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  • Shop planning software?

    I want to reconfigure my 2 car garage shop to better utilize and maximize space.

    Anybody have any experience with any software designed for this task?

  • #2
    Re: Shop planning software?

    The most basic tool I have found to plan a shop is free on Grizzly's website. You define your floor space and then proceed to drop down Grizzly tools anywhere you like.

    My preferred tool is Google's Sketchup, this tool will give you a 3-dimensional view. This tool has a steep learning curve.

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    • #3
      Re: Shop planning software?

      Personally, the biggest challenge to shop planning is the machines, and their dimensions, shapes, etc. Using a 3-D program to do a planning layout only compounds that challenge, unless you can find machines that have already been illustrated in the Google library.

      I use Corel Draw as it has been my primary illustration tool for a decade. Otherwise any drawing/drafting software that you have available is probably best. If you haven't any experience with a program of that type, then I'd strongly suggest simply going with the Grizzly program that was recommended. Well actually, it's pretty good regardless of your experience or other software availability. You just have to pick the machinery that may be close to what you have.

      Regarding Google's SketchUp, I actually found it pretty easy to learn, especially with the online tutorials that are provided. It is the only 3-D illustration program that I have been able to use with any efficiency and found it incredibly quick to actually build something on screen.

      I may well have a "brain wart" though, because with more than 40 years of experience as a technical illustrator, and half of that using programs like Corel Draw and Micrografx Designer (now owned by Corel), I think I'm pretty adept. I've even had some time on a Unigraphics 3-D system; but, when it comes to a couple of these commercially available 3-D programs they appear to be well beyond my ability to comprehend. Playing around for hours, I have yet to produce even the simplest of shapes. I guess I just "don't get it"!

      But with Google SketchUp, I had the thing singing within minutes. While each tool is simple in its operation, creating something like a table saw or drill press is complex and will take you considerable effort to illustrate. But, it can be done.

      The point is, that at this point you only want to dimension out your floor plan (easy, that's pretty much a scale drawing of a rectangle) and then position the top views of your machines. That's only a bit more complex, as you're using rectangles and circles, and angles. But still much simpler than trying to make a 3-D out of it.

      Try the Grizzly first!

      CWS

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      • #4
        Re: Shop planning software?

        Originally posted by cisco1138 View Post
        The most basic tool I have found to plan a shop is free on Grizzly's website. You define your floor space and then proceed to drop down Grizzly tools anywhere you like.

        My preferred tool is Google's Sketchup, this tool will give you a 3-dimensional view. This tool has a steep learning curve.

        I spent quite a bit of time trying to use Google Sketchup with not much success.
        Does any one know how to use it who could give us a miniature class about it?
        Thanks.
        Bert

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        • #5
          Re: Shop planning software?

          Originally posted by b2rtch View Post
          I spent quite a bit of time trying to use Google Sketchup with not much success.
          Does any one know how to use it who could give us a miniature class about it?
          Thanks.
          Bert
          Bert,

          The Wood Whisperer hosts a few video clips to demonstrate how SketchUp was used to design a blanket chest. That demonstration and the tutorial included with the program is all the training I had, the rest was trial & error.

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          • #6
            Re: Shop planning software?

            The initial tuturials from the SketchUp website were pretty good, but I see they have since upgraded them; so, I don't know how they all are, but the first lesson on "Concepts" seems pretty decent. Here's the link to the SketchUp video page, but I couldn't get it to work from my AOL browser.
            http://sketchup.google.com/training/videos.html

            If you have the same problem, go to this site on YouTube:
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqcL-...F2B044&index=3

            It appears to have a lot of tutorials there.

            I started with the "New to Google SketchUp" series and progressed from there after I figured out the basics. I went through the intro series a couple of times and then did a couple of fairly simple drawings.

            For me, the best thing to do after I've reviewed the first few lessons, is to try to draw something. As you run into challenges, you go back and review whatever is necesary and that's how I learn... just reading, doesn't do anything for me as I don't seem to grasp it, until I actually get challenged with a problem while working with it.

            Below is about the third or fourth drawing I did, just for the fun of it. I modeled a coffee table we have, because it was all rectangles, and I could play with movement, duplication, color fill and transparency.

            I hope this helps,

            CWS
            Attached Files

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