tag:buildsbygideon.com,2013:/posts BuildsByGideon 2020-01-13T23:36:49Z Gideon Harris tag:buildsbygideon.com,2013:Post/1497454 2020-01-13T23:36:19Z 2020-01-13T23:36:49Z Oneshop Redding | Making a New Wasteboard | CNC Shapeoko
After years of use, the Shapeoko has started to get a little sloppy. Since I started using the CNC machine, I've noticed that after cutting operations, it would often leave a slight onion skin on my part. This means the router is at a slight angle, or your stock is not flat in relation to the bed.

One of my favorite content creators in the CNC world is Winston Moy. He makes a lot of tips and tricks videos and shows his processes when trying new materials and tools. He recently came out with a video on how to properly tune the Shapeoko 3 and making a new wasteboard which is precisely the same machine I have access to at my local makerspace. The main thing that attracted me to his video was his tutorial on how to make a new wasteboard. A wasteboard sits upon the base of your CNC machine and acts as a bed for your stock. The reason it is called a wasteboard is that once you finish your cut on any project, you can then remove a thin layer of the bed to zero it out. Making sure you have a perfectly flat workplace. Part of the design includes using thread inserts coming up from the back of the bed so that you can secure your stock with screws or clamps.

For the 3D design of the wasteboard, I decided to have a 1.5" length in between each pocket that holds the thread inserts. I had to figure out a way to bolt the new bed onto the existing one and to do it without having to make any new holes in the metal base of the machine. I was able to do that by locating four screws and removing them. Then I would need to buy longer ones to pass through the new bed and into the base. The Shapeoko 3 has an advertised bed of 16"x 16" in its X and Y-axis. I did notice, however, that the machine isn't quite big enough to have a 16"x 16" bed, so I had to make it 16"x 15" instead, the router couldn't travel that extra inch in the Y-axis.

While I was setting up the new bed, I noticed the Z belt kept either falling off or just was loose. So I tightened that up and squared the belt so that shouldn't happen again. After securing the new piece of MDF to the existing bed, I used a 1/4" downcut two flute coated endmill from Toolstoday and started my toolpath. I first cut the four holes that would attach the new bed onto the existing one, then flipped it over and cut the holes for the thread inserts. 

I ran into an issue as soon as it started the drill hole operation. I could have sworn I set it up right by having it retract every 2mm, which would prevent the endmill from recutting the same chips as well as chip evacuation. It didn't withdraw like I thought it would, and so the chips got stuck in the hole with the endmill, and it started smoking from the chips rubbing against each other, at which point I shut it down. MDF is made up of wood fibers held together by a resin-based binder and creates a powdery substance when cut. Since it's so fine, it can also catch on fire very quickly, which would have been a significant problem as pretty much everything would go ablaze. The reason the chips couldn't properly evacuate was due to the endmill being a down-cut vs. upcut bit. A downcut bit will move the chips as it cuts them down, and an upcut bit moves them up. I didn't have any upcut bits, so I ended up having it cut only 1/8" vs. the 13/16" I was initially trying, and manually drilled the rest out.

I then took my thread inserts and started inserting them into the wasteboard. I didn't have the proper Allen-key for this, however, and ended up having to fashion my way around it by using a flathead and drill. I ran into an issue right away; the thread inserts were slightly larger than the hole for them. I initially tried just forcing them in by applying pressure on the drill as I wanted to get them inserted. Which only caused the holes to strip and make them useless. I tried just drilling the holes slightly bigger, but even that wouldn't work, I tried using a 5/16" drill bit, but that was somewhat too large. I ended up having to drill it partway through with the 5/16" and then forcing the inserts the rest of the way. It solved the issue, but since I didn't have the right allen-key bits, I couldn't get them perpendicular to the board and so some of them were at a slight angle.

After I got all the thread inserts into the new wasteboard, it was time to shave off a layer and tune the trams holding the router. I started with using a surfacing tool I got off of amazon. This allows me to remove a few thousandths of an inch after each operation, ensuring I have a completely flat workplace. After doing a single pass over the wasteboard, you could visibly see line marks where the tool passed; this is due to the router being at a slight angle to the rest of the machine. This can be fixed by adjusting very sightly the tram that the router sits on forward or backward, depending on what needs to be changed. At this point, it's pretty much trial and error until you're pleased with how it sits. It would require a ton of work and be nearly impossible to have it completely flat without any visual or physical deviation in the wasteboard.

I was able to attach it to an existing bed without a hitch successfully. I then tried to screw in some small clamps to hold my workpiece in place but couldn't get them to work right since the thread inserts were at slight angles, which were amplified through the clamps and couldn't sit flat on the stock. I can't use it with the clamps as I had intended and will need to be remade with the proper tooling to be able to use the clamps, which is a project for the future. As it stands, the new wasteboard will work great for non-clamp related work holding, namely double-sided tape for smaller stock.

Harris Family
tag:buildsbygideon.com,2013:Post/1476927 2019-11-12T22:03:51Z 2019-11-13T00:30:46Z Oneshop Redding | Custom Business Ornaments | Laser Engraver

I was recently contacted by a church friend to design and make 50 small wooden ornaments for gift baskets they where giving to their top clients.

I did some quick calculations and looked online for the cost of the wood necessary for the project and quoted her $1.45ea. I found the wood would cost me $12.00 off of Amazon, which gave me five sheets of 300mm x 200mm x 1.5mm, and I could fit 11 per sheet at about 70mm in diameter; this would yield me enough plus a couple extra for mistakes. 

For the wood, I decided upon basswood as it was one of the cheaper materials which had excellent rigidity at about 1/16". If I weren't looking for something so rigid, I would probably go with something to cut faster so the overall machine time would be lower.

For securing the wood to the bed of the laser cutter, I just used some double-sided painters tape, which worked out quite well and was easy to remove afterward.

For the actual design process was very simple, I used adobe illustrator to design everything. She wanted her business's logo on the front and "Thank you" engraved on the back and a single 8mm hole on top to attach a string.

The runtime was 9 minutes for the back and 14 minutes for the front. I started with the end as it would be easier to work with because the text didn't need to be perfectly centered.

After getting the first sheet of 11 done and working out some of the kinks, I was able to whip through the rest pretty quick and sanded the edges where necessary from burn marks and where it didn't cut all the way through.

Harris Family
tag:buildsbygideon.com,2013:Post/1475270 2019-11-08T19:35:19Z 2019-11-08T19:35:19Z Oneshop Redding | Setting Up a Coolant System | Shapeoko CNC

After successfully cutting aluminum with pretty decent quality, I wanted to improve the efficiency of it. The major problem I tried to solve was that of coolant. I've tried running the machine without coolant, and it works just not well; it overheats way too fast and leaves burn marks.

With coolant works much better and I sat there and watched the machine the whole time spraying it with compressed air and pure wd-40 lubricant, which was time-consuming and meant I couldn't leave the router to work on other projects.

After posting about cutting aluminum on Instagram, someone mentioned that there was a product just for this issue. I was already aware of its existence, but not sure about the price and how easy it was to setup. After doing a bit of research, I came across this video, which explained how to set up a cheap coolant system with an air compressor and liquid coolant. The way it works is it combines the compressed air and liquid coolant and sprays it out through an adjustable nozzle pointed at the tool.

The video had links to all the different products I would need, and so I purchased them all, and they came in the following week.

