I want to make a model for a landscaping project in my garden. After testing a few different tools (sketchup, autocad, fusion 360 and LibreCAD) I realised that using these tools is not intuitive for me… So onto Corsera to do some learning!

My chosen initial course, 3D CAD Fundamental, is for complete novices to 3D modelling/Computer Aided Designed. There are follow up courses with some more extensive examples:

  1. 3D CAD fundamental
  2. 3D CAD Application
  3. BIM Fundamentals for Engineers
  4. BIM Application for Engineers

This, fundamental CAD course uses SketchUp Make 2017 as the CAD software. We are using ‘Construction Documentation – Meters’ template.

Week 1 is just set up of software and takes about 5 minutes.

Week 2 has a few worked through examples to get you using tools. I started this yesterday and it took my 30 minutes to draw a simple cube with some steps. The lesson introduced the following tools:

  • Line tool
  • Rectangle tool
  • Push/Pull tool
  • Tape measure tool + Guidlines

Also critical were some tidbits on what mouse icons mean, how to draw lines based on x,y,z axes (wow, axes is the plural of axis ?!), midpoints and typing numbers while drawing to be exact.

Magic Cube module, using line select line tool (click once, move to draw line, stick to axis to make it straight and type on the keypad the distance desired). Then using divide lines to build a stepped cube. Guidelines were also introduced along with the rectangle, pull and push tool.

From how difficult the Magic Cube module was, I saw the week 2 assignment and thought there was no way I could do it in less than 2 hours… but after failing for about 30 minutes, things become a lot easier. I guess getting used to perspective and managing the camera view helps a lot. Anyway I was very happy to complete my first 3D model!

week 2 desk

The ongoing pop quiz and extensive quiz/test at the end of each lesson seems to be a very effective method for holding attention and retaining more information from the lesson, surely more effective that a non-interactive lecture!