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Thread: Complex Model: components, materials and cutlist

  1. #1

    Complex Model: components, materials and cutlist

    Well, my model is nearing (drawing) completion with 58 components and 28 scenes and probably just as many layers. I had to create this seeming complexity in order to get individual drawing of parts and subassemblies in order to have drawings to take to the shop.

    I followed Dave's suggestion and took screen captures of each scene (thus each part or subassembly) and saved those to disk. I have PagePlus11, a desktop publishing program from Serif, which has the nice capability of exporting full PDFs, so I put each screen capture on a separate page (some smaller ones two to a page) and exported all to pdf. This makes a nice printed package.

    I would love to share both the model and the pdf for those who are curious, but both exceed the file size limits here on the forum. I have a dormant website which would have to be updated and setup for viewing, so perhaps I will do that if there is any expressed interest.

    Now the question: I want to use the ruby script called CutList Generator SU5 to see if I can see how much material to buy for the job. I have three materials: oak ply, oak, and poplar. Assigning materials to all of the various views and scenes has been hard and inconsistent.

    I actually revealed all layers, highlighted everything, and got an Excel printout of the lot---but there are multiples so it is still confusing.

    Sorry for the long post (at least I am trying to share an approach to getting a "design package" suitable for shop drawings). Are there any folks who can comment on this approach and suggest an efficient way to get material differentiation into the design process?

    Thanks for any comments (from anyone still around)....

    Ken

    PS: If anyone is interested, I would be glad to summarize my observations and learnings from this process. I have over 24 hours of time in creating this full model and pdf design package. ..... Anyone?

  2. #2
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    Ken,

    I have a question first. did you take screen captures of each scene or output JPGs?

    You might want to take a look at Cutlist and Materials.rb . I think it is a better plugin.

    Next, are all of the parts of the model components? If so, you should only need to apply the textures to the faces in a single instance of each component. The materials will be applied to all instances. If you aren't getting the textures applied to all instances, you're not editing the component before applying the texture. Triple click on the component to open it and select all faces before applying the texture.

    If you've started this process and it isn't right, the easiest thing to do is select the textures in the In model list and delete them making SU revert back to the default face colors. Then you can start over.

    Due to the apparent complexity of the model I would be inclined to use simple colors instead of woodgrain textures. The colors won't degrade computer performance as much. You should rename the colors so they appear in your cutlist as the desired textures.

    As far as output goes, you might consider another plugin called ado.rb which can output a file for each scene in the model. This would speed things up for you.

    I'd sure like to take a look at your SKP if you'd be willing to send it. I'd like to see how you're assembling everything.
    Irony: The opposite of Wrinkly

  3. #3
    Dave:

    I took screen captures of the scenes not of exported jpgs.

    Thanks for the script suggestions.

    Model is in the mail to you now.

    Ken

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Richards View Post
    Ken,


    Next, are all of the parts of the model components? If so, you should only need to apply the textures to the faces in a single instance of each component. .
    Dave: how does one keep track of the component vs the "instances"? Probably a dumb question borne out of poor habits.

    I would make a subassy and then make a component out of it. I would then at times copy a component from its current location (whatever instance I happened to have in the scene/subassembly) and move the copy to another location and make another scene (say, an exploded scene of the previous subassembly). It now seems obvious that I lost track of the instances vs the original component.

    I thought an edit on any instance would change all other instances as well as the original component. Is this wrong?

    Plus, to further confuse things (me) I could apply a material to a "part" (instance, component?) in one scene, yet noticed that the same "part" in another scene did not have the material applied to it. Yikes!!! <shaking head in disbelief>.

    Ken

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Close View Post
    Dave: how does one keep track of the component vs the "instances"? Probably a dumb question borne out of poor habits. No, not a dumb question. There really is no need to keep track. Once you've made copies of the original component (CTRL+Move) you can forget which one was the original. They are all "instances" of the component. editing any one of them edits all of them.

    I would make a subassy and then make a component out of it. I would then at times copy a component from its current location (whatever instance I happened to have in the scene/subassembly) and move the copy to another location and make another scene (say, an exploded scene of the previous subassembly). It now seems obvious that I lost track of the instances vs the original component. As above.

    I thought an edit on any instance would change all other instances as well as the original component. Is this wrong? No. that is correct.

    Plus, to further confuse things (me) I could apply a material to a "part" (instance, component?) in one scene, yet noticed that the same "part" in another scene did not have the material applied to it. Yikes!!! <shaking head in disbelief>. Did you simply click with the paint bucket tool on the component? That would create the behavior you saw because you weren't editing the component's faces. Instead, open the component for editing and then triple click on it to select all of the geometry in the component. Now get the material and apply it. You'll see that all other instances of that component have been painted the same way.

    A very important thing to note regarding the application of textures to components instead of their faces is that you cannot rotate or otherwise edit the texture. Try right clicking on a component that has been painted with a texture. you'll not see an entry in the context menu called Texture. If, on the other hand, you paint the actual faces of the component and then select one face and right click you'll see that entry in the Context menu.


    Ken
    I've got your model and will look at it shortly. I'll get back to you this evening.

    Dave
    Irony: The opposite of Wrinkly

  6. #6
    Dave: Thanks for the elaboration. I went and looked (again) at the videos on editing components. The steps move pretty fast and I suspect the videos are done with the Pro version instead of the free version. A number of the dialog boxes do not look like anything in the free version.

    Still....lots of details and lots of commands to learn and practice.

    Anyone else out there reading these? Any comments?

    Ken

  7. #7
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    Ken, the videos may have been done on a Mac or with an older version of SU which might account for the difference in their appearance. The dialogs are the same between the Pro and free versions.
    Irony: The opposite of Wrinkly

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Richards View Post
    A very important thing to note regarding the application of textures to components instead of their faces is that you cannot rotate or otherwise edit the texture. Try right clicking on a component that has been painted with a texture. you'll not see an entry in the context menu called Texture. If, on the other hand, you paint the actual faces of the component and then select one face and right click you'll see that entry in the Context menu.
    Oh. Well that would explain an hour or two of frustration a few nights ago. I certainly didn't spot that little point in anything I read at the time!

    The obvious followup question is to ask what the difference is in applying a texture to the component to applying to each face. Can't say I recall doing anything special!
    So do I type something witty here?

  9. #9
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    Tim, try this: Make a couple of different components and make copies of them. Without opening the first, apply a texture to it. Use one that is directional such as a wood grain. One click with the Paint Bucket tool paints the entire component but notice the copy doesn't change. Now try to reorient the grain's alignment. Right click and choose Texture>Rotate. Wait a minute! That option's not there.

    Now on the other component, triple click to open it for editing. Triple click selects all connected geometry in the component. Apply the same texture to the selected faces. Notice the copy of this component also gets painted. Right click on one of the faces and choose Texture. Now you have that option and can realign the grain as desired.

    I don't quite know how to explain why you would want to paint the component without editing it except that you might want to quickly paint instances of the same component different colors just to show someone the options. Once they've selected the one color to be used, you could go back and edit the components and apply the proper color to all of them.
    Irony: The opposite of Wrinkly

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