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Today I released two new versions of Ruby script tools; CutList Bridge 2.8 and Layers Management Tool 2.2. For download, installation and User’s Guide see SketchUp 2014–Tools Updated For SketchUp 2014 Compatibility.


On February 28th Trimble released the new versions of SketchUp: SketchUp Make 2014 (the free version) and SketchUp Pro 2014. There is not too much change visible from the outside, but a significant performance improvement under the hood. A good deal of that performance comes by upgrading the Ruby API from Ruby Version 1.8.7 to Ruby Version 2.0.0. This is a welcomed change, especially for people who write Ruby Plugin scripts such as me. However, that change caused many Ruby Plugin scripts to be incompatible with SketchUp 2014.

I spent the last few days coding changes to my tools to make them 2014 compatible. Today I am releasing new versions which work in SketchUp versions 7, 8, 2013 and 2014. I am releasing all of them as .rbz files which make loading them into SketchUp versions 2013 and 2014 a snap by following the instructions below. For SketchUp 7 and 8 users you can change the file extension from .rbz to .zip, open the .zip file with WinZip, 7-Zip or some other appropriate decompression software. Then extract the files and folders to the Plugins folder. You will need to restart SketchUp.

Locating Your Plugins Folder:

You will need to know the location of your Plugins folder to verify you installed CutList Bridge correctly and to import a materials.csv file from CutList Plus fx. SketchUp version 2014, both Make and Pro, has changed the location of the Plugins folder, so you should follow this procedure to be sure you know where it is. You can locate the Plugins folder using the Ruby Console. To open the Ruby Console go to the Window menu and click on Ruby Console. The Ruby Console will appear. In the white area at the bottom copy and paste or type the following line exactly as shown in the picture below left followed by Enter:

Sketchup.find_support_file(‘Plugins/’)

The location of the Plugins folder appears on the second line.Ruby statement to locate the Plugins folder.The location of the Plugins folder appears on the second line. You will see the results shown at right. If you get an error message re-type the quotation marks in the Ruby Console in the previous step. Note that I had to drag the right side of the window to enlarge it so the folder location would appear all on one line. Copy and paste the folder location and save it for future reference. You might also want to create a shortcut on your desktop pointing to the Plugins folder.

To install a SketchUp Ruby plugin script with the .rbz format:

  1. We recommend logging into your computer as an admin before installing any Ruby scripts. This will make the installation go more smoothly and ensure that files get installed in the proper places.
  2. Select Window > Preferences (Microsoft Windows) or SketchUp > Preferences (Mac OS X). The Preferences dialog box is displayed.
  3. Click on Extensions. The Extensions panel is displayed.
  4. Click on the Install Extension button. The Open dialog box is displayed.
  5. Locate the Ruby zip file to install (.rbz).
  6. Click on the Open button. The Ruby plugin appears in the list of extensions.
  7. You may see a message asking if you trust the author of this Ruby script. If you do click the Yes button. (Hint: I am trustable.)
  8. You may get a message announcing successful installation. Click OK.

Very Important – Please Report All Problems To: jpz@srww.com

Layers Management Tool:

  1. Download the Layers Management Version 2.2.pdf file to a location you will remember e.g. your desktop. This file is a short User’s Guide.
  2. Download the layers_2.2.rbz file to a location you will remember e.g. your desktop. Follow the installation instructions above.

Construction Plus Tools:

  1. Download the construction_plus.rbz file to a location you will remember e.g. your desktop. Follow the installation instructions above.

CutList Bridge:

  1. Download the CutList Bridge User’s Guide.pdf file to a location you will remember e.g. your desktop. This file is a User’s Guide.
  2. Download the cutlist_bridge_revision_2.8.rbz file to a location you will remember e.g. your desktop. Follow the installation instructions above.

Basic SketchUp 2014 for Woodworkers

In my Chiefwoodworker’s Newsletter 3-9-2013 Addendum issue I announced that American Woodworker and Chiefwoodworker have teamed to bring in-depth and quality SketchUp training to a greater audience of woodworkers. Since March 12, 2013 Chiefwoodworker’s Beginner’s SketchUp Tutorials and Intermediate SketchUp Tutorials have been available exclusively through AmericanWoodworkerTV. Those tutorials were restricted to viewing on-line only and many of you have written to request a downloadable or DVD version.

Intermediate SketchUp 2014 for WoodworkersA confluence of events created “The Perfect Storm” which brings us to a new stage in the life of these tutorials.

Event one occurred on January 17, 2014; F+W Media announced it had purchased New Track Media. What that meant for woodworkers is that American Woodworker joined Popular Woodworking under the F+W Media umbrella. Both magazines will continue under their own publishing name but they are managed by the same team.

