SketchUp in a Can

This week we modelled a soft-drinks can in SketchUp.  A typical can is 135mm high and has a diameter of 66mm.
We made the model in two halves with overlapping edges that can be pushed together.
This model could be 3D-printed and used to hold components for one of our electronics projects.  It gave us a feel for using SketchUp and designing our own models.

We drew a profile of one half of a can and extruded that profile around a circle to make the can. We included a lip on the inside of the shell in the profile. The detailed instructions to make the model are here.
One thing we discovered was that we need to delete the face in the circle, leaving just the outline, before extruding.  If you leave the face intact, the extruded model will be missing its bottom face.

Then we made a profile of the other half, with a lip on the outside.  We put the two together in SketchUp to see how they fitted.  Section planes are helpful for this: insert a  section in the vertical plane and move it in and out using the Move tool to see that the lips touch, but don’t overlap.

One ninja had a great idea:  SketchUp allows us to apply materials to faces.  So, he applied a glass texture to the model so that he could see through it and check that it was correct.

The method of drawing the profile in the instructions above is quite laborious.  The intention is to give us an understanding of SketchUp’s inferencing system for drawing in a particular plane and snapping to end-points and mid-points.  Our ninjas were able to construct the profile much quicker by drawing two touching rectangles, and then removing a section (to make the lip) with a third rectangle.

Next week, hopefully, we will try printing our models on the 3D printer to see how they look.  Our 3D printer software needs a file in STL format to print.  SketchUp doesn’t support STL out of the box. There is an extension in the 3D Warehouse that lets us export our model to STL, so we have to install that first.

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