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Sep 07, 2008, 05:26 AM
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Using google Sketchup for modeling... With practical examples

I've just been using Sketchup to work out dimensions from an imported picture
I used a top view of a superfly.bmp picture to measure the dimensions...It was imported and used as an image..
Use the dimensions tool to add all the sizes you require.
Then use the tape measure tool across a length...I picked the prop slot then inputted the value I required 9".
You are asked if you want to resize the model.. Select OK..
Your model is resized along with all the dimensions

Since sketchup can import a lot of plan formats or pictures all you need is to add dimensions.

With the sketchup you can then do a complete rescale in about 1 second...not exaggerating use the tape tool to measure just one dimension ...such as the span...then tell it what size you want...and just resize the whole model then shows all the new sizes

A great easy method for resizing any plan since sketchup will import and export in lots of the plan formats ..

EDIT.... there are links here to an older version of sketchup and the dxf/dwg importer
v 7.1..

Last edited by davereap; Mar 28, 2013 at 04:57 AM.
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Sep 07, 2008, 08:21 AM
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Nice one Dave, I've been fiddling with sketchup (not very successfully). I hope this thread grows with more people adding what they can do with S'Up relevant to plans.

I know there is another thread but a lot of it is parts to add to plans. Not so useful.

Sep 07, 2008, 10:57 AM
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How to print out your design

Early and some free versions don't export a pdf so ...
First download and install Cutepdf writer, a free program, also install the converter program it asks for.. this is only needed if you want a PDF output

you will also need the adobe reader installed if you want to print your PDF

In sketchup make sure you are in parallel projection under the camera menu
Make sure you tightly frame the area to print in the window by zooming in as close as possible and framing your drawing.. this is because what you see in the window is what you will print, including any blank screen areas around the model

here is where you choose your printer... select either whatever printer you've got ...or cute.pdf for a multi page pdf file
selecting your own printer will give a direct multi page printout of your model..
selecting cute.pdf writer will save your sketchup design as a multi page pdf file
also to try is export as a 2D graphic.. if this works on your sketchup version its the easy way to get a single page pdf of your model, which you can print out using the latest free adobe version

continuing with the print option you have settings to make

In the dialogue box uncheck the fit to page...
The scale dialog section now becomes useable...

Under Scale
change the numbers in the printout to the same as the in sketchup...or put a 1 in both boxes

you can see ive used 2" in my printer box (it comes as a 1" to start with).
I used 2" to only use 2 pages in my final print out. reducing the size of the final print took less paper
When you change your scale you will see your page size change and the number of pages also will change

You then save your PDF by clicking on OK

If you've used 1:1 scale you can expect loads of pages to be found in your final pdf...and your design will be to the full size.. If you are going full size don't have a coloured sketchup plan..just have a normal black outline plan....

the basic setup for cute.pdf is to produce a pdf that uses your standard page A4 for the pdf... however it is possible under advanced settings to setup a postscript setting and make a single large page that will hold the full plan.. its a tricky way to go but by using preview, and not actually printing the thing you can get there.. only try this if you cant export the full page 2D graphic... see below

See below for export try this first.....

export as a 2D graphic... again you must frame your model and be in parallel view....on my version of sketchup it will make a full page pdf in the one go..
it works on my version of sketchup .. see if it works on yours... because its the simplest way

this post has been edited to include more info as Ive found it....

Extras... I now use a program called ScaleandTile3 to add a grid to my pdf exports.. the light colour grid is made of 1" squares, you can count the squares to check your size.. the program will also rescale your model.. but leaves the grid at 1" for checking the size.. having a grid make it easy to tape all the pages together ..the program outputs both a single and a multi page pdf file for your paper size.
ScaleandTile3 can be found on the rcgroups forum
Last edited by davereap; Jan 13, 2014 at 05:12 AM.
Sep 07, 2008, 11:23 AM
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Heres my final a low scale only two pages... at full size too many
Last edited by davereap; Sep 07, 2008 at 05:16 PM.
Sep 07, 2008, 12:29 PM
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I have played with it a little as well. I saw a mention of someone importing a 3-view into Sketchup and then using that as the basis for a plan. Anyone have a quick tutorial on importing .jpg, .bmp, etc. files and extruding or whatever is necessary from there?
Sep 07, 2008, 02:30 PM
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check out all the tutorials on youtube or the google site everything is covered but theres a lot to get through...

goto youtube sketchup foamie you will get the three videos on how to use the three views

spend some time its worth it.

other than that just import whatever you have, either a bmp jpg or dfx, then use that as a guide to trace over.

heres one I just did in about 10 mins the plan was a gif, of a top view..this was changed in photoshop to a png, so sketchup could import it.
It was imported as an image (not texture or photo), placed on the axis location. stretched to a size ..then traced over...
I made 2 scenes vis and invis so you can see what ive been doing.
the next steps would be sizing correctly, then adding depths to the thing, making it 3d rather than 2d ..using another image imported of the side view as a guide... dave
Last edited by davereap; Sep 07, 2008 at 05:14 PM.
Sep 08, 2008, 01:26 PM
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Heres a short intro on how to get your plans into sketchup.

