The first fundamental rule is that all the models that have to be printed must first be solid elements .
What is a solid? A solid is an object in which all its edges begin exactly from two planes, thus generating a totally sealed element.
When you want to join several groups or components, you must combine them with the Foreign Material tool (Outershell, in English). It is the way to transform them into a unique solid. And remember that you should not create subgroups , just an Outside Material.
The most common errors we found when working with solids are the following:
To see and correct these errors, we recommend activating the hidden geometry in the menu View → Hidden Geometry, which also allows to show the transparent mode of the Styles icon. Remember to use the guides to draw auxiliary lines: they will not be exported in your STL model.
Another important rule is that your model can not have planes without volume. We recommend you draw planes with a minimum thickness of 1mm , because most filaments of 3D printers ignore inferior thicknesses and therefore, do not print them.
To avoid problems in 3D printing, make sure your plans are well oriented. The plane's normal should always look out.
To detect this error quickly, simply change the default value of the plane color to another more vivid color , so you can more easily see the orientation of the plane as you draw. You can do it from the CONFIGURATION OF STYLES window → EDIT → FACE. If you have an inverted face, simply click on it with the right button and select reverse faces; If you have several inverted faces, select a well-oriented plane, click on it with the right button and choose ORIENT FACES.
If you are working with a 3D filament printer, keep in mind that not all forms are printable. If the model has protruding geometry you must maintain a minimum angle of 45 ° so that the filament does not fall by gravity. If the angle is less than 45 °, you will have to add supports to form it.
It is important to remember that the print size is directly proportional to the resolution . This means that the larger the print size, the definition will be higher and the finish much better.
One last thing we must mention is that if you have pieces assembled in your model you must maintain an equidistance of 0.3 mm between them , so that the pieces fit well.
To finish this article, we are going to show you our latest project with SketchUp and 3D printing . His name is Xuxesbot and is a remote control robot that is designed with SketchUp, programmed with Arduino and controlled by a smartphone.