Construction & Working Drawings - Discussion

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Construction & Working Drawings - Discussion

Postby wbarch » Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:55 pm

I've been impressed with the potential to create working drawings for residential and light commercial projects using layout. Sure, it's no where near where it could be. But - it would be great to post examples of what can be created, to see what's possible, etc. So how about it? If you have any example sheets from construction or working drawing sets that you've completed (or even just experimented with) post them here! The goal I guess is just to see what Layout is capable of, if pushed to it's limits.


WB
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Re: Construction & Working Drawings - Discussion

Postby Mike Lucey » Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:05 pm

Hi WB,

Yes I agree LO in its new form has some potential. I think the problem that it now faces is that many users that looked at it originally have given up on it and are now inclined to NOT give it a second look. Possibly a a mistake as it deserves a second chance.

Mike
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Re: Construction & Working Drawings - Discussion

Postby honoluludesktop » Wed Jan 21, 2009 9:30 pm

I find it difficult to pursue LO as a tool to prepare construction documents when Google's stated position is not to compete with CAD applications that are used for that kind of work. Can't tell you how many times in the past I've pushed the envelope, only to give up an application because my use of it was not supported by its developers, or the market place. I still have stuff on my system running inside virtual machines that is supported only through my programing efforts. I am hoping to retire before being forced to abandon some of these programs, and faced with learning new software along with the task of managing file conversion:)
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Re: Construction & Working Drawings - Discussion

Postby rabbit » Wed Feb 18, 2009 2:36 am

Layout is just a dead weight; i am sorry to have to say this, because i think the idea has great potential, but it is just too clumsy, slow and frustrating to use in any real world situation, even just as a presentation tool with no 3D links to sketchup.
I have found nothing that in theory matches it, or at least the idea behind it, but it sadly just does not do the business.
I use the page layout tools in another app, and import any sketchup stuff i need as 2D dwg exports.

i think layout needs to incorporate good dimensioning, and also needs to import dwg as vectors. That way it could be used as a cd tool for any app that could export dwg, and mix and match su models with it all.
Sadly this is not the way google seems to want to take it...

Anyway, i'm done with it.

cheers
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Re: Construction & Working Drawings - Discussion

Postby Gaieus » Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:30 am

rabbit wrote:...slow and frustrating to use in any real world situation, even just as a presentation tool with no 3D links to sketchup.

With due respect for your opinion (and to be honest,I mostly use LO to be ble to answer questions in this forum since "professionally" I havebn't really needed it yet) and though even the presentational tools could be improved (with additional features), the 3D link to the embedded skethup model does exist and is one of the most powerful features of LO in presentation mode IMO.

It may certainly lack a couple of features (dimensioning being one of the most frequently demanded one) and I myself have a couple of "favourite feature requests" (both for presentation mode and pdf output) duely filed at the development team...
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Re: Construction & Working Drawings - Discussion

Postby Tasman » Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:33 am

Gaieus wrote:
It may certainly lack a couple of features (dimensioning being one of the most frequently demanded one) and I myself have a couple of "favourite feature requests" (both for presentation mode and pdf output) duely filed at the development team...



Something LO badly needs is the ability to tile sheets with a standard printer. For example if you have an A4 printer but a particular drawing is at a scale larger than will fit on an A4 sheet, there is no simple way of specifying that you want the drawing tiled over say two pages of printed output.
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Re: Construction & Working Drawings - Discussion

Postby honoluludesktop » Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:40 am

I believe that LO is OK in most situations, one exception being Architectural or Engineering Drawings in the manner that they are used as construction documents (especially as part of a legally binding construction contract). Even in that situation, it is not impossible, only time consuming.
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Re: Construction & Working Drawings - Discussion

Postby Gaieus » Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:38 pm

Well, for construction documents you wouldn't start with an A4 printer anyway, would you? Yes, I do know what you mean however there are always acceptable workarounds (like "printing" into a pdf file or actually exporting pdf to be printed later).
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Re: Construction & Working Drawings - Discussion

