“Design parts in SketchUp to connect for 3D printing”

SketchUp models are suitable for 3D printing but it only can happen when the parts of any model are assembled together, there are different ways to assemble those parts.

In the previous tutorials of Sketch Up, Aidan and Rebecca have shown us the way to cut Sketch Up model into parts but the matter is now to assemble them in a way for printing them. There are many other strategies and features in SketchUp like mechanical or else to help in building into the model to assemble the parts together. Aidan and Rebecca are going to show the users through different processes and here is a brief discussion on it.

Tolerance in SketchUp: It is the difference between the sizes of users’ part in SketchUp and the size of the part produced by their 3D printer. Suppose a user has drawn a 10mm cube in SketchUp and printed it, none of the sizes of the printed cube will be shown exactly 10mm; though these are very small differences like a few tenths of a millimeter more r less. But they can create problems if their 3D printed parts have to connect with the parts that already exist in the real world. That’s why the manufacturer of the 3D printers gives a unique number for the machine’s tolerance which may be in either plus or minus value. This value is called the Maximum variation for that machine and users both need to be aware while working.

Tolerance in SketchUp: Clearance is like an extra space for parts to slide past one another but users may face a little difficulty while installing similar size peg in a similar sized hole as they will not go together. The peg and the hole will not fit properly with each other in SketchUp but in real world they will not react like this as there the peg needs to connect with friction. The exterior of the peg is similar as the exterior of the hole that the friction between them will keep the peg from veer going in if the fit is too perfect for them. In that case, users need to add a small amount of space called clearance which will help the two parts to slide past each other; the amount of clearance depends on the exact movement of the part.

Glue in SketchUp: Glue is the universal way to stick things but it is also the weakest and most unreliable way as it has very little strength o keep the things tighter for long.

  • The plastics which are used in 3D prints defined by the names ABS, PLA, PVA, nylon and PETT; all these plastics need a special glue to stick and the glues have to order online.
  • Biodegradable starch plastics consists a crystalline structure that doesn’t go well with liquid superglue which stays liquid and move unexpectedly across the surface of the part.
  • Instead of glue, users can use epoxy which is though a messy stuff but will stick to anything.
  • No glue can stick to the flexible materials for 3D printers so to attach parts, a process called thermal welding.

Snap fittings in SketchUp: These are properly designed to pop the models together after the parts come off the printer and as these are removable so users can change out many parts of the model as per design. In SketchUp, snap fittings are created by two general steps: 1) creating the tongue with the Line and Push/Pull tools; 2) creating a matching capture point on the opposing part.

Press Fit in SketchUp: A press fit is the very little clearance between the two parts while designing and when the parts are pressed together forcibly, friction keeps the joint together without any extra hardware or glue. To make a press fit, the Offset tool is used to create an outer lip on one side of the connection and an inner lip on other side.

Bolts, Screws and Hardware in SketchUp: The strongest connection between 3D printed parts is holding together with metal hardware and these connections are great for things that are more than just prototypes. While integrating hardware into the design, include hardware in the SketchUp model as it will take measurements of the parts users need to use and model them in SketchUp. Then save the components in the component library for using them in further models.


Design parts in SketchUp to connect for 3D printing

Published By
Arka Roy


Six free sketchup plugins to improve your design skill

SketchUp is a powerful 3D modeling software specifically useful for architects and interior designers. It also gains popularity among the maker community.

Plugins stand for the tools which are created by members of the SketchUp user community who prefer to improve the native tools by adding more features. Most are free and accessible in the SketchUp Extension Warehouse or in the Sketchucation Plugin Store.

Given below, the detail lists of 6 free sketchup pluigns :-

Soap & Skin Bubble: Josef L is the developer of this sketchup plugin. It can be applied for modeling curved surfaces, like the roof of a stadium. Initially, the plugin facilitates to produce a skin that is just a mesh formed with a closed edge loop.

It can be performed by clicking on the Skin button after choosing the relevant edges. Just put a subdivision value and press Enter. If the value is increased, the surface will be smoother if you “inflate” it.

