All in one GoogleSketchup?

Discussion in 'Software and Applications' started by ambiguX, Aug 5, 2010.

  1. ambiguX
    ambiguX New Member
    I am a beginner - with Shapeways + in Google Sketchup.
    My goal is Collada format. Exports + imports are not a problem.
    A flat part was adopted by the shapeways-Robot as OK.
    A simple part of two levels / layers was not OK/manifold and had to be corrected manually by Shapeways with other tools and was exported in STL. So I can not re-import the post-edited in SketchUp to compare with my Original to check/learn for errors.

    Question: Is the use of multiple tools a MUST or is there a way to create a simple piece properly + manifold only within Sketchup?
    If so, is there already a tutorial, I have not found?

    ThanxInAdvance + ciao
  2. jimfoltz
    jimfoltz New Member
    Hi Ambi,

    I am also interested in a Sketchup-only workflow. I think it's possible if you are careful about how you model in Sketchup. If you model from scratch with the idea of making a "manifold" model, it should be a smoother workflow than trying to turn an already completed model into a manifold model.

    I don't think external tools are a "must"; but you need to have a good understanding of Sketchup, and what it means for a model to be manifold. The way Sketchup works can work against your desire to create manifold geometry.

    For example, Sketchup will create a face (or faces) automatically when you close a shape. Sometimes, this face is internal to your model and there is no indication the face is added; but internal faces make the geometry non-manifold. You need to find and remove internal faces. X-Ray mode can be useful to do this; or use a Section and Move it through the model to find them.

    There is a great plugin for SketchUp that can help in cleaning-up a model of loose and un-used geometry. It is called cleanup. It's a must-have plugin as far as I am concerned.

    I am not sure how Shapeways handles Groups/Components, I'm still experimenting with that; as well as with which collada export options are optimal for Shapeways. For now, I explode all Groups/Components before exporting.

    I don't know if Shapeways' collada importer supports image textures. I know if your model uses only colors in Sketchup, the colors are preserved and shown in Shapeways' preview image - so I assume they can be printed using the full-color material.

    If image textures are used, i think you would need to edit the .dae file and the location of the texture files, and create a .zip file of them all to upload. But I haven't tried this yet.

    Hope this helps some.
  3. dizingof
    dizingof New Member

    Hi Ambi,

    All my designs were made with SketchUp.
    I agree with jimfoltz, you must have community plug-ins that will make things so easy for you when it comes to designing with SketchUp & 3D printing.

    Such as STL/IDX exporter/importer,cleanup , fredo6 collection (scale, toolsonsurface,roundCorner)
    and many many more..

    Here are some resources for free Rubi plug ins:

    my favorite:

  4. ambiguX
    ambiguX New Member
    Hi Jimfoltz and Dizingof,
    thank you both for quick response and resources!
    These are good prospects; I am willing to learn - but rather one tool completely than many as half ;)

    And nope, there is nothing tricky like textures or so, I am a real beginner and it's only like , which shapeways modeled of my sketch for that contest. And since then I'm fighting with CorelDraw + GoogleSketchup to 3D-model it myself ;)
    And I thought best practice should be to avoid manifold etc. in the creating-process. But it seems that even in Sketchup, I should model first and than fix it.
    Thanx, I'm going to learn/do my homework now ;)