Postby Daniel » Wed Feb 18, 2009 7:06 pm

I was one of those people who didn't care for Layout when it first came out, but lately I've found it very useful. In fact, recently I had a SU model presentation that was 4' long and Layout was the only program I had that could handle it. But I've never tried to create CDs with SU or Layout, as my CAD program is so much easier and efficient at that. I am able to import SU models directly into my CAD program to generate drawings - so, SU does aid in creating CDs.
Honestly, I'm somewhat mystified everytime this comes up (creating CDs with SU and Layout). Why would anyone want to use SU or Layout to create Construction Documents, when that is neither program's intended purpose? And, should Google add full CAD capabilities to SU, I doubt we would have an easy-to-use and affordable program any more.
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Re: Construction & Working Drawings - Discussion

Postby wbarch » Wed Feb 18, 2009 7:59 pm

Hi Daniel,

What CADD program do you use to import SU models into for ConDocs?

Regards,
WB
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Re: Construction & Working Drawings - Discussion

Postby Daniel » Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:03 pm

DataCAD 12. I import it and then have DataCAD generate 2D elevation drawings. It can take a few minutes, but still quicker than recreating them from scratch, and cleaner than importing a dwg file from SU.

I would be surprised if you couldn't do this with other CAD programs, as well. (anyone else care to chime in on that?)
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Re: Construction & Working Drawings - Discussion

Postby honoluludesktop » Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:25 pm

Daniel, Currently, I design and build my models with a Cad application then Dxf them to SU for visualization and presentation. The original model is assembled from blocks that translate as SU components. All changes to blocks are via the Cad application, that are then individually Dxf's to SU (minimizes redo work to the block/component in SU). In my case, the elevations are complete before the model is ported.

Have you ever used SU's scenes to create 2d elevations (parallel projection, aligned view) 2 Dxf for use in your Cad program? What are your pro and cons on this? Thanks.
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Re: Construction & Working Drawings - Discussion

Postby Daniel » Wed Feb 18, 2009 10:35 pm

My workflow is slightly different. We start with a plan, either in CAD or sketched out, and then I usually do the model. I have in the past imported the CAD plan into SU, but I found there was too much clean-up (especially if the plan was drawn by others), so it's quicker to start modeling from scratch. The majority of my models are just the exterior, anyway. From the model, I create the CAD elevations.
I have in the past created orthogonal views and then exported dwg files, and then imported them into DataCAD, but I found there was always a lot of clean-up to do. Any line touched or crossed by another line would be broken. On a railing with vertical pickets, for instance, the line for the top rail would be broken at each picket, so I would have a series of short lines instead of one long line.
But with the latest version of DataCAD I can import the model directly into SU. It comes in as a wire frame. I set the view in DataCAD, tell it to perform a hidden line removal and to save the image in a separate layer, and then I have a 2D elevation without broken lines. All I have to do is change the colors of the lines to match our office standards. This is much quicker than drawing them from scratch or cleaning up a dwg file, and I much rather spend the time modeling with SU.
I can also export a DataCAD file as a SU model, but haven't found a use for that, yet (I suppose if I wanted to import a CAD plan or other drawing into SU, that is how I would do it, now).
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Re: Construction & Working Drawings - Discussion

Postby sketchy » Sat Feb 21, 2009 6:01 am

I got pretty excited with LO beta and tried to make it work, I struggled with it for many projects then stoped when my support tickets when unanswered. The release version is more stable but when I saw it still lacked dimensioning I just gave up on it. I would instantly embrace it for shop drawings and simple plans if it could dimension since I am still doing quite a bit of design in SU. For now it just has really limited use in my work world :( .
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Re: Construction & Working Drawings - Discussion

Postby Dave R » Tue Feb 24, 2009 2:35 am

I've been using Layout for woodworking plans lately and although there are a few things I wish it had related to text handling, I think it works fine. I place dimensions in SketchUp and create callouts and other text in LO. One thing that I found is that I end up with dimensions at 6 pt. in SketchUp. They are almost impossible for me to read on my screen in SU but work out just fine in LO and in the exported PDF.
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Re: Construction & Working Drawings - Discussion

Postby Mike Lucey » Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:59 pm

Dave, I am very interested in exploring the new possibilities in LayOut. You are right! Its best to accept what Layout does not offer and get on with what it does.

