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Old Jan 14, 2014, 06:16 PM
Jim C Patrick
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Shenandoah County
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Having the unrestricted Pro version revert to the less-featured Free version was the original way SketchUp started when @Last Software developed it. It's good that Trimble (the current owners) have gone back to that way of demonstrating the software.

The old standard was --if you watched the tutorial videos carefully-- you could fully design and lay out one house before you ran out of Pro hours. For hobbyists, it's possible to make at least one good model in Pro and have the DXF/DWG export available. For the main, these are folks who would never buy the Pro version ($500+) but it allows them to get some use of the Pro features if they are careful and don't waste their time.
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Old Mar 20, 2014, 11:34 AM
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Gloucester Ma
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older free versions are still available. I just downloaded 7.1.4-- and the dxf converter the other day (sorry I don't still have the link but Google works.
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Old Mar 20, 2014, 11:44 AM
I Ain't Got It !
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcpatrick View Post
For the main, these are folks who would never buy the Pro version ($500+) but it allows them to get some use of the Pro features if they are careful and don't waste their time.
Different CAD programs work differently, so I think that it very much is a waste of time unless a person hasn't already decided to buy the Pro version beforehand.
All that time spent on a program that they know they don't want to go any further with and therefore will migrate to a different program where they have to start the learning curve all over again? Yup, "wasted time".
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Old Mar 20, 2014, 01:18 PM
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You have it a bit wrong. You don't need a lot of the pro features for modeling. So, use the free portion of the program and forget the pro version. All that "learning" is not "wasted time".

The only portion of the Pro version I wanted was the dxf conversion and that is available as a plugin. So, I continue with the free version.

The power of Sketchup is in the plugins. It can do just about anything I need in model airplane stuff, especially thanks to a few contributors who hang out in here from time to time.

It can be just as accurate as a full 3D cad system (for model airplane work), it just does not have some of the tools that Autocad, Pro/E or Solidworks have to work with. But, even the Pro version is not anywhere close to the thousands of dollars for the full up 3D systems.

charlie
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Old Mar 21, 2014, 10:17 AM
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I started out on Turbocad version 9 and still use it, but mostly use Sketchup (free version) for playing around with RC model design. For most modeling such as balsa/stick construction or foamies, if you want to design and modeling Sketchup (free version) is by far the easiest to learn and use when drawing and manipulating simple 3d geometry such as rib profiles, stringers, spars etc.

The drawback to the free version is the limitations on exporting/importing file formats such as DXF or DWG. Also printing a full size template pattern such as a rib profile directly from Sketchup free version is possible but kind of a pain. $500 for the pro version is a lot of $$ to justify for making toy airplanes for myself.

An inexpensive workaround would be to get a copy of Turbocad Deluxe off ebay. Older versions go for about $30 or 40 and can import and export to the SKP format. So for example you can import a DXF airfoil profile off a program like Profili and load it in Turbocad, then export it as SKP format, draw the rest of your plane in Sketchup. Once you have what you want you can pull 2D profiles off the Sketchup drawing and either print to PDF for hand cutting or import to turbocad to arrange for laser or CNC cutting. My version of Turbocad doesn't like the free version (Sketchup Make) SKP files but I can save it as an older .SKP version like V7 direct from Sketchup Make and import that into Turbocad without problems.

Turbocad has a decent video library for tutorials but nowhere near as many as Sketchup. For basic 2d drawing it's fairly easy to learn. Figuring out how to print a tiled drawing to PDF was kind of tricky but once you learn it's pretty easy.

The only other drawback I find with Sketchup is that it seems to be primarily designed to handle architectural size scales. It mostly seems happy dealing with resolution down to about 1/16" or so. Sometimes when you I try to zoom in and snap to geometry at very fine resolution with smaller parts of models it does wierd things like construction lines and some geometry seems to disappear temporarily.

Steve
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Old Mar 21, 2014, 10:40 AM
I Ain't Got It !
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Originally Posted by Heddon125 View Post
$500 for the pro version is a lot of $$ to justify for making toy airplanes for myself.