Intermediate SketchUp 2014 for WoodworkersEvent two occurred February 5th when I was contacted by F+W Media and asked if I would be interested in developing a DVD set of the Beginner’s and Intermediate SketchUp Tutorials. I of course said yes.

Finally, event three occurred a few weeks into that effort on February 28th when Trimble announced SketchUp Make 2014 and SketchUp Pro 2014. We quickly scrambled to redo all the videos to be compatible with SketchUp version 2014.

These two American Woodworker video tutorials, updated for SketchUp 2014 and called Basic and Intermediate SketchUp 2014 for Woodworkers, are now available at Popular Woodworking’s Shop Woodworking store, both in DVD format and download and in bundled sets. You access them directly from the following links:

Basic SketchUp 2014 for Woodworkers DVD

Basic SketchUp 2014 for Woodworkers Download

Intermediate SketchUp 2014 for Woodworkers DVD

Intermediate SketchUp 2014 for Woodworkers Download

 

SketchUp 2014 for Woodworkers Video Download Bundle

Stay tuned for future planned SketchUp activities at American Woodworker and Popular Woodworking coming soon.


SketchUp Make and Pro 2014 brought with it many improvements including the upgrade from Ruby 1.8.7 to Ruby 2.0 for its Ruby API and Plugins. Like most improvements, there are some casualties and collateral damage. I had hoped that CutList 2.6 release fixed all the SketchUp 2014 and Ruby 2.0 compatibility problems, but users have found a few more. So today I am releasing CutList Bridge 2.7.

Very Important – Please Report All Problems To: jpz@srww.com

CutList Bridge:

  1. Download the CutList Bridge User’s Guide.pdf file to a location you will remember e.g. your desktop. This file is a User’s Guide. Read the “Locating Your Plugins Folder” section and the “Installation” section very carefully.
  2. Download the cutlist_bridge_revision_2.7.rbz file to a location you will remember e.g. your desktop. Follow the installation instructions above.

Chief's American Woodworker BlogIt’s been a while since I have posted here. Not because I am no longer posting, but because I am posting once a week on my American Woodworker blog too. Between my website, my American Woodworker blog, writing SketchUp scripts (I have three I am working on at the moment) and working in my own woodshop I have had time for little else. My newsletter has suffered too, but I hope to get one out shortly.

Anyway, if you visit here and don’t see any recent articles, go to my American Woodworker blog and catch me there. I will try to cross link them so you can find me wherever I am.


It’s out and it’s disappointing. If you are a free version user of SketchUp you have a new name to deal with for 2013: SketchUp Make. In addition you are more restricted in your use of SketchUp Make; you can not use it for business or profit oriented activities in any way. Other than that, you don’t have much to look forward to from a user interface point of view. It is quite possible that SketchUp Make (and SketchUp Pro) are a lot faster in some applications and hopefully more stable and less buggy. But the jury will be out on that for some time.

SketchUp Pro has some new features that are nice in the LayOut application; most notably you have cross section fill capability. But there is very little in the SketchUp application itself of import.

Higher price, uglier icons, still Ruby 1.6 internally even though Ruby is up to 2.0, no improvement in Ruby console (I thought sure Unit Test would make it in there) etc. etc. etc. Let’s hope they did something of value when they expose the under the hood changes. Right now, very disappointing.

The one thing that is obvious is the toolbar set up. You can now set up your toolbar with its own dialog box and when you collapse the window the toolbars and position is returned when the wind is expanded, Nice, but setting up the tool bar is a onetime thing and I could easily have lived with the old method. And Save Toolbar Postions worked quite nicely. What I don’t like about the new toolbar behavior is that I can’t place a vertical x 2 column on the left or right side. It forces a x 1 horizontal column when I try.
The fill capability in LayOut is nice, but it would have been better if it were integrated into the Section tool in SketchUp. I haven’t checked my list of bugs yet, but I bet when I do printing to scale and printing extents still isn’t fixed; a problem that has existed since the beginning of time. So far Trimble gets a failing grade from me for its influence on SketchUp.

I hope I have to retract or alter my First Blush opinion on SketchUp 2013. Trust me, I would happily do so it warranted. But I am not hopeful.


In CutList Bridge Tutorial – Part 1 I demonstrated how to use CutList Bridge to create a cut list for a furniture piece us a Shaker Tall Clock SketchUp model. In Part 2 I use a custom kitchen cabinet to demonstrate how to you the Cabinet Mode features of CutList Bridge. While Cabinet Mode features are particularly useful for custom cabinetmakers it is also useful for furniture designers and craftsmen. I think this video will be well worth you while whatever style of woodworking you do.

Before viewing this video be sure to download and install CutList Bridge 2.5. The previous version had a bug that could make following along with this video frustrating.

