Placing Components

comments (13) July 30th, 2009 in blogs

DaveRichards David Richards, contributor
thumbs up 2 users recommend

Recently I've fielded several questions about how to accurately place components in a model.

There's a lot of value in making and saving components of things you'll reuse such as drawer pulls, hardware and trim pieces. It can be annoying, however, if you have to spend a lot of time putting the component where you want it when you bring it into your model.

You can grab the component with the Move tool and gradually move it into place but a little bit of setup when making the component in the first place can greatly reduce the amount of time you spend when it comes time to use it. This setup involves setting the component's axes so that their origin is at the insertion point or the reference point on the component. Typically this would be on the centerline of the component. When you are ready to add the component to your model, you identify the location of the component with either the inferencing engine or with a couple of crossing guidelines. Then the component will easily snap to that point.

In a previous blog post I talked a little about changing the axes.

Take a look at this video for a quick demonstration of this. 

Dave



posted in: blogs, , components


Comments (13)

DaveRichards DaveRichards writes: Joel, there isn't any way to post files in comments to the blog. You can contact me via e-mail by clicking on my name at the end of the blog entry.
Posted: 12:13 pm on August 6th

joelh joelh writes: Dave,
I have 5 or 6 tools like dado, drill, create board, bring to front etc. I don't see how to upload these files to you from this blog. How do I get them to you.
Joel
Posted: 10:38 am on August 6th

DaveRichards DaveRichards writes: Joel, that sounds like an interesting plugin. I'd be interested in trying your plugin.

In SketchUp it is certainly easy enough to place copies of a component such as table legs all at the same height with just the native Move tool and its copy function. Although I didn't show it in the video for this blog post, I would normally only drag in one copy of a leg component if I already had it drawn. Then I would simply copy that component as needed around the rest of the model using the Move tool.
Posted: 6:40 pm on August 5th

joelh joelh writes: Hello folks,
My main hobby is furniture making but I have gotten in to writing little ruby plugins to help out. One of the annoying things in all cad programs is the move command. you either have to set up some reference lines and then move your component to an intersection or point. Other way is to move a particular distance.
I wrote a little script that sets a component (that is already in the model) relative to another, fixed component. You just click a 'from point' on the component that is fixed, then click to 'to point' on the component that you want to move. A little dialog box pops up and you just type in the needed distance in the x, y, & z axes between the two points. Say you want table legs to be the same height, at the front, and 32" over. you type in X: 32
Y: 0
Z: 0
Posted: 5:33 pm on August 5th

Mailman14 Mailman14 writes: Very helpful video, thanks Dave!

All I've got to do now, is go to the "change axes" blog...
Posted: 3:05 am on August 2nd

DaveRichards DaveRichards writes: mrossk,

Is there an echo in here? ;)

This is a good question. In the case of a splayed table leg, I would leave the component axes aligned with the global axes so that the leg would come in aligned correctly. I would move the component axes to a top corner or the top center of the leg though. After the legs are placed I would then Change axes on the leg component so the bounding box fits more efficiently around the leg to make the cutlist make sense.

If you make a component of that sort in a current model, save the component in your "Legs" library before you change the axes on that one. Clearly this is one of those things where you need to be thinking ahead a little farther than just, "I wonder what's for lunch." I'm not always so good at that part.

Dave (now wondering what's for lunch)
Posted: 11:46 am on July 31st

mrossk mrossk writes: (I apologize for the multiple posts, not sure what happened!)
Posted: 11:18 am on July 31st

mrossk mrossk writes: Hi Dave- nice video, thanks. I have a question. How would you handle the situation where you want to save a component in your library for future use that has its axes different from the global axes, but you still will want to be able to flip along an axis? For example, in your 1st video you have the angled wall cupboard- suppose that were an angled table leg with joinery included,and you wanted to pull in 3 more and place them around a table. Would you then have to realign the coponents axis to match the global axis for the copying procedure, and then change it back yet again (before running CutList for example)?
Does that make sense? Thanks for your attention,
Michael

Posted: 11:17 am on July 31st

mrossk mrossk writes: Hi Dave- nice video, thanks. I have a question. How would you handle the situation where you want to save a component in your library for future use that has its axes different from the global axes, but you still will want to be able to flip along an axis? For example, in your 1st video you have the angled wall cupboard- suppose that were an angled table leg with joinery included,and you wanted to pull in 3 more and place them around a table. Would you then have to realign the coponents axis to match the global axis for the copying procedure, and then change it back yet again (before running CutList for example)?

Posted: 11:16 am on July 31st

mrossk mrossk writes: Hi Dave- nice video, thanks. I have a question. How would you handle the situation where you want to save a component in your library for future use that has its axes different from the global axes, but you still will want to be able to flip along an axis? For example, in your 1st video you have the angled wall cupboard- suppose that were an angled table leg with joinery included,and you wanted to pull in 3 more and place them around a table. Would you then have to realign the coponents axis to match the global axis for the copying procedure, and then change it back yet again (before running CutList for example)?

Posted: 11:16 am on July 31st

Moghamdi Moghamdi writes: Very nice tutorial, it saves a lot time instead of using the Tape measure tool.

Posted: 6:17 am on July 31st

DaveRichards DaveRichards writes: CS, I used a screen capture application to record what I did on the screen and Windows Moviemaker for the rest.
Posted: 9:37 pm on July 30th

CubeSquare CubeSquare writes: Hi Dave,
I just watched the video 'placing components'. Nice stuff!
"I didn't know that"! Thanks. But now, that brings up the question "how'd you make that video"?
Posted: 8:18 pm on July 30th

You must be logged in to post comments. Log in.

Advertise here for as little as $50. Learn how

Save up to 51% on Fine Woodworking

 

Become a Better Woodworker