The CADspan Plugin Toolbar

Posted by LGM | Thursday, February 13th

 The CADspan toolbar is composed of seven icons.  From left to right they are: Layerize, Unsmooth Model, Preview Style, Resurfacer,  Import Geometry, Export Raw STL, and Thickness Calculator.

 Layerize - This tool blows through SketchUp's groping and component hierarchy to take a selection and apply it to a selected layer.  If you are familiar with the layer controls in other modeling packages, SketchUp's decision to have the layer of a component or group override the surface or line layer selection can be a bit confusing.  The Layerize tool helps users blow past this hierarchy so that you can dictate a section of a model to be placed on "Part 1" and the rest of the model on "Part 2" so that you can easily segment your model to upload it to CADspan in intelligent, contiguous sections, rather than sending it in bits and pieces dictated by groups.

Caution: this is not easily undone.  Saving your model as Project_Layerize.skp is a good idea before using this tool.

 Unsmooth Model - This tool taps in to SketchUp's Soften and Smooth options to strip out the smoothing and show all of the hidden geometry.  Why do this?  To show all of the surfaces and lines in your model, enabling you to have better control when editing the model to remove any potential holes.  This option has the greatest effect on models with a lot of curved surfaces.

Caution: This process can take a long time for some models because this is very computationally intensive.  Please watch the information panel in the lower left hand corner to track the progress, or better yet, go stretch your legs for a moment.  

 Preview Style - This tool addresses two things simultaneously, flipped normals and holes in a model.  Flipped normals are a complicated topic and not entirely relevant because CADspan Resurfacing takes care of this for you, but in short, the computer sees the red surfaces as being inside out.  Holes are the bigger issue and the preview style is set up to help you find and address large holes in your model.  The CADspan Resurfacer will address the smaller holes if you are able to address the larger holes first.  See the blog pose (khgkjhf) for more on this.

Caution:  If you are unfamiliar with "Styles" in SketchUp, then I suggest you toggle the Preview Style off before saving and closing your project.

 Resurfacer - The star of the show.  The CADspan Resurfacer does the real work, the other tools help to make the resurfacer's output even better.  To use this tool, you will log in to your account, upload your geometry, choose the processing settings and hit go.  When CADspan is dome analyzing and processing your file you can download the zipped folder containing your STL.

This tool deserves more attention so learn more -Here-

 Import Geometry - Essentially this is a STL importer for SketchUp, but it is tweaked to handle CADspanned files.  This importer is designed to address the issues that arrise when you try to import extreemly large files in to SketchUp.

 Export Raw STL - This tool will export STL files that have not been resurfaced with the CADspan engine.  

 Thickness Calculator - This tool provides a reference guide for 3D printers and Scale compatibility while you are modeling.  You input the scale you intend to print at and the 3D print technology you will be using and the calculator provides reference thicknesses in real world units.  Find out more about Freestanding Elements, Small Overhangs, and Surface Relief.

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