Create Shop Drawings
Now that you’ve got your piece of furniture modeled in SketchUp, how do you extract/ show information and drawings needed in the shop? For this you need to know about SketchUp “Scenes” which allow you to define, capture, and save multiple views and details that, when printed, provide a comprehensive document for use in the shop.
As an example, I will show the development of a shop documentation package for a Connecticut Stool as shown below
Below is the above assembled view of the stool as displayed on my computer. I’ve cropped the screen picture so you can see the horizontal set of multiple tabs just under the Toolbar. These tabs are labeled Cutting Diagram, Scan, Orthographic, Assembly, Exploded, Leg, Front Stretchers, Lower Edge on Stretchers, Side Stretchers, Top, and Edge Molding on Top. In this model there are 11 of tabs or Scenes. (For more complicated pieces, I may have as many as 50 scenes). When you click on the tab, SketchUp displays the selected detail or view that was saved for that Scene. For this small piece, 11 pages are sufficient for construction, and along with a cutlist make up the entire shop documentation.
In the process of creating the model, I am continually developing views needed in the shop. I don’t separate modeling tasks from developing documentation, rather these activities are very much blended. Nevertheless, I often get into construction and find that another specific view, cross-section, X-ray, or close-up would be helpful. For this, the computer, handy to the shop, is used to quickly generate the new view.
How do you create a Scene? First, I find it useful to have the Scenes’ dialog box on my screen at all times. Click on the Window tab and in the pop-up menu, select Scenes. A dialog box will appear on the screen. Minimize the dialog box by clicking the mouse on the top heading bar. Then drag the minimized Scenes’ dialog box up to a blank space in the top of the screen. Click on the minimized bar to expand the dialog box when needed for creating or editing a scene.
Here is a view of my computer screen with the Scenes’ dialog box expanded over the Orthographic view of the stool.
To create a Scene, follow these steps:
1. Orbit, zoom, and pan to set up the desired view of the model or component.
2. Click on the minimized Scenes’ bar to open the dialog box.
3. Click on the plus sign icon to add a new scene.
4. Type the name of the scene in the Name text box. You can also add a description, however I generally skip this.
5. Save the scene by clicking on the update icon with the “circular arrows”.
After following this process, a scene tab will appear just below the toolbars. No matter where you are in the model, clicking this scene tab will adjust the camera to retrieve the exact previously saved view.
As you can see in the above Scenes’ dialog box, there is a running list of all scenes. You can delete, add, and re-order the sequence by clicking on the up and down arrow icons. I generally follow a standard sequence of scenes for my models, and they are typically in an order that would be used in shop construction. That is for this table, after showing the overall and exploded views, I start with the leg component, followed by stretchers, and finally the top.
I will continue this subject next week and describe the dimensioned component drawings, cutting diagram, cutlist, templates, printing, and how I use Layout for construction packages.