First select your plans. check to see if sketchup will accept the file type. If not find a converter or another program to load the files into, then save as the filetype you need.

The files I picked were in .gif good for I opened them in photoshop...then saved them as a ok for sketchup..

Using the sketchup program....goto file-import the topview page of the plan and open it.

use it as an image

your image will come into sketchup attached to the pointer.
Place the image at the axis point an stretch it to a reasonable size.
The image now needs to be moved and rotated to line the centreline of the model along the red axis line.
I used the rotate tool first to swivel the plan until the red axis looked parallel, then I used the move tool to pull the plan exactly on the line

dont worry if it takes a while to get the hang of the can always use the undo to go backwards

when youve got it exact you should use the select arrow to select the plan then convert the selection to a group,,,,3 clicks on the plan will select all
As it is a group you can now lock it to prevent any changes, also you can assign it to a this as well....make a new layer, then in the info box for the group you can put the group to the new layer.. this will now let you hide or show the layer, as you like
Last edited by davereap; Oct 04, 2010 at 07:16 AM.
Sep 08, 2008, 01:53 PM
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Now find the front view and select it.
its the house icon with an open door facing you..the result is the first picture can only see the long edge of the plan..

Do the next import..this time select the side view it, use as an image...
The image will again come in on the end of your cursor, but because of the view you are in it will place again and stretch to a similar size as the previous plan.

The idea here is to adjust the size and position so that the fuz side view is a match on the fuz bottom view...this will take some playing with..

when all is done select and group the vertical plan and assign this to another new layer..dont forget to lock it as well
Last edited by davereap; Oct 04, 2010 at 07:18 AM.
Sep 08, 2008, 02:18 PM
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A little info on the layers dialog box you can make new layers and select the layer you are working on...
The dot selects the current /active layerBe aware of what layer you are in...make sure you make a new layer and select it ..then do all your tracing of parts here...
remember not to have the plan layer selected when you work, or your lines will be ontop of the plan and dissapear if you hide the plan..
You will see what I mean ..I keep forgetting and put lines in the wrong layers, then wonder why the surfaces dont appear as I expect them to...surfaces will only be made if all your lines are in the same layer.
Just to add to the confusion you can have the bits of a group(entities) in one layer but put the group into a different layer. So try to remember to put the bits to a layer, and the group to the same layer.
Also remember if you copy something the copy will have the same settings as the original.
Last edited by davereap; Sep 16, 2008 at 12:20 PM.
Sep 09, 2008, 07:48 AM
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Here is a sabre I have just started on. I have imported the top and side plans putting them on layers 1 and 2. I have added a couple of other layers for tracing and constructing

try turning off the visibility if the plan layers. the plans are grouped and locked so you cant mess them up
As I progress I will update the to include the latest work done...
Last edited by davereap; Oct 04, 2010 at 07:19 AM.
Sep 09, 2008, 08:55 PM
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Great Info. Keep it up
Sep 10, 2008, 12:40 PM
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Some further progress.
I have been tracing the formers. then making them complete by making 2 copies and flipping one half and joining them.
The complete former sections are then grouped and put on the construction layer...moved and rotated, I positioned them correctly over the plan

......Ive just realised that it is not necesary to build a full fusulage, only one side is needed, this can then be copied and flipped to make the ful fuz.. I will chop the existing formers and only use the half formers in the future
Last edited by davereap; Oct 04, 2010 at 07:21 AM.
Sep 12, 2008, 04:44 AM
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More work to the model...some outlines traced and a few more formers.( on tracing layer)
The formers were copied, grouped, rotated and positioned, (on construction layer).
once correct the groups are locked down...

edit pm..
more work...using the formers I have been skinning the front of the fuz. I have also made up some formers for the cockpit, One was made, the others were just scaled and copied from that..
to make the formers, I drew a rectangle then used the bezier curve tool to shap it, deleating the unwanted bits.. this was then coppied a number of times and scaled to the plans cockpit outline...

sabre zip updated..
Last edited by davereap; Sep 12, 2008 at 07:22 AM.
Sep 12, 2008, 09:41 AM
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You've certainly got a good grasp of SU Dave, even I have improved a little from your posts, please keep going.

Sep 13, 2008, 12:15 PM
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Here ive done some more skinning, Ive been spending tine removing extra lines and sections used, before skinning, for the construction, Ive added some colors to the skins. and ive been tidying faces so they fit together correctly.

Ive also swaped the horizontal plan so the wing is now on the same side as the rest of the construction.

all this takes ages, but its getting there, looking neater, but I lost some tracings so I will have to redo them.

There must be a quicker and easier way to do this modelling but as I have only just started with sketchup I havnt found it yet
Last edited by davereap; Sep 20, 2008 at 03:21 PM.

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