Arne Salvesen is a CKD (Certified Kitchen Designer) from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He writes the blog Useful Spaces that focusses on kitchen and bathroom design, and from time to time good things to eat and drink. I had the pleasure of meeting Arne at KBIS, and he is such a nice guy. In addition to his great design sense, he's also a Sketchup user. I asked him if he'd be interested in doing a post for my blog, and he jumped at the chance. With one proviso: He had to be able to use the Canadian spellings of words. Of course I agreed! You can follow Arne on Twitter [@arnesalvesen]
Eric has graciously asked me to do a guest post for Sketch This! It's truly an honour since Eric has been one of my go-to guys for Sketchup for about a year now. But after he asked me for a contribution, I wondered what could I possibly offer to someone who knows so much about this terrific piece of software. Eric's advice: go with what you find useful.
For me, Sketchup's benefit comes in the form of speed. The functions contained within the programme duplicate tasks I would perform while hand-drafting, and do so with more accuracy. Two of my favourites are the "divide" and "multiply" functions. "Divide" is useful when you have a fixed amount of space you want to divide into an equal number of spaces. To illustrate, I'm showing a bar back panel that I want to make into a door style with five, equally sized recessed panels. I start by creating some guidelines around the outside of my panel, set 3" (the width of my rails and stiles) in from the edge. There's also a guideline on the left edge.
To outline where my panels will be I simply select the first two guidelines and copy (not move) them being sure to select the left guideline as my starting point. These guidelines are then placed so select point lines up with the guideline set in from the right edge.
To create my panels I simply type "/5". This will make 5 copies of what I have just moved, and space them equally over the distance I have moved them. Now I simply have to use the guidelines to draw in my panels knowing they are all exactly the same size.
The opposite function to this is "Multiply". Multiply is used when the space between a group of items is the important part. A very common example of this is framing. Typically the framing member is a wall are spaced 16" apart. Here, I show an object (representing a 2x4 framing member) being copied in line to a new location. If I simply type in "16" while I'm moving the object, then hit the Return key, the object will be moved exactly 16" (This assumes you're working in inches. If not, just add " after 16 and you're set!).
To repeat the move, simply type "*" followed by the number of times you'd like the move repeated, and voila! Your wall is framed.