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Importing STL into Sketchup


Florisvh
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Posted · Importing STL into Sketchup

Hi everyone,

 

I got a question regarding importing STL file, specifically into Sketchup.

 

We want to print a 3 story house (every floor seperatly). I got all the floors as an STL file from the Architect.

To print the floors we need to split them in segments as the scale will be 1:50. 

 

Only the STL files show up as this:

 

Its a real work to remove all the extra lines that are not needed (as STL creates triangles out of every surface).

 

Is there another way to import an STL into sketchup without all the extra lines?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Floris

firstfloor.PNG

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    • 2 weeks later...
    Posted · Importing STL into Sketchup

    @XYZDesignPro Sketchup can read and export STL files, but their stl files are notoriously messy. I've had more than one customer submit stl files from sketchup that needed to be corrected or outright redone given how badly the model looked once put in CURA: missing layers and trouble telling what is inside and outside where two mesh would meet resulting in empty spots instead of walls where the biggest troubles I've had with STL from Sketchup.

     

    @Florisvh It would indeed be easier to ask the architect for the files at the right format so you can print them, or maybe if he could send you the various elements as separate files so you can print them one by one?

     

    That being said, the extra lines shouldn't affect the quality of the print or prevent you from cutting the model in parts. They're a visual annoyance, that's all.

     

    I'd also suggest suing a real 3D modeling software like Blender to make proper cuts of your model. You can find many tutorials online explaining how to use the tools available in Blender for cutting complex mesh like yours in several pieces without completely destroying it.

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    Posted · Importing STL into Sketchup

    @Brulti,

     

    I will look into Blender, thanks for the tip:).

    I found a cleanup tool for Sketchup (Clean-up 3), which cleaned every line that is not needed in seconds, that helped alot.

     

    Regarding to exporting from sketchup to Cura, what do u recommend file wise? I'm using .obj at this point.

    i'm asking this because we are trying to print with 2 colors but this doesnt go well. The second color just screws up in the first few layers.

    All settings are correct, using PLA we use 2 x 0.4mm AA nozzles (both cleaned) and the printer is callibrated. using the second nozzle on the first and the first on the second gives the same result.

     

    Off topic but maby u have an answer to that aswell:).

     

     

    Foutieve print.JPG

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    Posted (edited) · Importing STL into Sketchup

    I would recommend ditching Sketchup and using something else, like Blender. Blender is a bit harder to learn and use than Sketchup, but the results are so much better. I've designed a few things in Blender, and printed more things designed in Blender then exported as STL into CURA with no troubles with the models.

     

    I say Blender because it is free, but there are many alternatives out there, most of them requiring to be bought though.

     

    As for your other problem, I'm' not quite sure. If that's supposed to be a wall made with the second color, I'd guess that this is massive underextrusion, since I don't see the dreaded spaghetti all around the model. Have you checked that the settings for both extruders are the same? Also checked your feeders or the spool to make sure that the filament is moving correctly?

     

    You should open a dedicated subject for that problem, there are people with far more knowledge about such problems that could give you a better answer and solution.

     

     

    Edited by Brulti
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    Posted (edited) · Importing STL into Sketchup

    And This? Works for me!

    https://extensions.sketchup.com/en/content/sketchup-stl

     

    Edited by jeracom
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    Posted · Importing STL into Sketchup

    For technical drawings, I always recommend Fusion 360, it is also free for non-commercial use and has a great feature set. I don't know Blender in deep, but I guess it is more for sculpting.

     

    Regarding Sketchup, I would also advise to avoid it, there are tons of postings here, with similar problems.

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    Posted · Importing STL into Sketchup
    On 1/30/2019 at 4:10 AM, Smithy said:

    I don't know Blender in deep, but I guess it is more for sculpting.

    Blender is an all 'round polygonal modeler with both organic and mechanical properties built in. There are some incredible plugins that can be purchased (minor costs) that greatly extend the capabilities of Blender.

     

    HardOps is amazing. masterxeon1001  knocks this outta the ballpark:

     

    And there are architecture tools (Just load this and let it autoplay through until you are bored:

     

    There are tones of tools to do a lot of things.

     

    But, be warned, Blender is not an easy tool to use. Powerful but really difficult to learn. A bit laid up from surgery and cannot print at this time (Physical limitations and such), so, this may be when I need to buckle down and learn it. I actually purchased hardops a while back based on how clean it appears to do boolean style operations as well as all the other built in tool.

     

    There is no shortage of addeons for Blender. Some for free, some for a decent amount of money. Nothing too extravagant.

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    Posted · Importing STL into Sketchup
    On 10/31/2018 at 7:34 AM, Florisvh said:

    Hi everyone,

     

    I got a question regarding importing STL file, specifically into Sketchup.

     

    We want to print a 3 story house (every floor seperatly). I got all the floors as an STL file from the Architect.

    To print the floors we need to split them in segments as the scale will be 1:50. 

     

    Only the STL files show up as this:

     

    Its a real work to remove all the extra lines that are not needed (as STL creates triangles out of every surface).

     

    Is there another way to import an STL into sketchup without all the extra lines?

     

    Thanks in advance.

     

    Floris

    firstfloor.PNG

     

    They probably sent you STL as they knew you were going to print it?

     

    My advice would be to get the solid CAD files, STP etc. and do the modifications while solid. Then you can convert to STL yourself for printing.

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    Posted · Importing STL into Sketchup

    There is also Bforartists:

    https://www.bforartists.de/

     

     

    Comparative video here:

    https://youtu.be/zSbxfYF7rIY

     

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    Posted · Importing STL into Sketchup

    And it appears that the new version of Blender will be a bit easier to use with improved UI philosophy:

    https://youtu.be/lPVpg4_POww

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    Posted · Importing STL into Sketchup

    There are also a ton of free add-ons that enable you to do many things.

     

    As @kmanstudios said, Blender has quite the learning curve, and you'll need to dedicate time to learn it's intricacies and get enough of a hold of it to be able to use it efficiently. But it is very powerful. The new version is supposed to improve the readability of the UI, among many other things, but it is still in beta, so, if you give it a try, don't be surprised to find bugs, and if you do, report them to the Blender team.

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