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The Google SketchUp Thread

Started by marc_reusser, May 15, 2010, 11:24:21 PM

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Quote from: lab-dad on April 29, 2015, 06:53:31 AM
I got the two part sprues scaled to 1/16th (.0625")
I ran them both through the Meshlab and Netfab.

1. After i repair and apply and remove old part the error triangle still remains?

2. Also when I export do I "optimize"?

That is more than enough for a sprue. I usally keep my main sprue at around 1.2mm/0.47 in. .. and that is simply because the shorter/intermediate sprues to the parts I keep at 1mm. As Marc says later .. makes sense to connect to a square sprue and pulling a round sprue 1mm dia from the part to a 1.2mm main sprue I get no problems. That little extra 'meat' lets everyting nestle nice.

That error traiangle remains sometimes no matter what I do .. but .. answering your next question .. select optimize .. and export the file anyway. This usually creates a good mesh.

Still early in the morning and I have only just now started my fist up of coffee .. after feeding my screaming/starving cats .. but .. not sure if this was mentioned in the past. In order that a mesh is "good to go" I do a few things .. some of which MeshLab and NetFabb can 'fix' but I have found it easier to fix them myself at an earlier point ..

(1) remove internal walls: If you take a cube attach a sprue to it you can do that in two ways .. (a) pull the sprue from the surface .. or .. (b) create the spure(or part) and attach it to the surface. In the first case (a) creating the sprue shape on the object and pulling it .. you are pulling that face you created and there isn't an internal face. With (b) you have a face of the sprue against the face of the cube. If you export that mesh you will have an internal face. NetFabb MIGHT fix that .. or Shapeway's own software (which I believe is actually a version of NetFabb) might.

If you use the section tool you can get a cross-section of that join and you can delete that internal face yourself and you will KNOW that problem is gone. If you click that internal face and the surrounding meshes are selected then you need to select all and 'intersect faces' .. then select that face and hit delete.

Below .. the cube on the left. In the center I pulled a round sprue from the surface and it pulls the face with it so all is good. On the right is one where the cylinder was created separately from the cube and attached. This has a wall where they connect.

To fix this yourself, you select the entire object .. cube and cylinder and "intersect faces". You can then ... again using the section tool to see inside .. click that unwanted face and hit delete. 

Again .. MeshLab and NetFabb may .. probably will .. fix this but I find that doing this in Sketchup prior to exporting the file really helps. JMO of course.

Ed Traxler

Lugoff, Camden & Northern RR

Socrates: "I drank WHAT?"


(2) When you open the exported mesh in Meshlab ..

Click the 7th icon from the left. Looks like a stack of paper .. is layers screen .. so you can see the following actions.

Filters >> Cleaning and Repairing >> Remove Duplicate Faces
Filters >> Cleaning and Repairing >> Remove Duplicated Vertex

When I do this I usually get no duplicate faces (I removed them in SU earlier) . but can get litterally thousands of duplicated verexes removed

You will see the mesh name in the right side screen. This is where you duplicate the mesh for multiple copies by the way .. but .. right click the name and select "Freeze Current Matrix". This might not be always necesary but
it is one of those (it may not help but sometimes it DOES) things. If you hover over that a tooltip will appear and explain in EXAUSTIVE detail what it does.

Now .. export the file as a .stl (if that is what you use) and upload to NetFabb
Ed Traxler

Lugoff, Camden & Northern RR

Socrates: "I drank WHAT?"


Thanks Ed,
I followed all your instructions on your web page and even printed them out!
I will send the original file when I get home.

My main question at this point is how did I get the one bad part in the middle?
I copied from right to left so it is a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy BUT
The following copy of that copy and it's copy are fine.
Just curious HOW this can happen?
Got to be a software glitch.
It only shows up (all the triangles) in meshlab and netfab.

I hope others can learn from my experiences here.
I dreaded taking the plunge but now am very excited to use these tools when others just wont work. I have a lot to learn but am looking forward to it!



The last few sets of instructions will be very valuable to many of us. Thanks very much. -- Russ



Did you check to see if you might have two stacked parts there?  Sometimes when doing copy> paste, or copy> paste in place> move, one can inadvertently make to many copies and leave one in place....or you may have accidentally copy> pasted over one during the process and not noticed.
I am an unreliable witness to my own existence.

In the corners of my mind there is a circus....



Ok. Marty sent me the mesh .. comments follow:

(1) I used the Section View Tool to look inside the mesh. You can see right off some potential problems. The smaller spures run into the larger with the ends extending into the larger. Intercourse walls/faces show.  I'm going to talk about this .. that the various tools like NetFabb and  Shapeway's versions will probably fix these issues .. but it makes sense to me to clean the mesh up yourself

(2) Zoom in to the part that Marty had a problem with .. and it was what Marc suggested. There are two copies .. slightly offset

(3) Here .. I pulled it out of the mesh and moved it up and out of the way. Once I exported this screen-shot I deleted it

(4) Problem: There are open areas in the mesh where the two cylinders intersect.

Reason: You are working at the scale size. Sketchup will not draw a radius below 0.018" dia. This problem also causes errors when intersecting polygons at or below that 0.018" ..
Solution: work in a larger scale so the 0.018" doesn't enter into it.

