CutList Bridge
CutList Bridge
NESAW
New England School of Architectural Woodworking
CutList Plus fx
CutList Plus fx
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CabWriter Home Page


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SketchUp is woodworker’s chosen tool for creating shop drawings; CutList Plus fx by Bridgewood Design is the leading tool for generating optimized sheet layouts and materials lists. These two industry leading tools don’t natively communicate. That became history with the introduction of CutList Bridge. Now CutList Bridge 4 is even more powerful and rich with new features and is ready for even better things to come.

What is CutList Bridge?

Attributes TabCutList Bridge is a SketchUp Ruby extension. It extends the attributes of components to include such things as the material type used in its milling, the species or material name, re-sized dimensions, shop method tags, the sub-assembly to which it belongs and much more. These attributes are attached to the component and stored in the model file. The user can export these attribute to either: a .cwx file, which can be opened in CutList Plus fx version 12.3 or higher; or to a comma separated value file (.csv aka CSV) and subsequently imported to Microsoft Excel, Open/Office Calc or any spread sheet application that supports CSV importing. Either of these methods will produce a cut list but CutList Plus fx will also produce a materials list, optimized cutting diagrams and project costing.

Setup TabA very important feature of CutList Bridge is that it stores all components’ material and milling attributes in the SketchUp model file. The user need keep only one file of a design and doesn’t have to worry about synchronizing other files when design changes are made. The CWX, CSV, CutList Plus fx, Excel or OpenOffice Calc files can all be reproduced in about four mouse clicks.

What’s New in CutList Bridge 4?

CutList Bridge 3 added four new fields to the cut list .csv file: Tags, Fin T, Fin W and Fin L. However, they were only available for import to Excel and OpenOffice Calc; they could not be imported to CutList Plus fx. This limitation is eliminated in version 4.0, a major release with new functionality. Some of the new functionality was added to support CabWriter, a future new extension that will add to the SketchUp/CutList Bridge/CutList Plus design process. Other functionality was added to generally improve the extension for all woodworking projects. Here is a list of the new functionality and fixes:

CutList Bridge to CutList Plus fx

1. A Legacy Mode checkbox has been added to the Extended Entity Info dialog box Setup tab. If you do not have either a Gold or Platinum CutList Plus fx license of revision 12.3 or higher you should check Legacy Mode. In Legacy Mode you will not be able to export the Tags, Fin T, Fin W and Fin L columns. Legacy Mode is unchecked when CutList Bridge 4.0 is installed.

2. When using the File/Export to CutList Plus fx command a file is saved in the same folder (place) as the SketchUp model file (.skp), with the same name as the model. The file extension will be .cwx if Legacy Mode in not checked. If Legacy Mode is checked the file extension will be .csv.

3. The Tags, Fin T, Fin W and Fin L columns are now included in a File/Export to CutList Plus fx operation. In CutList Bridge 4 the command File/Export to CutList Plus fx now produces a file with the same name as the SketchUp model file but with the extension .cwx (a.k.a CWX) . Users of CutList Plus fx version 12.3 or higher can now open this file with the command File/Open. The fields are automatically mapped so the user no longer need manually map them with the Parts Import Wizard. In addition, upon installation of CutList Plus fx 12.3, the CWX extension is associated with CutList Plus fx, so the user can simply double click on a CWX file and CutList Plus fx is opened to it.

4. Fixed an issue with Add material when the material name contained the inch unit mark ("), which caused weird behavior with the list drop down boxes.

5. Some users have experienced problems with materials.csv files that contain Euros currency. This problem is solved in CutList Plus fx version 12.3.

The attached images show the new Extended Entity Info Attributes and Setup tab and a sample cut list produced with CutList Bridge 4 and CutList Plus fx version 12.3. The video below is a ten minute introductory of CutList Bridge 4 and CutList Plus fx. You can also view it on YouTube in a larger format.

 

Where can I get CutList Bridge 4?

You can purchase CutList Bridge 4 in the Popular Woodworking Shop Woodworking on-line store.


SketchUp is woodworker’s chosen tool for creating shop drawings; CutList Plus fx by Bridgewood Design is the leading tool for generating optimized sheet layouts and materials lists. These two industry leading tools don’t natively communicate. That became history with the introduction of CutList Bridge. Now CutList Bridge 3 is even more powerful and rich with new features and is ready for even better things to come.

