Designing a Molding Using Googles SketchUp

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					Designing a Molding Using Google’s SketchUp
         Playing around with SketchUp is fun, at first, but after a                                    Don Butler 2007
while one may want to do something practical. Swooshing ‘pipes
around a convoluted line CAN be fun, but then what do you have?
I did a model of an entertainment stand I want to build a few days
agao and now I’m going to show how to design a big crown
molding and we’ll extend it only a few inches just to have a look
around it to see what we have.
         First, after getting rid of Brice (the default figure SketchUp
shows when you first open, it’s there for scale comparison) we
draw a vetical line, being careful we’re on the blue axis, 6 inches
long. Just click the line tool, pull it up a bit and move it back and
forth to see where the line turns blue and a small note opens that
says “blue axis”. then release the mouse. The line will stay where
                                                                           Notice the horizon in
it was. The line is still incomplete. key in the value ‘6’ and press       the picture. That tells
ENTER. The line will go to six inches and finish. Then, at the top         us we are viewing the
of the line draw another six inch line on the red axis. Connect the        model from a
two end points to get a 45º,45º,90º triangle as shown at right.            perfectly level point.
         Press the “T” on the keyboard, which gives you the Tape
Measure Tool, and click on the 90º corner. pull the pointer to the
left, pausing over the top of the triangle. Press the number 4 on
the keyboard and press ENTER. See the little tick mark on the
edge of the model? Click on the 90º corner again and pull down,
then press “4” and ENTER again. Now press “L” on the keyboard
for the Line Tool and click the top tick mark and pull down to the
lower mark. If you have the pointer right on the mark you’ll see the
little clue box which says :Guide Point”. Click there to bisect the
model. Now press the letter “E” for the Erase Tool. Place the
cursor above the corner of the model, press the left mouse button
and swipe across the two corner lines and release. The eraser
took off both lines and the field inside, all at once.
         Cool, huh?
We’re going to use the tape measure tool again, this time to measure and mark 1.75”
from the bisect line toward the outside corners. Just click the tape on the obtuse corners
opposite the long side (the hypotenuse), move the cursor toward the outside corners
and then keyboard the value 1.75” (which appears in the box, lower right corner, which
SketchUp calls the VCB), and press ENTER. When you have those marks made select
the line tool (L) and cut off the corners. At the top, click and pull down on the blue axis,
pull to the hypotenuse and click when the clue box says On Edge. On the other corner
click on the mark and pull on the red axis until you see On Edge and click. Erase both
corners. The model should look like the one at right with all the corners clipped.
         Go to the tape measure (T) again and measure from the bottom corner of what
remains of the hypotenuse and measure left and up on the line 2”. Press (A) for the Arc
Tool and click on the upper mark, then the lower one and pull up and to the right slowly
until the VCB indicates .5” or just key it in and press ENTER.

Press the spacebar (select tool) and click inside the arc. You’ll see by the dotted pattern
that the part inside the arc is separated from the rest of the model. press the delete key
and then erase (E) the outside line. Your model should look like this in that area. The
dotted line is simply a reference SketchUp places there. Now, using the line tool (L)
Click on the upper end of the arc and pull a line on the blue axis .5”, and from there
parallel to the hypotenuse 1”, straight up the blue axis .25” and left on the red axis .25”.
Then the arc tool again (A) clicking on each end of the 1” line and pulling out a .25”
“bulge”, as SketchUp refers to it.
       So, now your model should look like mine, shown at right. Bear in mind, we’re not
copying a molding that already exists, we’re designing a new one. Well, it’s new to me.
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Designing a Molding Using Google’s SketchUp                                                           Page 2
                         Get the Select tool (spacebar) and click the cursor inside the arc. The area there
                         will show, by turning dark (dotted pattern) that it’s now a separate part of the
                                 I’m continuing to use hints in parentheses because I want to make sure
                         these shortcuts become a part of your habit when working in SketchUp. They’re
                         important and without them your models will be quite laborious. Sketch can
                         cause quite enough work without missing the shortcuts.
                                 Besides, it almost becomes fun to work this way. It shouldn’t become
                         more work than it already is. I hope that these exercises will help.
                                 Pressing the delete key now will make a hole in your model.

                         Using the Line Tool (L) make a line parallel to the hypotenuse 1” long and then in
                         the same direction make two more segments 7/8” long, and one on the red axis
                         to the hypotenuse line.

                         The picture at left shows the model at that state with the outer part selected for
                         deletion. Erase the out lines and the one inside the arc we just drew.

                         With the Arc Tool (A), make two arcs, one in and one out, as shown. They will
                         measure 3/8” in the VCB (that stands for Value Control Box) .

                         You may now select the face inside the upper arc figure (spacebar for select) and
                         delete it as well as the line and face of the lower arc. Make two more straight line
                         segments stating at the outer edge (red arrow) the first one on the blue axis, .5”
                         long and the second on the red axis .5” long. Erase the line left on the edge.

                                           By the way, any time you use any tool and you want to stop
                                           using it (some tools, like the line tool, continue to work), touch
                                           the Esc key on the keyboard.

                                           Using the Orbit Tool (O), turn the model until you’re looking at
                                           the back side of the model, as at left. Press for the Line tool (L)
                                           and draw a line on the green axis of any length you like. This
                                           line is the path we’ll use for the FollowMe tool (no shortcut for
                                           this one, you’ll have to get it from the toolbar.

                                           Click the mouse inside the model and
                                           pull toward the other end of the line last drawn. Go slow and
                                           you’ll see something like the picture shown at left. The
                                           FollowMe Tool is one of the most fun tools in the whole thing!

                                           Use the Orbit Tool (O) to fly around the model and examine it

                                           Ain’t that fun?

                                                                                            Don Butler 2007

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