Importing 3D files from McMaster Carr

MC offers a variety of 3D file formats EDRW, IGES, PDF, SAT, Solidworks, STEP. Any suggestions about using any of these?

Only had success with DXF that I created myself.

I frequently download their DXF files with no problem. You can get an importer for STEP files from the Extension Warehouse but I find those files tend to be very tedious to work with and require a lot of cleanup and repair. I prefer to work with the 2D DXF files instead.

Do you use the 2D files to create 3D?

Yes. Depending on the thing I’m modeling, I might use some of the imported file as a guide. Small round things for example are often way over detailed for use in SU so I will redraw them using more reasonable number of sides/faces.

Here’s a typical STEP file from McMaster-Carr imported into SketchUp. Green is my default back face color. All those faces need to be corrected. The hand wheel is the only thing in the model but look at the statistics. If I modeled that myself it would actually look better and be a lighter component.

Thanks, I will give it a try. I’m finding some items already in the warehouse but not everything. And never well labeled.

I don’t bother with the Warehouse. Maybe I’m too picky but I haven’t found components that I need that don’t also require a lot of cleanup and repair to be usable.

Out of curiosity, what sorts of components are you after?

FWIW, I started to clean up the model. After correcting the face orientation and exploding the components, I ran ThomThom’s CleanUp3.

I then started to do some manual clean up although it’s not finished. There’s still excessive geometry and weird areas that would be difficult to work with. In the time I’ve already spent trying to clean it up, I could have drawn it manually based on the 2D DXF file and already be using it in a larger model.

Continous hinges, levellers, cam locks, etc. We design exhibits and habitats for museums and zoos.

Ahh… Make sure after you create the components you save them for later use. :wink:

I use their 2d hardware files for construction Docs, i have learned to create a hardware file and keep all my nuts and bolts in one file, " no pun intended" that i simplify the overdone contours to simple lines therefore i can display my hardware in a dashed line if needed.

After getting the lawn mowed and some other stuff done, I decided to model the hand wheel from the 2D DWG file. Here’s my result. I could probably have gotten away with even less geometry.

And although not critical for a lot of things, my components are solid which means they are very clean and will be easier to work with.

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Nice, I created a lot of 3D objects like that in Vectorworks for my museum work. I need to go back and mine it all out, save as DXFs and prep for import.

I had worked in Vectorworks going back to the original minicad but they finally priced themselves out of the running. I like Sketchup, but being an old dog…argh.

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