EDITED

The old DesignSpark Mechanical forum where I posted quiet a few "Tips and Tricks" has completely disappeared.
It seems that this company doesn't care of their customers and have no respect to the people that contributed there, which is a BIG SHAME !
Because of such an inacceptable attitude, I won't write anymore tutorials about DS Mechanical and invite you to use other softwares.
I will let you know which other alternatives you have.


This is the first of a serie of tutorials about how to use DSMech (lazy version for "DesignSpark Mechanical") along with SU (lazy version for "SketchUp").

Yes I'm a very lazy guy !
And that's why I always look after solutions that can save me work and time... Either via plugins or external solutions.
DSMesh belongs to the second family : it's a "complete" application an not a SU plugin.
But it can replace several SU plugins in one single app.

Why do I say "the first of a serie" ?
Because I won't cover all the advantages DSMech can bring to a SU user in a single tut.
Instead I prefer to focus on just a few aspects at a time about where DSMech can help.
And doing it as a tutorial is IMHO the best way to go...

So today I'm gonna just focus on the "Pull tool" and the "Shell" tool" and see how it can turn a SU "draft sketch" into a printable 3D object in just minutes !
The "Pull tool" will be used to

  • Select edges/faces
  • Round edges
  • Offset edges
  • Extrude faces

and the "Shell tool" will be used to

  • Hollow the model
  • Thicken the model

I'm gonna show you how to do this in minutes and ready for 3D printing :

Tutorial

Part 1 - SketchUp

You don't need SU to do this tutorial. This part of the tut (part1) could be done in DSMech.
But the purpose is to show SU users how they could take advantage of DSMech's tools.

1 - Draw a square (135mm per side)
Tutorial

2 - Extrude (25mm)
Tutorial

3 - Draw 4 squares (60mm per side)
Tutorial

4 - Extrude each square clockwise (respectively 5mm, 25mm, 45mm and 65mm)Tutorial

5 - Make sure the bottom face is closed. If it's not, close it (redraw an edge)Tutorial

Then save your work as a SketchUp file (.skp)

Part 2 - DesignSpark Mechanical

1 - Open your SU file in DSMech
Tutorial

2 - Select all vertical edges
Tutorial

3 - Round all edges ("Pull" tool - 10mm)
Tutorial

4 - Select central cross's edges
Tutorial

5 - Round them ("Pull" tool - 5mm)
Tutorial

6 - Offset all top faces ("Pull" tool - 2,5mm)
Tutorial

7 - Extrude all top faces ("Pull" tool - 27,5mm)
Tutorial

Tutorial

Tutorial

8 - Export the above version as STL (version 1), Select the "Shell" tool
Tutorial

9 - Click bottom face and choose 2,5mm
Tutorial

10 - Complete
Tutorial

11 - Save as...
Tutorial

12 - SKP if you want to work further on it within SU (or STL version 2)
Tutorial

13 - Open or Import it back in SU if needed
Tutorial

It can be a usefull thing to have on your desk for example

Tutorial

That's it !

I have uploaded that object on Thingiverse for those that would like to 3D print it.
I've made 3 different versions with a different bottom which makes them more or less subject to warp.

I hope you liked this tutorial...

Tutorial
Rendered in Kerkythea