[POLL] - Dynamic Components do you use them or not..?

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Do you use DCs?

Yes
21
21%
No
78
79%
 
Total votes : 99

[POLL] - Dynamic Components do you use them or not..?

Postby utiler » Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:26 pm

Guys, We've had SU7.0 now for long enough to get an idea of how many use DC's; so how many of you actually use / make them?

I ask because I posted a thread earlier viewtopic.php?f=289&t=21095 and noticed that there is very little activity in the DC discussion board.
I tried a simple fence DC after not bothering with DC's since playing a bit during SU7.0 beta period but never go around to spending time learn DC's properly.

So are they part of your work flow or not....?

Seems you need to be quite the math tutor to get a decent result!!!!

:thumb:
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Re: [POLL] - Dynamic Components do you use them or not..?

Postby remus » Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:58 pm

Hope you dont mind, but i added a proper poll so we can get some numbers.

In answer to the original question, i dont use them myself, as the stuff i do doesnt lend itself to their use.

With regards to the maths, it isnt that bad!
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Re: [POLL] - Dynamic Components do you use them or not..?

Postby solo » Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:58 pm

Personally I have no use for them, I did give them a go during beta testing but found it beyond my tolerance level.
I guess I could have mastered them if I had a need for them.

What does surprise me is during testing I thought that DC would be the 'BIG' thing and as I understood it free users could use them but not create them which would lead to more Pro version sales in order to create them. Maybe that's the reason they are not very popular, not too many folks have pro version in order to really create them so thus only a handful of pro users are actively using and creating according to their needs thus the 'BIG' thing never will have the support to really get going.....or I could be completely wrong and talking out my ass.
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Re: [POLL] - Dynamic Components do you use them or not..?

Postby Gaieus » Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:02 pm

utiler wrote:Seems you need to be quite the math tutor to get a decent result!!!!

Not only that actually but also working in a field where you can use them. I can imagine that a window manufacturer makes all variations of its product for architects to play with (and hope that later these windows will be built in ;) ) but what could I do with them when I exclusively work with individual models where two parts are never identical and if I invest my time and energy into one (even if I were a match person myself), I could never use it again? :?
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Re: [POLL] - Dynamic Components do you use them or not..?

Postby dacad » Mon Aug 10, 2009 3:11 pm

i think gaieus nail that one. I think dynamic components can be really cool (it's always good to have some kinda parametric tools) but are for very specific modeling, that for a tool like sketchup that can be used for everything that very specific modeling rarely will be needed and most propraply there's already a ruby that can that faster. The only ones taking real advantage of these are probably big industrial firms doing their DCs for OTHERS to use.

As an architect i can tell you i've never done one DC, or use it in a professional way (just for testing and play in the beggining), and i can assure you in my area of work there's many more like me.

And then we also have plugins like FreedoScale 2.0 and let's us do "litle" dynamic actions into regular components like stretching and such, that put together with the fact that DCs are not really that easy to understand and master, can really be a turn off and may rise questions like: "Why would i lose time doing a DC when there's a easier way to do it? or i can instead write a plugin that can be used to help model other stuff too instead of beeing used just for these?"

So for me DCs are welcome but shouldn't have been one of the focus of these release and, at least for me, they don't have half the importance of the "intersecting edges" feature.

David
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Re: [POLL] - Dynamic Components do you use them or not..?

Postby kwistenbiebel » Mon Aug 10, 2009 4:21 pm

I think Google implemented Dynamic Components to get some parametrics on board as they thought it was important to people (see Revit, Archicad).
However, I think they misread the needs of the users. Most of us (I think) see Sketchup as a design tool, a modeler and a visualisation tool.
Not as pure CAD or documenting tool (though it can be used as such in a way)

Launching a survey after release of 7 was a good thing.
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Re: [POLL] - Dynamic Components do you use them or not..?

Postby tomsdesk » Mon Aug 10, 2009 6:21 pm

I started a big modeling project recently that had about a hundred Marvin windows and I found a DC in the wharehouse but the size was enormous (I assume because each window carried all the weight of every window), so I made my own low poly stretchable component and went to town as usual.

During beta I assumed companies like Marvin would indeed be attracted to such, but for me it's a bust. Maybe something like cabinets or shelving (and I'm interested a bit in fencing but haven't had a need yet) would work better...but still: "make unique" and "stretch" is pretty damn easy and less likely to get messed up.

Give me a SketchUp that will handle all the load these give it and maybe I'll try them again.

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Re: [POLL] - Dynamic Components do you use them or not..?