The setup was straightforward. The only thing not listed was PTFE tape, which allows it to have a perfect seal, and no air leaks out. I also added for ease of use was magnets. I bought two large magnets from Lowes and attached one to the router base on the Shapeoko and the other to the side of the mist system. I wanted a simple detach system as this machine commonly for cutting wood, and the mist system would get in the way pretty quickly.

I found that the air regulator 20 PSI that he recommended in the video was not enough for what I wanted, so I just raised that to 30 PSI, which worked well for my projects.

Once I started up the machine, I knew I had a problem right away. The magnets I got started sliding around from the vibrations of the router, which was not good. From the vibration, it meant that if I had the nozzle positioned wrong, I could get knocked into the tool which would grind and possibly break it or have an equally disastrous outcome.

A quick solution was to glue some pieces of wood to the sides of the magnets; this makes them sit parallel with each other and prevent vibrations from moving it in the vertical direction. The wood worked to a certain extent, but it didn't feel very sturdy and didn't look very pretty, so I designed a simple brace for the magnets to sit on so they fit inside of each other and keep things sturdy; which I will cut out of aluminum later.

Harris Family
tag:buildsbygideon.com,2013:Post/1472867 2019-11-01T23:17:33Z 2019-11-04T01:23:13Z Oneshop Redding Lazer Engraving Guitar Picks
I started a small side project for my sister on the laser engraver.

She wanted a series of guitar picks laser engraved with some specific quotes and Bible verses as a gift to her boyfriend.

The lighter ones at the top are oak and the bottom darker ones are coconut. I believe she got these off of Etsy.

I did a couple of test runs on some scrap wood to make sure everything looked fine and had the right color tones. Everything looked fine so I exported each design separately and manually did each one. I probably could have done it all at once but I didn't want to take that big of a risk.

I only messed up one and that was the heart and initials, I set the home to be a few millimeters higher than I meant to and so it sat a bit high on the pick.

Unfortunately, the coconut ones where so dark it's hard to make out what they say and there really isn't anything that can be done for that. My sister asked if it was possible to inlay it with a gold plate but it's not really viable for this situation as the lettering was so small that it would be hard to get it in. In addition to that, the laser goes by layer by layer which leaves small line marks if you look closely.

My father actually mentioned something to me a few weeks ago that I hadn't really thought about. A paint or powered base coloring that would get melted or fused with the material to give it coloring. After doing a bit of searching I did find a paint that does just that. I'm really curious about what it would turn out like so I may order a bottle in the near future.

Harris Family
tag:buildsbygideon.com,2013:Post/1472861 2019-11-01T23:11:25Z 2019-11-01T23:11:26Z Oneshop Redding Cutting Aluminum (part two)

Over the past few days, since I did the first aluminum cut, I've been researching the most efficient ways to cut aluminum with a clean finish.

I found that the vertical cutting height should be much higher than my previous 0.2mm. This time I set it at 6mm cut depth and place it at 0.1mm optimal load; the sound wasn't quite like I would have liked, so I tweaked it a bit and got to sound a bit better.

I also found that using compressed air helps with chip removal; I already knew this, but I found with a combo of compressed air, and the silicone gets a clean-cut, and you can see what's going on.

I was able to cut down the stock to about 5mm and then start cutting out the logo design that I modeled a few weeks back. It all went very smoothly without any hitch, though I did have to be there as I didn't trust it on its own.

I started with a 1/4" 4 flute carbide bit to mill out the smaller stock, then switched over to a 1/8" 4 flute carbide bit to clear out the shallower areas and to do the final touches.

The significant difference between this cut and the previous cut operations I did the other day of the same model as I didn't understand how to set the Rest Machining option; this means the rest of the stock to cut from the previous operations.

I tried something new here as well, which was taping the underside of the stock and the board and glued the two sides together for a more secure fit. I did this primarily because I knew I wanted to cut the part out of stock, and I didn't want it loose.
I noticed that toward the end, one side of the stock was higher than the other and so I started cutting into the tape before its final pass, which was not ideal.

Since I had to be there watching and blasting it with air, it was not ideal. I've got an idea to add a few nozzles which I can attach to the air compressor so I can let it run on its own.

So the bits I got from my brother (see earlier post) were for cutting steel and titanium, which, as it happens, is not ideal for cutting aluminum. I thought it would be just using a harder bit than necessary but would work just as well, but not.

Harris Family
tag:buildsbygideon.com,2013:Post/1471728 2019-10-31T17:01:06Z 2019-10-31T17:01:06Z Oneshop Redding Cutting Aluminum

After acquiring the aluminum stock and endmills to cut it, I need to figure out what feeds and speeds to start cutting the material to achieve a decent outcome.

I started with a flat plain cut to remove some of the access material and give it a smooth surface to begin my next operation. I didn't realize till I started cutting that the aluminum stock is not perfect perfectly flat on top, I added an extra 0.5mm to the top of the stock to clear it off in case it was imperfect, which worked out well.

I set it at 203mm/min (8in) and 0.5mm stepdown with a 1/4" 4 flute endmill. I can probably have more of a stepdown and even increase the speed, but I'm playing it safe for now. These bits are seriously expensive, and I don't want to ruin anything in my first go.

The outcome was not a huge success; the tool edges were a bit worn just slightly enough that it left some stock when it should have cut. The chip evacuation wasn't the greatest either, so I'm going to try using compressed air and silicone wd-40 lube to give it more of a chance. Overall though the places it did cut have a very nice finish to it, something about CNC cut aluminum feels so good, such a perfectly smooth top.

The sound of the machine didn't sound like I was hoping. So for the next cut, I'm going to lower the optimal load on the bit, which should decrease the size of the chips and have a smoother finish. While cutting the aluminum heated up quite a bit and got to the point where it was too hot to touch, I think the reason why it was heating up so much is because of chip evacuation; the chips couldn't get out fast enough and so were recut and started welding with the tool. The outcome was a very rough finish and a definite color change along with it being much sharper of a surface finish.

Attempt number two, it was more successful than yesterday, I bought a can of wd-40 silicone lubricant and sprayed it periodically while it was cutting, and that did the trick, I sped it up quite a bit faster than before, and it kept up. This time the aluminum only got a little warm and all the chips consistent and small. It sounded much much better than before and had a cleaner finish. 
I tried running a few cleanup passes but didn't quite get them down right, so I ended up cutting places where I shouldn't. Very pleased with the outcome, even though it didn't look as clean as I would have liked. One thing I keep forgetting to try is compressed air that would remove the chips from getting recut, and I feel it would keep the material from overheating.
Harris Family
tag:buildsbygideon.com,2013:Post/1471116 2019-10-28T18:43:30Z 2019-10-31T18:03:36Z Oneshop Redding CNC Aluminum & Bits

I finally got down to it and ordered a couple of aluminum cutting bits for the Shapeoko CNC router. I bought them off of the site Bits and Bits which has a wide selection of them to choose from. I ordered a 1/8" 3 flute end mill bullnose and the same of 1/16" for smaller details. They were both about $22 each and adding shipping that bumped it up to $54.00 which is quite a lot for just two bits.

Shortly after they came in my brother gave me 14 used endmills from his shop down in Nevado CA as a late birthday gift. This was great as they were easily $20-35 a piece which I could never afford on my own. They were a bit worn from cutting titanium but a few of them where in decent shape. They ranged from a 1/2" thick to 1/16" which is going to really give me a wide range to practice with. Unfortunately, the Shapekoko can only hold up to 1/4" bits so I won't be able to use the 1/2" unless I get a new holder for it.