Also, you will notice that in version 2.5 you no longer have to use the Save Attributes button as was necessary in previous versions and witnessed in Part 1. All entries are now saved as you enter them.

MAC users may have had trouble using CutList Bridge because of an OS/Safari Browser bug. When you download and install CutList Bridge 2.5 you will be shown a workaround if you have this problem.

Downloading CutList Bridge

CutList Bridge can be downloaded and installed by following the highlighted link; the target post will always host the most recent version of CutList Bridge.

Overview of CutList Bridge

CutList Bridge adds two export commands to the File menu and one dialog box to the Window menu of Trimble SketchUp. The export commands are:

  • Export to CutList Plus fx
  • Export to Microsoft Excel or OpenOffice

The dialog box is called Extended Entity Info and as its name implies is complements and extends the Entity Info dialog box.

When CutList Bridge is installed, as indicated by the availability of these commands and dialog box, a basic cut list can be produced simply by selecting one copy of your model using the Select tool and then choosing one of the export commands from the file menu. Simple as that.

However, the Extended Entity Info dialog box can be used to assign additional attributes to your components, which will produce a richer and much more useful cut list. This first video tutorial will show you how to create a basic cut list and then embellish the cut list with material types (rough lumber, dimensioned lumber, sheet good and other items), material names (cherry, walnut etc.), sub assembly groupings and notes. Subsequent video tutorials will show you how to assign attributes helpful for cabinetry and architectural models.

Downloading the Video to Your Computer

Sometimes the performance of your internet connection, the load on it at a particular time of day, and the length of these video tutorials can all conspire to provide you a frustrating and impossible viewing experience. If this happens it may be preferable to download the entire video unto your system and view it on your local video player. The video file is an mp4. It can be viewed with most video players including QuickTime and Media Player. If you have a default, or user specified, file association for .mp4 you may have to delete it or use a download manager to download this file. Otherwise the associated application may be invoked and file streaming will prevail over downloading. There are numerous free download managers on the internet. Be careful, and do some research to locate one that is not loaded with spyware or viruses.

If you are on a PC platform running Windows OS and have Internet Explorer or Firefox you don’t have to change file association or use a downloader. Simply right click on the link(s) below and choose Save Link As. When Explorer opens choose a destination folder and select Save.

To download this video click here or paste

http://www.srww.com/downloads/blog_posts/CutList%20Bridge%20Tutorial%20-%20Part%202/CutList_Bridge_Tutorial_Part%202.mp4

into your download manager.

Viewing in Your Browser

You may find it easier to view the video in full screen mode. Start the video before selecting this mode. To enter full screen mode click the little screen icon at the bottom of the video player. When in full screen view hold your cursor near the bottom of the screen to access the video player’s controls. Exit full screen mode with the Esc key. This part is approximately 33 minutes long. Sit back, relax and enjoy the show!


CutList Bridge 2.5 is now available for download. CutList Bridge comes with a CutList Bridge User’s Guide that will explain installation procedures and all features and functionality. The User’s Guide gives three examples of types of woodworking that benefit from its features. You can download CutList Bridge 2.5 with this link. Please report all strange behavior or bugs to jpz@srww.com and don’t hesitate to write if you need help.

Changes In Version 2.5

Version 2.5 fixes a bug introduced in version 2.4 and is a must upgrade. This bug will cause the user to potentially loose work and attributes. In version 2.4 I changed and included code to make it unnecessary to use the Save Attributes key to save attributes. Each input change is saved as it is entered. If multiple components are selected and an attribute is entered or changed, only that attribute will be changed in all selected components. Blank fields, unless one or more became blank due to an intentional change, will not be written to all components. This eliminates the need for the Save Attributes button. The button remains but is harmless and it will be removed in version 3.0.

In the process of making this change to version 2.4 I introduced a bug that is fixed in version 2.5. Sorry folks.

Help With Installation

Download the CutList Bridge User’s Guide and locate the Installation section in the index. After reviewing this section also review Installing Ruby Plugins and follow the instructions under the heading “Older versions of SketchUp and .rb files”.

CutList Bridge Tutorial Series

I have begun a series of tutorial videos to help you learn the features of CutList Bridge. Part 1 of 3 was recently released and can be found at CutList Bridge Tutorial – Part 1. Part 2 was released today and can be found at CutList Bridge Tutorial – Part 2. Stay tuned for Part 3.

Attention MAC Users

Known Issue With Version 2.5

If you are a MAC user and have the latest Safari Version 6.0.2 but do not have the latest OSX Mountain Lion installed, you will not be able to use CutList Bridge to add component attributes. Safari 6.0.2 in older versions of the OSX make text input fields black instead of white masking the black characters entered by the user. This is a MAC problem and not a CutList Bridge 2.5 problem.

