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I’ve been teaching SketchUp to woodworkers for about two years. Most of my teaching has occurred at the adult education center in Pleasant Hill, CA. However, there have been several sessions with various woodworking clubs, a public school teacher association, and one-on-one individual sessions. Over this time, I’ve made several adjustments to the lesson plan and the number of sessions. Nevertheless, I believe students are generally overwhelmed with the amount of information, and they would like to have more class time to make it through the rough learning curve. However, I emphasize the need for spending time each day with SketchUp, perhaps for a few weeks, lest the skills are quickly lost. This will get them “over the curve” and feeling much more confident and productive.
When I started teaching SketchUp, I created a list called “Six Beginning Steps in SketchUp”. This helped me focus the teaching plan on those key areas of learning necessary for students to get over the hurdle with SketchUp. After two years of teaching experience, I continue to believe this list is applicable. It covers the student issues and questions I experience in class, and I know they struggle with throughout and in between school sessions.
Perhaps, I would make one addition to the list: that of using the Arrow keys or the Shift Key to force a line placement or component move on a given axis. I do not disclose these helpful features until the end of the first session. I believe it is best for students to stay on axis without these crutches at first, as it increases the understanding of 3D and axes.
Here is my new list – now “Seven Beginning Steps”:
So there you have it – my 7 most basic important skills to learn in SketchUp.
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Don, I just checked the website. It is on and available at Killenwood.com.
Glad you've had success with SketchUp.
I heartily endorse your view, continuous use of SketchUp is essential. I learned to use SU, after a fashion, by watching the many video demonstrations available online, and through everyday practice. The demonstrations helped a lot, but without the daily practice I would never have achieved the abilities that I did.
I add this, without contributors like you and Dave, I would be stuck at a much lower level.
However, complications in my life kept me from using SU for a while, and I found myself struggling.
Yes, one must continue to keep the skills learned at a fine hone!
ps. I tried to find your domain, killenwood, but the 'web doesn't seem to have such an address.
Dear Seatoe: Your situation reminds me of my experience several years ago. I was using AutoDesk products plus Microstation and SmartSketch - 2D only. I wanted to be in 3D in the worst way, but the bigger systems were just too hard and expensive. I spent 3 hours in a SketchUp class in San Francisco, and even though the course was geared toward architects, I was convinced SU would work for furniture.
I spent the next 30 days or so working almost full-time to get my hands around SU. The 2D CAD experience did get in the way of progress at first. But then it started to make sense and I got over the worst of the learning curve.
Perhaps you can get into a course in your area. More woodworking clubs are getting involved in this, so you can check there. Also, SketchUp holds periodic training courses in major cities.
If you're in my area, there are more options to get over the hurdle.
Tim, I learned Autocad a few years back and am very comfortable with it, except when it comes to 3D. I tried Sketchup, but it seems my knowledge of Autocad doesn't allow me to grasp Sketchup. I'm able to do isometric drawings in Acad, but I want to be able to do 3D. How can I become comfortable with Sketchup?
P.S. I was offered a job at Bechtel back in the 60's, but when they said I had to wear a tie and suit, I turned down the job.
To Design. Click. Build. Readers:
You may wonder why the week's gap in new entries to this blog. Both Dave and I added new posts last week but they did not show in Design. Click. Build. due to a failure in the blog software. I think the system is now repaired and those previous entries are now showing here in the proper location.
Over the last two years, we've worked to have regular posts on a weekly basis. So it was unfortunate to break that record. Hopefully, we're back to a stable platform.....
Carl Swensson's woodworking skills go very, very deep. But they go wide as well.
Make something fun while learning new skills
Fast, fun approach to making a comfortable, casual seat
In this video Michael finishes the first of the three boxes. Gluing-up, planing, sanding and finishing bring a new piece of art to the world.
In this video Michael starts work on the second box, a carved and painted Saddle lid box.
Michael begins carving the saddle lid box with his ripple pattern along the top. Then turns to his 5/30 gouge to texture the sides of the box. This isn't work…
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