As for cutting material I looked a bit around online for different grades what's recommended for first cuts and found some inexpensive 6061 aluminum for $17.00 for a block 11.5"x 2.5"x 1/2".

Harris Family
tag:buildsbygideon.com,2013:Post/1464767 2019-10-11T03:03:18Z 2019-10-11T23:05:20Z Creating Outlines and Paths in Adobe Illistrator

One of the machines I have access to is a Wazer water-jet machine that uses a combination of water and an abrasive to cut through pretty much any material you desire under 3/4" in thickness.

After doing a bit of research on how to prepare the machine for cutting I realized I would need a template file to work off of to get a real experience with my own project instead of using the sample files.

I decided upon my side business logo, a basic design so easy to work off of. Now I couldn't directly drop this file into the Wazer program as it was a .png, and did not support .png files. It requires a file with a tool-path embedded in it to know where to cut. 

After doing a bit of searching online I found this tutorial which showed exactly how to convert an image into a traceable form in which I could send to the Wazer program.

Basically you import your image, select it, and under Objects > Image Trace > Expand it would trace the object outline and its ready to go to export and send to the Wazer program to get ready for cutting. If the image isn't black and white or easily traceable then you need to convert it to either a grey scale or black and white. You can do before clicking expand, under the Properties panel at the top go down till you find the Image Trace > Preset > Silhouette and this will convert it to black and white. Then click the Expand button below it.

You can see the trace lines more easily if you go to View > Outlines which will show you only the outlines of your image.

I came back the next day to laser cut it out to see if that worked fine like in the program. I placed it in the Voccell laser engraver's application and prepped it for cutting. I realized pretty quickly that I couldn't have everything cut so I figured out which parts I wanted to be engraved and which cut.

I am very pleased with the outcome!

Harris Family
tag:buildsbygideon.com,2013:Post/1464182 2019-10-09T01:51:05Z 2019-10-30T22:14:33Z Links I Found Helpful

Web links to sites and places to buy materials, bits, and problem solving. 

Machining Bits:

Assortment of cheap bits for wood and plastic

Aluminum Endmill 1/8" Shank 3 Flute and 1/8" Cutting Diameter 

Aluminum Endmill 1/8" Shank 3 Flute and 1/16" Cutting Diameter

Basics of Endmills 

Error solutions:

Shapeoko Carbide 3D error33

Mist system

Harris Family
tag:buildsbygideon.com,2013:Post/1464164 2019-10-09T01:05:42Z 2019-10-30T03:54:30Z CNC Machining Oneshop Redding error33 Alright, back at it again. So after running through a simple path to see if it would stop before completion I found that it still does, what would happen is it would go through about 40% of its path, then give the carbide an error code (error33) and stop the toolpath, I've gone through a bunch of different cuts, sometimes trying them several times and nothing worked. I've tried different outlets, different power banks entirely for the router but always had the same result. I asked my brother as he mentioned having some similar issues and tried his solutions but didn't work. What he had done was to lower the fine tolerance of the passes to have a rougher cut out, then come by later with another tool to clean it up.

After looking a bit online forums I found a few possible solutions. 

Carbide 3D's Shapeoko cnc machine was originally designed in metric VS imperial. It supports imperial, however it wasn't designed specifically for this and so has to do calculations to convert it to that and so has a lot more of a load than if you where working with metric. If this is the issue then simply designing everything in imperial then just switch the units it measures to metric when setting the tool paths.

This would also explain why not so many people are having this issue as most people use metric for designing and creating toolpath's. Which I primarily use as well but didn't have any metric measuring tapes when setting the stock and so set the unit of measurement to imperial.
Another possible reason for the issue is the sheer amount of digits it has to calculate and one guy said he solved the issue by rounding everything to only have at most 3 decimal spots. For instance, if the side load cutting rate is at 0.04195 you would simply round that to 0.042 and etc with all the settings. Apparently this reduces the overall load the machine has to take.

Here is a link to the forum that I got this information on: https://forum.shapeoko.com/viewtopic.php?t=8237

So after making a few modifications to the tool path settings, I set it running again and await the results.

Harris Family
tag:buildsbygideon.com,2013:Post/1461265 2019-09-30T18:18:39Z 2019-10-09T01:32:19Z Lazer Engraving Oneshop Redding

Oneshop has a laser engraver, the Voccell DLS can cut through and engrave quite a few materials and I was very excited to try it out. So I asked Tyler for a quick rundown on the machine and I was off. It's extremely simple to run and there is a list of materials and what outputs for each one to achieve certain things like cutting vs engraving. I did a few test runs with wood using my logo from my small side business and the speed and ease of use are insane! 

I tried it on a piece of metal with not nearly as good of an outcome but still showed up. I tried it with a painted one and anodized but pretty much the same outcome on both where it would only really show at an angle. 

After doing a couple of different test runs of a straight logo and things of that nature, I was curious on what would happen if I tried using an image and converting it to a point where it would show up on wood and still be recognizable. I found an image I liked and tried imputing it directly into the software that creates the g-code for the laser engraver, but it came up very dark and filled the entire area with a straight color which was not what I wanted as you couldn't make out anything in it. Then I remembered my father getting an app that would convert an image to have a sketchy look to it, like a hand drawing. I decided to download the app and convert the image through there, then plug it into the machine and see what would come out. This too didn't have the desired outcome, it would only show the more defined lines which didn't show very much only the bare outlines. I then took the image into photoshop and played around with the contrast, exposure and brightness to a point where I got the sketched lines to be a straight color instead of grayscale. I plugged it into the machine for an example and it looked much more promising. However, the image was of two people (my sister and her boyfriend) and his eyes came up as a straight black blob where you couldn't make out anything. I decided to clean that up manually which only took a couple of minutes and helped a lot with recognizing the people in the photo. 

Here is a photo of the final outcome and before image:

Harris Family
tag:buildsbygideon.com,2013:Post/1461232 2019-09-30T16:50:24Z 2019-10-09T01:30:41Z CNC Machining Oneshop Redding (router problems)

Today, when I got to Oneshop the router for the CNC machine, wouldn't turn on, the light would come on indicating that it has power, just the tool wouldn't spin. Was looking around thinking maybe a cord came loose or something of the sort, but nothing was loose. I asked Tyler (oneshop owner) about it and he said the brushes on the motor top may have worn down sufficiently to need to be replaced. Thankfully he had a couple of extra which I installed and that got it working again without a hitch.

After starting up another cut of Kevin (small circular paperweight) it started without issue and ran through about 80% of its path before it suddenly stopped moving. This was a bit annoying and I had noticed it doing the same with another cut. After posting this on Instagram, my brother mentioned having the same issue and that the solution was to lower the tolerance from its default 0.004in to something rougher and just create a new toolpath to clean it up afterward to get a cleaner finish. The reason it does that is the computer has to calculate each layer and multiplies over and over to the point where it overloads and crashes. I believe this is just an issue with this specific machine though I haven't tried it on the larger one they have.

