SketchUp as a hobby


One must be careful not to get their shirtsleeve caught in such interesting devices…


My Cygnus Prime plaque arrived today :smile:

Printed in polished bronze steel [please forgive the size of the image, but I wanted to impart some idea of the quality of the result]


Random project …


@jimhami42, what is this random project about? are you 3D-printing the object or making it at actual (human compatible) size? :hammer:


Perhaps nostalgia?



[Lincoln Logs][1] — John Lloyd Wright’s enduring contribution to American youth.



I wouldn’t have understood the use and importance of logs to build cabins etc. when I was young.
Where I grew up temperature was 82 F (28 C) or higher, as was the temp. of sea water. So after school it was time for fishing, swimming, catching birds, building rafts etc. First snow I saw was at the age of seven in New York, thought it was beach sand like where I lived.


I thought it would be fun to 3D print a miniature Lincoln Log Cabin (3-4 inches long) as a desktop conversation piece. Unfortunately, when I scaled it down, the roof is too thin to print in the material I want. While it will alter the authenticity of the final version, I plan to thicken the roof internally and perhaps hollow out the backs of the logs to reduce the cost. I never had my own Lincoln Logs, but I had a number of friends who let me play with theirs (the cabin I’ve modeled was the basic configuration achievable with the basic entry-level Lincoln Log set).


I’m a little disappointed that I can’t build an accurate full-scale model and then simply have it 3D printed at 1/3 scale :frowning:

My final model is a close-enough approximation, I think:

It’s 3.5" x 1.5" (or 1.71" if you count the roof overhang). The downside of having it printed by a vendor is that I have to wait about 10 days for it to arrive. Oh well …


My dose of nostalgia arrived today :smile:


New project:


3D printable in full-color sandstone (about 7" tall):

Cost: $44.09 + S&H

For MakerBot users (about 5.7" high):

STL file (will need to scale this appropriately): cape15c.stl (320.7 KB)


Now you need to print a model of yourself to put it on.



New project … model the Earth from a grayscale heightmap:

Transform to spherical coordinates and render with Thea:

“Give me a place to stand and a 3D printer large enough and I will create a whole world.” - Archimedes


I wanted to put my model on the 3D Warehouse site, but I ran into some serious size issues. I ended up using a different heightmap that produced a better result with a lower polygon count and split it into two models of the East and West Hemispheres:


After playing with the geometry for a bit, I realized that I had used the wrong calculations for the z values (palm slap on the forehead moment). The changes resulted in a much better distribution of the polygons as well as providing a more correct result. I also added a back face to the hemispheres so that they can be scaled down and 3D printed. I’ve uploaded the new models and will eventually delete the older versions.

The links below replace the previous ones I posted:

[edited] My previous upload of the Western Hemisphere never finished processing, so I deleted it and uploaded it again:


Old project … model my HP-15C calculator.

In 2006, this was my first modeling project in Second Life. I scanned the six sides of my calculator and applied them as textures to a flat brick shape. I was amazed at how realistic it looked with such a simple piece of geometry. About five years ago, it was one of the first models I made in SketchUp. This time I modeled it in 3D and projected the textures onto the faces. Once again, I was amazed at how realistic it looked:

Last year, I had a 1/2 size model 3D printed in full-color sandstone, which, although it resembles a really grainy photo (pun intended), it clearly looks like its biological parent:


And the right answer is already there. Or is it my street number?



Do the links to the globe still exist? It is awesome!


You should be able to click on “3D Warehouse” in the viewers which will take you to the website:


Forgive me, I realized that for some reason, when viewing on my full functional windows tablet, it didn’t let me double click that.

Now I’m seeing it works.



New Project: Import shapefiles into SketchUp.

Somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew that there was a lot of geo-spatial data lurking out there on the internet. Thanks to a question by @rainersherwood, I finally got around to seeing what it was all about and came up with a generic shapefile importer:
jimhami42_shapefile_importer.rb (7.9 KB)
While it’s hard to find good height data in order to map buildings in 3D, there’s a plethora of 2D datasets available from GEOFABRIK: Download any of these and the importer should be able to create polygons from the information. Depending on the dataset, some may need to be scaled up by as much as 100,000 (or more) in order to prevent errors caused by the tiny edge effect. A value of 10,000 is sufficient for the state of Delaware (US), for example.

From the plugin comments:

# Two files are needed to properly import a shapefile:
#    example.shp (shapefile containing polygon information)
#    example.shx (shapefile containing index information)
# The importer currently only imports type 5 shapefiles which contain polygon information
# with (possibly) multiple parts. Wherever more than one part is encountered, it is added
# as a hole in the parent polygon. Each polygon is grouped and named with the index value
# appended to the specified name (if no name is specified, only the index number will be
# used). The default name is the time that the importer was launched in the format of:
# The default scale is set to 1.0, however, if the program crashes with a too few points
# error, it can be increased as needed. Inspection of the bounding box values compared to
# the real-world size of the box should determine a rough guideline on setting a proper
# scale factor. Note that the initial bounding box values are taken from the shapefile
# itself and are not scaled.
# A good approach to large datasets is to import only the first 1000 records or so and
# then overlay a map to determine the bounding box you want to use for all the records.
# TIP: before starting the import, create a short line at the origin to use with the
#      tape measure tool to determine the co-ordinates of the bounding box.
# 3D height data is available in associated example.dbf files, but each requires a
# different schema map and field names to match. However, in lieu of that, each imported
# polygon can have an optional height applied to it by entering the height where
# indicated (100.0 or so is a good start; you can always scale the groups when done with
# the import).
# Larger imports may consume more than the physical memory available. While the import
# will probably finish someday, it could take figuratively forever. In this case, the
# following two lines should be commented out where they appear in the code:
#        @@model.start_operation("Import Shapefile",true)
#        @@model.commit_operation
# This will run somewhat slower, but it will finish in a reasonable amount of time.
# Shapefiles for most countries and states can be found at:
# Click on the link to download shapefiles. Unzip in a folder and then launch the
# importer, browse to the *.shp or *.shx file, and select one of them (either will
# do - however, both file types need to be available in the same folder).