Placing Knobs in SketchUp

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patlaw

Mike
Corporate Member
I'm still struggling with the procedure for accurately placing knobs (for example) on the surface of a component in SketchUp. The models downloaded from the 3D Warehouse usually have to be exploded and made into a component again since the origin is not in the right place, but I still struggle with the alignment. What's the trick? The origin seems to be correct on the attached knob that I downloaded, but maybe not.

View attachment ncww knob model.skp
 

Bill Clemmons

Bill
Corporate Member
I struggled w/ this too. I couldn't get the knob "exactly" where it needed to be. Close, but no cigar. I don't know/remember what I did, but all of a sudden I moved a knob and it landed in exactly the right spot. For the rest of the knobs on that piece, I just moved them a measured distance along one of the three axis (red, green, or blue). It was much easier.

Hopefully Dave Richards will come to the rescue.
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
It's confounding, but Dave has a good way to demonstrate it that he showed me years ago. It's about setting the axes on the knob and using that as the insertion point on the component (drawer front, etc). I hope that Dave chimes in too!

I had to refresh my memory about it today and I think that I got it about right. Three identical knobs but their origins are different and the "axis" tool is used to position it where you want it. The SketchUp file is uploaded to the Project Plans file so you can see it in SU. Add a few guidelines to the drawer front and try "moving" a knob precisely inserted into the drawer front. BTW, open each knob for editing to see where the axis is located.
 
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Dave Richards

Dave
Senior User
Mike, I'm in the UK right now and on my phone right now. Should be home by around 10 your time tomorrow. I'll try to set you up then. Jeff has about got it, though.
 

patlaw

Mike
Corporate Member
Thanks, Dave and Jeff. And Jeff, that file is in Version 17, so I can't open it on this computer.
 

Bill Clemmons

Bill
Corporate Member
Regarding the axis of the knob, I see that your knob is oriented on the blue axis (vertical). Unless you're designing your projects laying on their back, you probably need to reorient to the green or red axis.
 

patlaw

Mike
Corporate Member
Regarding the axis of the knob, I see that your knob is oriented on the blue axis (vertical). Unless you're designing your projects laying on their back, you probably need to reorient to the green or red axis.
That knob came out of the 3D Warehouse. It's strange that the designer would create it in that orientation.
 

Dave Richards

Dave
Senior User
It's not all that strange, Mike. Many users don't know how to correctly make components so they are easy to use. I've done several blog posts regarding this matter. I can't easily get the links at the moment as I am over the North Atlantic en route to Iceland. I'll hunt them up for you as soon as I get home.
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
That knob came out of the 3D Warehouse. It's strange that the designer would create it in that orientation.
It's another piece of poorly drawn stuff from SketchUp warehouse. It's also a funky looking knob that's hollow and not useful for what you want to try doing in SU.

Draw your own turned knob and stop playing with this Warehouse trash and trying to use it in a model. Dave can show you how to do it by making the knob profile and using Follow Me. Here's knob from Rockler with dimensions.


http://www.rockler.com/cherry-shaker-pegs?sid=V9146?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=&utm_content=pla&utm_campaign=PL&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIx5OHu6Pv3AIVmo2zCh1EWwc5EAQYAyABEgJ4rfD_BwE
 
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patlaw

Mike
Corporate Member
Before we miss the point of my post, I want to learn how to position a knob on the surface of a board whether that knob is from the 3D Warehouse or whether I draw it. I'm not good at drawing knobs yet, but I'm improving. Even then, I don't know how to reliably place it where it needs to go.
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
I don't think anyone has missed the point, but just trying to simplify your process and be helpful as you learn.

So draw a dowel and pretend that it's a knob. Place it accurately on a board or insert it into a hole in that board.




patlaw;607761[COLOR=#ff0000 said:
]Before we miss the point of my post[/COLOR], I want to learn how to position a knob on the surface of a board whether that knob is from the 3D Warehouse or whether I draw it. I'm not good at drawing knobs yet, but I'm improving. Even then, I don't know how to reliably place it where it needs to go.
 
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SteveHall

Steve
Corporate Member
My technique for positioning rounded or oddly shaped objects is to embed a straight line inside them on their center axis, from outside tip to face against the door/drawer. This makes it easy to grab the end of the line to position it and the line geometry is hidden from view. Even pulls can have a line at their center point, floating in space. These won't render or be seen if the display of edges is turned off, but even so, the line can be located on an "_OFF" layer so it can easily be hidden.

To properly locate a knob/pull, I usually position it on the exact corner of the door/drawer and then move it a manually entered distance from the X-axis and then the Y-axis. You can also put a hidden geometry on a frame component in the same fashion for positioning the knob.

I agree with the sentiment that 99% of all online components are poorly constructed. I recommend making them yourself from the manufacturer's dimensions for higher confidence and better control. It usually just takes a few minutes..
 

Dave Richards

Dave
Senior User
As I showed Mike, I tend to draw knobs and pulls in the orientation in which they will be used and when I make the component, I set the component origin centered on the back of the knob. If the knob has a tenon, the origin is placed inside the knob at the shoulder so the tenon goes into the drawer front or door as shown here.


In Mike's case, since he had a knob he'd gotten from someone else, I showed him how to rotate it to the right position and make sure the component's origin and axes are the the right place. In the case of his knob, that was easy enough. I just opened the component for editing, selected the geometry of the knob and rotated it about the red axis.

The result of this is that there's no need to include additional edges or markings to aid in placing the component. Just bring it in from the Components window and drop it where you want it to go. I'll try this animated GIF to see if it works.
knob.gif

Generally I'm modeling a single piece of furniture with the front parallel to the red axis (where the front should be) so I just set up the component axes so they are aligned with the model axes. It's also possible to give components gluing attributes but that doesn't tend to play well when using guidelines to help alignment. In those cases where the door or drawer is not parallel to the red axis, as in a kitchen model, it's easy enough to place the knob where I want it and then rotate it to the correct orientation.

Since all of the knobs I've made have the same relative component location and axis orientation, it's also simple to swap pulls if desired. Select the ones in the model, find the replacement in the Components panel, right click on it and choose Replace Selected from the Context menu. Presto! Done.
knob2.gif
 
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