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Re: Construction & Working Drawings - Discussion

Postby Dave R » Tue Feb 24, 2009 2:20 pm

Mike, it could be that because I'm not familiar with other programs such as Illustrator that are designed for doing presentation documents and the like, I don't find the limitations of Layout to be all that limiting. I see a huge benefit in having the SketchUp model dynamically linked to the document. That has been a big bonus.

Last Novemeber I did a plan in SketchUp for a small cabinet or bedside table. The client chose to use Illustrator or something for the document. I created scenes in SU and sent the file. They exported JPGs for use in the document. There were several revisions to the model which I got into SketchUp but the scenes didn't get replaced in the document and proofing didn't catch the errors before it got out. The plan was finally updated yesterday.

Last week I delivered a workbench plan to the same client but I did the entire thing in Layout. Again, there were several rounds of revisions to model but they were all incorporated in the PDF this time. If there are any erors, at least there's consistency between the model and the plan. Both of them are to be offered for sale as a package by the client.
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Re: Construction & Working Drawings - Discussion

Postby Charlie__V » Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:37 pm

Dave R wrote:I've been using Layout for woodworking plans lately and although there are a few things I wish it had related to text handling, I think it works fine. I place dimensions in SketchUp and create callouts and other text in LO. One thing that I found is that I end up with dimensions at 6 pt. in SketchUp. They are almost impossible for me to read on my screen in SU but work out just fine in LO and in the exported PDF.


Dave,
Great point about the font, I have found that setting the font to inches is even more predictable/consistent.
I recently did kitchen cabinetry & vanity elevations this way @ 1/2" = 1'.
My SU dimension font was set to 3"....I exported out of layout to .pdf.....looked great.

C
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Re: Construction & Working Drawings - Discussion

Postby Bert » Wed Feb 25, 2009 1:05 am

Hi everyone

As an answer to WBARCH wish
Being retired and doing woodworking as a hobby here is an example of what I obtain using Sketchup and Layout and exporting to PDF
http://cid-ef5ebd0cbc32b77f.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Plans%20SU%20format%20PDF/Table%20refectoire.pdf

Please note that I am not an expert of Sketchup neither of Layout
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Re: Construction & Working Drawings - Discussion

Postby Dave R » Wed Feb 25, 2009 1:09 am

Hi Bert,

I couldn't seem to get your PDF file to download so I can see it. Any chance you could just do image exports from the Layout pages and post those as attachements?

Thank you.

Dave
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Re: Construction & Working Drawings - Discussion

Postby PKast » Wed Feb 25, 2009 2:17 am

Bert,
I managed to open your link to the pdf file, (you have to click the download button at the top left). It looks good Bert, you satisfactorily achieved showing all aspects of the table. It conveys all the pertinent info, it's good enough to build from.

Best,
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Re: Construction & Working Drawings - Discussion

Postby Bert » Wed Feb 25, 2009 2:40 am

Dave R once you get to the page click on the link "Telecharger" The file name is: Table refectoire
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Re: Construction & Working Drawings - Discussion

Postby Dave R » Wed Feb 25, 2009 2:41 am

I tried that but it wouldn't load. I'll try again though.
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Re: Construction & Working Drawings - Discussion

Postby Charlie__V » Wed Feb 25, 2009 3:45 am

All,
OP asked for any/all...so here ya go.

