SketchUp Plugins

Discussion in 'Software and Applications' started by Twopounder, Jan 14, 2012.

  1. Twopounder
    Twopounder New Member
    I've been browsing plugins for sketchup, but as a fairly new user, I'm not certain which ones are actually useful for 3d printing. Maybe we should have an aggregate list of plugins and what they enable you to do (in plain English) for people who are new or still learning.

    Error Checking
    Solid Inspector - scans for potential print errors and highlights them.

    Object Creation
    Shapes - quickly generates primitives (sphere, triangle, box, etc).

    Export/File Conversion
    SKP to STL to export STL files directly from Sketchup

    Here is a large number of plugins for making organic models (Organic models are people, animals, plants, etc).
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2012
  2. denali3ddesign
    denali3ddesign New Member
    Good idea!

    Solid Inspector, for sure.
    SKP to STL to export STL files directly from Sketchup

    I use lots of other plugins for modeling, they're not directly related to 3D printing
  3. Twopounder
    Twopounder New Member
    Well, it doesn't need to be directly related to printing, but something that can be useful. For example, a way to rig models so that you can put them in different poses/positions without rebuilding entire sections. That's generally not needed for 3d printing, but people who design miniatures or objects with multiple states could find it very useful.
  4. denali3ddesign
    denali3ddesign New Member
    Sketchup isn't really good for rigging models(that's not what it was designed/intended to do), but if you want to do it, this is probably the best way - using layers and copies: Rigging models in Sketchup -Part 1, Part 2, and a video

    Here is a list of all plugins hosted on Sketchucation, and at this time is likely the most comprehensive list of Sketchup plugins online. Of course there are many more plugins scattered around the web, but you have to search for them.

    Here is a Visual Index of "Must Have Ruby Plugins", with GIF's showing their purpose. (This is where the organic list above originated from)

    On that page listed above, here are my most frequently used:
    Fredo6 Round Corner - quickly add a bevel/radius to a 3D corner

    Fredo6 BezierSpline - draw Beziers and other polylines

    Chris Fullmer Shape Bender - bend a 3D object to match a 2D curve

    Recurve - select and weld individual segments into a polyline

    Not listed on that page, but also useful:
    MakeFaces - good for healing small holes in your model

    Twilight Render ($99) - make photorealistic renders of your models
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012