I am in charge of the Google SketchUp model of the Project Ventura trailer. At first, I was rather apprehensive of the task and wasn’t at all sure where to begin. I was not familiar with the program and the basic directions in the introduction were not helping. For the last few weeks, I have been watching videos and practicing building and dimensioning different structures. This did help me learn the basics of the software. Google SketchUp is a very elaborate program, especially considering that it is free to download (just search Google SketchUp 8 for a free download). Google SketchUp is different from the Autocad program I am used to, but there are some similarities make working with the program easier such as the navigation bar (pictured below), as well as the basic tool shapes.
What greatly differentiates Autocad and Google SketchUp in my eyes is the 3-D Warehouse. The 3-D Warehouse is available on Google SketchUp and allows for designers to create models and share them with the general public. This tool will be very helpful in adding very specific details like authentic Jalousie windows that are included in the trailer and are available on the 3-D Warehouse.
I admittedly did spend far too long learning how to create a box, but the trailer really is just an elaborate box, so I have a good start on this section of the project. Embarrassingly, I have had the most difficulty in attempting to dimension the trailer. In Autocad, a box pops up giving you space to write in the desired dimensions, yet in SketchUp, you aren’t supposed to click on anything and just type in the measurement being careful to keep units in mind. At first this threw me off, but I figured it out which has made the construction of the basic trailer much easier. In theory, the trailer should be quite simple to construct, but there are several details that make the trailer rather complicated. The curves for example, make the trailer more interesting to look at, but are more difficult to create as there is no perfect way to measure and accurately represent the curves on the model. Through trial and error I have found that using a combination of circles and arcs creates the best curves. In the image below, you can see the SketchUp model in progress, after using both the circle tool and arc tool.
(The image to the left is screen shot of the model which is in progress)
I suspect that with time, I will be able to navigate Google SketchUp more quickly and be able to make more progress on the model of the trailer. I am becoming increasingly confident that I will be able to complete this portion of the project by myself, but know that my team is willing to support me in the Google SketchUp model if I need help.