Harris Family
tag:buildsbygideon.com,2013:Post/1458802 2019-09-24T02:38:50Z 2019-10-09T01:30:17Z CNC Machining Oneshop Redding

Unfortunately, today didn't start off on a very good foot. Number one, I forgot to save my files from what I did before so I had to start from scratch, which I didn't think would be an issue. Second, I forgot a few of the steps to getting started. My first problem arose when I tried setting the tool for the router and it wouldn't accept a 1/8" drill bit when I put in all the info. I tried other bits and those worked without issue. I called my brother up @jehtradedollar and asked him why this would be. I feel pretty dumb because this was specifically mentioned in the tutorial I watched nearly a dozen times, and that is, drill bits can't be used to mill out a stock, they can only be used for up and down, so drilling a hole straight down would be an example. He said that if its some cheap bit that doesn't have specifications on the packaging then just to set it as either a flat tip or ball. In this case, I chose a ball head tip even though the actual bit is something different. One of the other issues I kept running into was the router would dive into the wood. How it should work is a slow spiral down descending at about .5mm per layer until it touched the wood at which point it would slow down even more and continue on its toolpath. This would prevent it from starting too early if you were to set the y-axis too high, or measured something wrong in the program. The issue I was having is where the machine would stall as its rising then crash down skipping a gear and the machine would think it's still high above the wood and would cut more than it could eat. The problem, like the other one, was pretty obvious, the wood I was using was 1 5/16" and the router was set too low so when it was raised it would get raised to the maximum height at which point it would stall, then plummet. The solution for this was simple and had a couple of different options. The one I went with was to swap the wood out with something shorter. This was a simple fix which may not be a solution for larger parts. Another fix would be to set the router higher, this would allow the maximum height to be set higher and so wouldn't stall going over 1.5". Another solution would be to set the raised height at which the router descends from to start its spiral to be lower over the wood. For this I set it to be about 1/2" above the wood at which point it would start its descent. 

Harris Family
tag:buildsbygideon.com,2013:Post/1436226 2019-07-23T00:35:41Z 2019-07-23T19:14:17Z Airsoft Tracer Unit Project

I started a project a couple of weeks ago to build a tracer unit for my airsoft rifle. 

What is a tracer unit you might ask?

Without going deep into it, a tracer unit is a small unit that attaches to the end of your barrel that lights up whenever a bb passes through it. These bb's are not any bbs but glow in the dark ones. Glowing in the dark bb's is mostly useful for dark rooms and helps to see what you are firing at without using a flashlight that would give away your position.

The issue with buying them was, plain and simple, the price. For a half-decent tracer unit, it will run you upwards of $75. I was not about to pay that for such a small improvement.

That's where I started to think up a design for my tracer unit. I began by acquiring a pack of ultraviolet LEDs from amazon and used that as a base to start 3D modeling. I was initially going to have it 5" long, and seven sets of LEDs, two per set. After modeling a quick prototype, I printed it and tested by tossing a bb through. It lit up as it passed through, and stayed lit for 3-5 seconds.

Then, looking to improve and give it an overall smaller profile, I lowered the sets of LEDs to 3 instead of the 7. Using 6 LEDs, I dropped a glow-in-the-dark bb, and it lit for several seconds after it passed through.

Next, I had to figure out how to wire everything and keep it all small and concise. I at first looked into fitting a AAA battery inside of it somehow but abandoned that as it would require 3.4v to give it the proper illumination, and AAA's only gave 1.5v. Then I started looking into wiring it to the gun itself. I wouldn't need to take it off very often, and I have a mock peq box on the front of my rifle that I could use to house the battery. From there, I designed two holes in which I could feed the + and - wires through. From there I would have them each run down a side of the tracer unit, and each of the LED wires would be soldered to their corresponding side.

After figuring the wiring setup, I went back to the battery. I had an issue; I wanted to use AAA batteries as they were small enough to fit inside the peq box and could hold enough charge to last a while. After doing a bit of researching, I found that if you put connect batteries, you can increase the voltage, essentially adding 1.5v every cell I attached. From there I soldered three batteries end to end, positive to negative as a pack using metal plates I manufactured out of some scrap conductive metal. After spending an hour or two trying to figure out why it wasn't giving the proper voltage (1.5v with three batteries instead of 4.5), I figured out that I wired it wrong. I had soldered the plates properly, just connected the wires to the wrong sides. I fixed that, and it gave the propper voltage output (around 4.2v).

I decided against going through the headache of trying to figure out how to use light sensors to detect when a bb passes through the tracer unit. It seemed like a lot of work for not a lot of gain, maybe a for a future project. I had also bought a pack of on-off switches, I wired the battery up to it, and everything worked like it should and lit up properly.

Then I put it on my gun... and well, it didn't work as it should. The bbs barely held any of its charges and died very shortly after firing. Maybe half a second after it left the barrel it died. It was very disappointing; the LEDs illumination was at its max output. Anyway long story short, those LED's weren't going to work. And this is where the project halted; I could order new, larger LEDs, which I would imagine would fix the issue. Until then, this is a failed project.

Harris Family
tag:buildsbygideon.com,2013:Post/1426682 2019-07-18T18:58:16Z 2019-07-23T19:14:23Z Fusion360 - Airsoft CZ-P09 Carbine Kit Project

What is a carbine kit, and why is it useful?

In airsoft, and with real guns, there is a thing called a carbine kit which pretty much converts a handgun/pistol into a full carbine. The primary purpose of this is to have more stability and the option of optics as a secondary. Here is a photo of a Glock Carbine Kit designed for a 9mm handgun. 

Was there an existing product, and is it worth buying?

There have been carbine kits made for quite a few different model handguns, except the ASG CZ-P09. This particular gun is ubiquitous in the airsoft world and performs exceptionally well for its price. There have been several individuals that have made their P09 carbine kit but none on the market. Carbine kits, in general, are not very popular. The reason being is that if you want a full carbine, you will buy one. And if you want a handgun, you'd just run with the gun, which means that demand, in general, is not very high.

Design Inspiration

After asking around on a few different sites to see if people would be interested in purchasing a carbine conversion kit for the CZ P09, it looks like there is a small market for them.

I started by looking at different existing carbine kits via google and looking at how other carbine kits had been designed and standard features. Initially, I was not going to add an extra mag holder as it seemed like a lot of work for something that wouldn't be very useful, but after watching reviews of them, I found that it would be worth modeling.

After a bit of digging, I found a design I liked, the SRU Carbine Conversion Kit for the Glock17 and like models. I loved this particular carbine kit for its small body and compact look about it. The carbine kit would attach to the underside of the rail on the P09. There would be an inverted rail as apart of the carbine kit body and once the gun is in you would screw a nut upwards to fasten the P09 to the carbine kit securely. The folding stock idea came from an old Airsoft AK47. It had a folding stock that locks into place using a spring and ledge to keep it from folding to the side when in use.

First product

I started the design process by importing a 3D model of the P09 to use as a base and design around. In addition to the 3D model of the P09, I was able to get my hands on one as well to get more precise measurements. I knew from the outset that I wanted a mag holder and folding stock to set it aside from your typical carbine kit. I also knew that I wanted to have a two-tone one to make it stand out, and it would help with breaking the design up for ease of printing.

After a few hours of modeling and finding all the constraints, I fell upon a design I liked and printed a piece of it to test the size on the gun. It 3D printed beautifully and attached correctly to the underside of the rail on the P09 itself. I only printed the front rail portion that attaches to the gun rather than 3D Printing the entire model.

Before getting my hands on the actual P09 gun, I used the model I found online as a base and just modified it afterward to get more precise measurements. Starting without the P09 in hand gave me issues down the line, I wanted to make sure I had plenty of wiggle room in case the P09 3D model was off. It was a mistake to design this way because it meant that everything was more substantial than what was strictly necessary and would require a lot more work to prevent the final product from having a lot of bulk to it. The folding stock turned out very well for a first attempt and needed hardly any modifications to bring it up to excellent working order.