Note: this is one of the things that netFabb or similar software at Shapeways CAN fix .. I just don't like *assuming* that they will do it correctly .. rather take care of the issue myself.

(5) Zooming out a bit .. the backs of the pieces are that blue gray. That means that we are looking at the inside face of the polygons .. needs to be reversed.

Note: again .. the software at shapeways seem smart enough to flip the triangles .. but again .. would rather do it myself. Select the face and right click and select 'reverse face' from the menu

(6) Resizing. The width across this piece you had at 0.375". I coverted this to mm .. 0.375 x 25.4 = 9.525
Use the Tape Measure Tool to get the .375" measurement. Type in 9.525 and hit enter. It will ask you if you want to re-size. Say yes. It will re-size the entire model.

Note: I also deleted the sprues you had as shown prevously they had bad intersections.

(7) added a new square sprue as Marc suggested. This is beause those short round sprues intersect a flat plane .. lots less math for the program. It would have probably been ok having round sprues since I enlarged the model but why go to the trouble?

(8) Two issues here:
(a) The lines left over from the modeling and there is an interior face on the round part where it is attached to the square part. Use your eraser  tool and delete all those lines. To get them all it would be better to move the section up .. to the very top so you can see all of them . There were twice as many in the part that was doubled.
(b) the interior face where the back of the square part and the round part join. Select the surface and hit delete.

(9) here we go ..everything cleaned up .. and everything ungrouped. Grouping can cause a problem sometimes .. not always .. but sometimes. Easier just to ungroup.

(10) .. and this is what I would export as a .dae file.

Remember .. I scaled that one side that was .375" to a 9.525" .. actually 9.525mm. When you export a .dae file and import into MeshLab .. do the .. removed duplicate faces and vertexes .. and save as a .stl file it saves in units. In the .stl file that is simply .. 9.525

Do the NetFabb thing and upload to Shapeways. They ask .. "What system of measurement?" .. and I would say .. mm

The model will print so it is 9.525mm on that side .. and everything will be copasetic ..
Ed Traxler

Lugoff, Camden & Northern RR

Socrates: "I drank WHAT?"


Once again I have saved all this as a PDF for reference. Invaluable information. -- Russ


Oh was that all it was?... :o :'( ::) ???

Thanks Ed!!!!!
Should be interesting when I get the prints, may have to resend this one.



Ed fixed the flat square plates and using his instructions I fixed the truck boxes.
I sent them to shapeways and ordered them in Frosted Extreme detail.
The truck plates cost $16.73
The truck boxes cost $ 12.50

I will post a picture when they arrive in a couple weeks.



One thing to remember, when creating different parts to send to Shapeways is to combine them both into one "mesh" using MeshLabs.
That way you save money in the setup charge ($5 each).
Dave Mason
D&GRR (Dunstead & Granford) in On30
"A people that values its privileges above its principles will soon lose both."~Dwight D. Eisenhower


What David said. I will upload a mesh .. say truck_plates.stl and truck_boxes.stl to Shapways to make sure they are good to go. Then I will create a project_truck_stuff.stl in MeshLab and if I need 6ea of the truck_plates.stl I will duplicate that six times in MeshLab .. same with other models. You can keep adding meshes until you are happy. I have had a project with six different meshes .. and as David says you get charged the $5 handling for them all. Example .. this mesh has a pulley pair, gear pair, bearing pair, blocks, point guards and a couple of trucks .. each was a separate mesh in itself but loaded into MeshLab and layers flattened to one .stl file for upload. Shapeways sees it as one mesh.
Ed Traxler

Lugoff, Camden & Northern RR

Socrates: "I drank WHAT?"


Parts are dead on.

;D ;D ;D

Chuck Doan

Late to the game...great news Russ!  Congratulations Marty! 
"They're most important to me. Most important. All the little details." -Joseph Cotten, Shadow of a Doubt



Here's the AutoCAD drawing of the 8 ton Plymouth DL, generic version, with a slightly remodeled cab. I drew it 1:1 to output in any scale. The end views show 2 and 3 foot gauge versions. This was the easy part. The SketchUp part of the project will be difficult.

I did not include an exhaust stack or oil hatch because locations seem to vary with the motor.

If anybody wants a print of the frame and superstructure parts, let me know. The scale of the posted drawing is 1:32 and, for you lurkers, it is copyrighted.




looks quite good to me. I temporized to answer to your announcement of a model, because it may have been some kind of April fool hoax, considering time difference to your place, but it seems to be a bit less than six weeks ;D.

Quote from: finescalerr on May 19, 2015, 05:10:14 PMIf anybody wants a print of the frame and superstructure parts, let me know. The scale of the posted drawing is 1:32 and, for you lurkers, it is copyrighted.

If you don't want people to play around with your pdf files I'd suggest to change it to a pixel based version. The one you'd load up seems to be vector based and full scalable and I'm afraid there's no way to hinder lurkers to use it as ever they want ...  :P

I'll make it. If I have to fly the five feet like a birdie.

I'll fly it. I'll make it.