Many woodworkers attempt to understand the powerful 3D modeling software called SketchUp. And many woodworkers get extremely frustrated with SketchUp because it's capabilities are so vast, it is hard to learn. I know because I am one of those woodworkers.
Over the last few years, I've been determined to learn SketchUp and I have learned a lot, but not all of what I have learned has been helpful. Some of the skill I have uncovered are really bad habits. Until recently, I have never had formal training with the software; all of what I have learned has been on my own and I have determined I go about certain things in a clumsy way.
I did two things to correct my bad habits: first I purchased a SketchUp ebook by Tim Killen and I downloaded a SketchUp DVD by Dave Richards. Both have served me well and I have written reviews of each - more about them later. First I want to list some very good free resources, most of them are specific to woodworking:
Design. Click. Build. - the SketchUp blog at Fine Woodworking.com where Tim Killen and Dave Richards hang out. There are some very good videos (IMHO, videos are the best way to learn SketchUp). Go to Design. Click. Build. here.
The Woodwhisper SketchUp pages - Aaron Marshall runs through some lessons on SketchUp which are excellent. Watch his videos and you'll learn some handy tips - see them by clicking here.
SketchUp for Woodworkers - a website with at last count, 10 videos on SketchUp, all of them good and very worth the effort to see them all. See SketchUp for Woodworkers here.
SketchUcation - this is an extensive forum where a lot of SketchUp users go for help. See it here.
MasterSketchUp.com - this site is new to me, but already the videos there have been helpful and Matt goes about the learning process in a unique way. He also has launched a podcast devoted to SketchUp. See MasterSketchUp here.
Google SketchUp Guide for Woodworkers
I decided to do a chapter-by-chapter review of Tim Killen's e-book, Google SketchUp Guide for Woodworkers available from Fine Woodworking's website. Get a glimpse of this very worthwhile e-book by going to the links below:
Working Through Google SketchUp Guide for Woodworkers by Tim Killen - In this post, I review chapters one through five. See it by clicking here.
SketchUp Guide for Woodworkers: Taming Some Frustrations - In this post, I review chapters six and seven. See it by clicking here.
SketchUp Guide for Woodworkers: A Detailed Model - In this post, I review chapters eight through ten: there are some cool tricks taught in these chapters. See it by clicking here.
SketchUp Guide for Woodworkers: An Attempt at Advanced Modeling - Here, I review chapters eleven through thirteen: I run into some trouble with the complex models in these chapters. See it by clicking here.
Wrapping up my Review of Google Sketchup Guide for Woodworkers - In this final post on Tim Killen's ebook, I cover chapters fourteen through sixteen, and learn a lot about adding realistic texture to a model as well as how to best print shop drawings. See it by clicking here.
Google SketchUp Guide for Woodworkers - The Basics
This DVD is a great lesson for beginners and more advaced modelers alike. Dave Richards takes the viewer through the process of creating a woodworking project from concept to shop drawings. He reveals his best tips for making SketchUp simple. See my review SketchUp Guide for Woodworkers - The Basics here.
Bob Lang's Woodworker's Guide to SketchUp
In Woodworker's Guide to SketchUp Bob Lang combines thorough instruction via text with tons of video. Video is good, and it is even better when a respected SketchUp instructor is guiding the video instruction. Bob's organized and calm approach to teaching what I view as a complex software program is very much appreciated. See the review of Woodworker's Guide to SketchUp here.
As I run across additional sites devoted to SketchUp, I'll add them here.