Below is a video of the folding stock, prototype:

Harris Family
tag:buildsbygideon.com,2013:Post/1411578 2019-05-28T18:56:28Z 2019-05-28T18:56:51Z Fusion360 - Designing Wall Mounts for my Monitors
My desk is almost always messy and cluttered, no matter how many times I clean it, it always seems to get back to its former state. I used a wooden box to raise my monitors so I wouldn't have to look down and strain my neck over time.

Was there an existing product, and is it easier or cheaper to buy that?: I have looked into purchasing wall mounts in the past; however, they were $30 each. Buying wall mounts might not seem like a lot for a one-time thing, but if I ever needed more, then that would add up fast. Currently, I have two monitors, and that alone would mean $60 just for wall mounts. I don't think so. Designing and making one would be cheaper. Maybe not in labor spent, but it would also increase my knowledge of how to use Fusion360 (an engineering software) and give me something to add to my future portfolio.
Starting the plan, I had first to figure out if it was even possible to mount them without going through a lot of trouble. I took my monitors off their current stand and looked at how they were attached. There was a plate that slides in under the monitor and holds it up from the center base of the monitor. Finding this out, I then started designing a piece that would match the one on the stand to hold it upright. 

I was initially thinking of designing it as a solid one-piece mount not able to be moved or rotated. I quickly realized I could have the rotational ability from a GoPro design. How it works is the GoPro has two arms that have a hole going through them, and they would slide in the middle of 3 other divisions, and a screw would go through those, and when you tighten the pin, you will tighten the hold which would then decrease movability. 
I was kind of afraid that the PLS plastic would not be strong enough to hold the monitors up before looking to see how they attached to the stands. But since the holder sits inside of the monitor, all the weight would be pushed down which would, in turn, forced onto the supports which would make the weight of the monitor's relay onto the studs in the wall.

First Product:
After designing a replica of the mount from the stand; I implemented the rotation as mentioned earlier design and added three arms to be held by the central wall mount. After printing this, I started work on the second piece; the holder for it, that would attach to the wall. The second part was much simpler to design as I didn't have to be nearly as precise as when creating the first part that slides into the monitor. Something I realized later was to angle the bottom of the second piece to face inwards for both monitors, so I have a bit better of a flow of the two monitors together.
First piece:
Note: The two arms at the top left face up into the monitor, and the plate on the right supports it from falling forward.
Second piece:

Fails and attempts:
After 3D printing both parts, I had to do some sanding to get them to fit. After getting everything all snug, I slid the screw through and tightened it at the other end with a wingnut. Then tested to see if it would fit in the monitor no problem; it worked beautifully. I then attached a piece of wood from an old pallet and screwed that into the wall studs for support. I then attached the wall mount adapter to the wood and rested the monitor on top. Everything held, on the first try!  

I then started the next print for the other monitor and left it overnight to print. Well, here's where I made my first mistake. 3D printing prints in layers upward, well I printed both of them flat, the reason this was a mistake is because of the layer lines, this makes a weakness, and it doesn't take a lot of stress for it to snap along a single layer. And because everything was printed from the bottom up, that meant that the part that attaches the two had vertical layer lines when on the wall. These horizontal layers suggest that if you applied enough pressure, it would break. 

I didn't find this out until after I installed the other monitor and was trying to get the wires to go to the side that it all came crashing down. Thankfully I was there to catch it, so neither monitor got damaged. I was wracking my brain, trying to figure out a solution. I could print it on its side, and it would be much more stable; yes, it would be more sturdy overall. However, this wouldn't fix the overall problem of having such a small point where the pressure of the monitors would be pressing on all day long where any slight movement of the monitor would make it slightly weaker. And, over time, this would break.

I had to think up a whole new design and way of attaching it to the wall. I wouldn't be able to use my previous model as that would not hold. I then took apart the monitor stands that I had initially and realized I could take them all the way down to the adapter that sits inside of the mounts, which means that all I had to do was design a piece that would house the adapter and attach it the same way that the stand had. This new model took me 30 minutes to create and then an hour to print. 

Final Outcome:
After screwing in the monitor adapter onto my new wall mount, I tested to make sure everything snapped in when attached to the monitor. Everything worked perfectly without any issues whatsoever. I mounted my monitors and was able to rotate them up and down to get the perfect viewing angle. Because of the wall attached monitors, it cleared up quite a bit of space on my table for new projects and overall cleanliness.

Here is a photo of my new and improved workspace:

What I would have done differently knowing what I know now.
I didn't think of angeling the wall mounts slightly to make screen viewing easier on the eyes, which is why one of my monitors is vertical with the wall while the other is at an angle.
I would've added a bit more support to the new design by increasing the height of them, for the longevity of wall adapters. 
Harris Family
tag:buildsbygideon.com,2013:Post/1362031 2019-01-10T19:45:32Z 2019-01-10T19:45:32Z Airsoft - Increasing Accuracy

After understanding the basics of how a gearbox works we can now go into some of the more complicated stuff such as increasing the accuracy of your gun.

One very important thing you want in an airsoft gun is accuracy. Before I get into how to increase your accuracy there is one thing I need to clear up. Accuracy is consistency, meaning you want your bb to travel where you are expecting it to go. The gun is always accurate in the sense that the bb will travel where it's going to travel, but you want to know where it will travel and you want it to go there every time.

One way of doing this is upgrading the quality of the inner barrel as well as the diameter of it. The tighter the inner barrel is the less room it has to veer off in a different direction. The quality of the inner barrel is key for overtime ware and are keeping it as seamless as possible.

Another way to increase accuracy is to upgrade the bucking (rubber piece on the barrel for hop up) and here you have a few options. You can simply go with a higher quality bucking or you can go with different styles. The typical style you will find in most guns is around oval being pushed down upon the bb from the top. This works but is not the most effective as if it is even 2mm off center your bb will veer off in a different direction then desired. 

Another form of hopup is called the flat hop. This is essentially a flat nub being applied to the bucking to give it an even flatness over the bb so that there is no one point that has more pressure on the bb. 

Then there is the r-hop, r-hop or round hop is a piece of rubber that is fitted over the window in the barrel and seamless with the outside of it as well as with the inside. It's essentially filling in the window as if it was never there but its rubber and not metal. This applies a more even spread of hopup going down nearly half way and has contact on all parts of the upper half of the bb. This is more consistent and so creates better accuracy.

The downside to an r-hop is it has to be very very precise, meaning that each rubber piece is fitted to the inner barrel and cannot be just bought and slapped on any old barrel. Which means either you do it yourself or you pay someone to do it for you, which is very expensive, costing anywhere from $40-150 depending on the length of the barrel.

Another way of creating consistency is to create a consistent air seal. Meaning the same amount of air is coming out every single time. One way of doing this is putting silicone lubricant on the o-rings inside the gearbox. This makes them puff out more which makes a tighter fit allowing no air to escape. Another way is to replace the parts creating the air seal with better quality stuff and dual o-rings making it nearly impossible for air to escape.

Harris Family
tag:buildsbygideon.com,2013:Post/1361768 2019-01-09T19:57:54Z 2019-01-09T19:57:54Z Airsoft - Into the Gearbox

For the most part, airsoft guns are very similar in their function, there is a gearbox inside the base of the gun that compresses air and releases it firing the bb forward.