CutList Bridge Extension for SketchUp

You can purchase CutList Bridge 3 from the Popular Woodworking On-Line Store.

What is CutList Bridge?

New CutList Bridge 3 TabsMany of you have used this tool before, but for those of you who have not, CutList Bridge is a SketchUp Ruby extension. It extends the attributes of components to include such things as the material type used in its milling, the species or material name, re-sized dimensions, shop method tags, the sub-assembly to which it belongs and much more. These attributes are attached to the component and stored in the model file. The user can export these attribute to a comma separated value file (.csv aka CSV) and subsequently import that file into CutList Plus fx to produce a cut list, materials list, optimized cutting diagrams and project costing. If the user doesn’t have a CutList Plus fx license the CSV file can be imported to Microsoft Excel, Open/Office Calc or any spread sheet application that supports CSV importing.

A very important feature of CutList Bridge is that it stores all components’ material and milling attributes in the SketchUp model file. The user need keep only one file of a design and doesn’t have to worry about synchronizing other files when design changes are made. The CSV, CutList Plus fx, Excel or Calc files can all be reproduced in about four mouse clicks.

What’s New in CutList Bridge 3?

CutList Bridge 3 now supports component numbering capability including manually by the user, automatically in alphabetical or numerical order by CutList Bridge 3 and automatically by CabWriter. CabWriter is a new SketchUp Ruby extension to be announced later this fall. CabWriter automatically draws custom cabinets using a simple and powerful user interface; see the CabWriter drawn kitchen below. CutList Bridge 3 is CabWriter ready.

A CabWriter Drawn Kitchen

A new Tags field has been added to tag critical shop operations such as adjacent component grain matching. Any shop critical operation can be tagged in this text field and can be alphabetically sorted to assist in efficient performance of these shop operations. This field will also be supported in future releases of CutList Plus fx.

Re-sizing of thickness capability has been added to the Resizing field. And now there are three new fields to export the finished or As Drawn dimensions. These too will be supported in the next CutList Plus fx release.

There are a number of internal changes that make CutList Bridge 3 ready for CabWriter as well as the next version of CutList Plus fx.
For more information on CutList Bridge 3 see the CutList Bridge User’s Guide. Below is a partial cut list of the kitchen shown in the above image exported to CutList Plus fx.

A CutList Bridge Generated Cut List Exported To CutList Plus fx

 

Where Can I Get CutList Bridge 3?

CutList Bridge 3 is distributed exclusively by Popular Woodworking. You can purchase CutList Bridge 3 from the Popular Woodworking On-Line Store.

Is there a Training Course for CutList Bridge 3?

PWUlogo_300Yes. There’s a three segment on-line course titled Using CutList Bridge 3 and given by Popular Woodworking University. Each segment is approximately one hour long and covers creating a cut list for three types of woodworking project: Furniture Pieces, Custom Cabinets & Structures such as a shed, home and home addition.


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.


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.

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


You may not be aware, but there is a free application called OpenOffice that is largely equivalent to Microsoft Office. It can be downloaded at http://download.openoffice.fm/free/ . One note of caution; there are a few extra applications that get installed with OpenOffice that are marketing data gathering software. You are supposed to be able to opt-in at install time, but the opt-in process is so obscure that most people will miss it. However, you can remove these application after installation if you miss the opt-in process.

OpenOffice Text Import Dialog BoxI have downloaded Open Office and gave it a test drive with CutList Bridge 2.0. It works with one very minor problem. First, when exporting from SketchUp use the File/Export to Microsoft Excel command. Next, when importing to OpenOffice Spreadsheet use the File/Open command with All files (*.*) selected for Files of type:, and then a dialog box will appear. See the image on the left (click to enlarge). Clear any single quote or double quote (‘ or "") in the Text delimiter drop down box. You don’t have a choice of blank in the drop down, but just select any character(s) in that box and delete them. Make sure you have the Comma check box selected and none other. Hit OK and you will get a cut list similar to that shown in the image at right.

CutList Bridge 2.1 Cut List Imported To OpenOfficeThe double quotes in the left hand column should not be there. They are a result of a bug I have in my script which Excel overlooks, hence I have never seen it. I will fix it in the next bug fix release. This bug does not affect either CutList Plus or Excel. Simply select these cells and delete their content.

So far I am quite impressed with Open Office. I don’t know why I haven’t tried it before today. If you are looking for a complete free solution from 3D modeling of woodworking projects to shop cut lists then the combination of SketchUp, CutList Bridge 2.0 and OpenOffice is your answer.


