Woodworking tools in SketchUp

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Woodworking tools in SketchUp

Postby Gidon Yuval » Mon Apr 21, 2008 7:42 am

I am currently working in collaboration with a friend of mine who is a computer engineer and programer on putting together a complete set of SU tools for woodworkers. The set will (of course) include optimisation and cutting list diagrams but will also include functions such as incremental scaling, construction method definition, edge-banding calculation, parts list, assembly views, hardware distribution and a bunch of other tools that I find I need and wish SU would do. Of course, all these tools would be fully integrated into SU and would appear as a special tool-bar.

I would like to hear from you guys if you have any ideas for other tools that you think could or should be included.
I would also like to have anyone who is interested test the tools as they are developed.

We're at the very first stages right now but I'll keep you posted as we progress.
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Re: Woodworking tools in SketchUp

Postby Chiefwoodworker » Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:00 am

Gidon,

I would gladly help test them, and I think it is great someone is developing tools specifically for the woodworker. I would like a grid for drawing 2D curves with the aid of Bezier tools, that are used to make ogee feet, Queen Anne legs etc.

And a board feet (and the metric equivalent) calculator to go along with your cut list.
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Re: Woodworking tools in SketchUp

Postby titmas » Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:48 am

i would definitely like to test out the beta versions and give you some feedback
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Re: Woodworking tools in SketchUp

Postby Gidon Yuval » Mon Apr 21, 2008 12:15 pm

Thanks guys.

I'd like to see a 'wish list' here.
Just throw in everything you think should be there to make SU the ideal workshop program.
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Re: Woodworking tools in SketchUp

Postby KennyL » Mon Apr 21, 2008 6:58 pm

Gidon,

Check out http://www.northernlightstimberframing.com/su/.

They've created a set of ruby scripts for designing timber frame structures.
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Re: Woodworking tools in SketchUp

Postby SchreiberBike » Mon Apr 21, 2008 7:25 pm

How about a way of indicating the desired grain direction?

Extensions on that idea might be that when you apply a texture, it knows which way you want the grain to run. And, this is a wild one. How about if you could model wood movement due to moisture content. It should differentiating between long grain, face grain and quartersawn. Then it would show where wood movement would put strain on a design.

I'll keep thinking about what would be in a wish list.
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Re: Woodworking tools in SketchUp

Postby SchreiberBike » Mon Apr 21, 2008 7:56 pm

Here's my 2nd set of ideas.

Back the grain idea above, I once saw a program which showed end grain in a different color.

My work is very often symmetrical. I can make halves of a model in SU and combine them, but it's not as straightforward as it could be. Perhaps something which would create the same joinery on both ends of a board.

An automated dovetail tool would be cool. It should work on both pieces of wood at the same time.

Perhaps a selection of curves often used in wood working which can be scaled to fit. Bezier tools work, but I think there could be a more straight forward approach.

Easy access to some standard dimensions. I often go to <http://www.woodbin.com/ref/furniture/index.htm> for that. Need to make sure it will work for different standards around the world. On that same note, perhaps some scaled figures which could be posed to see how they fit into furniture. These could be components that could be added to a model.

How about a quick way of indicating where screws or nails go without actually modeling screws or nails.

Now that I'm thinking, I'm sure I'll come up with more.
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Re: Woodworking tools in SketchUp

Postby KennyL » Mon Apr 21, 2008 8:45 pm

How about a good set of wood textures:
- Both horizontal and verticle
- Seamless
- For each species, have several boards with different grain patterns and widths, like shopping at a lumber yard.
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Re: Woodworking tools in SketchUp

Postby Chiefwoodworker » Mon Apr 21, 2008 9:00 pm

Hi Folks,

SchreiberBike, I like your idea of a moisture content analyzer. I use one all the time. It was written by a woodworker/programmer and sold for about $30. It is called MovementMaster by Kite Hill Software. Unfortunately he didn't make any money on it so he stopped support and any further development. But it took into account the specific moisture meter you used to get a current reading, where in the world the finished piece would reside, the species, how you intended to use the wood e.g. breadboard end, frame and panel door etc., how it was cut, how many pieces in the glue up and on and on.

Gidon, if you ever took it as a goal to do such a thing I could send you the program to study.
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Re: Woodworking tools in SketchUp

Postby Sawduster » Tue Apr 22, 2008 8:33 pm

I particularly like the idea of automated joint duplication at the other end of a board. The DT would be nice, too.

