Author Topic: SketchUp users: have you tried CadSpan plugin?  (Read 188 times)

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peteski

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SketchUp users: have you tried CadSpan plugin?
« on: December 04, 2018, 03:24:50 PM »
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I posted this question few days ago in the 3D CAD Software thread but with no replies I decided to ask in a separate thread.

Have any of you SketchUp users ever use the CadSpan plugin? http://www.cadspan.com/tools

When I played with SketchUp few years ago I installed it and it seemed useful for drawing items for 3D printing, but I never got to the point where I had anything useful to try printing it out.  Looks like the plugin is still available and still free.

If nobody here used it, maybe one of you more seasoned SketchUp users coudl take it for a spin and give us your evaluation of its usuefulness?
--- Peteski de Snarkski
--- Honorary Resident Curmudgeon

narrowminded

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Re: SketchUp users: have you tried CadSpan plugin?
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2018, 12:25:18 AM »
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Hi Pete.  I just tried Sketchup for the first time this past Sunday but wasn't going to post anything until I had 3D printed it and proven it to myself.  This was done as an extension of the remarks I had made in the cad thread about simple and cheap should be sufficient without actually having tried this plus my own need and lack of effort I had put into my Turbocad program.  Turns out I had a drawing ready to try in the printer within a day, including figuring the program out, and I'm actually thinking it will be a quite satisfactory program for hobby train modellers, certainly newbies and maybe even for the duration.  It was easy to use and the same model would take me maybe an hour next time and with more practice, probably fifteen minutes.  It's a bit early but I think I can say with some conviction now that this program is totally adequate for a novice to start in 3D printing and maybe for the duration.  And if you're having trouble getting off the ground with this one it'll be exponentially worse with any of the "fancier" programs that probably won't have much if any advantage for this most basic purpose.  It's not without merit and a user will know what and why they need to step up, if ever.

Now, all of that to get to this.  There is a free extension from the Sketchup site that does this work and it works well.  They also have an extension for exporting directly as an .stl file for 3D printing.  Those two extension downloads were recommended in a video and they do well.  That might be why nobody has responded.  Maybe nobody's using it because they haven't had a need.

Those two extensions can be found on the Sketchup site in the "Extension Warehouse".  They are under the titles "Sketchup STL"  and "Solid Inspector 2", assuming you're using a newer Sketchup free download.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2018, 02:14:02 AM by narrowminded »
Mark G.

peteski

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Re: SketchUp users: have you tried CadSpan plugin?
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2018, 12:52:45 AM »
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Thanks Mark.
Judging by complete lack of responses from other SketchUp users here, nobody uses (or even tried) the CadSpan plugin.  I guess it's out, and the ones you mentioned will be tried (when I get back into using SketchUp).
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Chris333

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Re: SketchUp users: have you tried CadSpan plugin?
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2018, 12:54:41 AM »
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I've been to busy to try it yet.

Chris333

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Re: SketchUp users: have you tried CadSpan plugin?
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2018, 07:54:39 AM »
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I have the stl exporter add on already, before that I think I was using Netfabb to turn the files into a stl. I just clicked the Cadspan link and saw "free trial" so I just don't want to mess with it.

Does it repair stl files or just export them?

peteski

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Re: SketchUp users: have you tried CadSpan plugin?
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2018, 12:26:15 PM »
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I have the stl exporter add on already, before that I think I was using Netfabb to turn the files into a stl. I just clicked the Cadspan link and saw "free trial" so I just don't want to mess with it.

Does it repair stl files or just export them?

Not really sure. When I dabbled with SketchUp (around 4 years ago) I just played with reversing surfaces. Never got to the point of exporting or printing anything.  I believe there are multiple CadSpan offerings - one is free.  SketchUp was made to mainly allow people to draw 3D representations of buildings for Google Maps/Earth, and at that point using it for 3D printing was not the real intent. So there weren't many plugins for it to do 3D pringin design. IIRC, CadSpan was the only "free" one I found at the time,

Again, looks like lots have changed in those years and there are many other alternatives available.  I was just curious if someone in this group was using it and if not, why?  Not having been playing with SketchUp for a while I was just feeling things out.
--- Peteski de Snarkski
--- Honorary Resident Curmudgeon