Google Sketchup Meets Piano Man

I had the good fortune of attending a one day class on Google Sketchup on Thursday of last week. Good fortune, yes, because without some guided instruction, Sketchup was rather intimidating. In six hours, I learned far more than I could have on my own.

In the new house, I’m certain that pianos will move in and out from time to time. As such, I wanted a ramp from the garage floor to the kitchen. (This is the best route into the home for a piano) Commercially available aluminum and fiberglass ramps are prohibitively expensive, so I decided to build a wooden ramp specifically for this purpose.

Piano Man Meets Sketchup

Wow. Designing in 3D is pretty. Pretty intense too. To be fair, I’d already designed the geometry of the ramp using a CAD tool

The Old-Fashioned Way

But the sketchup tool makes a pretty picture, and with 3D, I actually got into the details. I was able to specify the specific joints for the plywood, and realized that a tapered hardwood shoe at the base of the point was needed. That was a detail that was going to wait for construction otherwise.

It was interesting to see that the modeling tool, in fact, improved the product.

If you install Google Sketchup, you may explore the model itself with this download.