Assign Attributes TabAt the suggestion of Greg Larson, owner and operator of the New England School of Architectural Woodworking, and with his help, I have developed a cut list export tool for SketchUp. Why another cut list tool? Don’t we have enough already? Well, this has some unique features that are tailored to architectural cabinetmaking design and build, though these features can be used for all types of woodworking models.

This release is Revision 1.0. It comes with a CutList Bridge User’s Guide that will explain 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 with this link. Please report all strange behavior or bugs to jpz@srww.com and don’t hesitate to write if you need help.

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

Happy Bridging!

Major Features of CutList Bridge

1. Seamlessly bridges SketchUp and CutList Plus fx or Microsoft Excel
CutList Plus fx is a highly functional cut list creator, costing tool, proposal generator and inventory manager for woodworking shops. Google SketchUp is a powerful 3D drawing tool ideally suited for furniture and architectural cabinet design and photorealistic rendering. These two tools do not naturally work together. CutList Bridge solves that problem by seamlessly bridging these two applications. If you do not use CutList Plus fx, no problem. You can export your cut list to Microsoft Excel.

2. All cut list attributes are entered in SketchUp and remain with the model file
CutList Plus fx requires the user to manually re-enter dimensions and other component attributes such as material type, material name, notes and banding. Attributes that can be generated automatically from the design’s 3D model and which ideally belong with the design file. CutList Bridge allows the user to enter and store all attributes with the model file and provides features for editing and exporting. Attributes which can be automatically generated from the 3D model, such as component dimensions and grain direction corrections are also handled in CutList Bridge.

3. Sub-Assembly names can be assigned in SketchUp explicitly or automatically by Layer name
In CutList Plus fx a Sub-Assembly name is typically used to group a collection of components. For example: in a model of a chest-of-drawers you may want two Sub-Assembly names; one called Carcass for all the components that make up the basic support structure, and one called Drawers for all components that make up the drawers. A grandfather clock may have Sub-Assembly names of Hood, Waist and Base. A trundle bed might be divided into Headboard, Footboard, Sides and Trundle. A kitchen cabinet may have sub-assemblies of Cabinet, Face Frame, Drawers and Doors. CutList Bridge allows the user to assign Sub-Assembly names in SketchUp prior to exporting to CutList Plus fx.

Sub-Assembly names can also be assigned by layer using the layer’s name. For example, as stick frame house designed in SketchUp may be organized with layer names such as Footing, Foundation, 1st Floor Joists, 1st Floor Framing, 2nd Floor Framing etc. These layer names can automatically be used as the Sub-Assembly names in CutList Bridge fx.

4. Assign oversize/undersize dimensions in SketchUp via the Cabinet Mode Resize feature
Lists Tab<Info> is a CutList Plus fx field that is intended as a short note. However, it has two significant differences from the Notes field provided by CutList Plus fx. First, <Info> shows up in the CutList Plus fx spreadsheet whereas Notes only appear on the Parts printout. Second, if a CutList Plus fx spreadsheet is locked to prevent accidental change, <Info> can still be changed allowing for cutting status to be input. See the CutList Plus fx User’s Guide for more information.

CutList Bridge extends the use of <Info> when used in a special mode called Cabinet Mode. In Cabinet Mode parts can be oversized or undersized in length and width using the Resize feature, and these dimensions will appear in the CutList Plus fx <Info Field>. The user has the choice of displaying the increment of over/under size or the over/under sized finished dimension for each of width or length.

5. Assign Notes in SketchUp while designing the model
Notes can be assigned in SketchUp for each component. These will be exported to the Notes field in CutList Plus fx.

6. Both Milled Parts and Other Items are supported
CutList Plus fx supports two classes of components: Milled Parts, which are typically Rough Lumber, Dimensioned Lumber or Sheet Goods that are milled into a component in the shop. CutList Bridge also supports Other Items such as drawer pulls, consumables such as screws, biscuits, dominos or any other non-milled components which are typically purchased.

