[Lab] Google Sketchup

Jamie jamie at steppinofftheedge.com
Sun Mar 2 22:46:54 EST 2014

Hey Paul and other Sketchup gurus....

A question about STL / Slicers and working with Sketchup for laser cutting
instead of 3D Printing....

I've imported a wunnerful complex .3ds model into Sketchup. Using the
Section Plane tool and adjusting it by increments I can get layer outlines
to "build by stack" but as yet cannot find a fantastic way to output those.
Some googling leads me to believe that Sketchup pro is needed to do export
of section planes. Before I do that, was wondering if a pro such as
yourself or others might know a better way to go about it.

If you had a model, approx 20", in sketchup that you wanted to output with
1 layer every 1" or so, how might you go about it?


On Fri, Feb 28, 2014 at 4:22 PM, Paul & Andrea Mumby <themumbys at gmail.com>wrote:

> Sketchup is very capable for 3D Printing. Though not out of the box. You
> need a plugin.
> I pretty much use Sketchup, or OpenSCAD as my 2 primary design tools for
> all my printing.
> Most 3D Printers require a file in either a specific format for the
> machine, or some variance of GCODE (typically still fairly specific to the
> tunings of the machine). Which is where a "Slicer" app comes in. There are
> dozens of these for free. Cura is a good one (but primarily for ultimaker).
> These almost all take an STL format 3D Model, and slice it up into the
> layers needed for 3D Printing, and output a GCODE (or other format) file.
> To output an STL in Sketchup is easy, you just need is this plugin
> http://extensions.sketchup.com/en/content/sketchup-stl
> Check the comments if you have trouble installing it. It's a bit different
> in the new version of sketchup, in V8 it was a bit simpler. But still
> fairly easy to do once you get the right paths and such.
> Once the plugin is installed you just select the model parts you want to
> export, (I prefer to group them, and check they are a complete object, by
> checking for volume by right clicking on it once it's grouped, and choosing
> "Entity Info". If it shows a "volume" in there, then it's "water tight" (no
> holes, and therefore a solid object). That is one thing to check to ensure
> it's printable.
> Then export to STL.
> Hope that helps!
> On Fri, Feb 28, 2014 at 4:11 PM, Aurelius R <maxrowsell at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I have just stumbled onto the amazing thing that is Sketchup. In school,
>> we learned the beginnings of Blender and also another one whose name I
>> can't remember, and I always wanted to get back into it.
>> I think because I have experience working with 3D models, I only had to
>> watch the very basic tutorial videos and I was off and running, though I
>> suspect the average person wouldn't need much more than that either.
>> I've designed the shelf I've always wanted, which is freestanding and
>> sits on my desk to give me shelf space above my monitors. Hard to explain
>> without seeing it. I also prototyped a project case with a speaker hole in
>> the bottom and standoffs etc.
>> My question for all you 3D printer experts out there is, what format do
>> most 3D printers take? I've noticed that this program can export the 3D
>> models in quite a few different formats.
>> My other question was, if I wanted to print a small case for one of my
>> boards, am I allowed to do it at the lab?
>> Thanks!
>> ____________________
>> Peace, Love, Empathy
>> Alexander Max Rowsell
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