Postby modelhead » Mon Aug 10, 2009 6:44 pm

Give me a SketchUp that will handle all the load


I have never much complained about this over the years but I must say I have finally hit the wall with SU performance. I have always felt that the only thing in my way with SU was knowledge. Now that I am a little smarter with SU and understand its capability I can point my finger at performance directly and say my progress as a 3d practitioner has grounded to a halt. I am able to continue to earn a living modeling with SU but I am religated to small projects and so is my learning curve. I find the larger projects require such a complicated work around that the hourly rate diminishes beyond practicle.

I have seen hundreds of requests from SU users related to SU performance and the need to handle more polies but I have never once seen a note from anyone at Google suggesting that there is a concern or there is some thought being givin to it.

I didn't pay the 100 bucks to upgrade my pro version. SU is not a powerful enough platform to use them (DCs) within the context of our requirements.
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Re: [POLL] - Dynamic Components do you use them or not..?

Postby matthew.robert » Mon Aug 10, 2009 9:59 pm

I have had a similar experience to what is being posted. DC potential seemed big at one time (and I still think the potential is there) but they don't really fit into the "3D for Everyone" motto.

IMHO, here are the big issues with DCs:
1. They are good for many different specific things.
2. They need to be thoughtfully "authored" for those different specific things.
3. They need to communicate that they are for that specific thing.
4. They need to be easy to find and implement from the user end.

For example, take a solar panel. A DC solar panel could be built so a user can cycle through different models. Maybe the DC even shows various inverter and grounding wire placements.

A solar panel can also be authored to track the sun (but sadly not truely dynamically, needs be right-click-redrawn after the sun is adjusted).

A solar panel can also be built to glue to a surface and replicate/position when scaled.

An argument could be made that a good solar DC should include all of those points, but detail and replication do not gel. They need to be authored differently.

Additionally, for the sake of argument, say all solar panel DCs on the 3DWH fall into one of those categories, the user pretty much has to download each one and play with it to figure out what it does, and that even assumes that the DCs were correctly authored in the first place, which is extremely rare.

The short of it is that trying to find any component on the warehouse, not just DCs, is akin to finding a clean needle in a stack of dirty hypodermic needles.

If DCs are going to have any success, there needs to be a few things: Skilled component authors, a better find-and-download method, and finally a "dynamic" purpose which is appealing and broad enough to the user that the skilled component author has a reason to make the DC in the first place.

Right now the 3DWH is filled with green-badged DCs that are half or incorrectly built, have an unclear "dynamic" purpose, and generally are a buzzkill for anyone trying to find and use dynamic components in the first place.

Anyhow, this is going from observation to rant so I will end it at that.
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Re: [POLL] - Dynamic Components do you use them or not..?

Postby Edson » Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:46 pm

DCs seem useful to me but i am not willing to go through the process of learning how to make them. having said that i have not felt any need to use them so far.
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Re: [POLL] - Dynamic Components do you use them or not..?

Postby utiler » Mon Aug 10, 2009 11:31 pm

Thanks guys, that's reassuring. I thought I was the only user out there that never could see that "patience IN = timing saving OUT"
And like Pete said, DC's were the big feature of SU7 when maybe performance should have had a higher ranking...
I hope someone from Google reads this thread, It couldn't be a more precise snapshot of a pro user's opinion....

Thanks also Remus, for setting up the poll proper.
:thumb:
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Re: [POLL] - Dynamic Components do you use them or not..?

Postby Howard leslie » Tue Aug 11, 2009 6:14 pm

Andrew,
Yes, I use them.
For certain tasks eg modelling staircases - I've found them invaluable and I wouldn't use anything else now.
As pointed out earlier in this thread - DCs are very task specific.
.........
I have been involved in a project that involves designing and altering industrial staircases.
After a web trawl I couldn't find anything suitable and so I forced myself to learn how to write DCs from scratch.
I could see that it would be really useful for the project I was on.
..........
I designed The Staircase Builder and posted it here:
http://forums.sketchucation.com/viewtopic.php?f=289&t=18545
I hope others find it useful too.

I've also written a couple of DCs for Scaffolding (Temporary Works) Design
(Not Publicly Released).
...........
I think DCs can be really useful - but they are much under used at present
- posssibly because they can't be designed in the free version of SU.
Google should change that !!!

*** I think putting the Dynamic Component Discussion Forum higher up the Sketchucation Tree might help - currently buried under Sketchup Discussions ***
Its not got a very high profile / visibility at present.
.........
Its not too difficult to design DCs either.
So if you think you can see a task where they'd be useful I'd just go for it and have a go designing one.
They can be a huge time saver.
..........
Regards
Howard L'
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Re: [POLL] - Dynamic Components do you use them or not..?