7. All Milled Part attributes can be assigned in SketchUp
Milled Parts, as mentioned, are components milled from Rough Lumber, Dimensioned Lumber or Sheet Goods. Each Milled Part component can be assigned the following:

a. Material Type – Rough Lumber, Dimensioned Lumber or Sheet Goods

b. Material Name – e.g. Tiger Maple

c. Banding – A code to indicate which sides are banded and which banding material to use.

d. Swap L/W – The user can specify in SketchUp any component whose length and width should be swapped. CutList Plus fx assumes the length field specifies the grain direction. However, there are times when the short dimension of a board should be the grain direction. Check Swap L/W to accomplish this.

e. Can Rotate? – Many material types have no grain. To assist CutList Plus fx in optimizing material use you can specify in SketchUp which Components can be rotated by CutList Plus fx.

8. Cabinet Mode provides Auto-Swap of L & W and Over/Under sizing of cut list parts
Setup TabCabinet Mode is a sub-mode of Milled Parts. It is selected in CutList Bridge by checking its checkbox. When selected <Info> is no longer available in the usual way. However, when selected another very useful and key option becomes available in addition to three more fields.

a. Enable Auto-Swap – This is a feature that automatically determines which components should have their lengths and widths swapped, independent of dimensions, based on a Component’s Type. In cabinet design there is a basic box with components that can be labeled Back, Bottom, Shelf, Side or Top. Based on these attributes L & W will be automatically swapped when needed such that grain runs up a side, across a top, down a side and across the bottom to the starting point. Back grain will always be in the vertical direction. Shelves will have a grain direction that is horizontal (side to side) while its cross grain direction is perpendicular to the Back’s plane.

b. Component Type – As mentioned is assigned with a drop down list and can be either Back, Bottom, Shelf, Side or Top.

c. Resize Width By – The user can specify a dimension to resize the width by (the increment, or decrement when preceded with a minus sign). The Width column in CutList Plus will contain this resized dimension.

d. Resize Length By – The user can specify a dimension to resize the length by (the increment, or decrement when preceded with a minus sign). The Length column in CutList Plus will contain this resized dimension.

The user is able to choose display options for the <Info> and Description fields that will modify what information appear in these fields in CutList Plus fx. More on this later.

9. Other Items can be specified while modeling in SketchUp
Components that are not milled in the shop, but are purchased, may be specified in the Other Items’ Item field. If the name specified in the Other Items’ Item field exists in the Raw Materials library of CutList Plus fx this component and its quantity will be appropriately categorized and added to the BOM in CutList Plus fx. If the name specified does not exist in CutList Plus fx it will still be imported but added to the [Not Categorized] Other Items category.

10. Exporting is a Selection and One Menu Command
Exporting a .csv file from SketchUp is as simple as selecting a complete model and choosing menu command File/Export to CutList Plus fx. That’s it. A .csv file is generated with the same name as your .skp model file name and placed in the same folder.

A Completed CutList Plus fx Cut List


Four Sided Tapered BoxI just couldn’t help myself. Over the last few years I have often wanted to draw a construction line normal (perpendicular) to a surface. It’s not particularly hard to do with a few key clicks if the surface is part of an object with sides that are already normal to it. However, on surfaces such as those on the four sided tapered box shown left, not so easy. I often wished I had one tool that would accomplish the task, and more importantly, let me place the line anywhere I wanted it. Well, now I have it, because I wrote a Ruby script tool for SketchUp and added it to the Construction Plus toolbar.

Before I provide you a download link you should read the simple operating instructions provided here.

Draw Normal Tool Description

Tool Draw Normal tool draws a construction line, normal to a selected face at a point specified by the user. When the Shift modifier key is selected a line of specified length is drawn instead. The tab key is used to select the construction line stippling.

Normal Construction Lines

draw_normal_cursorStart by selecting a face. The face should be a primitive, not a component or group. If you wish to draw a construction line normal to a face in a component or group, enter component or group edit mode first. Next select a point. The point can be anywhere, it doesn’t have to reside on the face. Once the point is selected a construction line is drawn at the chosen point in a direction normal to the chosen face (plane). The construction line is placed on the $Construction$ layer if one exists, or is created by the tool if not.

The Tab modifier key can be used to select line stippling by cycling through the available styles. The default is Long Dashes. Other styles available are Dots, Short Dashes and Dash-Dot-Dash.

draw_normal_multiple_cursorIf you wish to choose one face and place multiple normal construction lines, use the Ctrl modifier key. Notice when the Ctrl modifier key is selected and the mouse moves a + sign is added to the cursor to indicate you can add additional lines.

