The Forestry Forum is sponsored in part by:




TimberKing Sawmills




Toll Free 1-800-582-0470

LogRite Tools



Forest Products Industry Insurance


Norwood Industries Inc.


Sawmill & Woodlot Magazine



Your source for Portable Sawmills, Edgers, Resaws, Sharpeners, Setters, Bandsaw Blades and Sawmill Parts

EZ Boardwalk Sawmills. More Saw For Less Money!

STIHLDealers.com sponsored by Northeast STIHL


Woodland Sawmills

Peterson Swingmills

 KASCO SharpTech WoodMaxx Blades


Turbosawmill

Sawmill Exchange

BRUTE FORCE Authorized Dealer

Woodshax Outdoor Vending Solutions

FARMA

Forestry Forum Tool Box

Author Topic: Sketchup Make v Sketchup Pro  (Read 426 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline MbfVA

  • Full Member x2
  • ***
  • Posts: 238
  • Location: On the Rivanna River in VA - soon
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm new but the shine is fading...
    • Tanglewood Ordinary Country Restaurant
Sketchup Make v Sketchup Pro
« on: September 02, 2017, 05:20:17 pm »
 I have certainly seen a lot of commentary about getting by with Sketchup Make, since it's free, but the Company website lists a bunch of differences, not the least of which is the ability to easily swap files with someone using true CAD.

We want to use this to work on our TF home design with whatever designer we wind up with (that's been a struggle so far), and in fact we would like to do a lot of the preliminary stuff ourselves, get basic ideas into a file to show to a professional, followed by a lot of back-and-forth, give-and-take, changes, will this work, how about this, etc.

Willing to spend the time to learn, and love what I've seen of SU capability so far.  Like all complex sw it has quirks, I get that (can't aggravate me more than Apple & Siri).  The 3D aspect is downright Disney World.

 I'd love to hear comments from folks that are very familiar with the two versions. Many thanks in advance!
www.ordinary.com (really)
Always learning & questioning authority
Peterson WPF 10" Hi-Lo
Dougherty RS3000 Tree Saw
Liebherr 621C, Bobcat A300, 430
NH TN90F, Kubota B3000
Polaris 4 seater, JD old gator
Ford/Chevy/Porsche
and a few more...
Did I mention, a very small bank account?

Offline btulloh

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 637
  • Age: 65
  • Location: Midlothian, VA
  • Gender: Male
  • I never met an air conditioner I didn't like
Re: Sketchup Make v Sketchup Pro
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2017, 07:59:34 am »
I use Sketchup Make and it is useful.  They limit the free version in some very important ways though.  When you first install the software, the full version will be enabled for 30 days, and then it reverts to the limited version, so this would give you some time, although not much, to get an idea how the two versions compare. 

There is a discussion on the forum you might find useful about the extension call TF Rubies, which is specific to timber framing.  I have this installed but haven't used any of it.

http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php?topic=48515.0

I get by with the free version but just barely.  I also used a 2D autocad clone for some tasks called Draftsight.  It is also useful but is 2D only.  For serious work I revert to my old solid design package from Autodesk called Mechanical Desktop.  There are overlays and add-ins for it that make it more specific to architectural design, but I do not have any of these.

Sketchup is pretty useful, especially considering it's free.  The full version would certainly be better, especially if you're collaborating with outside parties.  I found Sketchup difficult to learn, mainly because it so very different from the CAD/CAM tools I had used for a long time.  It is a completely different approach.  That's not a bad thing, it's just a thing.  I found a book/course on Sketchup for furniture design which got me over the hump.  I'm pretty sure there are things like that more specific to timber framing.  I would recommend something like that if you decide to use or try sketchup.  I found the documentation for Sketchup to be of no help whatsoever, but that's just me.

