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WWX Dovetails Plugin Tutorial

posted Feb 21, 2010, 2:47 PM by Sharon Lev   [ updated Aug 31, 2011, 12:38 PM ]
This tutorial shows the basics of using the WWX Dovetails plugin for SketchUp. 

Click on the images to see a larger view.

Installation
1.    After obtaining the plugin compressed ZIP file, copy it to your Sketchup plugins folder.

    For Windows, this would be located here:

        C:\Program Files\Google\Google Sketchup 7\Plugins\

    For Mac, this would be located here:

        \Library\Application Support\Google SketchUp 7\SketchUp\plugins\

2.    Unzip the ZIP file into your plugins folder. at this point, you should have a file called 'wudworx.rb' and a folder called 'wudworx' in your plugin folder.

3.    Start SketchUp

4.    Click 'Preferences' on the menu:

5.    In the Extensions pane, enable the WUDWORX extension:

    This will add the WWX Dovetails plugin tool and WWX Dovetails Preferences option to the plugins menu and will enable the plugins menu if not yet visible.

Usage

6.    Click on 'Dovetails Specs' in the plugins menu:

    This will open the following Dovetails preferences dialog which will allow you to select the parameters that define the dovetails this plugin creates:

    Here you can customize the dovetails the tool will create using the following parameters which will keep their setting until the next time you change them:

    Tail Count:
        The number of tails that will be created in the array. 

    Tail Angle:
        Angle of the tails. 
        This can either be entered as a ratio (1:9) or as a geometric angle (router bit angle 9o)

    Pin Width:
        The width of the pins between the tails. 
        This can either be entered in rational (1/4) or decimal (0.25)
    
    End Pin Width:
        Same as Pin-Width but refers to the 2 edge pins which are usually half pins. 

    From Base?:
        If set to "yes" the first 2 clicks determine the base of the tails, and then the tails are pulled up
        this is useful if you have a base line from which you want to extend dovetails.

        If set to "no" the first 2 clicks determine the top of the tails, and then the base is pulled down.
        This is useful when you have an edge of a board as a reference which is the top of the tails.

    Thickness:
        Refers to material thickness. if set to 0 than the tool will only create flat dovetails.
        If set to positive numerical value, the tool will automatically push all pins, and tails. This can be used to speed up through and half blind dovetails.

7.    Select the Dovetails Tool:

8.    Click on start point of dovetails array, this would normally be an edge of a board component, but can be anywhere else as well:

    You can also click-n-drag from the start point.

9.    Click (or release the mouse button if you were dragging) the end point of the dovetails array, this would normally be the opposite edge of the board component, but can be anywhere as well:

    Text Input: Instead of clicking/dragging the end point, you can also position the mouse in the direction of the dovetail array, and enter the length of the array in the Width input box. Click enter to accept.

    Dragging: if you haven't dragged the cursor from the first point, you can click and drag from the 2nd point and pull the height of the tails (step 10)

10.    Move the mouse cursor to see a representation of the dovetails as they will be created:

11.    When you are satisfied with the height of the dovetails, click a 3rd time or release the mouse button if you were dragging. this will crate the geometry of the dovetails in the component (if in component edit mode), on a face (if drawn on an existing face) or in the models space:

    Text Input: Instead of clicking/dragging the tails height, you can also position the mouse in the direction of the tails height, and enter the height of the tails in the Height input box. Click enter to accept and create the geometry.

12.    OPTIONAL: If material thickness is set to 0, a flat drawing will be added on the face of the component/shape it was drawn on. in which case, you can now push the tails/pins with the pushpull tool manually:

If thickness is set to a numerical value other than 0 this step will be done automatically as can be seen in the following demo:

WWX Dovetails Plugin for Sketchup - Through Dovetails Demo


Have fun and experiment. out of bounds geometry can create new and unique designs as well.


Toolbar

Both WWX Dovetails tool and the tool preferences option are available through the toolbars. you can make the Dovetails toolbar visible through the view->tool palettes->WWXDovetails, or you can add the individual tool buttons to the existing toolbar using View->costumize toolbar.


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