Click on the following link to download it extensions.sketchup.com/en/content/soap-skin-bubble

ools On Surface: fredo6 has developed this sketchup plugin. This toolset facilitates the users to employ several native tools like line, arc, circle, rectangle or offset but on curved surfaces. It’s very suitable when it is required to divide faces and utilize various materials.

Click on the following link to download it sketchucation.com/pluginstore?pln=ToolsOnSurface

Curviloft: This powerful plugin is developed by fredo6. It can produce complicated geometries from contours or lines in a more perfect way than the SketchUp sandbox tools. This tool can also be used to create organic models. It offers following three functions:

1. Loft by Spline: It can create a surface by attaching several contours with smooth splines. (A spline belongs to a curve divided into parts.)
2. Loft Along Path: It facilitates attaching several contours or 2D shapes along a specified guideline to generate a 3D shape.
3. Skinning: It produces a surface from joined contours or lines.

Click on the following link to download it extensions.sketchup.com/en/content/curviloft

JointPushPull: fredo6 is the developer of this plugin. With this plugin, it is possible to extrude curved surfaces. It is a modified of SketchUp’s native push and pull tools. It comprises a toolset that can extrude any curved surface with various parameters and styles. It also facilitates creating several extrusions at the same time.

Click on the following link to download it extensions.sketchup.com/en/content/jointpushpull

Flowify: Anders L has developed flowify, the most powerful plugins developed for SketchUp. It facilitates the users to bend any group or component made in SketchUp along a “target geometry”. The initial surface should be a “quad surface”, that means it is confined to four vertices.

Initially, align the preliminery surface perpendicular to the quad surface. Then, it’s an easy process of choosing both geometries and pressing the Flowify button.

Click on the following link to download it extensions.sketchup.com/en/content/flowify

Slicer: TIG has developed this exclusive plugin. It can be used for transforming models to the real world. It’s a tool is specifically created for digital fabrication — production by a computer numeric control (CNC) machine. The plugin facilitates you to slice a model into several pieces, provide them thicknesses, and make them ready for cutting.

For instance, you have a 3D model of a chair and it is necessary to make it for real. The plugin allows you to slice the model and set up the pieces to be cut with a CNC mill.

Click on the following link to download it sketchucation.com

Six free sketchup plugins to improve your design skill

Published By
Arka Roy

SimLab IGES importer for Sketchup (9.0.0)

SimLab IGES importer for Sketchup is another useful sketchup plugin that can be used to import .igs, .iges files into SketchUp, with the purpose of editing them easily.

The plugin is compatible with SketchUp 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 and SketchUp 8, on Windows and Mac OS.

To utilize this plugin, just request for a trial license. With trial license the user can utilize the plugin for 30 times (trial license automatically gets expired after one month).

With the professional license the user will be able to set up the plugin on two different machines.

The plugin is available in extension warehouse extensions.sketchup.com.

SimLab IGES importer for Sketchup

Published By
Arka Roy


Eneroth Open Newer Version 1.0.3 is available now

Eneroth Open Newer Version is the newest sketchup plugin available in extension warehouse. This pluign is compatible with SketchUp 2014, SketchUp 2015, SketchUp 2016, SketchUp 2017, SketchUp 2018, SketchUp 2019.

This sketchup plugin can be used to transform and open models created in newer versions of sketchup by initially transferring them down to a support format. It is very effective for opening model from sketchup free (2018 format) in Make 2017.

The extension is specifically designed for hobby users who use Make 2017 to open models created in SketchUp Free (that applies the 2018 format).

It is only compatible with 64 bit Windows.

Source code is accessible at GitHub github.com.

For online demonstration, go through the following video tutorial.

Video Source: Christina Eneroth

Eneroth Open Newer Version 1.0.3 is available now

Published By
Arka Roy

s4u Stair – The newest sketchup extension

Huynh Duong Phuong has developed s4u Stair. It is a newest sketchup extension that is used to create stair, ramp from faces. The plugin is compatible with SketchUp 2016, SketchUp 2017, SketchUp 2018, SketchUp 2019.