Not exactly an answer to your specific question, but just my experience.
HM126

Offline Heartwood

  • Full Member x2
  • ***
  • Posts: 100
  • Location: Washington MA
  • Gender: Male
  • Will Beemer
    • Heartwood School
Re: Sketchup Make v Sketchup Pro
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2017, 09:52:13 am »
I, and other professional timber framers I know who design frames on a regular basis, use SketchUp exclusively now. If all your work is "in-house" and you don't need to communicate with other trades or departments via file exchange, then it seems adequate. The TF Rubies are useful for creating joints and pegs, but there are other free extensions, such as Section Cut Face, that I find even more valuable. That said, I also have the Pro version for two reasons: the Solid Tools allow me to create mortises (from the tenons) in timbers easier than the TF Rubies do, and the dimensioning and labeling is much easier in Pro. So if you want to create nice, neat presentation drawings for clients Pro is necessary, in my opinion. For a video on how I and Mike Beganyi (our SketchUp instructor at Heartwood) create frame drawings and joinery efficiently, see http://www.heartwoodschool.com/introsketchup.html.
You may not even need to draw the joinery unless you want to do shop stick drawings or want to do a cool exploded frame that shows all the mortises and tenons. If you're doing the work yourself and don't need to send stick drawings to a layout/cutting crew, joinery details are unnecessary. Frame drawings may be all you need, and Make is fine for that.

Offline Heartwood

  • Full Member x2
  • ***
  • Posts: 100
  • Location: Washington MA
  • Gender: Male
  • Will Beemer
    • Heartwood School
Re: Sketchup Make v Sketchup Pro
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2017, 11:35:06 am »
Mike Beganyi has also posted a video on using Pro: Layout with timber framing here:

Offline MbfVA

  • Full Member x2
  • ***
  • Posts: 238
  • Location: On the Rivanna River in VA - soon
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm new but the shine is fading...
    • Tanglewood Ordinary Country Restaurant
Re: Sketchup Make v Sketchup Pro
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2017, 01:17:44 pm »
Thanks to both of you, helpful replies.   I'll look at the video and so forth.

I've gotten emails from draftsight for years after trying it out. I was under the  mistaken impression that it is just a mechanical drawing application, not architectural.  Our application is "local", for a new home and other buildings on our farm, I'm not going into the business of building timber frames, though I may be providing lumber for timber framers, I hope, from the big supply on our farm.



Putting together what the two of you said and other things I've seen on the forestry forum, knowing AutoCAD and then trying to learn sketchup appears to be a challenge.  I knew about the Rubys from seeing the timber frame guild site, but it looks like serious use of sketchup is probably going to require the pro version. I'm going to revisit that thought after our study what you've told me. Thanks again, and a big hello to my "not yet met" friend in Midlothian, VA, not far from here.

 My wife and I really like looking at things in 3-D. I wasn't kidding when I said it was Disney World to us.   it makes me think about the exhilaration of some of their rides, for example the imagination ride  which I can hum the tune to, even now.   and you can't beat it for showing you what your house is going to look like, trying out ideas, etc.

We are struggling with keeping things simple enough & therefore affordable but interesting, using our own wood from the property (green or dried? Boy o boy does that seem to be a hot potato, with stronger opinions than about different brands of cars).  There are also a lot of professional folks out there who don't want to hear that homeowner/customer is wanting to do something as themselves, and some architects/designers  refuse to work with a self contractor.   they stereotype such people as trouble without even asking a question.

Heck, I even noticed that Yankee barn homes "doesn't recommend self contracting" on their website.   We went there for some ideas after seeing their site referenced elsewhere. Post and beam rather than timber frame.  Sorry guys, we're the ones with the checkbook.

I have always been a scrounger, and building this house within our budget and to our satisfaction will require all of that " talent".

Sorry to get off topic with the rant; it's been a bit frustrating.  We do want to be involved, both to  reduce our cost, and control the process.   having access to the drawings, and being able to trade ideas back-and-forth with the designer seems essential.

 got a run take care of calls for reservations at the restaurant.  editing this on my telephone, I hope I haven't made any dumb typos,  if so, blame them on Siri changing things at the moment  I push send/post.
www.ordinary.com (really)
Always learning & questioning authority
Peterson WPF 10" Hi-Lo
Dougherty RS3000 Tree Saw
Liebherr 621C, Bobcat A300, 430
NH TN90F, Kubota B3000
Polaris 4 seater, JD old gator
Ford/Chevy/Porsche
and a few more...
Did I mention, a very small bank account?

Offline btulloh

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 637
  • Age: 65
  • Location: Midlothian, VA
  • Gender: Male
  • I never met an air conditioner I didn't like
Re: Sketchup Make v Sketchup Pro
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2017, 04:59:56 pm »
It'll come together.  Draftsight is just mechanical drawing, which means it can be architectural or whatever it needs to be.  It's a pencil and paper.  That same company makes Solidworks, which is a major league piece of mechanical design software.  It's not really priced for consumers though. 