Attached is work in progress.....so please limit crits to dimensioning etc as they seem to be the focus of OP query.
FYI....am aware of Cabinet alingment issues. ;)

Best
C
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Re: Construction & Working Drawings - Discussion

Postby wbarch » Wed Feb 25, 2009 3:04 pm

Bert, Charlie -

These are great, thanks for sharing them for us to see.

Mike, I agree - I think Layout needs a second look as well.
My own thoughts are that Layout and Sketchup together are very very close to being capable of acting as a Parametric/BIM solution for everything from shop drawings to construction documents for small to medium size buildings.

Does anyone have any example construction drawings of buildings done in Layout they would like to share? Hopefully at some point Google will want to add a "Gallery" section for layout drawings so we can see this sort of thing. Similar to what Chief Architect software does at their site (see "Plan Sets")

http://www.chiefarchitect.com/usercente ... llery.html

-WB
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Re: Construction & Working Drawings - Discussion

Postby Gjenio » Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:01 pm

wbarch wrote:My own thoughts are that Layout and Sketchup together are very very close to being capable of acting as a Parametric/BIM solution for everything from shop drawings to construction documents for small to medium size buildings.


Can I say that I totally agree with you?
Sketchup needs only to improve its 2d drafting capabilities. I don't know how. Maybe just powering the existing tools (arcs and circles first of all). I just wish that with the Tape Measure tool would be possible to get construction geometry (a real circle, not one composed by segments) also from circles and arcs. And all snapping and inferencing tecniques with these construction elements to be possible (such as circle tang from 3 elements, circle tang from 2 element and given radious, and so on). So that the drawing of certain curvy geometry become finally possible and accurate (now it's rather impossible to do some of them). Would be great if sketchup could paint vectorial editable hatches on faces with the Paint Bucket tool. And, finally, we strongly need the Dimension and Text tools to be developed further on. We need more controls over the position and alignement of the Text Tool and over the arrows, the extension line, the text position and the dimension line of the Dimension Tool. That's all!

Here I attached a small project completly done with sketchup+layout.
The possibilities of both apps combine togheter have grown consistently with version 7
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Re: Construction & Working Drawings - Discussion

Postby Charlie__V » Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:25 pm

All,
RE: Position and Alignment for dimensions.

Tip:Temporary use of a section cut for dimension alignment.

Place a section cut [attached example has cut @ center of cupola]& begin dimensioning.
It is very important that the inference starts X @ intersection of section plane for this to work properly
As long as the inference starts @ the intersection, the dimensions will align nicely.
There are some exceptions, but I find this works quite well.

Apologies if this is "known", but I thought apropriate to include in this thread.

Best,
C
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Re: Construction & Working Drawings - Discussion

Postby dirtsailor2003 » Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:25 pm

We have been trying to use Layout for printing our elevation drawings, mostly for schematic, and Architectural Review Meetings. I originally tried to use the gray scale ruby, but the values still were coming out to dark when plotting with our Oce' plotter. So I have resorted to changing the material colors, which in reality doesn't take all that long, compared to cleaning up the elevation in DataCAD.
Our work flow method is very similar to what Daniel mentioned earlier in this post, and it sounds like it will be really nice when we upgrade to DataCAD 12. Granted what we have accomplished with layout is far from CD's, but it has been fine for for schematic and Review Board reviews. It is however far from the normal level of detail that we normally apply to our drawings. Any ways I attached a sample that we did just recently for a review. Model created in SU pro7, Border imported as JPG, from DataCAD, post edited in Photoshop to remove clients information, otherwise no other post editing. Applied custom style, that we use with jitter, and extensions on.

example_1.jpg
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Re: Construction & Working Drawings - Discussion

Postby Dave R » Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:34 pm

Dirtsailor, that's very nice work. I like the house, too.
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Re: Construction & Working Drawings - Discussion

Postby Daniel » Thu Feb 26, 2009 9:12 pm

Dirtysailor, beautiful design/model; you should post it in the gallery. How did you create the heavy ground line? With the sectioncutface ruby? And why do you have the heavy line in the background, too?
Nice to see another DataCAD user.
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