However, I have provided a work around. If, after you install CutList Bridge as instructed above, your input fields show up with black backgrounds, follow these instructions:

  1. Download alternate_cutlist_bridge_css.zip by clicking on this hyperlink.
  2. Extract the file cutlist_bridge.css from the ZIP folder and move it to the folder …. \Plugins\cutlist_bridge\cutlist_bridge (note the two levels of cutlist_bridge folder). This replaces the file of the same name that is already in your Plugins file under folder \cutlist_bridge\cutlist_bridge (note again the two levels of cutlist_bridge folder).
  3. Close SketchUp and reopen it. You CutList Bridge input fields will still have a black background, but your entries will be red characters making them visible.

Models To Practice With

There are three models which you can download that already have attributes assigned. You can use these models to produce a cut list and experiment with changes to the attributes. The Shaker Tall Clock demonstrates most of the basic features of CutList Bridge. Base Cabinet, thanks to Matt Richardson and Greg Larson of NESAW, demonstrates most of the special Cabinet Mode features. SketchUp Home demonstrates a very large cut list whose Sub-Assembly names are automatically generated with the Sub-Assembly by Layer feature. Click the links below to download each model.

Shaker Tall Clock
Base Cabinet
SketchUp Home

Below is an image of a SketchUp cut list exported to OpenOffice. Not all lines are shown.

SketchUp Cut List Exported to OpenOffice


image

I am pleased to announce that American Woodworker and Chiefwoodworker have teamed to bring in-depth and quality SketchUp training to a greater audience of woodworkers. Beginning March 12, 2013 Chiefwoodworker’s Beginner’s SketchUp Tutorials and Intermediate SketchUp Tutorials will be available exclusively through AmericanWoodworkerTV.

AWtv-Beginners-trailerFrom the day I learned of Google SketchUp (now Trimble SketchUp) I became convinced it was a tool perfectly tailored for woodworkers. I have worked hard since 2007 to provide training to fellow woodworkers in the use of this tool. I have met a lot of woodworkers over the last six years and believe I succeeded in giving them the training they needed to add Trimble SketchUp to their woodworking toolbox.

However, the reach of Chiefwoodworker’s Blog can’t compare to the audience American Woodworker enjoys. American Woodworker is dedicated to providing training to woodworkers in all areas of woodworking with quality videos hosted by knowledgeable and expert woodworkers. It is my hope and belief that reaching a much greater audience with my tutorials will provide a greater service to woodworkers everywhere. I am delighted and proud to team with American Woodworker to benefit my fellow woodworkers.

AWtv-intermediate-trailerChiefwoodworker’s Blog will continue to provide posts, newsletters and videos on woodworking and SketchUp and I will continue to support my fellow woodworkers with SketchUp assistance when asked. In addition, I will continue to develop and provide SketchUp plugins. I also expect that my relationship with American Woodworker will grow. So stay tuned to my website (srww.com, Chiefwoodworker’s Blog, Chiefwoodworker’s Newsletter and look for me on AmericanWoodworker.tv.

American Woodworker Magazine, AmericanWoodworker.com, AmericanWoodworker.TV and Woodwork Magazine are all properties of New Track Media LLC.


Berkshire Woodworkers Guild Scholarship Fund

The Berkshire Woodworkers Guild is sponsoring a scholarship fund for students seeking a career in woodworking, architecture or related field. Applications must be in before April 1, 2013.

  • Applicants should be between 16 and 25 years of age.
  • Preference is given to applicants from Berkshire County (Massachusetts) and the neighboring region and who seek to make woodworking, architecture or related fields their professional goal.
  • Applications should be submitted at least 30 days before course begins.
  • Maximum scholarship amount is $500.
  • Money is paid to applicant or to course host after successful completion of course with receipt/invoice and evidence of attendance. Payment made in advance ONLY to course host if guarantee provided for refund (less any deposit required) if student can’t attend or cancels. No payments are made directly to the student in advance of course.
  • Scholarships may be used to attend schools, conferences, classes, workshops and other events that meet the approval of the scholarship review committee of the Berkshire Woodworkers Guild. In general, any program that contributes to the education of the applicant in the areas of woodworking, architecture or related fields will qualify. Preference is given for long-term continuous programs that lead to certification or a degree in the profession.
  • Scholarship application guidelines and application form are available on the Berkshire Woodworkers Guild website on the SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM page or directly from this link.
  • Send completed form via email to willb@heartwoodschool.com, by regular mail to Berkshire Woodworkers Guild Scholarships, c/o Will Beemer, 148 Middlefield Rd., Washington MA 01223 or fax to 413-623-0277. Electronic submissions via email attachments (PDF or Word format) are preferred.
  • APPLICATION DEADLINE FOR THE CURRENT ROUND IS APRIL 1ST.

 

bwg_scholarship_fund

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