was told sketchup is bad for 3d printing

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was told sketchup is bad for 3d printing

Postby syburn » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:19 pm

Hi,

Was just talking to the 3d printing workshop and when they did not mention sketchup as a software to use, I asked why and they said it causes a lot of problems. I have not 3d printed anything let, but if I do it woud be with sketchup as thats what I'm more comfortable with.

But is Sketchup problematic for 3d printers? Another person said there is a lot of issues with faces.

Look forward to any feedback you might have.

Regards

Simon
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Re: was told sketchup is bad for 3d printing

Postby Hieru » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:57 pm

I'd be interested in an answer to this too.

As long as your modelling is watertight and prepared properly for printing, I wouldn't have thought that there would be an issue.

Box seems to get some great results from SUp, so it might just be that this company isn't used to working with good quality SUp models.
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Re: was told sketchup is bad for 3d printing

Postby kaas » Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:00 pm

I made a few models for 3d printing (even for a HQ expensive 3d printer) with SketchUp and it works fine. I don't see any problems there.

Maybe the shop ran into people that didn't have much experience and made 'bad' 3d models?!

What kind of models do you intend to 3d print? Why not just try making your model in SketchUp, 3d print and analyze problems if they occur?
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Re: was told sketchup is bad for 3d printing

Postby Hieru » Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:27 pm

Let’s face it, if the Warehouse is anything to go by, there are a lot of people making ‘bad’ SUp models.

I’m often sent models by clients and it’s rare that I don’t have to rebuild everything from scratch.
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Re: was told sketchup is bad for 3d printing

Postby JQL » Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:55 pm

Sketchup has all kinds of users, that's the beauty of it. People who know what they're doing will have good results, people who don't... well, they can always learn how to do it.
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Re: was told sketchup is bad for 3d printing

Postby Box » Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:07 am

Basically anyone saying Sketchup is no good for 3d printing simply hasn't learnt to use Sketchup effectively.

Some other software can be less likely to cause problems because they are solid modellers whereas sketchup is a surface modeller. Solid modellers make everything out of solid lumps, but sketchup needs you to understand how to make a manifold solid.
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Re: was told sketchup is bad for 3d printing

Postby Hieru » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:24 am

A nice ‘solid’ confirmation from box ;) .
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Re: was told sketchup is bad for 3d printing

Postby syburn » Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:07 pm

The guy was expecting me to use Solid works, but as im an Interior Designer its more natural that I come from the Sketchup or 3D Max direction.

I cant say if I am a good modeler though. But I do expect to be creating more curvey free form models when I do to 3D printing, which i dont have any experience in doing actually. Bit scared of leaving my world of boxes behind.

Cheers
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Re: was told sketchup is bad for 3d printing

Postby d12dozr » Sat Oct 14, 2017 5:43 am

Box nailed it - I totally agree that anyone who learns how to use Sketchup "properly" with good modeling practices will be just fine. Keep in mind that plugins are virtually a necessity for making great models for 3D printing.

Every CAD program has limitations, Sketchup included. Solid modeling programs can be easier to make a solid model, often providing a warning if the modeling operation will make a non-manifold model. The level of complexity certainly takes some of the "fun" out of the modeling that Sketchup is known for.

I'm a big fan of using the right tool for the job. Sketchup is fantastic for making architectural-type models - no big surprise. Solidworks is great for mechanical engineering models. Blender is good for artistic purposes, and Zbrush for character modeling.

Can any of the programs be used for making other models than what they're best known for? Sure! Half the battle is knowing how to use the program, and great users can perform magic in their tool of choice. However, you're not going to win any character-modeling awards using Solidworks. ;)

Personally I still use Sketchup for some projects, but I've mostly outgrown it for Fusion 360. Parametric modeling is a major time saver when iterating a product, and it's much easier to make complex organic objects.

So now @syburn - the question is, what are you modeling for 3D printing? If the models are similar to what you already use Sketchup for, then you'll be just fine.
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Re: was told sketchup is bad for 3d printing

Postby syburn » Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:19 am

I want to explore 3d printing in interiors so i expect I will be looking for freeform and organic forms as conventional construction is alread doing square types of designs very well.

So its more organic, curvy, with patterns on the surface.

Regards
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Re: was told sketchup is bad for 3d printing

Postby cotty » Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:07 pm

I've printed a lot of models in 3D and all of them were modeled with SketchUp. Maybe you should have a look at an online printing service instead?
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Re: was told sketchup is bad for 3d printing

Postby d12dozr » Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:49 am

syburn wrote:So its more organic, curvy, with patterns on the surface.

You can use Sketchup with plugins like Curviloft and Subdivide and Smooth for a while, but you will run into limitations pretty quickly, especially with patterns on curved surfaces.

You may want to look into using Rhino then. I believe our resident skate park designer Jeff graduated to Rhino for those kind of shapes. Many architects use Rhino as well. It's more accurate and much easier to use for organic shapes. It is still a surface modeler (vs a solid modeler), so you'll want to keep good modeling practices for 3D printing in mind. It'll be much easier for texture mapping your shapes as well.

Fusion360 could work as well, but I haven't seen many architectural projects made with it.

@cotty, I think he's asking more about modeling, than printing.
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Re: was told sketchup is bad for 3d printing

Postby pbacot » Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:37 pm

How do you use 3d printing in the interior design business?
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Re: was told sketchup is bad for 3d printing

Postby smithnovel » Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:03 pm

Not actually the problem but it has issues. Sketchup is not too bad. allthat3d can help you in getting a detail idea of it.
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Re: was told sketchup is bad for 3d printing

Postby Glenn at home » Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:03 am

Box wrote:Basically anyone saying <insert software> is no good for <insert task> simply hasn't learnt to use <insert software> effectively.