There are 4 separate gears that travel from the motor to the piston which allows air to flow through the nozzle propelling the bb forward. The motor head has a small pinion gear that interacts with the bevel gear which interacts with the spur gear which interacts with the sector gear that pulls the piston back and springs forward which compresses air and releases that through the air nozzle at the top right of the gearbox. 

The air is compressed by a piston with a rubber seal being pulled back by the sector gear then shot forward by the spring. By replacing the spring you can increase or decrease the fps (feet per second) of the bbs. The stronger the spring is the faster the bb will travel. 

The trigger consists of two plates of metal touching which completes a circuit allowing power to flow to the motor. 
The sector gear has two metal nubs on it that pull back what is called a tappet plate. This pulls the nozzle back to load another bb into the hopup chamber.
Hopup Chamber.
Hopup applies backspin upon the bb as it flies through the barrel. It is not apart of the gearbox but attaches to it. To apply backspin there is a 1" rubber bucking that goes over the barrel and covers a little window in the barrel. Then there is a small nub that is applied over that window that interacts with the bb as it flies through which applies backspin allowing the bb to travel up, down or strait to allow it to go farther. 

Harris Family
tag:buildsbygideon.com,2013:Post/1350662 2018-12-06T00:52:26Z 2019-07-23T19:15:41Z ]]> Harris Family tag:buildsbygideon.com,2013:Post/1344613 2018-11-16T18:45:39Z 2019-07-23T19:15:47Z SketchUp & Layout for Architecture | Texturing, Furniture, & Driveway

Once the initial schematic design is complete you can go through and add textures and fixings to fill up space and detect the rooms that need modifying and adjustments.

Do not spend too much time modeling the kitchen, the objective is to create a simple simulation of how the kitchen would be played out not every detail like trim, hinges, and knobs.

You want it simple so you can make fast changes as you go over the design with your client.

Use simple boxes to represent drawers and cupboards and subdivide them with horizontal lines to separate them from each other. The counter is done slightly differently, create a group aside from the rest of the rest of the kitchen unit and make it one object and paint it with the countertop texture of your choosing.

It's important to include these things to represent the furniture needed to fill each space and the flow of the house. The furniture should not be things you are modeling manually. Just grab them from the SketchUp warehouse.

Once your interior is complete for the schematic design phase its now time to focus on the exterior. Namely, the driveway. 

Bring your house model back into the terrain model. Next, create a plane large enough to cover the front of the house where the driveway will be located. Then intersect it with the house model to create the outline that you can work off of.

Next, hide your house model and change your perspective view to parallel perspective and look from the top viewport. Disable any layers that aren't necessary for this phase such as building setbacks etc. Make sure your main road, terrain contour lines and obstructions such as tree locations and large boulders. As well as hiding the terrain model or make it 2D.

Then, using the line tools you can begin to model the driveway, keep in mind the location of where it is located in tandem with the terrain contours. Meaning, find a spot that has a lower slope. Once you are fished modeling it save a copyright before you drape it on the terrain. 

Next, select the driveway and enable the terrain model and drape the driveway upon the terrain. Texture it beforehand if necessary 

Harris Family
tag:buildsbygideon.com,2013:Post/1342390 2018-11-15T01:16:18Z 2019-07-23T19:15:53Z SketchUp & Layout for Architecture | Roofs, Windows, Decks/Patio's, & Doors

When modeling the roof you want to only model the overall construction of the roof and not try to design the specifics. That will come in later. Model everything in the roof construction minus the tiles/shingles as they are not necessary for this step and will only get in the way. But add a shingle texture after for presentation.

If the roof is very complex or you are on a tight schedule don't worry about the roof segments intercepting each other. This stage of the design it doesn't matter any interior interceptions because all you need for this are the exterior elevations and if you make it too complicated it will make it more difficult to change it in the future.

The key is to keep it as simple as possible to make future changes go faster and with less time-consuming problems.

Make very rough estimations for the roof then clean them up before sending it to Layout for elevation and renderings.

For making decks and patios you want to bring your building back into the terrain model to reference it and decide how to go about creating them as it plays a huge part in placement and size. Like modeling the rest of the house only design the outer frame of the deck and not the finishes on top.

Making windows you only want to create a simple rectangle cut out and apply a glass texture to it or if you already have a window model you can bring that in but only do it if it's already cut to size. Don't spend too much time getting the exact framing of the windows and focus more on the whole shape.

Doors are slightly different. You want to cut out the size for a generic door and then model the approximate thickness of the door and rotate it in the middle of where it would swing. For example, if your front door swings inward when opened you would have it on a 45-degree angle inside the house and etc.

For doors, you want to be more precise and get the trim done (nothing fancy just a simple rectangular shape around the door) to emphasize the size

Harris Family
tag:buildsbygideon.com,2013:Post/1330404 2018-10-08T22:59:06Z 2019-07-23T19:15:56Z SketchUp & Layout for Architecture | Building Model

Once the site plan is complete with camera views for elevations and perspective scenes, its ready to start modeling the building.

Working with your client you can setup the floor plan, doing this either on paper or in a blank SketchUp file. This is to get the general layout of the building and location of each room. Then refine it on your own and clean it up.

Next go into your site plan and create a large plane (enough to fit all the setback lines within) and start sectioning the rooms off of that with a single line to divide them and adding no detail to it.

Make sure the building is within the setback and property lines and make the thickness of the floor. To set the thickness of the floor you want to find the complete width of the supports of the floor not including the finish, such as wood or tiling.

If the terrain is a lot higher in one area than another for a room you can select that separately and lift or lower it accordingly. 

Once you have your outline of the building you want to extract that and put it into another file to work within. If not the layers could get mixed and messed up. Then bring the building model back into the terrain file as a component and just update it when needed.

When copying it out you must copy the property line with it and copy from the origin and paste to the origin in the new file.

Harris Family
tag:buildsbygideon.com,2013:Post/1316460 2018-08-30T00:13:10Z 2019-07-23T19:16:01Z SketchUp & Layout for Architecture | Site Plan 4

Once you have your 3D terrain you can then use a tool called drape. This allows you to drape certain objects from the layers onto the 3D terrain. Select the layer you want to drape and select the terrain then click the drape tool.

Trees, using fully realistic 3D trees can look amazing but slow down the program a whole lot. However 2D trees may not show enough detail and won't look right from an overhead viewport. So you want a hybrid of these two. Basic 2D planes but several of them to make it look 3D.

Placement of trees should be easy now that you have draped on the tree's locations.

When draping items onto the terrain such as the road and boundary lines that you may want to texture you want to make sure that they are fully closed entities. So that when its draped it will remain closed, and so allows you to texture it.

Once tweaking the terrain a bit until it's satisfactory you can then create viewports for Layout. Change your viewpoint to have it completely flat. Next, go to the overhead view of your model and hold shift+z then hide all layers except the ones you wish to include in Layout. Add styles as needed and do this for each layer.

Harris Family
tag:buildsbygideon.com,2013:Post/1315780 2018-08-27T23:44:24Z 2018-08-27T23:44:24Z SketchUp & Layout for Architecture | Site Plan 3

Once you have each layer defined with the survey you want to set the north compass to the green axes. Next, you want to import the google earth texture to compare and add to your site.

Import the geolocation of your site from google earth which has a tool specifically for that in SketchUp. You don't want the 3D terrain for the time being so you can just hide that temporarily.

Make sure you set the green axes to north on the geolocated texture. 

