Fixing Errors Through the 3D Print Option in Sketchup


#1

My first 3D printer is on the way, so I’m revving up by designing some models that I want to print when it arrives. I have some prior experience in 3D modeling, but as the old saying goes, it’s just enough to be dangerous.

One of my models has some unrepairable errors when I run it through the Soiid Inspector extension. However, when I use File>3D Print, and select the “Repair” tool, it comes back saying it’s “Printable.”

From a practical standpoint, can I rely on .stl file that is generated there to use on my own 3D printer? I know I should learn to manually fix errors myself, but for the time being will going through the above process guarantee me a printable file, without having to fuss with it further, just as long as it is fixed through the 3D Print option in Sketchup?

Thanks!


#2

There is no standard File->3D Print menu item in SketchUp, so this is being provided by an exporter or extension you have installed. I don’t know what adds that particular menu item, but evidently it has a different notion of “repair” and “printable” than Solid Inspector. You could try opening the stl with your 3D printer’s software and see whether it looks correct. Pay particular attention to the areas where Solid Inspector flagged issues. If they seem to be repaired, go ahead and give printing a shot.

There are some kinds of errors that an automated tool such as Solid Inspector can not legitimately repair without reading your mind! For example, if the surface of the solid runs up to an Edge that has only one Face adjacent to it, that “surface boundary” creates a hole that makes the solid not valid. To close up the hole, one must connect the ends of the Edge to other vertices until the hole is “stitched” shut. But is a tool’s automated stitching what you meant? Maybe. maybe not…


#3

You’re right, it is through an extension that I must have forgotten that I installed. What fooled me was that it shows up inside the Sketchup menu structure now.

I guess I’ll just have to experiment with it after the printer arrives and see how effective the repair function is through that extension.

Thanks.


#4

Either way the inspector reports you should use additional checks especially if it reports solid. Some of the commercial printers provide for free web based analysis tools to check your model submitted to them or even free version of their pro tool. Shapeway and I. materialse both do this. They can make reapirs and also check for potential structural problems
https://i.materialise.com/blog/5-mistakes-to-avoid-when-designing-a-3d-model-for-3d-printing
http://3dprintingindustry.com/3d-printing-basics-free-beginners-guide/processes/


BTW one of the big mistakes is folks do not pay attention to the print material they should use, For example using melted plastic is obviously prone to 1G affects, sagging etc depending how item is installed on printer=> goal is no over hangs etc.