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Old 08-05-2015, 11:10 PM
CousinVinny CousinVinny is offline
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Default Egg Crate Buck in Google SketchUp

Hello everyone,
I came across this plug-in feature for Google's free SketchUp program that can be used to create a egg crate style buck for a car body. Since this section is devoted to Buck Building I thought it would be a good fit, and bear with me as I'm a better artist than tutorial writer . First you would download the SketchUp program (free) then also down load the 'Slice Modeler'' plug-in. Plug-ins are the name for add on features you install into your SketchUp program, there must be thousands of them! So, I started with a generic car shape I created in Sketchup. Pic 1.
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Then I selected my shape by clicking on it, the edges turn blue to show its selected. I must make it a group or component so Sketchup sees the whole car shape as one unit, not just a bunch of lines next to each other. The upper menu select EDIT and in the drop down menu select, MAKE GROUP, a note here that 'make component' also works.
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Pic 2
With your car body selected, go to the upper menu and select PLUG INS and in the drop down box select SLICE MODELER
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Pic 3
The dialog box will open for the Slice Modeler to display your options for the distance in between slices (4'', 6'' etc) , the thickness of each slice (1/2'' plywood) and what axis you want to apply it to, X (across) ,Y (longways) or Z (up and down). In Pic 3 I sliced the model along the Y axis and I created 7 stations front to back
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Pic 4 , After your 1st slice of the model you're given options such as adding number labels to the parts to prevent mix up in assembly, you'll also be asked to continue to hide the view of the original shape to which you'll click 'yes' while you keep slicing. Pic 4 shows the 2nd axis sliced which follows right after the first slicing operation. SketchUp knows you will likely want your model cut on 2 axis so you're fed into the next step automatically with the same setting for distance between stations and thickness of wall section already filled in, you can easily change settings for more or fewer wall sections in one direction to get the detail where its needed most.
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Pic 5 Show your model after the 2nd slice across the first one, note all the parts are numbered X01, X02 and so on (See Pic 6). There is an option at this stage where you'll be asked if you'd like the parts Flattened out for exporting. This will generate the file that the operator of the Laser cutter, Waterjet Plasma or CNC machine will want., Shown in Pic 7.
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There are a few variables at the end of the process when you export your file out of SketchUp, because depending on where its goin to get cut, they may ask for a particular file type. So far just about every popular file version can be created from SketchUp either in its native form or by use of a Plug-in that converts the file to the type needed. I can help with converting files for cutting.
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I've been looking for a reasonably priced solution to be able make an Egg Crate Buck for a car and I'am very pleased with how this worked the first time out. I hope I can answer any questions for members here because I've learned a lot from reading all the posts you've taken time to create. Thank you, Vinny

Here's a video, (not mine) that shows the steps in real time with a generic shape.
https://vimeo.com/14578877

pic1.jpg

pic2.jpg

pic3.jpg

pic4.jpg

pic5.jpg

pic6.jpg

pic7.jpg
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Last edited by CousinVinny; 08-05-2015 at 11:20 PM.
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Old 08-06-2015, 05:32 AM
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RockHillWill RockHillWill is offline
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Cool stuff, thanks for posting.
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Old 08-07-2015, 01:35 AM
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Now, I might be able to cope with that, if only I can find the time to learn how to do it.
Who ever said you have more time in retirement was wrong.
Thanks for posting.
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Old 09-13-2015, 06:08 PM
Charlie Myres Charlie Myres is offline
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Interesting post Vinny; thank you for posting.

So once the drawing is completed, am I correct in thinking that it is only of use to a computerised machine?

If for example I wanted to cut the buck parts out myself with hand tools, is there anyway of copying such a large drawing onto the sheet?

Cheers Charlie
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Old 09-13-2015, 07:46 PM
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Kerry Pinkerton Kerry Pinkerton is offline
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Charles, I'm not sure of Sketchup has the capability to create a full size print out of each section but if it does, you can have them printed at a good printer.

I did this then sprayed 5 ply 1/2" plywood (I'd use MDF today) with adhesive, laid the paper on, rolled it down, and then cut to the lines with a saber saw. Time consuming but worked well. Here is a photo of the main body (Dutch Comstock checking it out)

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Old 09-14-2015, 06:29 PM
Charlie Myres Charlie Myres is offline
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Thank you Kerry, that all makes perfect sense - I haven't ever seen a printer bigger than A3

Cheers Charlie
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Old 09-15-2015, 07:59 PM
CousinVinny CousinVinny is offline
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Charlie, How I would go about it is export the SketchUp slices into my drawing program (CorelDraw). Bring the pieces up to correct scale size. print on large format printing paper. My printer does 30 inches wide by however long. Printing Houses that do blueprints are very reasonable in price as another option. -Vinny
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Old 09-16-2015, 10:10 PM
weldtoride weldtoride is offline
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Vinny, welcome to the forum. Thanks for the buck info, I want to look into that some more for sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie Myres View Post
I...
If for example I wanted to cut the buck parts out myself with hand tools, is there anyway of copying such a large drawing onto the sheet?

Cheers Charlie
Try "tiling" with your printer. Prints a large pdf in several pages/pieces (tiles) that you tape or glue together... It takes a bit of finagling, but hopefully you get it to work for you after killing only a few tree branches...Preview is your friend here.

http://blogs.adobe.com/tcs/2011/01/h...r-printer.html

Pretty finicky in my experience, (I am not the brightest bulb nor the sharpest tack) but once you get it down, it can work.
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Last edited by weldtoride; 09-17-2015 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 09-17-2015, 02:28 AM
Maxakarudy Maxakarudy is offline
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Hi Vinny,
Thanks for posting.
Does Sketchup have a command for notching out where X and Y intersect with material thickness or is it a manual process?
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Old 09-30-2015, 11:18 AM
CousinVinny CousinVinny is offline
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Hello Martin, I do not see an option for placing or controlling the depth of the notches,
Although with controlling the number of stations in X and Y planes you can achieve good detail. The several tests I did got better as I got more familiar with the commands and what they produce. I agree SketchUp is finiky at times but the learning curve is short and fits my 50 yr old noodle. And free is always a plus. Regards,Vince
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