To enhance the speed, the following shortcuts are used :-

Ctrl (Alt on Mac) + Select Point > Set Heigth Stair
Ctrl (Alt on Mac) + Select Face > Set Landing
Tab > Reverse Direction Stair

Double Click on Screen ( or Right Click) > Set Parameter
Double Click on Face > Set Index,Landing.
Double Click on Face (1 Selected Face)> Change Start Edge
Explode all curve, make curve for start step and end step.

This sketchup plugin is available in extension warehouse.

For online demonstration of the plugin, go through the following video tutorial.

s4u Stair – The newest sketchup extension

Published By
Arka Roy

CompoTools⠀CompoScene 2.0.6 for sketchup

Rafael Rivera has developed the most updated version CompoTools CompoScene i.e. version 2.0.6 for sketchup users. It is useful sketchup extension compatible with SketchUp 2017, SketchUp 2018, SketchUp 2019.

The purpose of this sketchup plugin is to generate and export sketchup scenes with rendering channels for composing in photoshop or other leading painting app.

This sketchup is very useful for comic book artists and manga artists to create stunning 3D backgrounds in their panels. The artists can create a mock-up of the scene to be produced with various camera angles for several panels.

CompoScene produces rendering channels for the users to build upon and develop your own art style.

This sketchup plugin is available in extension warehouse.

To watch online demonstration of the plugin, go through the following video tutorial.

Video Source: CompoTools

CompoTools⠀CompoScene 2.0.6 for sketchup

Published By
Arka Roy

BoxUp XYZ 1.3.0 for sketchup

BoxUp XYZ is the newest sketchup plugin that is well matched with SketchUp 2017, SketchUp 2018, SketchUp 2019. It is only compatible with windows platform.

BoxUp expands Sketchup Dynamic Components with Dynamic Materials, Costing, Lists and includes 14 new dynamic functions. It will be very effective while working with sheet/profile based modular systems like; Kitchens, Office furniture, Shelving, Wardrobes, Aluminium profile systems and so on.

Sheet based materials range from MDF, Plywood, Glass, Acrylics – any sheet based system.

Linear based materials like Aluminium profiles, Edgeband, gaskets – any profile based system.

Create your own collection of components or make collections for a client. BoxUp Pro comprises of a wide array of collection of dynamic components for kitchen design. It can be applied as reference, as a base to build your own.

The plugin includes 14 new functions to Dynamic Component, that allows and streamlines the process for creating more complicated component collections.

Go through the following video tutorial for online demonstration of the plugin.

Video Source: BoxUp extension for Sketchup

BoxUp XYZ 1.3.0 for sketchup

Published By
Arka Roy

Using Tape Measure Tool in SketchUp

The Tape Measure Tool in SketchUp is used in SketchUp to scale or measure between the points and also it is useful to create construction lines. This construction lines are work as referral geometry in SketchUp. Users can also re-size any group or the whole model by using this Tape Measure Tool. In SketchUp, along with Tape Measure Tool, the Protractor tool and the Measurements box are allowed to model accurately different things, those are:

a. Tape Measure Tool is used to scale a distance and fix exact guide lines or points.
b. The Protocol Tool can use to scale angles and fix an exact angled guide line.
c. The Measurements box waits to accept an exact value after using any kind of tool.

Under the Tape Measure Tool the things can find are:

a. Getting Started Toolbar
b. Construction Toolbar
c. Large Tool Set Toolbar
d. Tools menu on the menu bar
e. Tools palette

About Fred Bartels and his creation

Fred Bartels is an educator, builder, artist, maker and a very old member of the SketchUp community. He became inspired by Seymour Papert and many other education visionaries and hope that the future of SketchUp in the classroom of SketchUp. Bartels has introduced SketchUp to his students Seventeen years ago and from that time he continuously trying to create some variations in the classes of SketchUp from its normal class studies and also Bartels hope that other educators will realize this soon and follow the same.

In this article we will go through the idea of Bartels in encouraging students for a better study with some new techniques. As Fred has been with SketchUp for a long time, he can describe his creations better way through SketchUp.