To find the exact direction of North you can use the coordinates from the survey and then work off of the predefined lines in the site survey. 

If your site survey has a north direction other than the green axes and it is important for you to have accurate shadows you need to do these steps.

You will need to clear the shadows setting from the scenes bar so that they can be reconfigured. Using the solar north plugin. Adjust your compass from the site plan and rotate the image to match the green axes. 

Next, you can review your geolocated texture and the site plan and manually add in other objects that you wish.

Optimizing contour lines. SketchUp has a built-in tool that allows you to create terrain from contour lines. This is optional but will create more perspective while designing and will give you more ideas for the building. You want to create more than enough contour lines so that you will have space enough for your building and for Layout documentation.

Since you are drawing more terrain than needed you don't need to be precise. So this means you can manually draw them out with the freehand tool.

Now use the sandbox, from contours tool and elevate it into a 3D object

Harris Family
tag:buildsbygideon.com,2013:Post/1314902 2018-08-24T23:56:44Z 2018-08-24T23:56:44Z SketchUp & Layout for Architecture | Site Plan 2

To start modeling you want to import your site survey.

Having a bunch of different layers for the site is good for the organization.

Default layer - Default layer that should always be active

Google earth - Layers will contain images and terrain from google earth

building model - Building model to be placed in the site

object layers - Objects such as terrain, trees, and rocks

Special Layers - Property lines,  setbacks, and easements

Importing CAD site survey, Before opening the DWG file into SketchUp it is best to first open it in CAD to do some cleanup to the file.SketchUp will automatically delete things like dimensions, text, hatching, etc. Once it is imported into SketchUp you will want to do some cleanup and start to assign layers. 

Before you begin organizing the imported CAD, its best to make each layer have its lines show the same color that the layer is set to. pg-64-65

Once you assign everything to each layer you then want to purge the model. This essentially removes all objects that are not assigned to layers as well as layers that have nothing assigned to them. This likely won't remove all the entities you want to get rid of so you have to manually go through and delete objects you wish to remove.

Harris Family
tag:buildsbygideon.com,2013:Post/1314373 2018-08-22T23:17:44Z 2018-08-22T23:17:44Z SketchUp & Layout for Architecture | Site Plan, Client Information, & File organization

Creating a site plan before modeling your design ideas is ideal to capture the terrain, sun exposure, and wind to optimize the best building located on the site.

Predesign information, the location of tree's other structural buildings in lots nearby is important to the design phase. 

Find out what is important to the client to then incorporate their thoughts into your design.

The existing site is will play a very large part in the designing of the building.

Typically you would hire a site surveyor to provide you with a CAD file of the site for you to work off of.

The site survey should include

Property Lines - This would define the line of the property for you to design within

Property setbacks - There are certain restrictions for building on most sites that require a certain distance from things like roads and other properties.

Site contours - This defines the terrain where it rises and falls.

Roads - Knowing the location of the road is important for setting the location of the driveway and garage. 

Utilities - Pipelines such as water and sewage for designing is important to keep needless extra work from occurring.

Adjacent buildings - You need to know the location of nearby buildings to see how this affects your project. 

Trees - Trees and other vegetation are important for either removal or preservation of them during the construction phase.

Views - Waterfall's, mountains or other scenery is important to note for the placement of windows and outdoor features.

Compass - The site survey should have a compass facing north to define the direction of the site.


Client Program

One of the most important pieces of information is to find out the expectations and requirements of the project are. Things like family size, lifestyle, accessibility, style preference, business needs, room sizes and building size are all things that should be discussed with the client beforehand.

Starting a new project. The first step to starting a new project is to create a project folder and have templates to work off of.

Setting up an automatic backup file saver is very important.

Title Blocks. After making a copy of the template files you can start adding info to the title block such as client info and dates. Copy this to each file template for this project.


Harris Family
tag:buildsbygideon.com,2013:Post/1314046 2018-08-22T00:35:09Z 2018-08-22T00:35:09Z SketchUp Projects | Desk Setup

My current computer setup is a in a corner with very little workspace for other projects. So I decided to design a new one that will fit in my current place that will optimize the space and provide me with the best arrangement.

I have a computer desk setup with my two monitors on it and the desktop computer on the ground below the desk. While designing it I realized I could add more features like shelving and a side bar for personal projects. 

Trying to keep down the cost I decided to design it with 2x4 and pallet wood boards (cleaned up of course) for the top of the desk. Eventually I came up with this design:

The next step is to separate it all into different sections to make it easier to build afterward. This consisted of taking each 2x4 and grouping them with other ones into smaller sections like this:

To then organize the project and create a stable foundation for the workspace. I was considering adding a backing to the frame but decided against it in case I decide to add onto it. Each section would be built separately and then put together all at once before making sure each piece fits in its correct place.

I was originally going to have 6 2x4's as legs but ended up doing 12 and having each connected to each other for a more secure standing.

I have yet to build this and will probably make more changes as I start the project.

Harris Family
tag:buildsbygideon.com,2013:Post/1312241 2018-08-15T23:01:33Z 2018-08-15T23:01:33Z SketchUp & Layout for Architecture | Introduction

Working through the book SketchUp & Layout for Architecture by Matt Donley and documenting what I am learning.



While designing in SketchUp its important to organize your model. Doing this in the fashion of making groups and components as well as layers is really helpful.

Organizing is very important. Using layers is really helpful in modeling. You can create groups and components from objects and then assign those to layers and then toggle the visibility of those layers for ease of designing. Keeping track of each layer is key. For naming layers, you can use letter acronyms. Such as: 

  • Location layers: LO etc. so for the first floor you would put LO_1ST-FLOOR signifying the first floor. You would do the same for each level such as the basement, first floor, second, and roof.
  • Other things such as walls, doors, and furniture you would have Object Layers, OB, so for a cabinet you would put OB_CABINET. 
  • Then you would have layers for anything other than location and objects. This you would title SP, special layers. So for let's say a 2D look, you would put SP_2D and so on.

Designing Phases

While designing a home or building you will go through a few different phases:

  • Schematic Design Phase, in this stage you are working with the client designing the home, placing the rooms and general layout of the house.
  • Design Development Phase, this stage is designing the house with detail and finishing it up for rendering and documentation. Finishing up the main design of the house and set it in concrete.
  • Construction Documentation Phase, in this stage, you are cleaning up the model and documenting it with Layout and preparing to send it to the contractors.

