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Brad
Huh, this really big news – Make 3D printable STL files directly from a Google SketchUp model with CADspan’s plugin… via Fabbaloo.

Creating a 3D printing file from a Google SketchUp file has never been easy. Today a new class of 3D printing technology has slashed the time and expense it takes to create a physical model. Our friends at CADspan just released a plugin that allows for the generation of solid, 3D printable files directly from a Google SketchUp model. This software re-creates a model by “shrink-wrapping” it with one continuous mesh. The result is a single object, in STL file format, that is completely solid and ready-to-print.

3D printers create a physical object from a digital model by first dividing it into thin virtual “slices.” Then, the printers build the physical model, one layer at a time. These machines can typically build a shoe box sized object with almost any detail, overnight.

The new CADspan plugin makes 3D printing from Google SketchUp easier than ever. Install the plugin, and use the included tools to clean up and put some finishing touches on the model. When ready to export, click upload and let CADspan’s servers take care of the rest. Then, go right on to working on your next Google SketchUp project while the first model is being resurfaced. When it’s finished, simply download the STL file, review it, and the model is ready to print.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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