SketchUp Takes Over?

My intention is to introduce a class to architecture. To that end, I took a second look at SketchUp, the one-time Google-owned modeling program, that now is owned by Trimble. It has been years since I played with SketchUp, at least ever since TinkerCad came around. But still, there may be some architecture-specific things with SketchUp, so maybe I will let the kids have a poke.

The online version is free, with a Google or Microsoft account. Standard right? Well, look at what SketchUp wants with my Google Drive access:

Scary right? So I clicked the little “i” in a circle to get more information…which scared me even more:

Am I overreacting? Is this standard Google permission?

3D Gears

After having discussions with my math peeps, I decided to make gears. From scratch, in Sketchup. Many failures ensued. Thankfully, a Youtube video showed me the light (granted, I had to watch the video about 20 times).

Anyway, the gear ratio works (don’t ask me what that means), and different sizes of gears spin with each other. I even got fancy with irregular shapes (see the long gear) as well as gears with cut-outs (to save filament) and a gear with holes (to create abstract designs a la Spirograph).

Spinning Tree

This is a 3D printed tree that has movable branches. IMG_3269


I made it in Sketchup of simple geometric shapes, each rectangle just a wee bit smaller than the lower one.


The top part of the tree was actually a bit of challenge to create, as I had to create the triangle shape, but then make a partial hole through one side of it. There are three versions of it in the illustration above.

I exported each piece separately into Makerbot and then printed them one at a time.

Here are some more views of the tree.






Hinges from start to finish

I designed hinges in Sketchup

sketchup hinges

and exported them to Makerbot

Makerbot hinges

Here they are being printed (around 40% done)

Hinges infill

Here it is about 60%


meh. The machine just overheated.

hinge final

It is just as well, since the design was not correct. The hinges are just a bit too big to fit together.

Back to Sketchup….

June 2023