Harris Family
tag:buildsbygideon.com,2013:Post/1311894 2018-08-15T18:16:11Z 2018-08-15T18:16:11Z SketchUp Tutorial | Keyboard Shortcuts
  • Throughout modeling in SketchUp using shortcuts can speed up things and be more helpful than finding the tool you need. We will start by opening the shortcuts tab. Go to Window->Preferences this will bring up this tab: 

  • Select the Shortcuts tab from the side list of tabs. This will update the tab so that looks like this:

  • You cannot use numbers as a preset. The reason you cannot set keyboard shortcuts to numbers because it would interfere with the measurements when modeling. You also can't use shortcuts that SketchUp has set aside for other tools. You can, however, change those in the shortcuts tab.
  • To add shortcuts simply search in the filter bar of the Shortcuts tab for the tool you wish to add a shortcut. To the left of the tab type the key you wish to use as a shortcut in the Add Shortcut box:
  •  Then select the + icon and this will add the shortcut to the Assigned box:
  • This, signifying that it has already been assigned a shortcut.
  • You can search for any tool in SketchUp and add a shortcut. The most common and most used tools will already have a shortcut assigned to them but you can change it by adding a new one in the box above.
Harris Family
tag:buildsbygideon.com,2013:Post/1311082 2018-08-11T18:06:33Z 2018-08-11T18:10:27Z SketchUp Tutorial | Getting Started Toolset
  • Getting started toolset, These are the tools you will start out with when launching SketchUp and are very important to know before starting to 3D model an object. We will start by adding the view toolbar (if they are not already activated), View->Toolbars, then select the Getting Started box. This will bring up a tab that looks like this:
  • Selection tool, this tool is used to select objects, lines, and faces. To use select the icon and left click the object you want to select. Or hit your spacebar on your keyboard for a keyboard shortcut. Icon:

  • Eraser tool, this allows you to erase lines, components, and groups with ease. To use select the eraser icon from your toolbar and hold left click over the lines you wish to remove. Icon:
  • Pencil tool, this tool allows you to create line segments from point a to point b. To use select the tool and hold left click and drag until you get the length you want. Or left click once to start the line and left click again to finish it, then click escape if you are not going to continue the line segment.  Icon:

  • Freehand, (found in the dropdown from pencil tool) this tool allows you to draw freehand, it is very hard to work with and I would not suggest it if you are trying to be accurate. To use select the tool from the toolbar or hit "L" on your keyboard and hold left click and drag. Icon:
  • Two point arc, (Found in the dropdown from arc tool) this tool allows you to create an arc from two points and then lifting up the arc. To use select tool and left click two points in your model then lift up to the desired height. Icon:
  • Three-point arc, (Found in the dropdown from arc tool) this tool allows you to create arcs from the midpoint then creating a partial or full circle. To use select tool and left click to place the midpoint of the arc, then pull out to create the radius of the circle. Now simply pull mouse and left click when you have the satisfactory arc. Icon:
  • 3 Point circumference, (Found in the dropdown from arc tool) this tool allows you to create a circle from two points then will bulge out the arc. To use select two points in your model and drag out until you get the desired arc. Icon:
  • Closed arc from a center, (Found in the dropdown from arc tool) this tool allows you to create a closed arc from the midpoint. To use select tool and left click once to create the midpoint, then select another point to create the radius, next select another point to determine the how much of the circle you are going to use. Icon:
  • Rectangle tool, (Found in the dropdown from the rectangle tool) this tool allows you to create rectangles/squares. To use select the tool and left click once where you want to start the corner of the rectangle and left click in another location to finish the rectangle. Icon:
  • Rectangle face, (Found in the dropdown from rectangle tool) this tool allows you to make a rectangle from three points rather than two and can be more accurate. To use select tool and left click to start then left click again up or down from your starting point to make the length/width and finally finish the rectangle by going the opposite direction from the second point. Icon:
  • Circle, (Found in the dropdown from the rectangle tool) this tool allows you to create a 2D circle. To use select tool and left click to create the mid-point for the circle, then select another point to finish the circle. Icon:
  • Polygon, (Found in the dropdown from the rectangle tool) this tool allows you to create any sort of polygon you want. To use select tool and type in the number of faces you want for your polygon and click enter. Next left click to create the mid-point for the polygon and select another point to finish the polygon. Icon:
  • Push-Pull tool, this tool let you make 3D objects from 2D faces, for instance, you can pull up a rectangle and make it into a 3D one. To use, select the push-pull tool from your toolbar, or press "p" on your keyboard for a shortcut, and select the face you wish to extrude. Then drag your mouse and click again to finish. Push-pull icon:
  • Offset tool, this tool allows you to offset 2D faces, for instance, if you want to create a square inside of another square you can do this very easily. To use select the offset tool from your toolbar, next select your 2D face and move your mouse in or out to offset the border, or type the angle you want. Offset icon:
  • Move tool, this tool allows you to move objects in any axes of your workspace. To use select the move icon, or press "m" on your keyboard for a shortcut, and select your object, then move your mouse to where you wish to place it. Icon:
  • Rotate Tool, this tool allows you to rotate objects quickly and easily. To use select the rotate tool from your toolbar and select the objects you wish to rotate. If you want to rotate 90d you can start the rotation and then type in "90" and hit enter. Rotate Icon:
  • Scale tool, this tool allows you to scale objects to make them larger or smaller. To use select the objects you wish to enlarge or decrease and select the scale tool from the toolbar. Select one of the yellow boxes that will appear around your model and move your mouse out or in to scale your model. Scale icon:
  • Measuring tape, this tool allows you to create dotted construction lines along your model to then use as a pattern to draw lines. To use, select the tool from the toolbar and left click once on a line segment to start the construction line, then select another point/line segment to finish it. Icon:
  • Text string, this tool allows you to add notes to your model that has a line segment from what you attach it to with a note box at the end. To use, select the tool from the toolbar and hold right click from a point you want to add a note to. To change the text box double tap left click and this will let you change the note. Icon:
  • Paint bucket, this tool allows you to texture objects in your model. This will give you perspective and speed up the designing aspect of your model. To use, select the paint bucket icon from the toolbar and it should open up a tab on the left side of your workspace titled "Materials":
  •  You can select preset materials from the dropdown or upload your own. To upload your own select the icon: 
  • This will bring up another tab entitled "Create material..." you can edit textures here too. To upload your own textures select the folder icon: 
  • Next, select your filetype. Once uploaded, you have several options. You can set the size of the image texture as well as the Opacity, color, and basic patterns. Select OK when finished. Another option you have is to pick color tool, this will allow you to select pre-existing texture colors in your model. To use, select the dropper icon and select a face. Dropper Icon location:
  •  To paint your objects select the texture you wish to use and right click the faces you want to texture. Bucket Icon: 
  • The most common is the orbit tool. To use hold your middle mouse button down and slide mouse around to get different perspectives of your model. Or select orbit icon from the view tab and hold and drag left mouse button to move perspective. Icon:
  • Panning tool, the panning tool is to move across the view face in a left, right, up down way. To use this tool hold shift+middle button and slide mouse across the screen. Or select the hand icon from the view tab and hold left click and drag to move your perspective.  Icon:
  • Zoom, the zoom tool is to get a close-up or zoom out of a model. To use, scroll middle mouse button forward and backward to zoom in and out of your model. Or select icon from view tab and drag left mouse button up and down to zoom in and out. Icon:
  • Zoom fit, this tool allows you to zoom out until the model fits your perspective screen. To use, select tool from the toolbar and will bring the perspective to see everything in your model. Icon:
  • Open Warehouse, this will bring up another tab called the warehouse, you can find models that other people have uploaded by using the keyword search at the top. To import models, select the model you want and select the red download button at the bottom. Open warehouse icon:
  • Extension warehouse, this allows you to download extensions other people have made for SketchUp, such as exporting to certain file types that SketchUp doesn't normally do. This speeds up the process of doing menial tasks as well as creating something that isn't even in SketchUp naturally. To use, select the extension warehouse tool from the toolbar and it will bring up the extension warehouse tab:
  • Search the extension you wish to add. Then press the download button to upload it to SketchUp. Extension warehouse icon:
  • Send to layout, this tool allows you to send your current model to layout for further documentation. To use simply select the send to layout tool from the toolbar and this will open layout with your model already imported. Icon:
  • Extension manager, this allows you to view your current plugins installed and managing them such as removing and updating. To use select the extension manager tool from the toolbar and this will bring up a tab showing the current extensions installed. Icon:

Harris Family