Tutorial: Sketchup hull design

Discussion in 'Software' started by F3M4, May 12, 2011.

  1. F3M4
    Joined: Apr 2010
    Posts: 28
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    Location: Baton Rouge, LA

    F3M4 Junior Member

    I figure since everyone has been helping me out with my project, I'd lend a bit of my severely limited knowledge back to the forum--which by the way is far and away the best resource of boat knowledge on the internet. Every search I make leads me to a thread here. Anyway, on to the tutorial.

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    Sketchup, distributed free by google, is a program that allows you to create 3d drawings of of objects. It's compatible with both metric and SAE units. I'll stick to the SAE, because for me, it's much easier to visualize 1' than 1m. I wont be focusing on function of the design here, just that the method of drawing it, this is not a working hull design, and I am not qualified to design a vessel for anyone else. Also of note, I am completely self taught in this program.

    What you will need:
    Sketchup: http://sketchup.google.com/
    Soapskin bubble plugin: http://www.tensile-structures.de/sb_software.html
    (big link in the center of the page with a .zip extension)

    Similar to how it's done in freeship(which I'm illiterate in), we will draw one half of the hull and duplicate it for the other side(if only it were that easy to build). If at any point in the tutorial you make a mistake, the undo hotkey is ctrl+z(coincidentally the most pressed key combination on my keyboard).

    When you open a new sketchup file, you will be greeted by an extremely chic and unemotional female. Left click her. She will now be outlined in blue, and we can delete her by pressing the delete key on the keyboard.(Alternatively you can rightclick and select to delete, or even hide, which will be covered later in the tutorial.)

    [​IMG]

    First we will select our measuring tape tool and make a guideline for the length of our vessel. First click the horizontal axis of choice(not at the origin), in my case it's the green axis, move the mouse so that the guideline runs parallel to the red axis, and type in the desired length. I will use is "20'" in this case, followed by the enter key. If you can't see the guide line, zoom out until it is in your view, to do this, I roll my mousewheel back. Alternatively, the zoom tool can be used(helpful for laptops).

    [​IMG]

    Now, we will draw in a guideline for the centerline. I will start from the red axis and go 3.5' over, half of my desired beam of 7'.

    [​IMG]

    Now, lets actually draw the transom. Select the line tool(pencil icon) and click the origin followed by the point where the center-guideline intersects the green axis. This will make a line between the two points, but it will probably be hidden by the origin. The next line will start from the green-centerline intersection and veritcally extend upward to the desired transom height, in my case, we'll use the 3.5' again.

    [​IMG]

    Now, we'll select the rectangle tool(looks like a square). Start from the origin and move up to the end of the line we just made. Boom, square.

    [​IMG]

    Now we'll make the chine(obviously variable depending on design). Select your protractor tool. First click the bottom right corner of your square, then click the origin, now place your mouse in the center of the square and type your desired angle(note: this is only the angle on the transom piece), I'll use "25". There will be a guideline at a 25 degree angle from the green axis now.

    [​IMG]

    Now we will draw a line along this guideline to form the outline of our transom. I'll go to the halfway point by placing another guideline 1'9" from the side. I'll now draw a line from the bottom right-hand corner to the intersection of the angle guideline, as in the image.

    [​IMG]

    Now, I'll finish MY(yours can be different) transom by continuing the line from that point up to the top left corner.

    [​IMG]

    We can now delete the bottom left corner of the square, use the select tool and drag it to select the unneeded lines.

    [​IMG]

    Make two lines parallel to the red axis, from the top and bottom right corners, that run the full length of the boat(20').

    [​IMG]

    Now, select the arc tool(half circle) and click the midpoint in the top-centerline we just drew followed by the endpoint, the tip of the bow. Next click the line at the bottom.

    [​IMG]

    Now delete until you're left with this:

    [​IMG]

    We'll need to make two lines, from the chine and the top left corner, parallel to the red axis extending out the length of our vessel.

