Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Somebody tell me to pack it in and go to bed.

Since my student version AutoCAD program expired a year and a half ago, if I want to computer-draft anything for the house I have to do it on Google's free version of SketchUp.  SketchUp is 3-D and three dimensions are wonderful and all the latest thing for computer aided drafting, in professional offices, especially.  But it can make things amazingly complicated if you're working with existing conditions.

Like, for instance, the stairway to my third floor.

The idea is that I'll draw this up and then try different colors and tones of fills to figure out how I should finish the risers.  The drawing will also be handy down the road when, God willing, I redo my bathroom and I'm working out how to fit a catbox cubbyhole under the stairs.  But tonight I've got a major bust (as it's called) in my dimensions and things are overlapping that shouldn't be and some contours aren't closing that should be.

I think I know what needs to be done to solve the problem.  I also know that if I go to bed now I'll be obsessing about it in my sleep all night.  Which I did over last night's SketchUp quandaries, only I didn't obsess all night, I obsessed all morning, since I didn't give up and turn in till after 5:00 AM.  Can't afford a repeat performance of that, which is why I need to pack it in.

OK, here's what I'll do.  I'll see if I can cut a section or two of what I have so far, save them as jpg.s, and append them to this post.  Then at least I'll feel I've accomplished something.


Or maybe not a section.  Can't get the cutting planes where I want them.  And hey, this is 3-D, isn't it?  Why don't I show the messy bit in all its conflicted glory? 

Well, there ya go.  One stairway vs. a guest bedroom closet.  Wipe me up with a ShamWow, I'm off to bed.


Reuben said...

Sketch up is such a mixed bag. It's fantastic for a free drafting program. I find that generally, though, people who are used to working in AutoCAD or MicroStation find Sketchup to be very frustrating.

Kate H. said...

The biggest time waster for me is orbiting, zooming, and panning into whatever little space I'm trying to draw. Inevitably, I'll go just a bit too far and end up lost in blank blueness. All I can do then is hit Zoom Extents and try to get there all over again. I spend more time navigating than I do drawing.

The other time eater is trying to figure out where the busts are when a shape won't close. All these programs need a tool that'll alert the user to where the problem is.

Karen Anne said...

Houses modified for cats:

(See the slide show for ideas.)

Kate H. said...

Karen Anne, thanks for the link. So I'm not the only one who's contemplated a built-in catbox niche!

The challenge I'll have is making it inaccessible for the dog without making it claustrophobic for the cats.