Sketchup Final Exam: Parts and Pieces

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Finally I’m at the point where I can use Sketchup to do what I need it to do – which is help me play around with parts and components to make stuff fit and work.  So this is working with Groups, to make, for example, out of the winch assembly shown here, the motor group, the spool, and the bracket.  I’m working with Layers, so I can pull something apart, and I’m working with actual dimensions where I can get them.

This is the third or fourth version, which progressively showed actual mount points, real dimensions, and tapers.  This mounts to the frame like this:

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At the very top of that image you can see the pulley, which I also played around with and ended up with this:

Screen shot 2015-03-24 at 6.15.34 AM

Here’s another view of the two assemblies:

Screen shot 2015-03-24 at 6.16.07 AM

…I’m not going to say in their final form, but certainly in a workable form for my needs.

It works great.  For now, I can see, and play with, actual dimensioned parts and move them around to get a good configuration without having to cut, re-cut, drill, all that.  If I make a mistake I get shown that immediately.  A few hours playing with the drawing gives me tons of options and chances at solutions to problems, which, in the case of the easel, I am going to try to see how they work on the real piece.  My easel right now has kind of a kludgy rear hoist-pulley arrangement, like this:

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…so one of my first steps will be to mount the pulley I drew with the slot for the wire/rope that I drew, that I can cut into the actual easel, kind of shown here with the main column removed, and not showing the complete path of the ropw/wire:

Screen shot 2015-03-24 at 6.26.29 AM

So yeah.  A solution to a little glitch that’s been buggin’ me, found from being able to draw the entire piece, then pull it apart virtually, see how the parts interact, then try out a bunch of solutions.  The next step, of course, is to start to translate all this to real life and see how that goes.  Already, though, I find that my drawing process is starting to influence my fabrication process…  not surprisingly, the easiest way to draw a part points to the easiest way to fabricate it.

No wonder these kids like these newfangled computer things.

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