3D Printing Design: SketchUp Introduction
Project 1: Name Plate from SketchUp to STL File to 3D Printed Object.
Open SketchUp from the desktop
Choose Template: Product Design and Woodworking-Millimeters Click: Start Using SketchUp
First thing I want you to do is play with the program by drawing random things and using the tools. Do this for 5 to 10 minutes. Check out the instructor’s window for information. If it is not on, turn it on my checking that option under the Windows drop down menu. Familiarize yourself with the tools on the tool bar especially the Rectangle, Tape Measure, Move, Pan, Erase, Scale, Push/Pull, and Orbit tools. After playing, under File, click New to make a new project space to create your name plate.
First Project: Name Plate Project Size 80mm x 40mm x 10 mm
1. Create your Name or Initials
- Locate the 3D Text in the Tools drop down menu. It will open an input window for text.
- Type your initials or name. Choose your Font Then change the height to 30mm
- Click on Place, then click near where you want it to be on your work space. It will appear to be very small. Scroll in (or use the magnifying tool) with your mouse until the entire name is a reasonable size to work with. It may be too long for this project at the moment, but it will be adjusted later.
2. Create a Rectangular Base 80mm x 40mm x 7mm to be Your Base Plate.
- Use Rectangle tool and draw an approximate rectangle near your name.
- Use the Tape Measure tool to verify its size. Click on one corner and drag it along an axis until it is the size you desire (80mm) then click again to make a mark. Do the same on the other axis for 40mm.
- Adjust the size: Use the Scale tool. Type S to activate the tool (or click on the Scale button), then drag from the scale points until your rectangle’s size is correct and line up with your marks.
- You can clean up your measuring lines by moving your rectangle over and erasing the measuring lines left behind. Type M (or click the Move button) and move it over. Choose the Erase tool and drag it through your unwanted lines with the mouse button pressed. They will turn blue and when you release the mouse button they will disappear.
- Make the rectangle a 3D base for your name by selecting the rectangle’s face with the cursor button and using the Push/Pull tool, “pull out” the rectangle face to a height of approximately 3mm to 7mm.
3. Final Adjustment of Your Name
- Your name must fit on your rectangular backing plate. Move them close to each other, type M (or click the Move button) and adjust your visible perspective by using the Orbit tool and the Pan tool (looks like a hand) until you can make an easy comparison of sizes.
- Select your letters and use the Scale tool by typing S (or click on the Scale button), and drag from the scale points until your letters are the correct size to fit on your rectangular base.
- Make your letters between 3mm and 5mm tall in elevation.
4. Move Your Name to the Rectangle. (Much Trickier Than It Looks)
- Highlight your letters with the cursor and type M (or click the Move button) to drag the letters onto your base. Adjust the position of your letters until they looks good on top of the rectangle by moving it around or by slightly adjusting the scale of your rectangle.
- Be Careful of the elevation of your letters. Use the Orbit tool to inspect them from the side to be sure they are not floating above the base or sunk into the base. If you play with the elevation of the base with the Push/Pull tool, do not raise it past the height of the letters. If you bury them, it is difficult to select them again.
- Use the Orbit tool to inspect your name plate from every angle and correct any area that needs it.
5. Save your creation for later manipulation, and place it in your school folder.
- With the cursor, select your entire creation and save your SketchUp file for later manipulation.
- Then save your file as a STL file: Under the File or Tools tabs, select Export to DXF or STL, click OK to use millimeters, then in the box after Export to DFX options and choose stl. Label your file with your Name and Period. After you save, it will end up telling you how much it saves and how much it ignored. Click OK.
- Copy the stl file to the MakerBot flash drive for later printing.
Now, play some more with the tools and create something even better.