Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I would rather not go back to the old house

And there is no turning back at this point.. This 100+ year old house is slowly changing.  For better or for worse, here are the current drawings from the sketch up model.

I had to grab some square foot and linear foot numbers so I plunked some numbers down one each floor.  Being the dinosaur that I am, I work best in AutoCAD.  I took on Sketchup for this house as an opportunity to learn by drawing.  It has some ups and some downs.  I think drawing dimensions and getting square foot numbers absolutely sucks in Sketchup.  Maybe I just suck at using the program? I think the real struggle for this program is the lack of pre-defining viewports, and simultaneously having the ability to save views that only show certain layers as well.  Perhaps I am stuck in the 1990s.  But I learned how to draw in AutoCAD in the machine shop in high school, where having the ability to explode details of very complex, interlocking parts was essential.   

Exit strategy: Exploded view of the death ray I'm designing which may help end this renovation early

I also used to work in some of the big architecture firms in this city, and AutoCAD was the preferred overpriced software of choice.  Maybe I am just a fool, but my understanding of the idea behind most computer aided drafting programs was to have a working model (with references to other pieces of the model serviced by other disciplines [engineers, architects, interiors, plumbing, etc]), and then just create some views on that model in order to print.  Its a nice modular concept, in that it fosters collaboration and forces a central repository for all edits.  

Crude rendition of the site

However, AutoCAD always sucked for 3D stuff. It required too much memory, graphic cards, and who knows what else.  I don't know if AutoCAD still struggles in that market, but I can only imagine they do. Bottom line: Sketchup is free.

In terms of doing a quick and dirty sketch of something in 3D: it delivers.  I won't lie: I shopped around in the model warehouse just to get a base plan with dimensions to start designing a bed for the master bedroom.  The ability to import other models (in AutoCAD we called these "blocks") is awesome.  The social aspect of sharing these models is even better.  I even emailed the guy who designed a bed that I liked, and he forwarded me a more complete model to take apart.  This dude was just excited that someone else was interested in his design.  

While I know there are a ton of very complex models out there done in Sketchup, I think it works best as a proof-of-concept drawing aid, with high focus on the visual.  Not all of us are trained architects (myself included); thus, those aseptic plans and elevations done in the vector-based drawing programs do little to convince the general public of your idea.  On the designer's end, its really nice to be able to plunk a component in your drawing just to see the scale and overall juxtaposition vs. the other elements in your space.

Anyway, the plans with some interior dimensions:

1st Floor 
2nd Floor

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