Having trouble making a case for electronics PCB


#1

PCB_case_v0.1.skp (1.3 MB)

Hi,
I’m completely new to SketchUp (with no experience with any other type of CAD either), so I’ve got no base to work from.

I’ve drawn up a PCB case that I want to 3D print, which looks great in SketchUp, but when I export it to STL & send it to print, it’s almost like it’s printing as a negative.

Sorry if this kind of question has been asked a million times, I find it completely frustrating searching forums, I very rarely find answers to my problems (yes, I know I just led with my chin, so please have a swing).

I’ve included the SketchUp file that I created.
I’d be stoked if someone could take a look at it & let me know where they think I’ve gone wrong & point me in the right direction as to where to find the info / tutorials / examples of how to properly draw such kinds of parts.

This is supposed to be an box with a sliding lid (lid is separate drawing), 2 x pin supports for the PCB with 2 x shoulder rests for the ends of the PCB & a few cut-outs for wiring entry / exits.

Many thanks in advance,
duBe


#2

Hey duBe, you’re missing the inner surfaces of the sliding track, so the model isn’t “solid”. There are also a few stray lines in the interior of the model that need to be deleted. Look for the Solid Inspector plugin in the Extension Warehouse to help you pinpoint problems with your model. Note that the model needs to be a group or component in order to be solid and printable.


#3

Thanks Marcus,
I’ll take a look at those things you mentioned.

I did try the Solid Inspector 2 plug in but it just kept telling me there
is a problem (not what the problem was) and offered to FIX the problem.

However when I selected FIX it just deleted 4/5 ths of the drawing, so I’m
not sure what I was doing wrong with that.

I thought that inside of the slide looked hollow but wasn’t sure as every
time I tried to fill it in, it just filled the whole slide solid (so it
wasn’t a slide anymore). So that confused me, making me believe it was ok.

I’ll have another go at it.

Cheers,
duBe


#4

Here’s a clever way to quickly fix it using the follow me tool. Please let me know if this makes sense.


#5

Wow!
Thanks HEAPS, cracking video instruction!

Cheers,
duBe


#6

Glad it helped :smile:

The only other things I did were clean up the stray lines and orient the faces so all the white ‘front’ sides are showing. (Right click on a white face > Orient faces)


#7

That was superb,
Once I had that slot sorted, Solid Inspector 2 worked like a dream; pointing out error that I could easily locate.

I was so buoyed by the success after following your video, I even inserted some text onto the top that is engraved right through so that it creates a hole where the letters are.

It was great once I knew how, thanks HEAPS, I really appreciate the help you’ve given me.
There’s no what I would have come to fix it without the awesome video you provided.

Cheers,
duBe


#8

Boom…You go! One thing to look out for now - the walls near the slot seemed a little thin. Might want to thicken them up to at least 1mm.

Cheers,
Marcus


#9

Ah, fair call that, they are only 0.5mm thick.
It seemed fair enough when the whole thing is only 55mm wide (or there
abouts) but now you mention it, it is really thin, probably won’t last too
long.

Thanks for the heads-up again, I REALLY appreciate it.

duBe


#10

Hi again,
I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind taking another look at my model as I now
can’t get an “area” for the case, despite Solid Inspector 2 telling me
everything’s alright.
So when I try OUTER SHELL, it tells me the main box is not solid. I can’t
find any problems though.

I know I’m missing something, I just don’t know what.

Thanks in advance,
duBe


#11

Sorry,
seems the file is too big for this forum (4MB)

Thanks in advance,
duBe


#12

Purge the model and upload it here.
Go Window/Model info/Statistics and click purge unused.
This will probably reduce the file size significantly.


#13

That’s an awesome tip!
Thanks heaps for that; went from 4.9MB down to 930KB.

Cool,
duBe


#14

Here you go, I gave it a quick tidy up and it’s now a solid.
You need to group all the geometry so that is can see it as a solid. I also placed the two round components into the group as a whole and removed the faces between them and the box.

This is a tiny anomaly that solid inspector cant see and stops sketchup seeing it as a solid. Where you have the letters R and X touching, it comes to a point and sort of confuses things.
I cut the leg of the R off and it becomes a solid in the eyes of sketchup, giving you a volume.
PCB_Case_v2.skp


#15

Explode the 2 pin support components, then triple-click the model to select all the connected geometry, then the group is solid except for this little bit here:

Which you can fix like this:

The bigger problem is that the text has only ~0.2mm wall thickness, which not too many printers can make legibly. You need to scale that text up some, or you wont see it on the print. What printer/material are you thinking to print this in?


#16

Thanks so much Box, that is GREAT!

I’m not exactly sure (guessing at best) what it means to group all the geometry.
Could you give me a push in the right direction there?

Thanks HEAPS,
duBe


#17

Draw a box around all the geometry to select it and right click, Make group.


#18

Oh I have a Uprint SE Plus that I can use, I’m not sure of what the material is though, some form of plastic (sorry, not at all clued-up on these things yet)

Cheers,
duBe


#19

Looks like we overlapped there a bit :smile:

duBe, have you seen this article with best practices for 3d printing sketchup models?


#20

Ah cool,
thanks heaps