3D Printing Prep Workflow Suggestions

Hey Everyone,

I was just wondering if there’s been any updates to the 3D print prep work flow over the past few years. Currently I use Solid Inspector, but it can’t fix 90% of the issues it finds, so I end up spending hours, even days, tinkering with my models to try and fix small holes and internal faces.

Right now I’m trying to print this model:

Backstory: It’s of the mechanic shop next door to where I live. The building caught fire recently and I’m helping the owner design the repairs (for free). He’s a great guy and a very active member of our community. I wanted print him a model of his building while he’s operating out of another location temporarily for him to keep on his desk as a gesture from our block club. Was hoping it would help him remember how much he loves his shop and help him stay positive while he tries to rebuild.

Anyways, does anyone have any suggestions for a better work flow? I had made a second file of this model and spent 3 hours editing it to make it more print friendly, but I forgot to save so I kind of have to start over from scratch now so I figured I’d ask before I get started.

What happened to the first (rough?) file? And are you sure that the second file isn’t stored somewhere as ‘autosafed’ file? Try to find it before doing anything else with SketchUp.

See if you can upload a model to see what you have got.

Yeah, I had never saved it to begin with. It was just an untitled file.

The model has been uploaded to the SketchUp warehouse already: Campus Auto Repair | 3D Warehouse

You just need the outer parts so pull it apart and use the bits needed and add some stuff where you have to, like under the eaves.
Here I have made a decent start for you.
Campus+Auto+RepairBox.skp (750.9 KB)

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To me, the best workflow is to be aware of what kinds of flaws prevent a group or component from being solid, and while you work check Entity Info frequently to make sure you still have a solid. That way you will always know that the most recent thing(s) you did are what created the flaws. At best, you will realize where the flaws lie and be able to fix them easily. At worst, you can undo until the object is solid again and do the offending steps more carefully or differently without losing all of your prior work. If you assemble an object from multiple solids, outer shell can be your best friend.

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All good advice. And at least safe your work frequently with a “progressive” name, say “Mechanic shop A” and after a while doing so “Mechanic shop B” —> “Mechanic shop C” etc.

Just wanted to follow up on this and share that the major easy step that I was missing was to just take the exported STL and upload it to this website: Online 3D Print Service - 3D Model Upload | JOMATIK

The website auto repairs any problems with your file and makes it perfectly ready to print. Honestly will save you hours and hours and hours of work. I would love to see a feature like this built into SketchUp directly.