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"Methods to design moving parts in SketchUp for 3D Printing ”

Subhra Bera: Editor

SketchUp is famous for its 3D printing models and objects but the method of creating design moving parts in SketchUp for 3D printing is a matter of practice.

3D printing or additive manufacturing is way of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital life. The creation or making of a 3D printed object is achieved using additive processes and in this process, an object is made by laying down successive layers of material till the object is created. Each of these layers can be visible as a thinly sliced horizontal cross-section of the eventual object. So basically 3D printing is the opposite of subtractive manufacturing which is cutting out a piece of metal or plastic with for specimen a milling machine.

SketchUp is just made for 3D printing and designing in SketchUp is cool as 3D printing is something that moves is cooler and unique than that. In this article we are going to discuss about a few features that can be include by the users to make their creations more than just interestingly shaped hunks of immobile plastic. Aidan Chopra and Rebecca Huehls this time comes up with new tricks about 3D printing in SketchUp.

Captive Joints in SketchUp:

A Captive Joint is basically a movable connection that comes out from the previously assembled and working 3D printer. Captive joints are mechanically simple links, ball joints and chain links but they are very powerful. A 3D printer can quickly made objects with hundreds of captive joints that may take a lot of time to build by hand. As there are many poseable action figures, clothing and chainmail which are the examples of simple captive joints assembled into complex structures.

Creating Captive Joints in SketchUp:

Though SketchUp is an easy tool of creating 3D objects though making a captive joint needs many trial and error. Users need to do experiments to get the perfect mixture of clearances and shapes. Here are some rules to keep in mind while working on captive joints:

  • Components should be used to build structures with captive joints as they let the users to modify all the joints automatically.
  • Designing on captive joints depend on using of the specific 3D printing technology; SLS-based 3D printers can build captive joints with millimeters across while FDM printers make strong joints.
  • As a structure is only as strong as its weakest part so a joint should be made a little mixture of fine and hard structure.
  • As 3D printing is cheap and with captive joints one is pushing the limits of technology so objects need to be tested before work
  • SketchUp Pins:

    SketchUp pins are small, round cinch fittings that are pressed into the right place to create a connection and they can be a flexible replacement for hardware. As pins like bolts come in exact size and shape as per the need of users and they can also print more while running out.

  • While designing the pins, users need to make them one flat side as it will give them a way to build the pins without using support material but keep the tongues horizontal to create platform.
  • Making pins into components let them modify easily at once it is needed to do.
  • Designing a project with pin joints, create an effort to standardize around a small number of pin sizes as it will keep things clean and simplifies assembly.
  • Loose to Groups: This helps to gain the geometry by ungrouping it and organizing it in something useful.

Gears in SketchUp: They are great to create motions or transferring movement through a mechanism; they exist in every mechanical device like in some form or other since a long time and are the basis of an incalculable number of smart devices. Making of gears is fun thing and here are some steps of making it easily:

  • Gears need to have clearance between their surfaces to work well.
  • There is a SketchUp extension named Involute Gears that automates the process of making gears; this extension is not available in the Extension Warehouse so download it from sketchup gear plugin through Google.
  • Creating optimized gears from scratch is a technical art form so practice is needed.
Methods to design moving parts in SketchUp for 3D Printing

Source:www.dummies.com/programming/google-sketchup/design-moving-parts-sketchup-3d-printing

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