Fred’s 3D modeling story: Fred Bartels had a great interest in art and architecture and had done some photography courses in high school but could not pursue it in future as a profession. He generally produced art in a summarized way and loved to work with the house designs and often made outlet for his designed ideas. He started to teach in the computer programming classes when the computer and 3D design tools became available in most of the schools and taught about many programs and software. But all were not much good for the students still he found SketchUp at MacWorld 2002 and loved it. From then he has been providing lessons and IT supports to the students of K-12 schools.

Special things about SketchUp: According to Fred, SketchUp is a vast and most useful tool even in schools as it has various option that help the students to stay focused more on the designs and knowledge not using the tool only. Besides this, Fred tried to do much more things than only designing in computer graphics, SKetchUp can be used in math, science, history and language classes for better understanding. Students loved the idea and some of them tried to make some innovative work; such as Andrew Nathanson who had made a unique design work and had been invited to the SketchUp Basecamp 2008. There he got a chance to represent his design and also shared the method of using SketchUp in K-12 environment in schools.

The relationship between technology and education progress: According to Fred, he and other educators have a wish that computers will provides a rich ranged world for the students where they could both play and experiment over things and can get loads of information. It will be done in a way that would give them abbreviate concept and keep them interested and focused.

A great supporter of this idea was MIT’s Seymour Papert; he had thinking that computers can be used in education as in books like Mindstorms: Children, Computers, And Powerful Ideas and The Children’s Machine: Rethinking School In The Age Of The Computer Reprint Edition. SketchUp is just like that and with the 3D Warehouse students could get an available way for sharing their designs and get feedbacks on them. In schools or educational institutions, computer is generally used as an information presentation tool for providing only some information; though it is not enough as there are more things than normal information. It is good news that there are some new software like Maker Movement, Sketchup etc. that are providing various additional roles in teaching and learning.

Fred’s new models for students: Fred has a keen interest in art and architecture and has examined many building and design ideas, shared them in 3D Warehouse. After quitting his teaching he took a number of courses at Yestermorrow; which is a design or build school in Vermont and became capable to do some more creative works. He got appreciation for his works that he had shared in 3D Warehouse or SketchUcation that motivated him to do more experiments. Later he worked over 3D printing and made some small sculptures designed in SketchUp and programmable using LEDs controlled with Arduino microcontrollers etc.

Besides SketchUp, he also shared his designs in another site named Thingiverse and has some other ideas about making larger designs for future, SketchUp’s role in designs of Fred: After discovering SketchUp, Fred found to work with his ideas and designs in a vast and better platform that also provide him to explore the designs and make creative works on them. SketchUp has now become a part of his work as it is ever growing software that provides new things every time.

Other extensions: He used the extension named Artisan for any kind of work and in addition with that Profile Builder, Solid Inspector 2, Align 2 and Export STL.

Fred is happy with SketchUp and has been using for the past 15 years and expect to explore more sides of his designing skill and also hope that SktechUp will play more active role in education system and will provide a great supportive, powerful and unique microworld to develop and explore 3D design ideas.

Article Source: blog.sketchup.com

About Fred Bartels and his creation

Published By
Arka Roy

nz_IntelligentStairs – The newest sketchup pluign

Natale Zappia has developed nz_IntelligentStairs, the newest sketchup extension that is available in extension warehouse.

This plugin supports SketchUp 2016, SketchUp 2017 and SketchUp 2018. This plugin is very suitable for architecture, construction and other industries.

The plugin can be used to deal with the time consuming and complicated calculations undertaken by the architects because they lay out to combine design intent and code requirements and offer you with the basis for a legal staircase.

The plugin offers nz_IntelligentStair with an hint of intent and nz_IntelligentStairs will dynamically define the optimal staircase solution.

The solution abides by code restrictions and attains a riser and tread dimension as near as possible your stipulated intentions.

nz_InelligentStairs looks after the base calculation and offers you with an adjustable and flexible settlement of components which do not confine your creativity.

For more clarification, watch the following video tutorial.

To download the extension and gather more information about it’s properties, go through the following link. extensions.sketchup.com

nz_IntelligentStairs – The newest sketchup pluign

Published By
Arka Roy