Don't get me wrong about the Autocad thing.  It's possible and useful to learn Sketchup if you are an autocad user.  It just makes it less intuitive.  Every instinct is wrong when you start with Sketchup.  I couldn't even draw a line with it.  But I got over it and I use sketchup make for a lot of things.  I see the areas that are grayed out from the pro version and they would make life a lot easier, but for my casual use it's hard to justify the expense when I can get by with the free stuff.

3D beats 2D any day except when you go to working drawings.  I think Heartwood's endorsement of Sketchup Pro is pretty strong coming from someone who makes a living with it.  At 595.00 or whatever it is, it's pretty cheap for a solid design package. 

Offline btulloh

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 637
  • Age: 65
  • Location: Midlothian, VA
  • Gender: Male
  • I never met an air conditioner I didn't like
Re: Sketchup Make v Sketchup Pro
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2017, 05:06:20 pm »
By the way, things like Autocad are NOT intuitive or easy to learn.  By a long shot.  I happened to learn it bit by bit a long time ago and then I started using Mechanical Desktop.  It's about as easier to learn as riding a unicycle on a tight rope while juggling chainsaws being chased by a swarm of bees.

Offline Dave Shepard

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 10128
  • Age: 2012
  • Location: Alford Massachusetts
  • Gender: Male
  • Geometrically proportional
    • My homepage
Re: Sketchup Make v Sketchup Pro
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2017, 07:55:52 pm »
Design programs in the right hands are great tools. In the wrong hands, it's just a mess. If your drawings aren't absolutely correct, your house won't be absolutely correct. X-ray views,  fancy perspectives, and little figurines standing in the frame are fun to play with, but plan views and elevations are the meat and potatoes as far as drawings are concerned.

Im not trying to discourage you, just point out some of the issues I've run into with inadequate drawings.
Wood-Mizer LT40HDD51-WR Wireless, Kubota L48, Honda Rincon 650, TJ208 G-S, and a 60"LogRite!

Offline MbfVA

  • Full Member x2
  • ***
  • Posts: 238
  • Location: On the Rivanna River in VA - soon
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm new but the shine is fading...
    • Tanglewood Ordinary Country Restaurant
Re: Sketchup Make v Sketchup Pro
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2017, 01:31:21 am »
A cornerstone requirement for this project is easy 2 way communication with the chosen design pro.  We're full of ideas, but not to worry, Dave, that pro will put things in final form, backed up by an engineer, pretty much a requirement in our area.  It sure looks like Sketchup Make or Pro is a good common element, not so hard for a consumer like me to either learn/use or afford, and yet on good terms with the design & engineering community.

Learned many a software program, tho' I'm not good at all with a unicycle on a tight rope, and I hate bees.  A real one-wheeled stinging metaphor.  Give a guy a rope and that's what he comes up with?  I wonder if Jeff's software can filter out bad puns?

So far, it looks like with time I can do well enough with SUp to come up with & toss things out to the pros and play with & understand what they send back.

 I am also impressed that the timber framers guild seems to be very high on Sketchup, reinforced by the comments in this thread.   I'm still rereading the excellent responses above.

I downloaded a free Mac program called Sweet Home Design that is of an architectural "bent", but it only talks to SUp & AutoC with a ".cae" file.

Before moving to accounting, I took a full year of mechanical drawing and the surveying course at VT, and I did a co-op quarter with a railroad, lots of hand drawing, ugh (and I am not very neat), but I liked getting out surveying.

On the other hand, you guys would be shocked at how many so-called designers around here still do everything with paper and pencil, no software whatsoever.   I hate to miss a good designer because of that, but, not happening.

Even something like Nebu is helping us work out a floor plan for each floor.   Doesn't do dimensions, no pretense of precision  or architectural sophistication , but I'm using its diagram function on my big iPad with the Apple Pencil, getting a rough design, creating the major rooms/elements, moving things around, creating/stretching/changing, etc.

Then it's on to Sketchup & the pros.

 Spent time on the site today looking at topo flags & stakes, considering where the current footprint idea would best sit.  Course when we finally get a designer, things could change, but having worked through our own ideas, trying them out and studying them in detail in the mean time helps us to better understand the process & what that professional tells us.  Wish my dad was still around, a true construction and building materials pro; his best friend was an architect who refused to ever charge him for designs, and my dad always made sure he got cost prices on his materials when he did things.

