Book Image

3D Printing with SketchUp - Second Edition

By : Aaron Dietzen Aka 'the Sketchup Guy'
Book Image

3D Printing with SketchUp - Second Edition

By: Aaron Dietzen Aka 'the Sketchup Guy'

Overview of this book

Working with the amazing 3D printing technology and getting access to the printing hardware is now easier than ever before. While there are many other resources that cover the general process of 3D printing, this book is the ultimate guide to creating models for 3D printing using SketchUp. You’ll start with a basic understanding of how SketchUp is used in the 3D printing workflow and jump into the steps to create a print-ready model using only SketchUp. This 3D printing book will guide you in using SketchUp to modify existing 3D files and cover additional tools that make SketchUp an even more powerful modeling tool. As you advance, you’ll learn how to transform 2D images into 3D printable solids, how to create multi-part prints that can be assembled without the use of fasteners or glue, and how to make sure your model, whether designed from scratch or assembled from preexisting geometry, is ready to be made real via your 3D printer. By the end of this book, you’ll have the confidence to bring your design ideas to life by generating your own 3D print-ready models with SketchUp.
Table of Contents (13 chapters)
1
Part 1: Getting Prepared to Print
6
Part 2: Modeling for 3D Printing

Using SketchUp as an editor

One of the most amazing things about the 3D printing community is the members’ willingness to share their printable creations. In some cases, you may purchase models from a creator or a company, or even use online tools to generate models of things, such as characters for games. In other cases, you may be able to download shared models for free and print them right away.

Depending on the model you download and your specific use for the print, you may want to make a change to the geometry before printing. This may be as simple as changing the size of the model but may be more involved, such as adding a figure to a custom base, or adding or removing geometry so that the model can serve a specific purpose in the real world.

Resizing models in the slicer

Every single slicing program I have used has had the option to set the scale of the imported geometry. This works just fine if you want to make it a little bigger or a little smaller, or if you need to scale to get your model to fit on the build plate. Where this can fall short, however, is if you want the model to be a specific height or length.

Take, for example, this ghost print. I printed a copy, but the bottom of the print did not sit flat. To fix this, I decided to add a base. I started by importing the .stl file in to SketchUp.

Figure 1.12 – Imported .stl ghost mesh

Figure 1.12 – Imported .stl ghost mesh

Once the mesh was imported, I modeled a quick circular base in SketchUp and merged the two pieces together. This created a new model that I could print that I know will sit flat on my desk.

Figure 1.13 – The imported ghost mesh merged with the new base geometry

Figure 1.13 – The imported ghost mesh merged with the new base geometry

Edits to imported models can be much more extensive and can include things such as breaking models into smaller, printable chunks or adding mechanical connection points between pieces. Basically, if you have a .stl file of a model and want to change anything about it, then you can make those changes in SketchUp.

Occasionally, you will have an issue with a model that just needs to be fixed, as opposed to any kind of edits. Let’s talk about repairing geometry in the next section.