Normal Lines

draw_normal_line_cursorAlternatively, if the Shift modifier key is pressed the tool will place a line of specified length at the chosen point in a direction normal to the selected face. The cursor will change to a solid line as shown left. In this mode the order of steps is: select a face, choose a point and specify a length in the VCB and type Enter.

draw_normal_line_multiple_cursorLike the construction line mode, you can choose a face and add additional lines normal to the face, each at different points and of varying lengths if you wish. Use the Ctrl modifier key as before and a + will be added to the cursor indicating you can add additional lines.

Tool Life Cycle

When the Draw Normal tool is selected it remains active until another tool is selected. While Draw Normal is active the user can successively select faces and place a construction line(s) or line(s) normal to the selected face. If the Ctrl modifier key is selected, the selected face remains selected so that multiple construction lines or lines can be placed normal to the same face.

Modifier keys can be activated and deactivated by successive presses of the key. In this way a single face can remain selected while multiple construction lines and/or lines are placed at various points, each normal to the face.

If, during any step in the use of the tool, the user needs to reposition the view, simply choose a camera tool such as Orbit, Zoom or Pan. When the view has been repositioned press the Esc key and you will return to the Draw Normal tool where you left off. The Esc key is not needed for Zoom Extents; in this case you return to the Draw Normal tool immediately following the Zoom Extents.

Draw Normal is deactivated when a tool other than a camera tool is selected.

This tool is most helpful when used on faces that are not on, or parallel to, the red/green, blue/green or red/blue plane. All construction lines are placed on the $Construction$ layer. If the $Construction$ layer does not exist it will be added by the tool.

Lines of specified length will remain on Layer0.

Installing Draw Normal Only

Download the draw_normal.zip file and extract it to your SketchUp plugins folder. When completed your plugins folder should contain the draw_normal folder and the draw_normal.rb  file. Be sure to enable the Construction Plus toolbar by checking it under View/Toolbars menu.

Installing The Entire Construction Plus Tool Set

Construction Plus Tool SetDownload the construction_plus.zip file and extract it to your SketchUp plugins folder. When completed you should have the files and folders highlighted in the picture at left in your plugins folder. If any of these previously existed in the plugins folder you will be asked if you want to replace them. Answer “Yes to All”. Alternatively, you can delete these files and folders prior to extracting the new construction_plus.zip. In either case after downloading and extracting the sip file check to be sure these files and folders are present in your plugins folder. Be sure to enable the Construction Plus toolbar by checking it under View/Toolbars menu.


Click here to download construction_plus.zip file.

I have added another handy tool to the Construction Plus Toolbar. This tool allows the user to successively select a group or component instance and get its overall dimensions (bounding box dimensions).

There has been a Get Dimensions tool  Ruby script around forever and I have used it a lot. It’s very handy. But it had the following shortcomings:

  1. The tool had no icon. You had to access the Tool menu to select it.
  2. The script was not implemented as a Tool class which means you could only use it once and then had to select it again.
  3. The dimensions were provided in an annoying message box which the user had to close each time.
  4. The tool didn’t provide the definition name of the selected group or component instance.

How Get Dimesnions tool is used.These missing or annoying features have all been implemented or fixed in this tool. The tool icons and tool cursor have the image shown above right. The picture at left shows how this tool is used. Click on image to enlarge it and see the details. Notice that after selecting the Back Leg component instance that the tool remains active and will continue to remain active until another tool is selected. So you can examine a number of groups or component instances successively.

Two words of caution when using this tool:

  1. The reported Thickness will always be the smallest dimension. Width the next smallest dimension and Length the largest dimension. In some designs the Length is shorter than the width for grain direction purposes.
  2. Visually check your bounding box to see if it reflects your intended axis orientation. If not, use the Change Axis tool to correct it.

An error message will appear if you select an entity that is not a group or component instance. However, no such message will appear if you click in white space, that is, if you click on no entity at all.

Download Construction Plus Tools Including Get Dimensions

Download construction_plus.zip and save it in a folder of your choice; in Windows 7 that is usually the user’s Downloads folder. Using WinZip unzip the file, select all files and folders and Extract them to your Plugins folder.

Plugins Folder after extractiong construction_plus.zip file.When you have completed the extraction described in the previous paragraph your Plugins folder should have five new folders and six new files as shown in blue highlighted folder and files in the picture at right.

Upon opening SketchUp you will need to go to menu View/Toolbars and enable Construction Plus (not to be confused with Construction). This will display the Construction Plus toolbar on your desktop which you can position in the usual way.

Enjoy! And please report all problems to jpz@srww.com.


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