 Learning the modern cost of this project may send us right back to the drawing board.

www.ordinary.com (really)
Always learning & questioning authority
Peterson WPF 10" Hi-Lo
Dougherty RS3000 Tree Saw
Liebherr 621C, Bobcat A300, 430
NH TN90F, Kubota B3000
Polaris 4 seater, JD old gator
Ford/Chevy/Porsche
and a few more...
Did I mention, a very small bank account?

Offline btulloh

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 637
  • Age: 65
  • Location: Midlothian, VA
  • Gender: Male
  • I never met an air conditioner I didn't like
Re: Sketchup Make v Sketchup Pro
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2017, 08:27:08 am »
Sounds like you've got it on track.  I look forward to visiting the build site when you have the frame going up.  In the mean time, I need to try out your restaurant. 
HM126

Offline Don P

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 3787
  • Gender: Male
    • Calculator Index
Re: Sketchup Make v Sketchup Pro
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2017, 08:11:54 pm »
I think most design pro's can work from and with sketchup. An architect friend has l love/hate relationship and I've had the same experience... never ending changes from the client who is playing with sketchup. My worst learning experience in that regard was a couple an architect and I worked with for almost a year. When the job fell through I went back and counted over 90 revisions. I've had a few other "experiences" with folks wanting to chew up incredible amounts of time but have gotten much better at filtering them out. I've also learned that I am a technician not an arteeste. I've also learned that the arteestes are often not very good technicians, so that is where I often use sketchup.. in house working/shop drawings.

I worked for an architect in high school and took 2-1/2 years of drafting back when it was a paper and pencil, inking and diazo blueprints affair. I do enjoy a nice hand drawn set of plans. The architect gave me a set of Sweet's file's when his new ones came. The set took up about 6' of shelf space, they all fit on a CD nowadays and google does a better job but they were the sign of a million dollar plus architect back then. I felt all official and thought I had a calling. Our drafting instructor told us not to worry about those computers, they're just fancy typewriters  :D

Offline MbfVA

  • Full Member x2
  • ***
  • Posts: 238
  • Location: On the Rivanna River in VA - soon
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm new but the shine is fading...
    • Tanglewood Ordinary Country Restaurant
Re: Sketchup Make v Sketchup Pro
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2017, 09:02:23 pm »
I remember Sweets catalog and Thomcat too.   My father was rather familiar with them.  You're showing your dinosaur scales, Don.  I have the opposite situation on "Iterations", we haven't gotten a single thing from the designer we paid 500 to as a ret.  No sketch up, heck, I'd settle for a sketch down. That's why we're still looking.

You would not want to deal with the time it takes to set up an event in the restaurant business--I've had it take months of back n forth just to get down to everything final a bride or celebrant wants. Then there's a person who calls me and asks thousand questions, which I answer, and then when I ask her some questions she says "oh I haven't thought about that", like how many people are coming and when they're coming?

😫😩😱🤡

 I wish I could filter them out, but they pay like everyone else.

We can still be friends but I would probably drive you crazy if I hired you.  I can tell you that our intimated level of involvement as discussed upfront has turned off more than one vendor.  Including one fairly well regarded architect who quickly said she would never work with a client being their own general contractor.  And that was before I told her we would be doing her own electrical and plumbing.  She suggested we call another designer friend, not AIA, who during our discussion told us that to design a 3000 square-foot home, her fee would be $50-$60,000.

Reminds me of the architect who designed the rock 'n' roll Hall of Fame. As Jan Wenner related it, when comment about his fees arose from the Board of Directors, he was heard to remark "My name is I M Pei, not I am free".

  I will add that the time it is taking to do a reset on design has enabled us to go through a lot of the iterations with ourselves.  Just last night we spent a couple of hours on the site and figured out some things that we know we want to do differently, including orientation & siting.  Those are hard to change when you're well underway with actual design, and especially hard after pouring that messy grey stuff....
www.ordinary.com (really)
Always learning & questioning authority
Peterson WPF 10" Hi-Lo
Dougherty RS3000 Tree Saw
Liebherr 621C, Bobcat A300, 430
NH TN90F, Kubota B3000
Polaris 4 seater, JD old gator
Ford/Chevy/Porsche
and a few more...
Did I mention, a very small bank account?