I'd be willing to test components etc for you.
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Re: Woodworking tools in SketchUp

Postby Earl Creel » Wed Apr 23, 2008 12:02 am

How about a "Golden Checker"? A tool that would check the length to width ratio of all rectangular parts above a certain size (area) and flag those that are not close (an ajdustable setting) to the golden ratio of 1.618. Most of the time you can't do anything about it but sometimes a few doable changes will improve the looks of a piece.
Earl Creel
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Re: Woodworking tools in SketchUp

Postby baz » Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:03 am

I second the idea of 'grain orientation'.
Perhaps a ruby which laid the grain parallel to the longest side of the entity.

baz.
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Re: Woodworking tools in SketchUp

Postby Gidon Yuval » Wed Apr 23, 2008 10:07 am

Yes, the grain orientation is a great idea but as with some of the other ideas in the replies so far it has more to do with rendering and design than with production tools.
We'll get to design and rendering tools later. What we're working on now is more along the lines of the tools that will assist in production planning. For example, say you'd drawn a unit 90cms long with 6 drawers and you decide you want it 110cms long. We're working on a tool that will streach the unit without screwing up the scale of the parts. In other words, the parts will rearange themselves according to the new dimmensions with only those parts that have to be lenghthened changing thier dimmensions and only along the relevant axis.
See what I'm saying? That's a tool that will be a huge help insofar as production planning goes. It has little to do with the aesthetics of the piece.
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Re: Woodworking tools in SketchUp

Postby Earl Creel » Wed Apr 23, 2008 2:49 pm

Gidon Yuval wrote:Yes, the grain orientation is a great idea but as with some of the other ideas in the replies so far it has more to do with rendering and design than with production tools.
We'll get to design and rendering tools later. What we're working on now is more along the lines of the tools that will assist in production planning. For example, say you'd drawn a unit 90cms long with 6 drawers and you decide you want it 110cms long. We're working on a tool that will streach the unit without screwing up the scale of the parts. In other words, the parts will rearange themselves according to the new dimmensions with only those parts that have to be lenghthened changing thier dimmensions and only along the relevant axis.
See what I'm saying? That's a tool that will be a huge help insofar as production planning goes. It has little to do with the aesthetics of the piece.


I like this this idea, call it "Board Stretcher.rb" I see at least a four step process: (1) when activated a dialog box would open asking stretch/shrink and distance and horizontal/vertical. (2) The section plane would appear locked into the chosen orientation. (3) You slide the plane to the location about which you want the adjustment to ocurr. (4) The tool would check to see if there are lines passing through the plane that are not normal to the plane and if it finds any it would indicate so otherwise it would proceed to adjust all line lengths to make the change.

In actual use the tool user would often need to decide how many adjustments to make. For example if you want to make a chest of drawers an inch wider but did not whant to change the drawer widths you would stretch the model twice moving 1/2" each time with the cut planes running through the drawer opening stiles.
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Re: Woodworking tools in SketchUp

Postby SchreiberBike » Fri Apr 25, 2008 3:15 am

Earl Creel wrote:I like this this idea, call it "Board Stretcher.rb" . . .

That would be handy in SU, but if you could make one which would work in my shop, it would be worth millions.

Gidon's idea is great too. If parts are not made into components, you can move sections around with no problem, but I find that woodworking really depends on components.
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Re: Woodworking tools in SketchUp

Postby l_breault » Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:43 am

What about a ruby that creates dovetail drawer boxes? Maybe with a few options of applied fronts/vs. intregal, and having the ability to offset the width to accomodate different hardware. Just a thought, looking forward to hearing more about it.

Leo
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Re: Woodworking tools in SketchUp

Postby basic.woodworks » Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:39 pm

1.) The "board_stretcher.rb" in real life would be as possible as anti-gravity. I think, when drawing, it's easy enough to re-adjust certain components. However, It would be kinda cool to have a tool that would automatically adjust the length of "connecting" groups and components.
Example: you designing a chest of drawers and in view of the available space (real world) you decide to make it wider. This tool would automatically select the rails, top and other possible moldings and pieces, allowing the ability to un-select the ones you don't want altered, and ask "do you wish to lengthen intersecting groups/components?" It would save a lot of time.

2.) A fastener selection tool. Something that would automatically put in, center, align and space out fasteners. Screws, brads, nails, doweling and wafers. Allowing the user to select the type, length and gauge of fastener as well as centering and spacing options.

3.) Joinery. When two groups or components are overlapping, it would be nice to have a tool that would allow the option of automatically select the type of joint (mortise and tenon, rabbit, butt, half-lap, dove-tail, etc) and thickness, spacing and depth.

4.) Centering tool. It would be nice to be able to take 2 or more groups and align them, like you do with fonts on a word processor, i.e.: Left, center or right align, and justify. this option would also be cool with the ability of multiple axis. One use could be to align drawers, doors or adjustable shelves or to align the knobs and pulls on drawer-fronts and doors.

I don't know if this is the type of suggestion you were looking for. I would be really great to be able to have tool to enable me to draw up wood project (cabinets, shelving units, etc) Right in front of a "customer" without wasting my or their time with minor detail like cosmetics of joinery and fasteners while showing them how it will be held together and well as what it will look like, should (example) a dovetail is exposed. As well it's nice to show them a cabinet with knobs and pulls on without wasting 20 minutes aligning and centering them.

Have a great day. Though I may not be able to afford to buy these tool (not working anymore) I'm sure a lot of people would appreciate a tool to cut down time while presenting as well as time and money saved while employees design and prepare the plan and break-down of a project.

This coming from a former renovation contractor.