Postby utiler » Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:30 pm

Bingo!!! I think we have established our resident 'DC Einstein'.... I'll be sure to have a look at your stair, Howard.

Thinking about DC's in the general architectural discipline, I think it we could just get components to cut 2 plane properly then I would definitely use DC's in windows and doors. Also, fences, stairs, cabinetry too I guess....
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Re: [POLL] - Dynamic Components do you use them or not..?

Postby Gaieus » Thu Aug 13, 2009 12:52 pm

Why would you need fences and cabinetry cutting two faces? :o
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Re: [POLL] - Dynamic Components do you use them or not..?

Postby utiler » Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:28 pm

Gaieus wrote:Why would you need fences and cabinetry cutting two faces? :o


I was thinking about windows and doors generally, Gaieus. Although it would be nice to be able to inset a sink into a benchtop with no need for editing.... :D
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Re: [POLL] - Dynamic Components do you use them or not..?

Postby Daniel » Thu Aug 13, 2009 6:41 pm

I would probably use dynamic components more often if I could figure out how, but finding time to use SU as it is already is difficult.
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Re: [POLL] - Dynamic Components do you use them or not..?

Postby david_h » Thu Aug 13, 2009 9:13 pm

For the Luddite that I am. .. not having yet upgraded to SU 7. . .what besides Dynamic Comps am I missing? It seems to me that the only big improvement was the fix that ALL Crosed lines would cut and create faces. (BTW. . isn't there a plugin for SU 6 that does this?)

:?
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Re: [POLL] - Dynamic Components do you use them or not..?

Postby Christopher Love » Thu Aug 13, 2009 9:53 pm

David,
Have used SU since V2 and have always looked forward to the upgrades and went to V7. Dont bother. THe DC issue has already been covered here. I design commercial kitchen for a living and could see some instances where having a DC would be useful (std benches etc) however the time l wasted learning to use/create DC's I just cant justify.

Dont bother upgrading to V7. I find the crossed line cutting more annoying than anything and am about to investigate if there is a way to turn it off.

More importantly reliability for me has gone out the window. SU crashes are regular and after modeling for about a half an hour or so doing some simple operation will freeze my entire operating system as much as I try I cannot find a solution, and it only happens using SU. Gone are the days of Bugsplat so I feel my plight is going to go unnoticed . I am off to try and reload V6.


Chris L
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Re: [POLL] - Dynamic Components do you use them or not..?

Postby david_h » Thu Aug 13, 2009 9:57 pm

that's seems to be the General consensus and that is why I just haven't bothered with the upgrade. I would like Cross lines to work better than they do. That's where you and I differ. I find it irritating that when A face should be cut to PushPull and it doesn't but that's another story. Anyway, thanks for the insight.

D

p.s.. . .I am a fellow SU 2 user as well. I felt the best upgrade was Version 5. I didn't feel V6 was anything to write my mother about but in some ways it has been okay. I've stuck with it.. . .but 7 . ..

I just don't know.
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Re: [POLL] - Dynamic Components do you use them or not..?

Postby Chris Fullmer » Thu Aug 13, 2009 10:27 pm

I like 7 pretty good. I have not experienced more splats with it than any other version - which is to say that I rarely get any splats, and 7 has been no different.

As for DC's I decided to learn them, and I did. It was a frustrating weekend, but that was all it took.

But I quickly decided I wanted more than what DC's offered, which is what lead me to learn Ruby recently.

So I like DC's ok, but I don't find much use for them personally. But that could change possibly. I LOVE the line crossing breaking edges feature. That has been a huge success by my book.

So I voted that I do not use DC's, although I do know how to use them...

Chris
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Re: [POLL] - Dynamic Components do you use them or not..?

Postby david_h » Thu Aug 13, 2009 10:59 pm

So Chris. .. my friend. . .could you write me a simple little ruby that would do the lines cross thing for my V6 and make my life much less frustrating??? Please oh please oh please????

if it is simple and easy. .. that is..

Muchos Gracias
Merci
Danke Schoen
etc
etc.
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Re: [POLL] - Dynamic Components do you use them or not..?

Postby utiler » Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:56 am

Christopher Love wrote:David,
Have used SU since V2 and have always looked forward to the upgrades and went to V7. Dont bother. THe DC issue has already been covered here. I design commercial kitchen for a living and could see some instances where having a DC would be useful (std benches etc) however the time l wasted learning to use/create DC's I just cant justify.

Dont bother upgrading to V7. I find the crossed line cutting more annoying than anything and am about to investigate if there is a way to turn it off.