Steve
Yes, way overpriced at that for what you get.
If a person is serious about CAD design and willing to spend $500, then it's not a big leap to go with Rhino3D for $900 to get a "real" sophisticated CAD program that is best in class for the price.
With tutorials galore throughout the web, Rhino is a no brainer for a person who wants to make CAD a useful tool for a lot of things that will come during their lifetime, not just for designing models.
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Old Mar 21, 2014, 10:13 PM
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United States, AZ, Chandler
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Another affordable full blown cad program...

is BRICS Cad.
http://www.bricsys.com/en_INTL/
This is the version I use as a registered Architect running my own office. It's less than 10% the price of Auto Cad (AutoDesk) with all the capabilities of Auto Cad. It looks like AutoCad, feels like AutoCad and runs every bit as smoothly as AutoCad.
You can also get full BIM capability but still at a fraction of the cost of the AUtoDesk products. Additionally, I have had very, very few crashes and then only with a very big drawing attempting to import or attach a very large image file.

They have a free version trial version, too.

Bill
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Old Mar 21, 2014, 10:37 PM
Jim C Patrick
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Shenandoah County
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Originally Posted by Farber View Post
. . . If a person is serious about CAD design and willing to spend $500, then it's not a big leap to go with Rhino3D for $900 to get a "real" sophisticated CAD program that is best in class for the price. With tutorials galore throughout the web, Rhino is a no brainer for a person who wants to make CAD a useful tool for a lot of things that will come during their lifetime, not just for designing models.
Please drop the "my cad is real cad" stuff. Rhino designs great shoes, but I've reviewed thousands of plans and never once seen a building from Rhino.

If you want to start your own 'Rhino is Great' thread, feel free to do so. But this one is about the free version of SketchUp. It seems every CAD thread sinks into the mud —like politics— when die-hard devotees try to sell their favorite politician software.
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Old Mar 22, 2014, 09:37 AM
The Junk Man
Jacksonville, Florida
Joined Jul 2006
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Originally Posted by Heddon125 View Post
The only other drawback I find with Sketchup is that it seems to be primarily designed to handle architectural size scales. It mostly seems happy dealing with resolution down to about 1/16" or so. Sometimes when you I try to zoom in and snap to geometry at very fine resolution with smaller parts of models it does wierd things like construction lines and some geometry seems to disappear temporarily.

Steve
This is true, and has been a problem with SketchUp since day one. However, there is a way to work around it.

I'll have to find the original file as an example, but until then the process goes like this. If you want to draw a servo or any other small part, do it in huge dimensions and scale it down. I use metric for everything now so in my case I would just up the size from mm to meters. A 20 meter long servo arm may seem strange but after you are done with the part, group it then scale it down. I run into fewer problems that way. YMMV.

Tom
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Old Mar 22, 2014, 11:03 PM
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Albuquerque, NM USA
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Or, just use feet for inches, or meters instead of mm. Dimensions only matter when you want to make cut files for a laser or CNC. Otherwise just scale it the way you want.

And there is a plug in for conversion to dxf that does not require the pro version. Am still using the free version and exporting files. Have not laser cut from one yet, but, see no issues yet.
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Old Mar 25, 2014, 07:59 PM
RC Connectors dot com
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Originally Posted by portablevcb View Post
And there is a plug in for conversion to dxf that does not require the pro version. Am still using the free version and exporting files. Have not laser cut from one yet, but, see no issues yet.
Can you give a link or at least name for this plugin? Browsing the sketchup extension warehouse, there is nothing with DXF in the name or description.

I'm buying a used laser and need a 2D tool for drawing vectors/etc. With all the good stuff I read about free sketchup, I want to make sure it can handle DXF files well before I start learning it. LaserCut software with the laser requires DXF files, so I'm stuck with that.

Thanks!
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Old Mar 25, 2014, 09:05 PM
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USA, MD, Joppa
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Originally Posted by glenn2626 View Post
Can you give a link or at least name for this plugin? Browsing the sketchup extension warehouse, there is nothing with DXF in the name or description.
http://www.guitar-list.com/download-...les-dxf-or-stl
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Old Mar 25, 2014, 09:16 PM
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Thanks!
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Old Mar 26, 2014, 09:50 AM
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Joined Sep 2003
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If you are doing 2D drawings for the laser you'll need a 2D CAD program.

You'll need to take the parts you develop in Sketchup and then lay them out (nesting) for cutting. DraftSight is a good one. (doing that in Sketchup is a bit tedious)

charlie
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Old Mar 26, 2014, 12:25 PM
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Ok, I guess I'm back to the drawing board again.

I believe you, it's just that I don't understand how a good 3D program (like Sketchup) can't also be a good 2D program.

Or am I just going to have to get used to the fact that nothing does both well, and have to learn two different products ?
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