Mike RL
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Re: Woodworking tools in SketchUp

Postby basic.woodworks » Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:48 pm

A router_selected_edges.rb tool. This tool would allow the user to sect a group or face, and automatically "router" the edge(s) with a choice of a multitude of existing (common) profiles of router bits.
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Re: Woodworking tools in SketchUp

Postby Gidon Yuval » Tue Apr 29, 2008 3:11 pm

Mike, that's exactly the sort of feedback I'm looking for.
Your ideas for a fastener selection tool and the centering tool are construction design oriented and that's what we'll be concentrating on at first. Actually, the fastener tool is already a part of our planned 'Construction Method' tool wherein you would be able to define a construction method and apply it to the cacasses in your project.

Thanks to everyone for your input. :thumb:
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Re: Woodworking tools in SketchUp

Postby ronsharikahn » Tue Apr 29, 2008 5:06 pm

Tools that would assist with cut lists and cutting diagrams would also be helpful. After project design, the components need to be exploded and then re-arranged in two dimensions in preparation of cutting the components from the stock. Once they are in the same plane, cutting diagrams can be created to best optimize stock use.
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Re: Woodworking tools in SketchUp

Postby Carlosq » Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:04 pm

Hi,

Being that I am a newbee on SU and woodworking, a good tool for me would be something that creates a shopping list from a parts list, that way I could just print it and take it to home depot.

Thanks,

Carlos
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Re: Woodworking tools in SketchUp

Postby Dave R » Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:08 pm

FWIW, there already is a very serviceable cutlist generator avaiable. The file is CutListandMaterials3.3 and is available on the the Google SketchUp Pro Groups Files page.

I do hope Gidon's tool includes one but in the meantime, there is an option for this one.
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Re: Woodworking tools in SketchUp

Postby yugami » Fri May 16, 2008 5:40 pm

Dave R

I'm trying to install that cutlist script and launching Sketchup says theres a syntax error. Anyone have any ideas?

I'm running Sketchup version 6.4 something (current), the free version

Error Loading File CutListAndMaterials.rb
C:/Program Files/Google/Google SketchUp 6/Plugins/CutListAndMaterials.rb:33: syntax error
# model. Volumes are given in board

^
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Re: Woodworking tools in SketchUp

Postby Dave R » Fri May 16, 2008 5:44 pm

I'm not a Ruby wizard but I think there's something wrong with the way the file is named. Check to see that it is named CutListandMaterials.rb I wonder if the ':33' is screwing it up.
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Re: Woodworking tools in SketchUp

Postby yugami » Fri May 16, 2008 5:48 pm

Dave R wrote:I'm not a Ruby wizard but I think there's something wrong with the way the file is named. Check to see that it is named CutListandMaterials.rb I wonder if the ':33' is screwing it up.


Looking at it, it looks like the :33: means the line number in the file. which is exactly what shows up after the :33:
which is weird as I'm assuming that other people would have this problem if that was an issue.
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Re: Woodworking tools in SketchUp

Postby Dave R » Fri May 16, 2008 5:53 pm

Perhaps someone looking at the plugins forum can give you a smart answer. Sorry but I'm not the guy for that. ;)
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Re: Woodworking tools in SketchUp

Postby yugami » Fri May 16, 2008 8:22 pm

Dave R wrote:Perhaps someone looking at the plugins forum can give you a smart answer. Sorry but I'm not the guy for that. ;)


Found the answer in the Ruby area, thanks.
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Re: Woodworking tools in SketchUp

Postby aadbuild » Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:49 am

I have few sugestions, job sheduling by phase. e.g phase 1 footings, phase 2 piers, phase 3 beares and joists etc. automated wall numbering & window numbering would be useful. If you are yet to check out housebuilder.rb, this ruby has some powerful house building uses. If you need anither beta tester please let me know.
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Re: Woodworking tools in SketchUp

Postby Mike Lucey » Thu Jul 31, 2008 12:37 pm

Great idea Gidon :thumb: I'll be watching the progression with interest.

Mike
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Re: Woodworking tools in SketchUp

Postby Jim57 » Tue Aug 26, 2008 6:16 pm

Wow, is this a wish list or what?

I'm way into the idea of a board stretcher. Perhaps it could have better size controls as well. It would be nice to know what the final size is, not just the difference between original and final versions.

I have a lot of trouble designing furniture in Sketchup because there is so little control of curves. How about the SU equivalent of Beziers? I also have a lot of trouble editing what I've done. Often I trash a work in progress because it's easier to start over than to edit. I'm sure the skill will grow on me, but as a newbie I find the learning curve starts easy but quickly gets steep, at least for anything with delicacy or intricacy.

Another tool I would like to see is a Molding Maker. It would be a specialized hybrid of a components manager and a Follow Me Tool. From a library of cutters (negative shapes) or patterns (actual moldings) you could extrude shapes along lines. Store anything from casing patterns to panel raises to tabletop edges and apply them to selected lines. Ideally, you could control where the profile hits the wood by dragging the shape into the rough stock, thereby setting the depth and height of the cutter relative to the stock.

And as everyone else here has said, put me on the list of beta testers!


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