More importantly reliability for me has gone out the window. SU crashes are regular and after modeling for about a half an hour or so doing some simple operation will freeze my entire operating system as much as I try I cannot find a solution, and it only happens using SU. Gone are the days of Bugsplat so I feel my plight is going to go unnoticed . I am off to try and reload V6.


Chris L


Good to see you here, Chris!!! I remember conversing quite a while ago when you sent me some of your commercial models...

I started with V3 and agree with you David, V5 was the best upgrade!!!
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Re: [POLL] - Dynamic Components do you use them or not..?

Postby Mike1158 » Tue Aug 18, 2009 5:47 pm

I would far rather have the ability to 'morph' from one shape to another, rather like lofting which I know from Turbocad. It would be neat to be able to have the morph over a selected number of steps however, as it is my opinion I am open to suggestions on alternative methods from you guys.
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Re: [POLL] - Dynamic Components do you use them or not..?

Postby Chris Fullmer » Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:03 pm

Mike1158 wrote:I would far rather have the ability to 'morph' from one shape to another, rather like lofting which I know from Turbocad. It would be neat to be able to have the morph over a selected number of steps however, as it is my opinion I am open to suggestions on alternative methods from you guys.


Here is one version:
viewtopic.php?f=180&t=21134

and TIG is working on another that is more of a sweep to rails that should be released this upcoming month. I've also written a loft tool, that is in need of improvement, but is a good start. Always keep an eye on the ruby forum :)

Chris
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Re: [POLL] - Dynamic Components do you use them or not..?

Postby Christophe Hebert » Wed Aug 19, 2009 8:03 am

Hi,

YES I use Dynamic Components and like this BIG improvement of SketchUp. I develop more than 200 DC and continue to work on more advanced project. I hope Google will improve them on next version SketchUp 8.

I tried to create a website ( http://www.up-automat.com ) to sell quality DC but people are not interested, so I decide to keep them for my work (and saving a lot of time...).

Best,
Christophe
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Re: [POLL] - Dynamic Components do you use them or not..?

Postby Gaieus » Wed Aug 19, 2009 8:15 am

Hi Christophe,

Glad to see someone being enthusiastic with DC's. We (including me) seem a bit pessimistic about them here in the posts (I have my reason; if I make a component, it's very likely that I won't ever use it again so why bother to make it more complex?) but I was sure that there are people who use them regularly and find them useful. :thumb:

As for your website; I think it's not very informative about you trying to sell them and even about the vast amount of DC's you have made (and could be available) so far.
I mean some more "aggressive marketing" on that website might let (and maybe even make) people be interested and buy those DC's
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Re: [POLL] - Dynamic Components do you use them or not..?

Postby JeZ » Thu Aug 20, 2009 1:36 am

Hi,
I am enthusiastic too. I think it can be a great design tool, but I think it is important to change our workflow to use it.

It is hard to understand, time consuming and can become complexe quickly, but can be very rewarding and effective when working.

To the guy designing kitchens: Think it twice! This is exactly the kind work that benefits the most from DCs. Not only it will be way quicker to draw, add a couple onclick stuff and your clients will love it when they come to your office.

I am still learning all this, but all the new possibilities that are now available make me enthusiastic.

Jerome
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Re: [POLL] - Dynamic Components do you use them or not..?

Postby Kent L » Thu Aug 20, 2009 6:03 pm

I created and use DC's all the time. They are incredible time savers for repetitive tasks and common components. I use them primarily for residential construction detail drawings where components get reused constantly. Simple DC's can be built with very little investment of time. For instance, I have "smart lumber" components where I can quickly insert the needed lumber dimensions (2x4's 2x10's, etc. and length) The component takes care of setting the proper true size of the component so I don't need to remember the conversions from nominal to actual. (2x4 to 1.5"x3.5" etc.) The options are set up as picklists which are far faster to set than browsing through a large component library looking for the right size item. Another good use is to dynamically change the dimensions of joist hangers, etc. depending on the lumber.

More sophisticated components would allow building fully framed walls with options for spacing, openings, etc. but these require more thinking and investment of time. Constructing custom roof joists are another perfect example and there is an example of this on the 3D Warehouse.

DC's do suffer from one MAJOR limitation though. (which I hope the SketchUp guys will address in 8) Currently, there are no DC values for rotating or scaling textures. If your DC changes the dimensions of an object, the texture is scaled, much like using the scale tool. But in the case of lumber textures for instance, you want the texture to remain unscaled when dimensions change. (like how the push-pull tool changes dimensions) Until this limitation is fixed, it's better to apply textures to a DC AFTER it has been dimensioned.

If SketchUp fixes this one major limitation, DC's will become even more powerful and helpful.
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