May I please have some workflow advice for this situation?

I was wondering if anyone could please give some advice on workflow ideas for this situation.

I create models with lots of segments because as 3d printing technology is improving, I would rather not have to remake the same models over and over again in the future as resolution get’s better and better. (I plan on 3d-printing these marine stud chain style links in wax for casting not only in the near future but may make the chain in the future as well).

The problem is… even though I’m not building entire cities or even buildings… I’ve managed to slow Sketchup to a ultra-slow crawl each time I try to use the “Outer shell” tool for each of my links. It literally takes an hour to do each link! An hour!

Is there any recommendations on workflow that would speed up this process? It’s taking me days to create an outer shell of this casting tree. I still have the lower two sets of chain links to use the outer shell tool with.

I would at least like to be able to select all of the links and then use Outer Shell tool. But you can only pick 2 total components at a time when using Outer Shell, correct?

Is there a script available that will allow me to pick the order of all the components and just use the Outer Shell tool and leave my computer on over night?

I really don’t want to learn Solid Works, even if that program allows multi-threading graphic processing. I prefer to continue using Sketchup.

Thanks for any advice,

Outershell can do any number of pieces in one go, as long as they are all solids. If you draw a selection box around your tree and there is one stray edge in there you won’t get the Outershell option. Check entity info, it will tell you if you have a number of solids or not.

The other thing to consider is that you may not need to use Outershell at all. Many printers recognize multiple component models and print them as one.

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Hello Box. Thanks for the ideas. Yes my components are all solids as I keep a clean workflow since my models must be evetually printable.
Could you please tell me how to use Outer Shell with more than 2 components with one instance?

The tall cylinder you see is one solid component and it has most of the chain links that are all one solid piece with it. The rest of the components are the remaining 6 or 7 chains near the bottom. How can I tell Outer Shell to make all of the components into one solid without using Outer Shell 7 or 8 more times in order to add each of the remaining chain links? (Each time I do this it takes about 1 hour to add each link the the growing single component).

I can only use Shapeways to 3d print since I have to have the model printed in wax and no other service comes close to making it affordable. (for wax printing). That’s interesting that some 3d printers will automatically read a model as solid if it has internal geometry. I would think that if 3d printers can do that, then Shapeways should be able to do this as well as they do have some good online editing software that can auto-fix some things.

Just select everything you want, right click and select outershell, and go to dinner and a show etc It will take a long time, but as I said above, if everything you select are solid groups or components and Outershell is available in right click, then bobs your uncle.

You could try uploading your model to the 3d warehouse and use the make printable option, this might save you the bother of using outershell.

Is it possible to post skp model of chain link. Some times skp model is not really clean and adds a lots of processing time?

Looks like there is a pattern in the links, so you can create one segment as a component and array copy it…

chainscomp.skp (396.8 KB)

You can modify the component to create a nearly solid object (close only top and bottom) without the need for outershell.

Ah, great ideas all of you. I knew there had to be a better way. Thank you so much for your help Cotty, Box, and Mac.