Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile


what's wrong with easy to use software like SketchUP

Posted by mbhassan 
what's wrong with easy to use software like SketchUP
November 24, 2010 10:21PM
First I apologise if this is repeated, but I've went through all the posts that I could find and had no satisfying result
also this is my first post so please don't let me down,

my story, I've been having some hard time trying to run my CNC router as reprap, all troubles regarding the software,
the only one that seems to work with me is RepSnapper with tonokip firmware,
now I'm trying to design some parts for a university project, all the 3d designing programs mentioned here and there are very user unfriendly,
the only one that is really easy to work with is the google sketchup, however it doesn't naturally support exporting to stl files,

I've tried this and this and this and this, while some didn't work and others gave varying results, however the last one was the closest, the stl file was successfully imported into repsnapper (and replicatorg - but unable to use it with stepper extruder anyway) but when converting to gcode only a part of it is converted and printed

i've tried a mesh fixing tool (called fablabb or something), same results as well,

so did anyone managed to use sketchup and got a successful print?? can anyone guide me to convert su to stl????

Muhammad Badr

BTW: I use Vista, XP, Ubuntu 10.04 and 10.10 (no sketchup for linux :-( )
Re: what's wrong with easy to use software like SketchUP
November 25, 2010 06:06AM
I did a quick test using the first plugin in your list,and got a successful print a couple months ago...

But I use Inventor to make my models, so haven't exercised the sketchup option vigorously..

Are you trying to make models that simply won't skein (no matter what modeling program)?


Re: what's wrong with easy to use software like SketchUP
November 26, 2010 09:02AM
Hi, I don't get what u mean by "won't skein", if u mean thin boarders then the answer is no,
I've tried many designs but unable to build any, for example the attached pic, when i attempt to build the base (at the very bottom of the pic) using repsnapper, it only make gcode for (and print) the thin triangular base but not the part holding the servo,
open | download - Robotic Arm Assemplly.png (23.8 KB)
Re: what's wrong with easy to use software like SketchUP
November 26, 2010 04:42PM
Have you tried Skeinforge? Repsnapper has lots of limitations...

to Skein means to slice the model (cut it into layers) and calculate extruder paths for it...
When you do this, you tell the slicer what your extrude looks like... of course if you design something that is smaller than your extrude... it may not work out. (try to make a .5mm thick wall, with a .7mm extrude, then you will get a .7mm wall... but other features may fail the slicer)

Designing for 3D printers is like designing for any other process.. you need to understand what the tool can do.

I use Skeinforge, and only use Skeinforge to manually control the printer, and load the gcode created by skeinforge... It will fail on imperfect models too.. but it is much better than repsnappers slicer...


Re: what's wrong with easy to use software like SketchUP
November 28, 2010 10:50AM
mmmmm, I don't know how to use Skeinforge confused smiley I tried it but got lost with all those buttons and settings,
I know that ReplicatorG uses Skeinforge, but I didn't know how to adjust the settings for direct drive stepper extruder,
I'll try and search again for some explanation to set up ReplicatorG or to generate the gcode directly from Skeinforge, if you can help me with that I'd really appreciate it, thanks in advance and thanks for your response so far,
Re: what's wrong with easy to use software like SketchUP
March 19, 2011 06:50PM
Have you looked at eDrawings? It is a piece of software that is coupled with SolidWorks but can run independantly. It is what I have used in the past to convert SU files to any other kind of files that I needed. I haven't tried it in regards to 3D printing, but I am hoping to soon.

eDrawings Website

I would suggest downloading and using the Publisher version of the program.

Hope this helps!
Re: what's wrong with easy to use software like SketchUP
March 20, 2011 08:35AM
I haven't read through all replies so excuse any repetition.

I use 'Solidworks'. It to is very easy to use but if you do have trouble there is a very good help menu with Show me's. It can export .STL files direct. I have tried 'Googles' Sketchup, mainly because it will run on my Mac. I could not find a way to produce an extrusion with a cross section that varies in shape and size along it's length. Straight tapers, follow me's or revolutions, do not suffice in all cases.

You will need to convert the .STL file to Gcode. I am told 'ReplicatorG' is good for this and free to download. There are others.

My problem is sorting the interpreter/firmware on board the Arduino.
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login