    [​IMG]

    Now for the fun part, we're going to actually make the curves for the hull. I, perhaps because I know no better make all of my curves tangent to the lines we just made, luckily Sketchup makes this easy for us to do.
    Select the Arc Tool, and start from the chine to the tip of the bow. Now, without clicking, place the mouse on the line we just drew in and move it along until the arc turns light blue, signaling that the curve is tangent to the line. It will have the phrase "Tangent at vertex" as well. The center will fill itself in again, but we can delete it, I left it for some contrast.

    [​IMG]

    For the top line, I'll start my arc from the top right corner of our transom square and end at the bow point, making the arc radius the line we drew previously from the top left corner.

    [​IMG]

    Now we'll clean it up by deleting excess lines.

    [​IMG]

    We are finally going to "skin" the hull. We will start by selecting the three boundary lines for our "skin", the chine curve, the bottom line, and the transom angle line. Hold the control key and click each one to select them, ctrl+shift deselects. Note that the bottom is in two pieces. We then press the Skin button, and are greeted by a sheet.

    [​IMG]

    We are now prompted for the number of segments we want. I try to stay inside of 10 and 25 segments, 10 is more than enough for this skin. After typing the number, hit enter twice.

    [​IMG]

    Hey, it actually resembles something that might float now!
    Repeat for the top section.

    [​IMG]

    Now we just need to duplicate this side and flip it to make the other.
    CTRL+A selects the entire drawing, then ctrl+C copies, and ctrl+v pastes. click to place the hull, the placement is irrelevant for now, but just ensure it doesnt overlap any of the first half of the hull.

    [​IMG]

    Now, right click and select Flip along, then Green direction.

    [​IMG]

    Now use the move tool(4 way arrow) and move the bow point of the new hull to the same point on the old hull.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    And there we have it. The possibilities are endless, for instance, here's a drawing of the catamaran I am hoping to build.
    [​IMG]
     
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  2. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    Location: Guess.

    hoytedow Old Woodbutcher

    Yes, keep it going! I am new to this program but am beginning to learn it. Your posts help. Thanks also to bntii who intro'd me to this program.
     
  3. cthippo
    Joined: Sep 2010
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    Location: Bellingham WA

    cthippo Senior Member

    How do you like it, Hoyt?

    I've been getting Freeship under control, but it's not good for interiors. On the other hand, I've been bitten by the 3D modeling bug so I'd like to find something (free) for doing the rest of the boat.
     
  4. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
    Posts: 5,759
    Likes: 344, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 2489
    Location: Guess.

    hoytedow Old Woodbutcher

    Well, it is definitely different from Autocad(3d) and Drafix(2d) and I am only just introducing myself to it. It is interesting, though and I have discovered by accident a couple of things I could not do in the previously mentioned, such as quickly making conical shapes and bending previously made shapes into other objects. Too early still.
     
  5. F3M4
    Joined: Apr 2010
    Posts: 28
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 24
    Location: Baton Rouge, LA

    F3M4 Junior Member

    I've now completed the tutorial, be sure to let me know if you have any questions.
     
  6. DCockey
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    Location: Midcoast Maine

    DCockey Senior Member

    Can you create curves other than combinations of straight segments and arcs?
     
  7. F3M4
    Joined: Apr 2010
    Posts: 28
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    Location: Baton Rouge, LA

    F3M4 Junior Member

    I'm unsure of exactly what you're asking...

    Can you give me an example?
     
  8. DCockey
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    Location: Midcoast Maine

    DCockey Senior Member

    The lines which define the hull shape appear to be drawn as a combination of straight line segments and constant radius arcs. Is that correct?

    Is it possible to create curves with arbitrary shapes in the free version of SketchUp?
     
  9. F3M4
    Joined: Apr 2010
    Posts: 28
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    Location: Baton Rouge, LA

    F3M4 Junior Member

    yes, there is a Bezier Curves plugin that gives you complete control over the shape.
     
  10. frasco
    Joined: Jun 2011
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    Location: Finland

    frasco Junior Member

    Some of the images are not working. :( Could you re-host the images on a reliable host like Photobucket or Imgur?
     

  11. scottatlanta
    Joined: Oct 2012
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    Location: Atlanta, GA USA

    scottatlanta Junior Member

    What is the name and source of the Bezier curve plugin ?
     
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