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Friday, May 10, 2013

Nice Weather and 3D

The nice weather has definitely hit the Boston area.  Even though it rained with occasional thunder and lightning today, the colors of the spring foliage..... different shades of green and flowering shrubs.... were spectacular.
Thunder and Lighting are fairly commonplace here in New England, so I was really surprized with I did my stint in the East Bay of San Francisco about ten or so years ago when everybody rushed to the windows when some lightning flashed.
It turns out that thunder and lightning rarely happens out there.... which I didn't know.
But I digress.
Good weather to me means ramping up the projects.... today I helped Ryan pick out some lumber for the grandkids' bunk beds that he wants to build.   It  will be built with nominal framing lumber, but we will sand the hell out of it and then finish it with paint, so it should serve the purpose.  Kid's love bunk beds.
I pulled a plan down from the Sketchup Warehouse, but it turns out that it is for a non-standard twin bed size, so I have to redesign a little bit.   Which is no real problem, because I'm starting to get really comfortable with Sketchup.    My forty hour initial learning curve is almost over and I'm tying into some tricks and techniques from the extensive tutorials that are found in You-Tube.
As a 3D modeling program, SketchUp makes you change your approach to drawing a plan, but once you get the hang of it, it beats 2D hands down.   I even bought a 3D Mouse called the
3Dconnexion 3DX-700028 SpaceNavigator 3D Mouse
which will allow me to navigate around the model far more efficiently while performing commands and actions with the standard mouse.  
Right now, the process is build a Component, swich to a Navigation command to work on  a different side, switch back to a Component build or measurement commend.... and over and over.    The 3D mouse with make this much quicker and more intuitive as a single initiative to move around the model with one mouse and perform design commands with the o
I think that SketchUp is to CAD what Quickbooks is to accounting programs.  A real logical and intuitive approach that even a dufus like your favorite MOAM can master.
I highly recommend that you download the free program at and add it to you software toolchest.   Why should I have all the fun?

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