AC-130 won't print in 3D Printer


I have been designing an AC-130 airplane through Sketchup Pro for a while. I had finished a design but it wouldn’t print, so I re-designed it and it still wouldn’t print. I read somewhere that printers have a minimum thickness so I increased the size so it would work, but it didn’t. Is there something I am doing wrong? AC-130 Sketchup.skp (400.6 KB)

I would HIGHLY recommend installing Solid Inspector and running that. You have nested instances, internal faces, zero thickness entities… First step would be to explode out your groups, and group together single, solid pieces (fuselage as one piece, a propeller as another, and start making each group manifold, one at a time.

To dive a little deeper, your model needs a lot of cleanup and prep. If I explode everything (all levels of nested groups) and run Solid Inspector on a re-grouped body of the plane, I get many errors:

This kind of stuff is what needs to be “cleaned up” The extra geometry and overlapping, but not intersecting geometry need to be addressed so that each “piece” is a single, solid geometry.

Once that is done, you will need to address how the pieces will physically get printed. In this example, I took one group and showed hoe you have it on the left, then repositioned it on the right:

While you CAN just send anything to your printer and hole that your slicing software will properly support the geometry you have sent, a much better practice is to place your pieces so that they will si flat on the print bed and can be simply supported, only if necessary.

I hope this helps! Don;t give up, and take advantage of the many topics in the 3D printing section of this forum to learn more about using SketchUp to create 3D printable models.

The dark triangles have to be “umgedreht” (sorry, don´t know the english word).

But first of all: all has to be converted from SKP to STL-format ! for some suggestions.

They do but ,if you do not have any thickness to start the scaling up does not help. Aaron’s idea of making components on surface will likely be easy to make solid. You could have all the parts printed separately and then assemble your self. If the component / model does not have some thickness the printer will treat the whole item as solid which means the cost can be x7 vs one properly modeled and you may have to included some escape holes / support post etc. depending on print technology you ultimately use. Of course then you have the option of different paints etc.
You need to let use know which approach since it can impact model.
BTW you have PRO so the use of the solid tools can be beneficial to you.
BTW make use of symmetry to make ½ then mirror.