or is this like drawing in photoshop, fun to do, but useless if you want to build it.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:48   #4
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Hmm...well, sketchup gets pretty detailed but I don't know that it'll go down to the 100th or 1000th of an inch like a CNC machinst will require. Plus, I don't know that it will convert I to the file formats the engineer and machinist will require (like CAD will). That means the engineer and/or machinist might have to recreate your project from scratch in CAD to be compatible with their systems.

You might be better off with AUTOCAD or something like it.

What exactly are you trying to design?

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Old 01-28-2013, 12:48   #5
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Whatever you do in sketchup, just make sure you make smaller things into groups, that way they can be moved or manipulated without pulling everything else that touches it, with it.
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Old 01-28-2013, 14:06   #6
RWBlue
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiomechanic View Post
You might be better off with AUTOCAD or something like it.

What exactly are you trying to design?
If I could get AutoCAD free or even at a reasonable cost, I would be all over it. But the basic package is $500+. I just don't want to put that into this at the moment.

Sorry, but I would like to keep that to myself. It might turn out to be a great idea that I can patent...or I might just make one and realise how dumb an idea it really is.
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Old 01-28-2013, 14:21   #7
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Fair enough. Good luck, man!

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Old 01-28-2013, 14:31   #8
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Would a trial program work or will you need to use it a lot in the future??

http://usa.autodesk.com/autocad-lt/trial/

FYI, i've never tried using the above...
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Old 01-28-2013, 16:48   #9
RWBlue
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiomechanic View Post
Fair enough. Good luck, man!

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I know it sucks, but I don't really want to give up the idea to someone on the internet until I can determine if what I have in mind will work.
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Old 01-28-2013, 17:58   #10
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If you don't have experience with design and production or proficiency with better software, best approach might be to render the idea to best get the concept across, and let whoever prototypes it make their own drawings.

Sketch-Up is kind of crude, but as you say, pretty intuitive. The Google download is not the whole package. I think it would be fine for a concept sketch.
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:02   #11
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Great at making 3D landscaping mockups like a planter! That's what my son used for a mockup of his 16" long planter for his Eagle Scout project.

Relatively easy to learn too.
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Old 02-11-2013, 20:17   #12
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There is a free program called, "Draftsight." I haven't used it. I believe it is only 2D and not 3D. It is suppose to be one of the more advanced drawing programs that is free.
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Old 02-16-2013, 21:34   #13
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http://www.ptc.com/products/creo-ele...eling-express/
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