In this lesson we continue to build our design skills by creating a 3D widget in sketchup to print on our 3D printer. Also, if you are following along, you really need to get a nice set of digital calipers for testing dimensions and tolerances of your design you can get a good pair here:
In this video lesson we describe how to print designs from Sketchup on a 3D printer. Key thing is you need to go to the sketchup Extension Warehouse, under the window tab in scketchup. Then you need to search for and install the .STL Export extension. With this extension, you can export your design file as an .stl file. Then you can load the .stl file into your slicer software to generate the gcode for the printer. I found that it is very straightforward to go from sketchup to the 3D printer.
As most of you know I teach high school engineering classes. While our main focus is on electronics, circuits and microcontrollers, we also dabble in other engineering areas. A few years ago I wanted to expand more into the mechanical domain. We ended up getting burned really bad by purchasing a Makerbot Replicator 3D printer. Bases on how bad that went, I have been very cautious about dipping my toe back into the 3D printer arena. Being a sucker for bleeding edge technology, I did bite the bullet and purchase another 3D printer last week. After a whole lot of research I got the Raise3D N2 plus printer. I have it up and running, and the bottom line is that I believe this printer is a real winner, and is ready for prime time. My full review is in the video below:
To incorporate new technology into the classroom, the technology must be mature enough that you can count on it to work. If you are teaching a class on mechanical design, and the printer is down for weeks on end, the class becomes restless, and you have a pretty big problem on your hands. That is what happened when we got the Makerbot. The good news is that the Raise3D printer appears to be rock solid, and reliable enough to use in the classroom. I will be posting more tutorials and howto’s on this printer in the future, but for now, I will say I am impressed with everything I have seen in this printer. If you are interested in a rock solid 3D printer, I recommend the Raise3D, available at the link HERE. This is for the top of the line model which I have. Yes, it is a little on the pricy side, but like I say in the video, there is nothing more expensive than a cheap 3D printer. In my mind the Raise3D is worth every cent.