- FTFY ;)
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Re: was told sketchup is bad for 3d printing

Postby falk » Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:58 pm

I've used SU to design sewing machine parts and toys, and they all 3-d printed just fine. You'll need one of the plugins that write STL files, and then you're good to go.

One trick: if it's a small part and there's fine detail, design it at 1000x scale, then shrink it down before you generate the STL file. SU doesn't like fine details.
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Re: was told sketchup is bad for 3d printing

Postby KadirSket » Sun Aug 25, 2019 2:55 pm

Bence çok iyi.
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Re: was told sketchup is bad for 3d printing

Postby PhilLeGall » Sat Sep 12, 2020 4:36 pm

Good morning to all of you.
Is SketchUp performing well to produce STL gear files?
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Re: was told sketchup is bad for 3d printing

Postby jgb » Mon Feb 15, 2021 6:24 pm

Although I have been using SU for near a decade now, I will only be getting a 3D printer in July/August, so I'm no expert on 3D printing. But I have done a lot of research on the subject.

The thing to remember in creating SU models that will print well is IMHO attention to detail.

SU is a surface modeller. Any curve is a series of straight line vectors, they are not the smooth curves you see if the model is smoothed. That smoothness is only an illusion via the SU display s/w.

The printer prints in straight lines, very small straight lines, but nothing is a true curve. So to get a reasonably smooth curve in the printer you need the curve divided into a lot of segments. SU default is 24 segments in a 360 degree circle. Great for small curves, but large curves may need 120 segments. That I think may be the reason some prints come out less than desired.

The other critical thing is the bead size the printer is making. The current standard .4mm so any feature Lines or curve segments) in the model that is less than .4mm will not print well, if at all. You can get print nozzles as small as .15mm, but that will really slow down a slow print to begin with. So making curves requires a minimum segment size no less than the nozzle size.

You need to preview the final model in SU with hidden and smoothed lines turned off before you output the STL file. That is what the print will/should look like.
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Re: was told sketchup is bad for 3d printing

Postby emilia27 » Fri Jul 30, 2021 5:45 am

Hello guys,
I am new to forum as well as sketch. I started it as a hobby and little into it, I understood that I am liking it. Tried few basic stuff and printed it out But I am having real problems with the scale. the scale is hard and please if anyone can suggest how to set up scale for the 3D print.
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Re: was told sketchup is bad for 3d printing

Postby Dave R » Fri Jul 30, 2021 11:49 am

emilia27 wrote:Tried few basic stuff and printed it out But I am having real problems with the scale. the scale is hard and please if anyone can suggest how to set up scale for the 3D print.


What version of SketchUp are you using? Your profile says 2018 Free/Make and you are using Linux. There is no such version of SketchUp that supports Linux. Help us help you by giving us the correct information.

In SketchUp you would normally use real world dimensions. For some models with very tiny detail I find it easier to work by treating millimeters and meters. That is, if something is 10mm long in reality, I model it 10 m long. When importing the exported .stl file you just need to set the import units to millimeters.
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Re: was told sketchup is bad for 3d printing

Postby jgb » Fri Jul 30, 2021 5:57 pm

Further to my previous reply, I forgot a very important parameter to set in SU.

Model scale.

For the size most printers can make, you need curves with very short segments, but SU doesn't work well with very short lines, especially at the high resolution most printers are capable of.

So you need to use a large scale for the drawing. Then in your slicer scale it down to life size.

The simplest way is to go metric for the drawing, and draw in centimetres, where 1 cm is 1 mm printed. A 10:1 scale that is easy to visualize and compute. It is just a simple mental moving of the decimal point in your measurements.

I know it is tough for North Americans to work in metric. Even for me, in Canada, which is supposedly metric, but not us old folks. I only use metric for 3D print designs. F.P.S everything else.

Then all you need to do is set the slicer at a 10:1 ratio and print. No complex ratio conversion math.

One other thing. For curves in your model, such as bearing mounts, gear teeth, use a high number of segments. That will allow a smoother fit. Same with bolt holes that are not threaded by the bolt. For screws and bolt holes that are force threaded by the screw/bolt, go with larger segments, I use 12 for a full circle. That will give a bit more thread bite in the final part, so fewer segments in the hole are not critical.

Where curve surface smoothness is not important, use large segments. That will also speed up the printing a fair bit.

Finally, you really need to experiment with practice parts at various segment sizes, nozzle sizes and slicer parameters before printing for real.
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Re: was told sketchup is bad for 3d printing

Postby jgb » Fri Jul 30, 2021 7:31 pm

Yes, quite true, especially for really small printed stuff.
But for me, divide by 10 is mentally far easier than divide by 1,000.
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Re: was told sketchup is bad for 3d printing

Postby jgb » Sat Jul 31, 2021 4:53 pm

Our methods are the same, just the scale is different. For what I am doing I need to mentally imagine the item at true full size from the measurements I see in SU. 10:1 is easier for me.
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Re: was told sketchup is bad for 3d printing

Postby jgb » Sat Jul 31, 2021 7:21 pm

I do exactly the same thing.

I just need to visualize the object in real size. If I needed to extrude something 6 mm I just pull up 6.

No mental math involved unless I have a real world object whose dimensions are in inches and I have to model it. Then I use a calculator, (inch to mm), again, no mental math.
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